October is National Eczema Awareness Month, but for the over 30 million Americans plagued by the skin condition, symptoms associated with it– like irritation, scaly rashes, and extreme dryness– are a daily reality. And while winter’s frigid temps make flare-ups even more problematic, new research shows that the disorder can be particularly taxing for Black folk.
“African-Americans with atopic dermatitis have more inflammation than European Americans with the condition.”
A new study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that compared to Caucasian Americans with atopic dermatitis (the medical term for eczema) African-Americans need higher doses of some medications to manage symptoms. “We found African-Americans have more inflammation than European Americans with the condition,” says lead author of the report, Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD. The good news is, there’s a new crop of soothing washes, moisturizing sprays and body creams that will keep flare-ups at bay, just in time for cuffing season. Check out our favorites.
1. Dr. Wang Herbal Rescue Balm
This butter-like balm was founded by the director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, NJ. The formula blends beeswax, meadowfoam, castor oil, and other nourishing ingredients that soothe eczema.
2. Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray
Spritz, rub in and go, with this lightweight mist that offers the same skin-softening and protective benefits as the lotion, without the greasy feel.
3. Cetaphil Restoraderm Pro Eczema Calming Body Wash
Soap-free, fragrance-free and paragon-free, this lightweight wash nixes dryness and scales without stripping skin of its natural oils.
4. Eucerin Eczema Relief Flare-Up Treatment
The pesky dryness associated with eczema is bad enough, but when red, itchy blisters appears on your face, of all places? No bueno. Treat with with a mild moisturizer like this one as the skin in that area is more sensitive to that on your body.
5. Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil
Avène’s award winning daily cleansing oil calms, soothes and alleviates itching associated with eczema. It gently lathers with a oil texture that seals in moisture and restores the skin’s barrier.
6. Sheamoisture Ultra Hydration 100% Raw Shea Butter
Rich in essential fatty acids and essential vitamins A & E, shea butter provides a protective moisture barrier that allows skin to breathe, while healing and reducing irritation and itching.
7. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream
($14.99 for 6.7oz; laroche-posay.us)
Great for targeted eczema breakouts, this buy is clinically shown to relieve itchy, irritated skin and instant hydration. The non-greasy cream can be applied on specific areas of the body and face such as elbows, knees, & hands to target flare-ups.
8. Avalon Organics Eczema Relief Gentle Cleanser
($12.99; Whole Foods)
This is the only line of clinically-tested eczema treatment products made with pure, plant-based ingredients and certified to an organic standard. With the key ingredient, Colloidal Oatmeal, each product is designed to treat and prevent eczema flares, irritation and symptoms.
9. Dove DermaSeries Eczema Relief Body Lotion
This itch relief lotion provides clinical care for the driest skin with a fast absorbing, hypoallergenic, steroid-free formula that’s still gentle on skin. Squeeze the soothing lotion onto your hands and massage using circular motions on areas of extremely dry, cracked and chafed skin.
10. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
This ultra-rich body moisturizer contains ceramides (a lipid naturally found in the skin), as well as glycerin and hyaluronic acid to restore the skin’s protective barrier and hydration.