Having dry, irritated, and itchy skin can be life altering. The cause of many of these skin problems are a mystery to the medical world and can be very hard to manage. Psoriasis and eczema are two of the most commons types of skin problems that people suffer with. Each causes very uncomfortable and unsightly symptoms but are very different in nature.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is caused by a change in the life cycle of skin cells. It causes them to build up very quickly on the surface of the skin and form thick patches that are often painful. It is incurable but some treatments are available for relief from symptoms .
There are many different types of psoriasis:
Plaque: This is the most common type of psoriasis that people suffer from. It causes raised red patches that develop a silvery build up of dead skin cells. Most often found n scalp, knees, or elbows.
Inverse: also known as intertriginous psoriasis, this shows up as red lesions within folds on the skin.
Pustular: This type of psoriasis causes blisters of pus to form on reddened skin.
The symptoms of psoriasis depend on what type you are suffering from. There are some general symptoms however, that most of the types share. Red patches on the skin, scaly areas, itching, burning, swollen joints, cracked skin, and thickened skin are all common symptoms experienced with psoriasis.
The actual cause of psoriasis remains a mystery however it is thought o be related to an immune system problem. Your T cells begin to attack healthy skin cells by mistake as if they are trying to heal a wound that is not there. Smoking, stress, skin injury, and heavy alcohol consumption have been known to trigger psoriasis to start or to worsen.
The treatment for psoriasis is focused on stopping skin cells from growing so rapidly and removing the build up of cells that already exist. Some topical treatments are available including corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, and retinoids. Certain forms of light therapy have also been shown to help with the symptoms of psoriasis. For severe cases injected medicines may be considered such as methotrexate and cyclosporine.
Information About Eczema
Eczema is a skin disease, also known as atopic dermatitis. It causes red and itchy rashes to form on the skin and can be present anywhere on the body. This is caused by inflammation of the skin. There are many environmental triggers that can cause eczema outbreaks. Eczema does not discriminate and can be present of any person at any age.
The symptoms of eczema vary drastically from person to person. There are also many things that can worsen these symptoms. Severe itching of the skin is one of the most uncomfortable symptoms associated with this skin condition. Small bumps, red to brown patches, and dry skin are all also commonly present in someone with eczema.
Many things that effect your skin can cause eczema to develop or worsen. It is important to understand the extent of your skin’s sensitivities. Certain soaps and cleaners, air pollution, stress, long baths or showers, or food allergies can all cause eczema to become worse.
The specific cause of atopic dermatitis is still unknown but is likely a mix of many different factors. Family history of eczema is often present. Environmental conditions, such as very dry climates, can also aid in the developing of eczema. An immune system problem or anything that could affect the skin’s barrier may also to be to blame.
Beginning treatment at the first sign of eczema is very important. Majority of treatment require topical creams that are used on the affected area. There are creams available that help to repair the skin that has been damaged and also ones that help to control itching. Some oral drugs are also available including some to fight infections that may develop from the open or broken skin and oral anti itch drugs. Some alternative treatments and remedies are also though to help ease the symptoms such as wrapping the area with wet bandages and moisturizer.
Differences Between Psoriasis and Eczema
The symptoms that are associated with these very different skin conditions can seem somewhat similar but are actually very different. With psoriasis the skin builds up on the surface and causes thick and scaly red patches to form. Eczema causes the skin to become inflamed and red.
The cause of psoriasis has to do with the T cells in the body. These cells are responsible for helping to heal wounds by replacing the damaged skin cells with healthy skin cells. If someone has psoriasis these cells function improperly and continue to produce skin cells even if no wound is present. Eczema is caused by skin irritants and inflammation of the skin.
The appearance of the skin is drastically different with both eczema and psoriasis. Psoriasis causes very unsightly and thick patches of scaly skin to form over large areas of the body. This can cause a lot of stress over people’s opinion of the skin’s appearance. With eczema the skin becomes dry and red, however the aesthetic affects are typically no where near that of psoriasis.