Dermatologists dumbfounded by black hair culture

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Dr. Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford’s Multicultural Dermatology Clinic, says that African-American women suffer in silence from hair and scalp diseases because most dermatologists aren’t sensitive to (or knowledgeable about) black hair culture. She will discuss these issues Monday during a presentation of “Hair Disease and the African-American Patient” at the annual American Academy of Dermatology conference in San Diego. News Medical reports on the story:

Styling practices can lead to serious hair and scalp diseases for some African Americans, says Henry Ford Hospital dermatologist Diane Jackson-Richards, M.D.

“Hair is an extremely important aspect of an African-American woman’s appearance,” says Dr. Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford’s Multicultural Dermatology Clinic. “Yet, many women who have a hair or scalp disease do not feel their physician takes them seriously. Physicians should become more familiar with the culturally accepted treatments for these diseases.”

Dr. Jackson-Richards says proper hair care can help prevent the onset of such diseases like seborrheic dermatitis and alopecia, and that dermatologists need to become more sensitive to the hair and scalp plights of African Americans.

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