Welcome To Chroma Dermatology

10/04/2018
The original members of the Chroma Dermatology team.jpg

Chroma Dermatology – The reason and vision.

And here it is, the first Chroma Dermatology blog post! So, where do we start?

Many patients ask about my sub-specialisation in pigment and skin of colour. “Why do you specialise in vitiligo? What made you do this research into melasma? How did you get into this area of dermatology?” So, I thought it would be good to start by sharing with you a little about my journey toward sub-specialisation in pigment and skin of colour and how Chroma Dermatology came to be.

Dr Rodrigues delivering lectures on pigment disorders in the USAVolunteer work in rural north India with Sampan

I am a first generation Australian, born and raised in Melbourne. My parents were born in India and are both Anglo-Indian. Having arrived in Melbourne in the late 1960’s as young teenagers with their respective families, they settled in a fairly ethnically diverse area of Melbourne’s outer southeast and that is where I grew up. At school I enjoyed both the humanities and sciences and before long, was working towards what I felt was the perfect combination of the two – Medicine. About half-way through medical school at Monash, I found was I was really passionate about – Dermatology.

During my second year of dermatology training, I was placed at the National Skin centre in Singapore for 6 months. It was here, a decade ago, that I realised a few important things:

  1. Pigment problems and skin of colour dermatology were poorly understood and scarcely researched globally
  2. Australia needed expertise in this area of dermatology in order to better care for our patients.

So over the last 10 years I have learned from, researched and worked with mentors scattered across the world who have expertise in theses areas. Drs Alexis, Jones, Pandya and Goh have taught, guided and supported me throughout my sub-specialisation while many others like Drs Mureell, Grimes, Hamzavi, Harris, Bekkenk, Ezzedine and Dadzie have welcomed me into their dermatology departments, clinics, research and advocacy projects and societies in different parts of the world. This global collaboration, research, learning, teaching and innovation has resulted in some exciting steps forward in the area of pigment and skin of colour dermatology.

With lecturing and research having been my focus for a number of years, establishing Australia’s first dedicated centre for pigment problems and skin of colour felt like the natural progression. And so, Chroma Dermatology was born.

The word Chroma is Greek for “colour” and the logo is comprised of the colours seen in the six skin types (Fitzpatrick skin types).  It represents the culturally diverse population we serve and alludes to our expertise – pigment problems and pigmented skin. The location, Wheelers Hill, was chosen because it is easily accessed via freeways with the surrounding suburbs being home to a predominantly ethnic population including those of Asian, Middle Eastern and African descent.

Chroma Dermatology’s home is humble because we have chosen to invest heavily in our people and equipment. Collectively, our culturally diverse team has over 4 decades of dermatology experience. Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia are all represented in our team with hopefully more diversity to come. I couldn’t be more proud of the passion, thirst for knowledge and genuine care for patients that every member of the team has – they have and continue to be co-contributors to the Chroma Dermatology vision and I am blessed to be surrounded and supported by them.

We are deeply committed to providing globally renowned expertise in pigment problems and skin of colour and access to carefully selected world-class equipment. As respected, innovative leaders in the field, we hope to have a positive impact on the lives of our patients, the medical and broader community and to strengthen our commitment to ‘give back’ to those that need it most.

We hope the blogs we produce help you learn more about dermatology and navigate your way to improved skin health!