UHealth’s Skin of Color Division Focuses on Ethnic Skin Care

Danyelle Dawes, M.D. is a dermatologist who is also part of the Skin of Color Division, a group of doctors specializing in ethnic skin care at the University of Miami Health System. For information on dermatologic treatments and services offered, click here or visit the UHealth Collective.

MEET ZURI WHITCOMB:

When a strange rash appeared on Zuri Whitcomb’s face, along with a bruise on her thigh that wouldn’t heal, she was at a loss.

“The rash, it actually itched very much, and it turned into scabs. It was very scary,” Zuri says.

After several misdiagnoses, she met with Danyelle Dawes, M.D., a UHealth dermatologist who is also part of the Skin of Color Division – a group of doctors specializing in ethnic skin care – who diagnosed her with lupus, an autoimmune disease.

“It can be very complex sometimes to recognize whether or not someone has lupus, because it can affect any organ, and no two patients can be the same in their presentation. You can get skin rashes, you can get joint pains, you can get breathing problems, you can have kidney problems,” says Dr. Dawes.

When a patient like Zuri is diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, such as lupus, UHealth’s multidisciplinary approach can help treat all areas of the body that are affected.

“We may include the nephrologist or the kidney doctor. If you have lung involvement, we may include the pulmonologist. If you have blood vessel involvement, we may include the blood doctor or the hematologist,” Dr. Dawes says.

Zuri is now on an oral medication for her kidneys and her rash and bruise have cleared.

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“This is something that you have to live with, but it can be controlled,” says Zuri.

She’s back to work as a busy traveling hair stylist and is grateful to Dr. Dawes for giving her her life back.

“She gave me confidence and control over my life again,” Zuri says.

FOCUSING ON YOU

Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine is a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit YouTube channels for UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

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