Eczema and psoriasis are two different skin diseases that have similar symptoms. Eczema is usually developed during childhood and is characterized by dry, red, cracked skin that itches and crusty sores may develop. There may also be eruptions that resemble pimples. If it becomes too dry it may start to bleed. Psoriasis also has red, itchy patches of dry skin, but there are several kinds of psoriasis. The most common is plaque psoriasis in which the patches are slightly elevated on the skin. These areas are called plaques and may develop white scales that start to slough off.
The main difference between the two diseases is that eczema may have bumps that ooze fluid, while psoriasis is always dry. Psoriasis may be linked to genetics and can be exacerbated by other health issues such as diabetes. Eczema, on the other hand, is the result of external issues such as food allergies, animal dander or harsh chemicals on the skin. The diseases also develop on different kinds of skin. Eczema develops on tender skin behind knees and psoriasis prefers the tough skin on top of knees and elbows.
Since the two diseases are very different, even though they resemble each other, they require different treatments, and it’s not recommended to try to treat them yourself. A proper diagnosis is required not only to determine which disease you have, but to determine the stage it is in as well as the possible causes.
Eczema is mainly caused by your immune system overacting to an irritant. This is why it is often seen in families with hereditary asthma or allergies. The open, leaking pustules also expose the skin to bacteria. Flair-ups may occur when there is contact with harsh detergents or pets and may also happen when you catch a cold or feel especially stressful. With medical treatment, these symptoms can be effectively managed. The disease is not contagious and won’t spread to other people.
The cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is believed to be related to immune system problems that generate inflammation. According to research, the activation of a certain type of white blood cells that affects the immune system triggers the disease. A chemical is released which has good and bad results in most people, but in people with psoriasis, the chemicals send faulty messages which leads to the eruptions on the skin.
There are a few home remedies that will help you manage the symptoms until you get expert advice. With eczema, you can use a moisturizing lotion that contains ceramides right after a quick warm, not hot, shower or bath. This will keep the moisture in your skin. If the climate is very dry such as a heated house in the winter, a humidifier indoors will help keep your skin from drying out.
Since psoriasis is more affected by internal conditions, it’s recommended to make a sincere effort to relax. There is no one-size-fits-all for relaxation. Some like to take long walks, some like to meditate and some just like to watch comedies and laugh a lot. There is hope for you to get relief from either disease when you consult one of our specialists. At Dermatology Associates, we’ll work with you to help you manage your symptoms and prevent future flare-ups.