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Eczema On Legs Black Skin

Causes Of Varicose Eczema

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) in Skin of Color: Black Skin, Brown Skin, Dark Skin

Varicose eczema is usually caused by increased pressure in the leg veins.

When small valves in the veins stop working properly, it’s difficult for blood to be pushed upwards against gravity and it can leak backwards.

This increases the pressure in the veins, which can cause fluid to leak into the surrounding tissue. It’s thought that varicose eczema may develop as a result of the immune system reacting to this fluid.

Varicose eczema is more common in people with varicose veins, as these are also often a sign that the leg veins are not working properly.

Some people develop the condition for no obvious reason, although there are some factors that increase the chance of this happening, including:

  • gender varicose eczema is more common in women
  • obesity this can increase the pressure in your leg veins
  • pregnancy this can also increase the pressure in your leg veins
  • not being able to move for a long period of time this can affect the circulation of blood in your leg veins
  • having previously had DVT blood clots that develop in leg veins which can damage the valves in your veins
  • increasing age people generally find it harder to move about as they get older, which can affect their circulation

Eczema Affects All Skin Colors

Eczema is a common disease affecting mostly children, and it does not discriminate against skin color. Light skin and dark skin tones are equally affected.

Similar symptoms appear in dark skin as in light skin:

  • Changes in skin color on the eczema patch
  • Thickening of the skin

In atopic eczema, which presents in flare-ups, skin also feels dry and tight, even in periods of remission. Intense itching can impede sleep and cause children to become irritable.

Keep Skin Moist To Boost Cell Turnover

While your primary goal with hyperpigmentation is to lighten the dark spots, an effective over-the-counter product should contain ingredients that benefit the skin in other ways. In addition to addressing the pigment issues, a good product will have moisturizing agents like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, and maybe even a retinol to boost cell turnover, says Doris Day, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Medical School in New York City and author of Beyond Beautiful: Using the Power of Your Mind and Aesthetic Breakthroughs to Look Naturally Young and Radiant. These inactive ingredients allow the active brighteners to work more effectively. A good moisturizer can also restore the skins lipid barrier, helping to further protect it from the suns damaging rays, notes Harvard Health.

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How Does Eczema And Skin Discolouration Look On Dark Skin

The redness that comes with eczema is only visible on light skin. On black and brown skin, the disease tends to take a dark brown, ashen grey or purple appearance. Nevertheless, the treatments used to manage eczema and discolouration are universal irrespective of the skin type.

Apart from the characteristic discolouration, the disease can also present symptoms that are unique to black skins. For example, in African Americans, small bumps on the arm, legs, torso and hair follicles have been observed. In contrast, such symptoms are rare in Caucasians.

Other unique symptoms in black-skinned eczema sufferers include extensive skin dryness as well as dark circles around the eyes. Lastly, upon resolution, the disease may leave dark-skinned individuals with a more significant change in pigmentation.

It May Be Harder To Identify

10 Most Common Skin Rashes On Black Skin

If you have a darker skin tone, it would be more challenging for you to determine if you have eczema-related symptoms.

Getting to know your skin when you dont have flare-ups can help you to notice when your skin seems off. The patches may appear dark brown or even purple.

In addition, you can look for symptoms with a specific visible characteristic to identify symptoms associated with eczema.

Read Also: How To Treat Severe Eczema On Babies

Can You Prevent Eczema

Currently, theres no way to prevent developing eczema. However, if you have eczema, there are steps that you can take in your daily life to help reduce the risk of having a flare-up.

  • Avoid triggers. Try to avoid the things that cause your flare-ups. These can be different for every individual but can include things like soaps, fragrances, or stress.
  • Moisturize frequently. Use a fragrance-free lotion, cream, or ointment to add moisture to your skin. Good times to moisturize include right after showering and anytime your skin feels dry.
  • Choose products carefully. Some soaps, detergents, and skin care products can irritate the skin and cause a flare-up. Focus on using fragrance-free products. Try to test them on a small area of skin before using them on larger areas.
  • Change your shower routine. Try to limit the length of showers to about 10 to 15 minutes total, using water thats warm but not hot. When youre done showering, gently pat yourself dry with a clean towel and moisturize.
  • Mind the temperature. Remember that some conditions can increase the risk of a flare-up. For example, colder temperatures can lead to drier skin that may require additional moisturizing.
  • Clothe carefully. Aim to wear loose-fitting, breathable clothes while avoiding tight-fitting garments. Additionally, wash any new clothes prior to wearing them for the first time.

Is Eczema More Common On Dark Skin

African Americans and other dark skinned individuals make up a large portion of the eczema population. Eczema affects about 20% of black children, the risk for severe eczema is six times higher than that of white children. Additionally, those with dark skin and eczema may suffer from more inflammation and lasting pigmentary changes than those with light skin.

Its unknown why exactly eczema rates vary amongst skin tones, but some studies show that skin with high levels of melanin is less likely to retain water, so those with melanin-rich skin are more likely to deal with excessive dryness and eczema.

