Eczema signs, commonly referred to as atopic dermatitis, can be so noticeable and severe that those with this skin condition are mindful of them. “It’s not just the symptoms— the incessant scratching, redness, and inflammation— it’s the sleepless nights, it’s the depression and anxiety said Julie Block, National Eczema Association (NEA) president and CEO. October is the month when U.S.-based organizations such as the NEA and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) spread awareness of eczema, its causes, the stigma attached to it, and new symptom relief developments. This is particularly important due to the prevalence of the disorder in the United States, impacting 9.6 million people younger than 18 and 16.5 million adults. Symptoms include skin that, once touched, is soft, inflamed, itchy, rashy, scaly, or oozing. Flare-up causes can include dry skin, allergens like pet dander or annual pollen, chemical irritants like laundry detergents or scented soaps, pressure, hormonal changes, or infections. It may vanish, though, as a child grows older. With over-the-counter products, most people with mild symptoms can manage eczema, says Block. However, those with moderate to severe symptoms may feel worn out by the ongoing need to avoid triggers or the negative reactions that others may have to see eczema signs. However, a study released in JAMA Dermatology in December 2018 found that people with eczema are 44% more likely to have suicidal thoughts and 36% more likely to attempt suicide than those without eczema. The authors of the study report that contributing factors can include severe symptoms such as pruritus (the need to scratch), nausea, swelling, and loss of sleep, as well as embarrassment and guilt.