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How to Treat Eczema for African-Americans

author image Casey Holley
Casey Holley is a medical writer who began working in the health and fitness industries in 1995, while still in high school. She has worked as a nutrition consultant and has written numerous health and wellness articles for various online publications. She has also served in the Navy and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.
How to Treat Eczema for African-Americans
Eczema Dermatitis on front and back of hands. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Eczema is a dermatological condition that causes itchy red patches on the skin and is sometimes referred to as dermatitis. Eczema is most commonly found in children, but it can affect adults. Dr. Susan Taylor’s notes that eczema is common in people with brown skin and is thought to be the second-most common skin condition to affect African-Americans. While there isn’t a cure for eczema, it is possible to minimize the effects of the condition.

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Step 1

Bathe or shower for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time if the water is any hotter than lukewarm. If you are prone to eczema on the hands, use lukewarm water when you hand-wash dishes.

Step 2

Rinse your skin with cool water after you workout, sweat or come in contact with a possible trigger. If you come into contact with something that will trigger a strong reaction, you can wash the area with a gentle soap and rinse well.

Step 3

Place a cool compress over the affected skin. To make the compress, dip a washcloth in cool water and wring it out slightly. This will help to control inflammation and might help alleviate itching.

Step 4

Apply an over-the-counter anti-itch cream such as hydrocortisone, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Apply these creams only when absolutely necessary, as they can bleach or discolor dark skin. Cover the area if necessary to prevent yourself from scratching.

Step 5

Moisturize your skin with a heavy cream or oil moisturizer that is hypoallergenic. It should contain no dyes or perfumes.

Step 6

Take an oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine, to help control itching. Many of these products will make you sleepy, so take them before bed.

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