The Best Books, Websites, and Support Groups for People With Eczema
Over 30 million Americans have some type of eczema, a skin condition that's characterized by patches of dry, itchy, rashy skin. There's no cure for eczema, although treatments and lifestyle strategies can help ease symptoms and reduce flares. And because it can be challenging to cope with this condition, especially if those around you aren't familiar with it, many people with eczema also find it helpful to connect with others who have the condition, too. Here, six helpful resources that are dedicated to making your—or your child’s—life with eczema a little easier. From books to blogs to online communities, these resources provide much-needed information and support.
National Eczema Association
Looking for basic information about eczema? This should be one of the first places you turn. The National Eczema Association's websitehas lots of helpful info about everything from the different types of eczema to their recommended products for easily-irritated skin. The organization hosts a variety of events, such as one-day forums for people to learn more about managing their eczema; there are two such forums scheduled for 2017, one in Denver and another in New York City. Another great resource is the NEA Support Network, a community that connects people with eczema around the country. You can also reach out to the NEA directly anytime you have questions or concerns about your condition. They are available by phone (800-818-7546) on weekdays, or you can email them anytime.
International Eczema Council
The International Eczema Council (IEC) is another great resource for collecting general information about the skin condition, including symptoms to look out for, possible triggers, and resource
I Have Eczema by Jen Greatsinger
If you have a child who’s suffering from eczema, it can be tough to help them understand what’s going on with their skin. This beautifully-illustrated book ($13; amazon.com) features a character named Emma who learns what's causing her itch, dealing with the frustration from the need to scratch, and what it means to see a dermatologist.
American Academy of Dermatology Eczema Resource Center
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has an impressive online resource center that's geared towards parents who have children with eczema. You'll find helpful tips for reducing eczema triggers, signs to watch out for that your child has eczema (and how to distinguish it from other skin conditions), as well as general skincare tips (think: the best moisturizers, home remedies, and how to get through bath time).
There are countless private Facebook groups out there, but two that may be particularly interesting for people with eczema are the Eczema Support Group (over 8,200 members) and Eczema Parents (over 9,700 members). Both groups are private, but you can join the discussions by clicking the green "Join Group" button.
This blog (itchylittleworld.com) was created by a mom of two named Jennifer after both her children were diagnosed with eczema—her son's case has been particularly challenging, and at different points in time the rash has covered 90% of his body. Jennifer focuses on the natural remedies that have helped her family, tips on coping with the emotional impact of eczema, her favorite products, and more. While many of the posts focus on her family's personal experiences (meaning they may not be right for everyone), this is a great place to read about their journey and find out what has and has not worked for Jennifer's children.