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  • Angela Tufvesson — Hong Kong

Editor’s letter

Dear reader and health advocate,

February marks the launch of our special report on the global skin disease burden.

Skin disease may appear to be a peripheral issue in the broader global healthcare domain beset by inequality. But in an interconnected ecosystem, skin diseases offer a unique window into broader public health and social issues, including access to healthcare and education, colourism, mental wellbeing, and the growing burden of chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease.

Moreover, in the age of social media, where image and self-perception hold significant sway, the psychological impact of skin conditions, particularly among young people, adds another layer of urgency.

Our special report will shed light on the global burden of skin diseases with a focus on five interwoven areas: mental health, youth, racial disparities, cultural conceptions of skin, and the link with non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

We examine the health impact of skin bleaching across Africa and how advocacy and legislation can help negate the discriminatory and harmful narratives of a powerful beauty industry, as well as cultural beliefs around skin colour. We explore how myths and lack of awareness contribute to underdiagnosis of skin cancer among people of colour.

Our special report will also investigate the mental health impact of colourism among diaspora communities, how skin diseases can disrupt education in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and the interconnection between psoriasis and NCDs.

It’s clear that something as ubiquitous as skin problems can reveal complex stories about our changing world and the impact on human health.

We look forward to working with you to build healthier societies.

Angela Tufvesson


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