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The Globe and Mail: Dark skinned patients left out of COVID-19 studies, as minorities some of the hardest hit by the virus

gettyimages_1205740031.jpgby Cherise Seucharan (JULY 10, 2020)

Clinical images of patients with hives, swollen lips, chickenpox-like rashes, and red or purple lesions on the feet known as "covid toes," have been published in medical studies since the start of the pandemic, demonstrating how the virus can affect the skin.

These images can help doctors diagnose patients who are otherwise asymptomatic - if they have light skin.

But images of darker-skinned patients have largely not been included in medical studies showing how COVID-19 can present on the skin, even as the disease has disproportionately affected people of colour in Canada and the United States. Symptoms can appear very differently on dark skin tones, underscoring the need for inclusion in clinical studies.

"Black folks in Canada, specifically Toronto, are overrepresented in terms of the burden of COVID-19," said Bolu Ogunyemi, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

Read the full Globe and Mail article here which includes images from VisualDx that represent diagnoses on light and dark skin.

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