The mother of a 13-year-old girl, who is black, runs an eczema support group in suburban Washington, D.C. Renee Dantzler says roughly half the families in her group are African-American. Eczema is an itchy skin condition, which often occurs on the arms or behind the knees. The cause isn't always clear.
Her daughter, Jasmine, started getting rashes at 6 months and got much worse when she was 4.
"Her whole body would flare. If she ate something, you would kind of hold your breath," Dantzler said. "And she's allergic to every grass and tree God made."
Her daughter took to wearing long sleeves and pants, even in hot weather, so people wouldn't see her skin scarred — and whitened in spots — from scratching. She began to improve about four years ago with steroid creams and other treatments and has gradually become less self-conscious about her skin, Dantzler said.
She's now on a school track team, which means wearing shorts.
"She's the only one on the team with long socks," her mom said.