Eczema can sometimes make you feel self-conscious about your skin. Dry, red patches can blister, ooze, and peel, become leathery, or crust and crack open. It’s not contagious, but those who have it do catch a good amount of side-eye from onlookers. So imagine what it’s like for someone who is constantly in the public eye to cope with an eczema flare-up!
Here’s how famous faces in the spotlight manage the inflammatory skin condition.
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Former Sister Sister actress and star of Cooking Channel’s Tia Mowry at Homebattled eczema for several years: “Mine was little small bumps that would just itch and itch and I would scratch,” she told InStyle.
Fans of ABC’s political drama Scandal may not realize that the gorgeous Kerry Washington (who plays chief of staff Olivia Pope) has eczema. The actress had terrible eczema growing up–she told Allure she’s been seeing a dermatologist since she was 8 years old. She’s learned to manage it, she told InStyle. “I work with a nutritionist because, to me, beauty is an inside-out thing. I take fish-oil pills, drink lots of water, and try not to eat dairy. Those things have really helped my skin,” she said.
Body-positive British model and activist Emily Bador often reveals her “imperfections” on Instagram. “If you give a shit that I or anyone else has stomach rolls, scars, eczema, armpit hair, etc. then I have less than no time for you,” she captioned one snap. “You don’t owe it to anyone to be perfect… You are not less beautiful because of your scars, stretch marks, eczema, acne.”
Running around a hot kitchen, cooking with fire, and constant handwashing makes for “a pretty hostile environment for your hands,” celebrity chef Elizabeth Falkner told Fox News in 2016.
Diagnosed with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema) at age 30, Falkner still contends with periodic flare-ups. Today, the former Iron Chef America competitor lends her celebrity to the National Eczema Association’s Understand AD campaign to help raise awareness of the disease.
In the HBO miniseries The Night Of, lawyer John Stone, played by actor John Turturro, suffers from severe eczema. Stone is modeled after the show’s writer and executive producer, Peter Moffat, who was diagnosed with the condition at age 5. Like the fictional character, Moffat lives with atopic dermatitis and has tried everything–from Chinese medicine to Crisco body wraps. Moffat’s latest project, Understand AD: A Day in the Life, tells the real stories of people struggling with moderate-to-severe AD, including his own. “When I have a hot spot, as I think of them, on my feet or on my hands, it rages with itchiness. It’s like a burning itch. It’s impossible not to scratch it,” he says.
English actress Nadia Sawalha knows how difficult it can be to cope with eczema when you’re in the limelight. While filming a TV series on the island of Ibiza, her hands were so raw that the camera crew had to shoot around them, she told the Daily Mail.
Sawalha, known for her role in the long-running British soap opera EastEnders, said she first experienced eczema after a breakup with her boyfriend at age 17. It reappeared at 39, six months after the birth of her first child. She credits a type of alternative medicine, called homeopathy, with healing her hands. (The FDA does not evaluate homeopathic remedies for safety or effectiveness, and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine says there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.)