I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to write about the signs, symptoms, and treatments available for eczema/atopic dermatitis. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Did you know that more than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema? Between myself and my children we have dealt with a TON of eczema-related issues. Today we are going to talk about why we should be paying more attention to eczema and atopic dermatitis.
October is Eczema Awareness Month and I am sharing some important information to help empower you to understand the signs and symptoms of eczema/atopic dermatitis especially as we approach the cooler months.
What is Eczema?
–Eczema is the general name for a group of dermatologic conditions that includes contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and others.
–Atopic dermatitis (also known as atopic eczema) can be a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment
–Atopic dermatitis is a red, itchy rash that can happen any time of year; it is often worse in the winter months, but for some patients, it can worsen in the summer months due to the heat and humidity. It can also appear darker brown, purple, or ashen grey on dark skin.
Eczema In Babies
I have always had skin issues, I had terrible acne as a kid and sometimes it still rears its head. My first born son Josh was diagnosed with eczema as a baby and it felt like we simply could not get it under control. We used all kinds of sensitive detergents and over-the-counter and prescribed lotions.
It was particularly difficult because it made him visibly uncomfortable. He already was pretty colicky and had a hard time sleeping so it was insanely hard to manage all of these things, especially as a first-time mom. What I didn’t know at the time is that 10% to 25% of children have atopic dermatitis and a 1/3 have moderate-to-severe disease.
Atopic dermatitis affects all races and it is more common among black children and black and Hispanic children are more likely to experience more severe cases. Josh fit both of these categories so he simply had a higher chance of getting eczema. When I reached out to my friends, this was a common issue and they were able to recommend their best products and remedies.
Eczema As An Adult
I have personally had my own issues with eczema. For me, it’s any kind of jewelry I wear and around certain hormonal changes and seasons. Many people probably believe that I am no longer married to my husband because I had to shelf my wedding rings. The discomfort that would happen once a month was SO uncomfortable that I had to take them off periodically.
My ring finger would become extremely inflamed and itchy. This would happen with watches, necklaces, you name it. It took a LONG time for me to realize that it was only happening during a certain time of month but I have just resolved to wearing barely any jewelry and if I do, only on special occasions (like date night!).
The Effect Of The Pandemic
Weeks after New York City went into full lockdown, my whole body started showing signs of extreme stress. My skin went absolutely crazy. Between the stress of distance learning, working, and everything going on outside it was impossible to manage. Plus I didn’t feel comfortable going to the doctor’s office. I did a virtual assessment but they said it was allergies, I knew it was so much more than that.
Moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis can have a huge effect on quality of life in general. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including sleep patterns, ability to focus in school or at work, mental health, and stress levels. This is especially relevant right now–in the middle of a global pandemic–when everyone’s stress levels are so much higher.
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