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May 13, 2020

Dermatologic Care of Persons Experiencing Homelessness: Key Concepts in an Era of Housing Instability

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Dermatol. 2020;156(9):945-946. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.0902

Homelessness is a growing problem in the US, affecting urban and rural populations from coast to coast. Key drivers of homelessness—including poverty, housing unaffordability, the opioid epidemic, and climate change—remain unaddressed on a large scale, suggesting that the US will be grappling with it for years to come. Dermatologists are responsible for effectively addressing the skin health needs of this vulnerable population but might not have received sufficient training to identify and care for persons experiencing homelessness (PEH). In this Viewpoint, we discuss the scope and causes of homelessness in the US, relevant skin conditions, best practices for identifying and caring for PEH, and recommendations for educating dermatologists and trainees to care for this population.

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