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Skin of Color

Resources and tools to facilitate work, study, and knowledge around skin of color.

Library Contacts

LaTeesa James

Photograph of Kathryn Vanderboll

Kathryn Vanderboll


MGetIt Full Text Article Content

The library purchases many journal subscriptions, whenever possible giving you electronic access.
The   button lets you see if an article in a database is available in print or electronically.
If the article is available electronically, you'll be taken either directly to the article or to a menu of options, where you can follow a link to the article, search the Library Catalog Search to see if we have a print copy, or request a copy from another library usng InterLibrary Loan (ILL).

Searching the scholarly literature on topics related to skin of color can be challenging because there are diverse ways to describe the concepts of skin color, race, and ethnicity. We encourage you to search more than one resource using multiple search terms to successfully locate relevant resources. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to one of the library contacts to set up a consultation.

Suggested Databases

Below are databases that index journals whose content may cover skin of color.

Suggested Search Terms

An effective search strategy contains both keywords and subject headings. Databases contain millions of journal articles, and most are indexed with specific subject headings (such as MeSH or Emtree), which can help make your searches more focused. Keywords are still useful, especially when searching highly specific terms or populations that don't have an indexing term. 

Here are a few search terms which may be helpful for you. This list is not comprehensive. 

Skin of color terms Race / ethnicity terms
“Skin of color” 
"Skin of colour" 
Skin tone
"Dark skin"
"Dark skinned"
"Darker skin"
"Black skin"
"Brown skin"
"Fitzpatrick skin phototype"
"Skin pigmentation" 
"Person of color"
"People of color"
"African American"
"African Continental Ancestry Group"
"Asian American"
"Asian Continental Ancestry Group"
"Oceanic Ancestry Group"
"Pacific Islander"
Aboriginal (people or person)

We also recommend referring to the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE®/PubMed® Health Disparities and Minority Health Search Strategy for additional terminology.

Other terms of potential interest to combine with the list above: 

Diagnosis / screening terms Inequality in health care terms Education terms

"Diagnostic Errors"
"Symptom Assessment"
"Delayed Diagnosis"
"Early Diagnosis"

"Health disparities"
"Healthcare disparities"
"Health equity"
"Race factors"
"Medical students"
"Nursing students"
"Medical education"
"Undergraduate Medical Education"
"Graduate Medical Education"
Educational activities


Pubmed / Medline Search Tips

Below is a basic search strategy that you can use to begin searching literature about skin of color in PubMed.   You can edit and combine with other terminology to make the search more focused (e.g., combine with surgical scarring terminology). Simply copy and paste the strategy below into the PubMed search bar.

Please feel free to contact Kathryn Vanderboll for an in depth, individual information

("Race Factors"[MeSH Terms] OR "Skin Pigmentation"[MeSH Terms] OR "Skin"[MeSH Terms] OR "African Continental Ancestry Group"[MeSH Terms] OR "American Native Continental Ancestry Group"[MeSH Terms] OR "Indians, North American"[MeSH Terms] OR "Indigenous Peoples"[MeSH Terms] OR "Arabs"[MeSH Terms] OR "Asian Continental Ancestry Group"[MeSH Terms] OR "Hispanic Americans"[MeSH Terms] OR "Oceanic Ancestry Group"[MeSH Terms] OR pigment*[tiab] OR racial[tiab] OR race[tiab] OR racism[tiab] OR African*[tiab] OR Black American*[tiab] OR black[tiab] OR blacks[tiab] OR negro*[tiab] OR Native American*[tiab] OR Indian*[tiab] OR Indigenous People*[tiab] OR First Nation People*[tiab] OR "Native People"[tiab] OR Inuit*[tiab] OR Arab[tiab] OR Arabs[tiab] OR Palestinian*[tiab] OR Asian*[tiab] OR Burmese*[tiab] OR Cambodian*[tiab] OR Vietnamese*[tiab] OR Japanese[tiab] OR Korean*[tiab] OR Mongoloid*[tiab] OR Asiatic*[tiab] OR Thai[tiab] OR Thais[tiab] OR Chinese[tiab] OR Hispanic*[tiab] OR Spanish[tiab] OR Puerto Rican*[tiab] OR Cuban*[tiab] OR Latin*[tiab] OR Mexican*[tiab] OR Hawaiian*[tiab] OR Pacific Islander*[tiab] OR Aborigin*[tiab] OR "people of color"[tiab] OR "people of colour"[tiab] OR "skin of color"[tiab] OR "skin of colour"[tiab] OR "brown skin"[tiab] OR "black skin"[tiab] OR "dark skin"[tiab] OR "dark skinned"[tiab] OR "darker skin"[tiab] OR melanin[tiab] OR ethnic*[tiab] OR skin tone*[tiab] OR skin color*[tiab] OR skin colour*[tiab] OR "skin phototypes"[tiab] OR hyperpigmentation[tiab] OR hypopigmentation[tiab] OR dyschromia[tiab]) AND ("Dermatology"[Mesh Terms] OR dermatolog*[tiab])