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How Is Eczema Diagnosed What Tests Are Done

Your healthcare provider will take a close look at your skin. They will look for classic signs of eczema such as a redness and dryness. They will ask about the symptoms youre experiencing.

Usually your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose eczema based on examining your skin. However, when there is doubt, they may perform the following tests:

  • An allergy skin test.
  • Blood tests to check for causes of the rash that might be unrelated to dermatitis.
  • A skin biopsy to distinguish one type of dermatitis from another.

Should You Be Worried About The Effects Of Topical Corticosteroids On Pigmentation

What is Eczema? – Eczema, Dry skin, and How to Treat

Cortisone creams used for the anti-inflammatory action against eczema offer another benefit in this case: they limit hyperpigmentation.

However, you should not be concerned about using a topical corticosteroid because of its potential depigmentation effect. Depriving a child of an effective treatment exposes them to the consequences of eczema and chronic scratching, and thus to pigmentation disorders, which are even more visible in children with dark skin. If treatment is properly administered , the risk of depigmentation or hyperpigmentation is limited.

Read Also: Can You Develop Eczema In Your 40s

How To Use A Product That Can Even Out Your Skin Tone

Once you eliminate whats causing the dark spots and protect your skin from sunlight, a product that can fade dark spots tends to be more effective.

You may have success with a product that you can buy without a prescription. If you choose this option, use a product that contains one of the following ingredients:

Eczema Risk Factors On Darker Skin

The National Eczema Association reports that family history also plays a role in why some populations have more severe eczema. Eczema tends to run in families with a history of eczema, allergies, hay fever, asthma , and other allergic conditions.

You are also at a higher risk of getting eczema if you are diagnosed with allergies or asthma or if you have a family history of other inflammatory skin conditions.

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Why Are Black People So Prone To The Disease

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, but Dr. Okereke believes that it has to do with darker skin naturally being more prone to dryness.

“I think ceramides play a large role here,” she explains. “Ceramides are fat-derived structures in the skin that help create a barrier to lock in moisture in the skin therefore preventing dryness and irritation. Darker skin tones have lower ceramide levels, thus leaving us with drier skin that is more susceptible to environmental triggers, such as pollutants that can ultimately cause eczema.”

That said, regardless whether you’ve been diagnosed with eczema or not, using a daily lotion rich in ceramides is key to keeping the skin balanced.

We’re fans of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which includes three essential ceramides, as well as hyaluronic acid in the tried-and-true formula.

Scratching Often Leads To Hyperpigmentation

Stasis Dermatitis

Inflammation and scratching stimulate pigmentation. Simply scratching the skin, even without eczema, can cause brown patches, for example on the back. Eczema lichenificationthe thickening of the skin due to scratchingoften appears hyperpigmented on dark skin.

This hyperpigmentation is temporary and is gradually reduced with treatment.

We also observe on dark skin a particular form of lichenification comprised of, for example, isolated spots .

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Your Eczema May Not Disappear Completely But You Can Help Keep Your Skin Healthy

I emphasize to my patients that they shouldnt expect their symptoms to completely disappear once they start treatment. Its equally important to adopt lifestyle changes and to understand that, at baseline, most people with eczema have super dry and sensitive skin, even when the eczema isnt flaring. I want people to understand that there are things you can do every daygood days, medium days, and bad daysto keep your skin looking and feeling its best.


How To Prevent Eczema Flare

Eczema is a chronic skin condition which can only be cured until the next flare-up. Therefore, one of the best ways in managing outbreaks of eczema is to take steps to prevent the frequency of eczema flare-ups.

Dermatologist, Dr. Debra Jaliman recommends a few simple tips which can reduce the frequency of eczema outbreaks on your skin:

  • Moisturize your skin regularly throughout the day to keep a protective barrier on your skin and prevent itchiness.
  • Try to avoid sudden changes in temperature.
  • Stress can trigger an eczema flare-up, so try to find ways to manage stress better.
  • Avoid clothing and other fabrics that can irritate sensitive areas of skin that are prone to eczema flare-ups.
  • Avoid soaps and detergents that strip the skin of its protective oils.

Dr. Jaliman also said that certain foods can trigger an outbreak.

Read Also: How To Make My Eczema Stop Itching

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How To Lighten Eczema Scars

If your eczema scarring is particularly raw or aggressive, your best bet is to try to lighten your eczema scars, rather than get rid of them. Both aloe vera and cocoa butter can help to lighten eczema scars when used overnight every night. See below for more tips on using aloe vera and cocoa butter on eczema scarring.

Makeup meant for covering scars and blemishes will also help to hide the scarring caused by eczema.

Does My Baby Have Eczema On Their Legs

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Skin rashes are common in babies because their immune systems take a good few years to learn how to distinguish between threats and stuff thats just there.

Your baby breaks out in a lot of rashes because their immune system is doing an awesome job of learning how to defend their body.

