Eczema Coping Tips Beauty Products
Suggestions for using beauty products include:
- Remember that even hypoallergenic cosmetics can irritate your skin. Whenever possible, keep your face free of make-up.
- Avoid perfumes, fragranced skin lotions and strongly scented shampoos.
- When using a new cosmetic, try testing it first on a small, inconspicuous area of skin such as your forearm. If you experience a reaction, dont use the product again.
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.
Narrowing Down The Cause
One key to finding the cause of your rash is to observe how long the rash persists. A rash that keeps coming back may be related to hay fever, rather than temporary exposure to something.
Also, what time of year does the rash normally appear? If you notice youre developing recurring rashes consistently during certain seasons , it may be related to the pollens of that season. This is known as seasonal allergies.
Note that allergic reactions arent limited to the pollens in the spring. Fall allergies are common and, in some areas, trees and certain plants grow in the winter and summer that can cause skin irritation. Ragweed and grass can cause hay fever during spring and summer, the two best-known seasons for allergy problems.
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Why Is It Harder For African Americans To Get Diagnosed And Effectively Treated For Eczema
A lack of diverse representation in medical education and research creates a blind spot for doctors treating African Americans with eczema. Studies show that when it comes to medical school training, dermatologists arent often taught about eczema in those with darker skin tones, nor are they given many opportunities to treat eczema in these individuals. Due to the lack of visual representation, many doctors place all skin types into one group. This is usually based on lighter or white skin tones. Since skin is not a monolith, this one size fits all strategy is problematic.
On darker skin tones, eczema looks different from the prescribed red, raised bumps doctors are used to seeing in training and textbooks. Instead, eczema patches in these skin tones are comprised of multicolored pigmentation and maybe dark brown, purple, and ashen grey. Additionally, African Americans tend to have drier skin, which is prone to hardening, leading to thickened skin. This may cause doctors to misdiagnose eczema or downplay its severity.
Medical Review By: Rachelle Lacey, MD
Everyones skin is different dry versus oily, thick versus thin, light versus dark. African American skin is different from Caucasian skin in that the top layer contains more pigment, called melanin. But the differences dont end there. Certain gene mutations more common in Blacks mean that certain skin conditions are more common, too.
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.
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Whats The Outlook For People Of Color Who Have Eczema
Eczema can often be controlled through maintaining good skin care habits and preventing things that could trigger flare-ups. However, its still possible that youll experience occasional flare-ups from time to time.
People of color who have eczema have a higher risk for developing a condition called post-inflammatory dyspigmentation. This is a noticeable change in skin pigmentation, which can be either:
- hyperpigmentation, in which an area is darker than the surrounding skin
- hypopigmentation, which is when an area is lighter than the surrounding skin
These pigmentation changes often fade over a period of months. However, severe eczema that results in frequent scratching or rubbing can lead to lasting changes.
Additionally, data from a 2018 study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology showed that Black people with eczema have higher levels of inflammation in the skin.
This can lead to eczema thats more difficult to treat, making timely intervention even more important in managing the condition.
Eczema In Skin Of Color: Diagnosis And Treatment
Eczema in skin of color looks different than on white skin, so the diagnosis is often more challenging and is sometimes overlooked.
Familiarity with how eczema looks in skin of color is essential in making a correct diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment.
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Switch Out Your Household And Personal Care Products
The National Eczema Association shares an entire list of chemicals that trigger or aggravate an eczema flare. Some of them are common in personal care items like shampoo, body wash, and cosmetics. Some of these include Cocamidopropyl betaine. Quaternium 15, parabens, and even fragrance. Other chemical irritants are found in household cleaning products. Find the full list of eczema triggers here.
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Why Are Certain Ethnic Groups At Greater Risk For Eczema
Genetic and environmental factors influence ones risk of developing atopic dermatitis. Typically, those with a family history of atopic dermatitis or other atopic diseases are more likely to have the condition.
