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March 31, 2021

An Approach to Examining Tightly Coiled Hair Among Patients With Hair Loss in Race-Discordant Patient-Physician Interactions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA Dermatol. Published online March 31, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.0338

In patients with tightly coiled hair, examinations of the hair and scalp can create discomfort for both the patient and the dermatologist. This discomfort may be exacerbated by hair discordance, which can occur in individuals who do not have the same hair type. Although hair discordance is not an established term in the literature, previous articles have described the impact of racial discordance between physicians and patients seeking care for hair loss.1 In a study surveying Black women being treated for hair loss in a skin of color dermatology clinic, participants detailed their past experiences in seeking care for hair loss from race-discordant dermatologists and primary care physicians.1 The patients had a negative perception of the care that they received from previous physicians who did not touch their hair, were unaware of their traditional hair care routines, and lacked shared life experiences.1 How can cultural humility improve patient care?

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