In 2021, Tia Mowry shared with People that her eczema had been misdiagnosed for years. “Eczema is definitely a chronic condition that’s very prominent within the African American community, but unfortunately, there’s a huge percentage of people suffering with [it] and it actually goes underdiagnosed,” she said.
She told InStyle that when she was in her 20s, her Black gynecologist noticed the peeling skin on her hands and referred her to a dermatologist. But her symptoms first popped up during childhood in the form of raised, itchy round spots on her arms. “When my mother would take me to the pediatrician, the doctor told us they were sunspots,” she told People.
According to the National Eczema Association, eczema flare-ups in people with deeper skin tones tend to appear as brown, purple, or gray rashes, rather than the pink or red patches that appear on people with lighter skin.
Now that she understands what triggers her flare-ups, including stress and certain foods she identified via allergy testing (less dairy, no alcohol), Mowry has felt a “huge shift” and has learned how to better care for her condition. And she wants other people of color to know they’re not alone if their story feels similar to hers: “I feel like that’s why I’m extremely passionate about representation and why it is so important. When you see someone that resonates with you or that looks like you, it makes a huge impact.”