2017 SOCS Media Day Delivers High-Interest Expert Content!


Advancing patient and public understanding about skin of color issues…
from everyday concerns to life-altering conditions

The Skin of Color Society’s 3rd Annual Media Day took place at the Kitano Hotel Penthouse in New York City, on December 5, 2017, attracting strong interest among numerous media attendees. Entitled, “Know Your Skin,” this exciting expert-based event was designed to advance patient and public understanding about a wide range of skin of color dermatology issues—from everyday aesthetic/dermatologic concerns to life-altering conditions. Expanding on previous successful SOCS Media Days, this fascinating and fast-paced program featured several SOCS expert presenters, with the added new element of a moderator, handled skillfully by Lee Thomas, the Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, author of “Turning White” and vitiligo patient leader, who also delivered an inspirational opening talk about his vitiligo journey.

Left: Seemal Desai, MD, FAAD; Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc, FAAD; Valerie Callender, MD; Maritza Perez, MD; Susan Taylor, MD; Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH

Lee Thomas

Presenting experts included: Drs. Seemal Desai and Susan C. Taylor, on “Managing Skin of Color Issues from the Inside Out”; Drs. Valerie Callender and Andrew Alexis, on “The Bigger Picture—More than Skin Deep,” and Dr. Maritza Perez, on “Medical wake-up calls in people of color—Truths and myths in ethnic variations in aging and skin cancer in skin of color.” Each presentation was followed by a lively round of Q & A’s from an engaged audience.

Dr. Valerie Callender and Dr. Sophia Kogan of Nutrafol showing JDD article with hair research

Drs. Seemal Desai and Susan Taylor with Jackie Yates from Yahoo

SOCS Board of Directors member Dr. Babar Rao and active member Dr. Nada Elbuluk, both of whom have presented at previous SOCS Media Days and regularly handle media inquiries for the organization, also supported the program.

Dr. Seemal Desai and Lee Thomas at the Kitano Penthouse

Michelle Wrubel and Dr. Sophia Kogan of Nutrafol with the SOCS Media Day presenters

The Penthouse was filled to capacity with beauty and health writers, editors and content creators who represented a wide cross-section of print/digital media, including: Cutis; Yahoo!; O, The Oprah Magazine; Parents; Good Housekeeping; Family Circle; Elle; Health; Glamour; Beauty in the Bag; Modern AestheticsThe Dermatologist; HAPPI; Allure; Inter-active One; Diva Gals Daily; Brown Girl Gumbo; Bronze Girl Magazine; Style TV; Fashions Digest; Urban Milan, and several others who contribute to multiple channels.

Thank you to all who helped make the Skin of Color Society’s 3rd Annual Media Day an outstanding success that has sparked interest, ideas, and inspiration.

Featuring SOCS dermatologic expert presenters:


Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD
President & Medical Director, Innovative Dermatology / Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology, University of Texas Southwestern

Valerie Callender, MD
Medical Director, Callender Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, Professor of Dermatology, Howard University College of Medicine

Susan C. Taylor, MD
Founding Director, Skin of Color Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center; Faculty, Perelman School of Medicine







Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH
Chair, Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s & Mount Sinai Roosevelt / Associate Professor of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Maritza Perez, MD
Director of Cosmetic Dermatology, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Medical Center / Associate Director of Procedural Dermatology, Beth Israel Medical Center / Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine

Yolanda Lenzy, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist & Licensed Cosmetologist Lenzy Dermatology & Hair Loss Center










Moderated by Lee Thomas, Emmy-award winning television anchor,
author of “Turning White” and vitiligo patient leader/advocate.


Supported by SOCS dermatologic experts:
Babar Rao, MD
Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc, FAAD


Babar K. Rao, MD
Founder and Director of Rao Dermatology NY, NJ, CA / Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School / Clinical Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medical School

Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc, FAAD
Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, NYU Medical Center

Opening Remarks by Lee Thomas
Expert presentation teams and topics
Seemal Desai, MD and Susan C. Taylor, MD: Managing skin of color issues from the inside out

  • Psycho-social effects of skin diseases
  • Safe and smart choices in treating pigmentary problems
  • Go-to treatments and breakthroughs in melasma, hyperpigmentation and vitiligo​
  • Q & A moderated by Lee Thomas

Maritza Perez, MD and Yolanda Lenzy, MD: Medical Wake-up calls in people of color

  • Keys to handling psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema in skin of color
  • The skin cancer you never knew about: lymphoma
  • Ethnic hair loss
  • Growing epidemic: Skin cancer in Latinos
  • Sun protection myths and truths for melanin-rich skin
  • Q & A moderated by Lee Thomas

Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH and Valerie Callender, MD present: The Bigger Picture

  • Skin/hair signs of systemic disease
  • Health disparity in diversity
  • Where do we go from here: what patients need to know!
  • Q & A moderated by Lee Thomas

We thank the following sponsors who supported this informative and interesting program: LEO Pharma, Pfizer, Nutrafol & Sun Dermatology




For beauty and health writers/editors who are interested in skin of color dermatology experts as sources for articles, please contact: media@skinofcolorsociety.org


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Skin of color patients comprise the majority in California, New Mexico and Texas…and soon will be the majority in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, New York and Florida.

By 2042, more than 50% of the US population will have skin of color.