This is because certain genetic mutations that affect the skin barrier cells and skin immune cells are passed from generation to generation. These mutations also tend to occur more often in some ethnic groups compared to others, which may help explain differences in the frequency and severity of eczema between people who identify as white, Black, Asian, Hispanic and others.
In addition, people who live in an urban setting or are exposed to certain environmental allergens are at greater risk of developing atopic dermatitis.
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Eczema And Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment to apply to your rash. This will help reduce itching and calm inflammation. Use it right after bathing. Follow your doctors directions for using this medicine or check the label for proper use. Call your doctor if your skin does not get better after 3 weeks of using the medicine.
Antihistamines like hydroxyzine reduce itching. They can help make it easier to not scratch. A new class of drugs, called immunomodulators, works well if you have a severe rash. Two drugs in this class are tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. These drugs keep your immune system from overreacting when stimulated by an allergen. However, they can affect your immune system. So the Food and Drug Administration recommends that these drugs be used only when other treatments wont work.
Try not to scratch the irritated area on your skin, even if it itches. Scratching can break the skin. Bacteria can enter these breaks and cause infection. Moisturizing your skin will help prevent itchiness.
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How Can You Treat Eczema In Black Skin
There are a few ways experts treat eczema, but it depends on the severity of the case. Moisturizers are one of the most important treatments, Dr. Scott says. We need to restore lost water and seal it in, so thick creams or ointments are the backbone to any eczema treatment and preventing flare ups. Consider over-the-counter options like Vanicream Moisturizing Cream or CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.
Vanicream Moisturizing Cream
Dr. Kagha recommends reaching for a cream thats fragrance-free, bland, and thick. Using products with added fragrances can irritate the skin even more and cause the eczema to worsen.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
While a heavy moisturizer can help keep moisture locked into the skin, Dr. Scott says a flare-up will often require a topical steroid. Topical steroids calm down the inflammation and help to control itch, but shouldnt be used long-term. If youre looking for a non-steroid option, talk with your dermatologist to see which option would be best for you. For severe cases that affect most of the body, one treatment option is a light-based treatment called phototherapy. Oral medications or biologic injections might be other possibilities, Dr. Scott adds.
The bottom line: Eczema may be more common on Black skin, but is often misdiagnosed. If you believe you might have eczema, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss the best next steps.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Nummular Eczema
The most common and noticeable symptom of nummular eczema is a patch of coin-shaped lesions on the body. The lesions frequently develop on the arms or legs, but they may eventually spread to the torso and hands. They may be brown, pink, or red.
Other symptoms may include:
- lesions that are very itchy and burn
- lesions that ooze fluid and eventually crust over
- red, scaly, or inflamed skin around the lesions
Signs of eczema clearing or new flare-ups:
- Flatter spots are visible.
- Skin discoloration is present in the area where the spot flattens. In dark skin, this discoloration is known as postinflammatory hypopigmentation and may last for several months.
- A new flare-up may show up as a large, raised patch on top of an old, healing spot instead of a coin-shaped lesion.
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Eczema That Looks Like Ringworm
But nummular, or discoid, eczema also produces a round, scaly rash that can look like ringworm. If you think you have ringworm, but over-the-counter remedies fail to work, it may be time to .Nummular eczema and ringworm can both cause red, itchy patches on the skin. However, nummular eczema typically causes coin-shaped patches, while ringworm tends to result in ring-shaped.Nummular eczema can look like psoriasis, ringworm, fungal infection and other types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis, stasis dermatitis and contact dermatitis. It can also occur along with those.
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How Does Baby Eczema Differ From Dry Skin
Dry skin is a symptom of eczema. Your pediatrician can diagnose eczema by examining your babys skin. He or she may send you to a pediatric dermatologist for confirmation and treatment if the condition is severe.
In general, dry skin can be handled at home with some moisturizer and isnt as bothersome as eczema. However, babies with darker skin tend to have drier skin than those with lighter skin making moisturization even more crucial.
