September 10, 2021
In a mutual commitment to address disparities in treating eczema in skin of color, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, along with Allergy & Asthma Network, are partnering to create EczemaInSkinofColor.org, a website to aid physicians and patients in recognizing eczema in people with all skin types.
Eczema affects nearly 32 million people in the United States, and it impacts all skin colors and ethnicities. But if you search online for eczema symptoms, you’ll likely read descriptions and find photos of bright red, bumpy, inflamed patches on light skin.
In people of color, eczema can be uniquely different in appearance. It is often hard to identify because the redness may be obscured in darker skin. Instead, eczema may present as dark brown, purple or ashen gray. As a result, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can occur.
Studies show eczema and atopic dermatitis (an allergic type of eczema) are more common in Black Americans, especially in children. They may have more itchiness and inflammation that requires higher doses of medications to get relief. Black and Hispanic children tend to develop more severe cases of atopic dermatitis compared to white children. They are also more likely than white children to miss school due to eczema.
Familiarity with how eczema looks in skin of color is essential in making a correct diagnosis and developing a treatment plan. EczemaInSkinofColor.org is designed to help doctors and patients differentiate eczema in skin of color from other diseases. It includes information on eczema management and treatment.
The website also includes:
- An image gallery of photos for a closer look at eczema in skin of color.
- A video section that includes informational webinars and “Ask the Allergist” segments, along with patient success stories.
- Summaries and links to journal articles that detail the latest research on eczema in skin of color.
- A review of health disparities and social factors that can lead to inequity in eczema care.
- Additional patient resources.
Eczema’s impact on quality of life in people of color can be significant. When eczema is persistent or uncontrolled in people of color, there may be discoloration – either darkening or lightening of the skin. Undertreatment or delayed treatment can lead to pigmentary changes or scarring. Skin discoloration may be more bothersome to people of color than the itch and inflammation. It can cause severe anxiety and distress.
Eczema treatment is the same for all skin tones, but it is more effective when diagnosed early. That’s why proper diagnosis is so important for people of color.
We invite you to explore the EczemaInSkinofColor.org website. Use it as a resource and visual aid to show what eczema looks like in different skin tones. Learn how eczema impacts people of color in different ways. Share the website with your family, friends, and colleagues so that we spread the message far and wide that healthy skin is possible – for people of every skin color.
EczemaInSkinOfColor.org was created with support from Pfizer.