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What To Do About Eczema As A Black Man

What To Do About Eczema As A Black Man

Eczema on black skin can be hurtful.

These conditions on a colored-skin look somehow different and need special treatment.

The dry, itchy, and inflamed skin may even cause you insomnia.

While eczema on black skin may look different from white skin, there are useful common solutions to prevent and treat it.

What Is Eczema?

Eczema is the name of a group of conditions that may happen for people with any skin color.

All of these conditions result in similar symptoms in the skin. Skin eczema may look:

  • Dry
  • Itchy
  • Inflamed

The symptoms on the skin with eczema are not always visible or feelable.

You may sometimes have severe conditions and, other times, experience no symptoms.

Atopic, stasis, and contact dermatitis are some of the conditions in the eczema group.

Others include dyshidrotic and nummular eczema.

Eczema may start in childhood, but the condition can be developed in adult-ages, too.

In Asian countries, eczema in adulthood is more common than Western ones.

Skin conditions that cause changing the color may happen to all people with white or colored skin.

But diagnosing eczema on black skin can be more challenging because of the different appearance.

Besides, black men have specific symptoms and conditions that make it harder for them to find the cause of eczema.

How Does One Get Eczema On Black Skin?

Woman Looking In Mirror

Some studies show eczema is more common in Latinos. It’s also the second most common disease in African-Americans.

Eczema can be caused by inheritance that will show its symptoms in childhood. But adults get this skin disease, too.

In the United States alone, more than 20% of African American children have some form of eczema, According to the National Eczema Association.

The numbers are different in other groups of children:

  • Asian: 13%
  • Native American: 13%
  • White: 12.1%
  • Hispanic: 10.7%

The same study shows that African American adults are less likely to have eczema than other races.

Only 7.7% of them show eczema conditions while 10.8% of Hispanics, 10.5% of white, 9.1% of Asians, and 7.8% of Native American adults have that.

The Look Of Eczema On Black Skin

Scalp Eczema

Red, dry, and itchy spots on the skin are common symptoms of eczema in light-colored people. But eczema looks different on black skin.

The black men who have eczema symptoms may experience darker brown, purple, or even ashen grey color spots on the skin.

African-American people may have a more severe sense of itching in eczema disease.

They don’t show the common symptoms, but the patient and the physician can diagnose the problem with other things like hurting, itching, and dryness or scaling of the spots.

The look and severity of systems are not the only difference between eczema on black skin and white.

Black men may have eczema more on specific parts of the body like the torso, arms, legs, and around hair follicles. They see some small bumps there.

Black men with eczema sometimes feel more extensive skin dryness. They may even see some dark circles around the eyes.

Repeatedly rubbing and scratching the eczema spots on black skin may result in skin thickening.

It may sometimes cause a firm, raised bump on the skin known as a prurigo nodule.

Genetic Factors

DNA Under Microscope

The most common type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, may have roots in genetic conditions. It is the reason some people have it in childhood.

The genetic factor is critical. Children with atopic dermatitis in family history or other atopic diseases like asthma or hay fever are more likely to get eczema.

Some conditions in the pregnancy may also result in eczema in children. Stress and alcohol have more impact on the eczema chance in the children.

Environmental Factors

The conditions and location of living always have a direct impact on skin conditions. Working conditions can also cause some problems for your skin.

Environmental allergens like dust and mold can create symptoms like eczema on the skin.

It is why we see more percentage in some groups experiencing eczema in adulthood.

Certain environmental factors increase the chance of eczema in adulthood:

  • Air pollution
  • Climate factors:
    • Temperature
    • Humidity
    • UV exposure
    • water hardness

Early-life exposure to the above conditions increases the chance of eczema disease.

But those black men who have to work in an environment with these conditions have a higher chance of eczema.

Food Factors

Black Pregnant Woman Eating

Some foods may cause eczema in childhood and adulthood. The pregnant-mother diet has a direct impact on the chance of eczema in the child.

Some studies suggest mothers to avoid eating cow’s milk during pregnancy, for example.

There is not a strict rule about what foods may cause eczema.

But some nutrition groups have more chances of food allergy resulting in skin conditions. Some of them include:

  • Dairy products, especially cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Nuts
  • Processed food
  • Fast food
  • Foods containing artificial ingredients
  • Foods high in sugar

Some studies suggest a Mediterranean diet full of fruits, vegetables, fish, and healthy fats to prevent eczema.

These diets include drinks and foods with quercetin that have a significant impact on skin treatment.

What Can Be Done To Treat Eczema On Black Skin?

While the symptoms and conditions vary in different skin types, eczema treatment on black skin is more the same with light-colored ones.

The treatments are mostly different based on the severity of the condition and particular symptoms.


As many diseases – especially skin diseases – prevention is more important and more accessible than treatment in eczema.

You can do some regular management to lower the impact of conditions and even entirely prevent eczema.

Avoiding too hot or too cold showers or baths is one of the vital managements for black skin.

Fragrances like perfumes and colognes sometimes cause eczema. Tight-fitting clothes are other factors driving eczema – especially on legs and arms.

Some situations may increase the chance of eczema on black skin. Nickel jewelry and cigarette smoke may cause this skin condition.

Stress, sweating, humid weather, too cold or too dry weather, and allergens are other essential factors resulting in eczema.

Scientists suggest regular bathing for five to ten minutes a day as good management to prevent eczema or lower the severity of symptoms.


Black Woman Using Moisturizer

There are multiple treatments out there for eczema.

You should go to your doctor to receive a specific treatment based on your symptoms and living condition.

Soaking and moisturizing is a standard treatment for eczema.

Sometimes doctors suggest soaking the affected skin in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes.

It helps with the dehydration of the skin. Then you should dry the skin before using moisturizing creams.

Some products that contain tar extract can help you lower the symptoms of eczema.

Doctors suggest creams with a low percentage of liquor carbonic detergents.

The creams with alcohol are not recommended because they may result in sensitive and itching skin.

Black men experiencing eczema can use steroid creams to reduce inflammation and itching.

A prescription is needed to buy these creams.

You can apply steroid creams after the bath but have to wash your hand after using them on eczema affected parts.

Steroid creams should not be used for long-term or more than twice a day because of their possible side effects.

The steroid is sometimes suggested as tablets as a treatment for eczema on black skin.

Steroids Tablets

They significantly affect fighting inflammation, but the side effects of steroid consumption always have to be considered.

Some drugs help people with eczema to reduce the itching symptom.

Antihistamines are common suggestions from doctors to reduce the effect. These tablets need some time to take effect.

Doctors sometimes suggest Phototherapy for severe eczema that uses light-based treatments.

Systemic medications that target the immune system are other types of special treatment that can be done using pills or injections.

These treatments may use pills or injections.

Try to avoid herbal treatments that haven’t been studied. Sometimes these treatments make your conditions worse.

Their side effects are not known well.


Eczema on black skin doesn’t look the same as on the lighter skin.

But it needs some similar management and treatment.

Environmental and food factors can be avoided more efficiently, while genetic factors are not easy to prevent.

Black men experience a change in color more than light-colored ones even after the treatment.

Their skin may look darker or lighter, even though other symptoms like itching or drying are gone.

Some may feel bothered with the change in skins, but the color comes back to normal after several months.

The critical notice while treating eczema on black skin is avoiding itch triggers. Itching is something challenging to avoid.

When you itch your eczema infected skin, the symptoms get more severe, and it will expand to other parts of the body faster.