What is Eczema?
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a chronic, itchy skin condition that tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.
- Dry skin
- Itching, which may be severe, especially at night
- Brownish-gray, purple patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp
- Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
- Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants and allergens. Eczema is related to a gene variation that affects the skin's ability to provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants and allergens such as soaps, fragrances, overly dry or damp weather, pollen, and pets.
The following tips may help prevent bouts of dermatitis (flares) and minimize the drying effects of bathing:
- Moisturize your skin at least twice a day. Creams, ointments and lotions seal in moisture. Choose a product or products that work well for you.
- Take shorter baths or showers. Limit your baths and showers to 10 to 15 minutes. And use warm, rather than hot, water.
- Use gentle/mild soaps. Deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps can remove more natural oils and dry your skin.
- Dry yourself carefully. After bathing gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
- Don’t scratch; it provokes rash
- For more help, contact a dermatologist.
Help The Cause
Submit a photo of your Eczema. This helps us:
- Contribute to the Black Skin Health AI Data Set
- Create a database of Black skin issues to fill the current void in AI and medicine for use by clinicians and researchers, combating racial bias in AI and medicine
- Give Black people a single source of skin health information