Black People : SO MUCH FOR,"WE'RE ALL ALIKE"

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Keita Kenyatta, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Color makes difference at ethnic skin center

    By Ray Quintanilla
    Tribune staff reporter
    Published February 24, 2006


    Doctors say you can't fully understand human skin unless you first recognize the differences among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic minorities.

    That sounds obvious, yet for generations, the medical establishment has treated skin with little distinction for the immense varieties in hues and types.

    Earlier this month, however, Northwestern University opened a new Center for Ethnic Skin, the first such medical practice of its kind in Chicago and second in the Midwest.

    Officials with the center say it is, in part, a response to improving medical understanding about how some skin conditions, from keloids to acne, behave differently in people of color.

    It is also a matter of demand, with a growing community of color seeking and having the money to pay for specialized treatment.

    "This is exactly the kind of care I've been looking for," said Juanita Butler, 34, an African-American woman being examined at the center for abnormal pigmentation. "Women with dark skin have needs that need to be treated differently."

    The combination of new demand, better knowledge and changing attitudes toward ethnicity is making itself felt throughout the medical world.

    Studies show one new drug is superior in treating heart conditions among African-Americans. Physicians say the effectiveness of medications that fight HIV can also vary among ethnic groups.

    A national survey of 600 physicians last year found 85 percent favor targeting drugs by a patient's ethnic or racial group because doing so can help bolster a medication's effectiveness.

    Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, a senior faculty associate in the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics, said such developments hold promise, as long as they don't lead to racial favoritism.

    Issues of appearance and preconception in medicine can be complicated, Wolpe said.

    "Think about it: when a woman comes into a clinic complaining about urinary problems, we don't talk to her about an enlarged prostate," he said. "Medicine by its nature stereotypes people. The problem comes about when stereotypes dominate a physician's thinking."

    Medications that work better in one ethnic group over another tend to be more functional because of a person's genetic profile, not simply skin color.

    But medical advances are helping fuel a growth in the field of dermatology and other skin-related needs among people of color. In fact, it's become big business.

    People of color represent 35 percent of the U.S. population, the center notes, and that group is expected to grow to about 50 percent by 2050.

    The buying power of the nation's ethnic minorities is also on the rise--a fact that's enabling more members of minority groups to afford access to medical care.

    "Medicine and health care is changing as the nation changes. We are no different," said Dr. Roopal Kundu, one of the founders of the Center for Ethnic Skin, located in a medical school outpatient clinic in Streeterville.

    Minority women are leading the shift, seeking help for problems such as vitiligo, which causes pronounced skin blotching in people of color. Keloids, eczema and acne also require special treatments in darker skin-toned people, the center's medical staff said.

    Demand for plastic surgery is also soaring among minorities, growing 44 percent between 2000 and 2004, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

    Butler's husband, Antonio Davis, was shot in a car-jacking 10-years ago. Today, he wants to hide scarring around the area of his midsection where a bullet went in and out of his body. Plastic surgery may be the only way to repair the damage, he said.

    Davis said when that time comes, he wants the procedure done at Northwestern's new center.

    "I would feel better going there," he said. "They will take into account my skin tone."

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    Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune
     
  2. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is the key point, notice "ethnic group" and not "RACE" is the granularity. Also notice genetics and "not simply skin color" predict efficacy.
     
  3. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I do trust that you looked up "ethnic group"...and since we do understand the "genetic factor", it really "semantics" now isn't it ?? "Give me a "half dozen of one and six of the other".
     
  4. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    No they are not nearly the same. How many ethnic groups exist in sub-saharan africa? How many races?
     
  5. Blaklioness

    Blaklioness Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Keita,

    Keep giving us the 411! Thanks!
     
  6. cursed heart

    cursed heart Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nice info, I did my internship at Northwestern.
    I'd like to check the study out.
    Also I have excema and the only person that has been able to help me was an indian man.
    I am still trying to find him again.
    I think our skin needs extra care and knowledge thereof!
    I had to learnd how to care for my own skin by creating my own regimine.
    I can only use black soap with vitamin e and cocoa butter.
    I also take vitamin e orally.
     
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