What Causes Eczema In Infants And Children
Eczema is brought about by the complex interplay of a genetic predisposition and the childs environment. Many things from the climate to possible allergens can cause eczema to flare. We know that eczema tends to run in the families with a predisposition to other atopic diseases, such as food allergies, asthma and hay fever. Individuals with atopic dermatitis may lack certain proteins in the skin, which leads to greater sensitivity. Parents with eczema are more likely to have children with eczema. However, the exact way it passes from parents to children is still not known. Most children who have eczema will show signs of the condition in the first year of life. It tends to wax and wane in severity.
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Paget’s Disease And Eczema
Pagets disease of the breast is a rare form of breast cancer that involves the skin of the nipple and can extend onto the areola. It has many of the same symptoms as breast eczema, which can sometimes lead to a misdiagnosis. These symptoms include:
- Itching, tingling or discoloration in the nipple area.
- Flaky, crusty or thickened skin.
- A flattened or turned in nipple.
- Yellow or bloody leakage from the skin of the nipple.
However, there are differences between Pagets disease and eczema. Pagets disease may affect your nipple, while eczema rarely affects your nipple. Pagets disease also typically only affects one breast, while eczema affects both breasts and other parts of your chest.
Pagets disease wont respond to the same treatments as eczema. The tests used to diagnose Pagets disease include:
Eczema On Neck Pictures:
Eczema on Neck is a skin condition that cause the skin to become red, inflamed, dry and itchy. The dry patches can be seen all over the body but most prominently on the neck, elbows and thighs. The dry skin causes itching and gets the condition worse. Avoid triggers and allergens to get rid of the condition. Immediately seek for a medical help and try changing your daily regime. Include foods that are beneficial for itch control and manage the skin condition by the daily regimes prescribed by your doctor.
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Do You Have An Itch That Rashes
Intense itching is another common symptom of eczemabut that could also be an allergic reaction or irritation from a new beauty product. So, how do you know the difference? Again, its important to note the location of the intense itch like the severely dry and sensitive skin, says Dr. Fromowitz. The biggest indicator is whether the itch develops before or after the presence of a physical rash. Eczema is known as the rash that itches, because you will likely get an intense itch that precedes the development of a rash. With contact dermatitis, or other forms of rashes, it is often the opposite: The rash appears before you get itchy. Heres how to tell the difference between eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.
Symptoms Of Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body.
Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin, and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin. This can also be more difficult to see on darker skin.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe .
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Does Scratching Eczema Patches On Dark Skin Lead To Changes In Skin Color
Scratching eczema patches can lead to a few different types of skin changes.
Chronic itch can lead to chronic scratching, and this can result in thickening of the affected skin, which is also known as lichenification.
Scratching can also lead to changes in skin color, including patches that appear darker or lighter than the rest of the skin. While these symptoms may be temporary, it can take months of eczema treatment for the color changes to reverse.
Ashley Lora The Eczema Warrior
At Aveeno, we are committed to advancing skin health equity and advancing eczema awareness and education gap in skin of color.
Eczema is the second most frequent skin disease to affect African Americans, but experts believe it may be underdiagnosed. This is due in part to the fact that historically, physicians have been trained primarily to diagnose eczema on white skin. In fact, a recent study found that less than 5 percent of the images in general medicine textbooks showed conditions on darker skin and the standard outcome measures used have poor reliability and validity in patients with very dark skin, making it even more difficult for doctors to recognize and diagnose on skin with more pigment.
People of color are also half as likely as white patients to see a dermatologist for the same conditions. Black children with eczema are 30 percent less likely to see a doctor for their eczema than white children, and those who see a doctor tend to have more visits and receive more prescriptions than white children, indicating more severe disease.
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Who Diagnoses Skin Lymphoma
Diagnosing skin lymphoma is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle. A team of people from different hospital departments are involved in identifying the pieces and putting them together. This may include a dermatologist or haematologist and other healthcare professionals, who work as part of a multidisciplinary team . You might only meet a few of these people but they are all involved behind-the-scenes in diagnosing your condition and recommending the best treatment for you.