Most of the time, these rashes are nothing to be concerned about. There are plenty of over-the-counter skin creams that will clear them up.

Severe rashes can point to atopic dermatitis or other types of eczema, though. In babies, these usually develop around the mouth . But their tiny bambino legs arent immune.

If youre concerned about a rash on your babys legs, its a good idea to talk with a doctor. The rash is probably not a cause for concern, but if its a symptom of a more serious condition or persistent eczema, its better to catch it early on.

The most common ways to treat your leg eczema are:

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How Is Eczema Treated What Medications Are Used

Treating eczema can be difficult if the cause is something you cant control, like genetics. Fortunately, you may have some influence over your environment and stress levels. Do your best to figure out what triggers or worsens your eczema, and then avoid it. The goal is to reduce itching and discomfort and prevent infection and additional flare-ups.

Consider these treatment tips:

If your child has skin problems, such as eczema, you can:

  • Avoid long, hot baths, which can dry the skin. Use lukewarm water instead and give your child sponge baths.
  • Apply lotion immediately after bathing while the skin is still moist. This will help trap moisture in the skin.
  • Keep the room temperature as regular as possible. Changes in room temperature and humidity can dry the skin.
  • Keep your child dressed in cotton. Wool, silk and manmade fabrics such as polyester can irritate the skin.
  • Use mild laundry soap and make sure that clothes are well rinsed.
  • Watch for skin infections. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice an infection.
  • Help them avoid rubbing or scratching the rash.
  • Use moisturizers several times daily. In infants with eczema, moisturizing on a regular basis is extremely helpful.

How Eczema On Dark Skin Varies

To reiterate, eczema is a manageable condition, but in order to manage it you need to recognize and correctly diagnose it first.

Itching and dryness can be detected on any skin tone, but the discoloration and rashes that come with eczema can vary person to person and they are often less visible on dark skin. On white skin, eczema appears as patches of red skin, but on black skin, it may be dark brown, purple, or gray patches.

Additionally, black people with eczema are more likely to have additional eczema symptoms like:

  • Dryness and dark circles around the eye area
  • Papular eczema – small bumps on the torso, arms, and legs that resemble goosebumps

Regardless of skin color, eczema treatment is the same, so if you have any of the symptoms of eczema, see your doctor or dermatologist for a diagnosis and treatment plan which may include:

  • applying topical steroid creams to affected areas
  • light therapy treatments

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Why Do African American Kids Have Higher Rates Of Eczema

Although African American adults are slightly less likely to have eczema compared to people of other races, 20% of Black children have eczema, which is almost double the rate found in white, Asian, Native American, and Hispanic children.

Experts are still determining the exact factors that contribute to these numbers, and theyre learning more all the time. Recent studies have shown exposure to irritants, both indoor and outdoor, can lead to higher cases of eczema. African Americans tend to live in heavily urban settings with irritants and allergens such as pollution, humidity, ultraviolet radiation, harsh water, dust, mold, and more. These triggers can leave one with a compromised immune system and make people susceptible to eczemaand often, more severe cases of it.

Additionally, new research analyzing genetic factors of eczema is finding certain mutations affecting the skin barrier cells and skin immune cells can be passed down through families, and these mutations are more common in some ethnic groups, like people of African descent, compared to others.

There Are A Few Things To Know About Eczema In Melanin


Eczema can get overlooked in darker skin types because it often presents differently than it does in lighter skin, in which it tends to be red and very visible. In darker skin, the redness is not as apparent and the skin may even look normal even though it feels very itchy. Eczema in darker skin can also have a dark brown or purplish appearance.

Theres one type of eczema that you see a lot in people with darker skin types: follicular eczema. This is the type of eczema I experienced early on, before it flared in different ways during my first pregnancy. Follicular eczema doesnt really look like a rash instead, it looks like goosebumps or small bumps around hair follicles throughout different areas of the body, including the back, abdomen, thighs, and chest. As a dermatologist, a lot of parents bring their kids into my office wondering why their kids skin is so dry and bumpy. The skin in these patients may not even be itchy, but it lets me know that they may have eczema and we should practice very gentle skin care with them to reduce the risk of a visible flare.

Recommended Reading: Eczema On Hands How To Treat

Does Eczema Look Different On Brown Skin

Like we stated before, not all eczema is the same, but there are certain symptoms that are common. In general, eczema rashes are very itchy, dry patches on the skin, says Dr. Scott. On lighter skin, they often appear red, but on darker skin they can appear purplish or brown.

But not every dry patch that appears on the skin is actually eczema. Dr. Robinson notes that if the patches arent itchy, the diagnosis of eczema is a less likely one. So if you find that itch is consistent in your dry patches, its best to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

Other symptoms Dr. Robinson notes are scaling, crusting, scratches, thickening of the skin, and redness. But she does note that redness can be a challenge to detect on dark skin, and has the potential to lead to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis.


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