BLACK SKIN AND ECZEMA

Eczema is more common in African Americans than any other group.

The National Health and Nutrition Survey found that 19.3 percent of black children have eczema, compared to 16.1 percent of white and 7.8 percent of Asian children. 

My oldest son Noah has severe eczema. Before we got his flare ups under control (which I’ll discuss further down) there were many times I watched, bewildered, as he scratched his skin until it bled.

Eczema is chronic and incurable, but it can be managed so that flare ups are at a minimum.

Here are some facts to know;

1. Why is eczema more common in African Americans?

According to the National Eczema Association, genetics and environment;

“Certain genetic mutations that affect the skin barrier cells and skin immune cells are passed from generation to generation…

In addition, people who live in an urban setting or are exposed to certain environmental allergens (i.e. dust, mold) are at greater risk…”

2. What are traditional eczema treatments?

Traditionally steroid creams and light treatments have been used to battle flare ups. However these address the symptoms and not the root cause. Additionally light treatments compromise the immune system.

From the National Ezcema Association;

“Topical corticosteroids are typically the first-line treatment but are generally used for limited periods of time. Non-steroid creams and ointments such as pimecrolimus (Elidel), tacrolimus (Protopic), and crisaborole (Eucrisa) may also be prescribed… 

In severe cases, eczema may be treated with phototherapy (light-based treatments) or systemic medications that target the immune system. These treatments may be pills or injections.”

3. Alternative eczema treatments (What I’ve done.)

To manage my son’s eczema flare ups I got as close to the root cause as possible. 

After taking him to an allergist I discovered that he is highly, *highly* allergic to dust mites, and this was a root cause of irritation.

I switched him to hypoallergenic bedding and have his room deep cleaned once a week. 

He bathes with our African black soap bars, to reduce inflammation and then applies BGLH whipped butter to his damp skin.

My son is an athlete, and sweat also seems to also trigger his eczema. So we have to be particularly mindful when he does long trainings in the summer time.

He bathes as soon as he gets home, then applies our whipped butter liberally. His current favorites are Baby Powder and Coconut Lime.

The resuts? Noah no longer has patches of oozing, crusted skin. And scarring is at a minimum, as the whipped butter not only suppressed inflammation, but heals scars from previous breakouts.

Most importantly he feels comfortable in his skin and confident that he can handle his eczema going forward.

My method of treatment is in line with what the National Eczema Association recommends. From their website;

“Gentle skin care and liberal use of moisturizers is the mainstay of treatment. 

…harsh and fragranced skin care products should be avoided to prevent worsening of atopic dermatitis. Increasing the moisture content of the skin is also essential.

Fragrance-free emollients should be used at least once per day, ideally immediately after bathing. Thicker moisturizers, such as creams and ointments (rather than lotions), tend to work better.

Shea butter is a useful natural alternative to commercially available moisturizers.”

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A quick note here: although I was able to kick my son’s flare ups without medication, do what is best for you! No judgment here if you choose medication or steroid creams. 

If you or your child is suffering with eczema, you’re not alone! Incorporate our butters as an effective, natural treatment today.

~Leila

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