Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Causes
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease an overproduction of skin cells, Dr. Khetarpal says.
She explains that in normal skin, it takes around 28 days for a cell to mature, travel to the surface of the epidermis, and be shed along with other dead cells.
In people with psoriasis, however, that process speeds up to just a few days. As a result, live cells can accumulate along with dead ones, which can lead to the formation of scaly lesions.
In eczema, the skin isnt able to retain water as it needs to, which can make the skin dry and itchy, as well as more sensitive to irritants, says Khetarpal.
There may also be an immune component to eczema, says the National Eczema Association . People with eczema tend to have an overly reactive immune system that, when triggered by a substance outside or inside the body, responds by producing inflammation. This inflammation causes the discolored, itchy, and painful skin symptoms common to eczema.
The Difference Between Eczema And Psoriasis
Itâs easy to assume that eczema and psoriasis look the same. Theyâre both skin conditionsâ¦.they both look redâ¦.they both cause people to break out in a rashâ¦.
But thatâs how they look on the surface of things. If you spend a bit longer looking at the nature of the symptoms, youâll soon discover there are some visible differences that are easy to spot .
What Are The Basic Differences
Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disease. That means your immune system becomes dysfunctional and chronically activated, resulting in skin changes. It causes raised, red, scaly patches on your skin or scalp.
There are multiple subtypes of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common and accounts for nearly 80-90 percent of psoriasis cases.
People with plaque psoriasis typically have sharply demarcated, raised, itchy, painful red plaques covered with silvery scales. The plaques are most often found on elbows and knees, but they can occur anywhere.
Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that can have numerous triggers. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It typically occurs in people with a personal or family history of asthma, hay fever or other allergies, and it is often seen in children. It makes skin more sensitive and more prone to infection.
At any time in your life, you can develop eczema from dry skin or chemicals that contact the skin and trigger irritation or allergic reactions.
Neither psoriasis nor eczema is contagious, Dr. Fernandez says. But while you cant pass them from person to person, they may run in families.
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Conditions They’re Linked To
Eczema usually comes along with dry, sensitive skin. You may have someone in your family who has it or has asthma or hay fever.
Psoriasis is linked to other serious health conditions. If you have it, you may also have diabetes, heart disease, or depression.
Whether it’s psoriasis or eczema, your doctor can recommend ways to get relief for it.
When Do Psoriasis And Eczema Usually Appear
Psoriasis usually appears between the ages of 16 and 22, but it can happen at any age.
Eczema usually begins younger, appearing as early as 6 months of age. Although some people grow out of eczema, many people continue to have it throughout their life. Even if you have eczema for a long time, there may be periods when it gets better or worse.
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Eczema In Inconvenient Places
Eczema can occur in many inconvenient places especially for infants. Diapers and baby creams may irritate sensitive skin, causing extreme diaper rashes. In some cases, the eczema covers the entire area that comes into contact with a diaper.
Hypersensitivity to the material of a diaper or the creams used in washing the area can aggravate skin. Switching to soft cotton diapers or using a different cleanser may help ease eczema in the genital area for infants.
Adults with eczema in sensitive areas may need to change laundry detergents, cleansers, and fabrics.
What Is Eczema What Does It Look And Feel Like
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Its one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function . This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema doesnt harm your body. It doesnt mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and its not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. Eczema originates from the Greek word ekzein which means to boil over or break out.
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Exploring The Treatment Options
Eczema and psoriasis are both long-term conditions that require long-term treatments. Treatment may depend on the severity of symptoms as well as the size and location of the affected area of skin. Common treatments include topical anti-inflammatories, hydrating skin creams, phototherapy, and biologic or systemic drugs to control the bodys inflammatory and immune responses.
In addition to discussing treatment options with your doctor, its important to avoid factors that may trigger or worsen your symptoms. Eczema may be worsened by wetness or allergies as well as certain cleansers, soaps, and detergents. Psoriasis flare-ups are more likely to follow injuries to the skin and can also be brought about by stress or infection.
The first step in resolving your skin issues is to talk to your doctor to receive a diagnosis. Though both eczema and psoriasis can be chronic, finding the right treatment may help relieve symptoms and reduce flare-ups.
What Can I Expect If Ive Been Diagnosed With Eczema
Nearly half of children with eczema will outgrow the condition or experience great improvement by the time they reach puberty. Others will continue to have some form of the disease. For adults with eczema, the disease can be generally well-managed with good skin care and treatment, although flare-ups of symptoms can occur throughout life.
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These Are The Most Common Psoriasis Symptoms:
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, per the Mayo Clinic. The symptoms of plaque psoriasis are most often found on the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, and genitals and may include:
- Raised, red patches of skin
- A silvery white coating of dead skin cells on top of those patches
- Cracking skin and bleeding
There are other, less common forms of psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis, which often begins in childhood or young adulthood and can be triggered by a strep infection, appears as small, droplike lesions. Inverse psoriasis shows up as a smooth, shiny, red rash in body folds, such as under the arms or breasts. Pustular psoriasis, which can present on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, is characterized by noninfectious, pus-filled blisters, according to John Hopkins Medicine. The most severe, and rarest, type of psoriasis is erythrodermic psoriasis, which results in widespread, fiery redness over most of the body. It can cause severe itching and pain, and if you think youre having an erythrodermic psoriasis flare-up, you should seek medical attention immediately.
What Causes Psoriasis Vs Eczema
These two skin problems have different causes and can appear in different stages of your life. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects about 7.5 million Americans, according to the AAD. It happens when the skin cells go through their life cycle more quickly than normal. Typically, it takes about a month for skin cells to regenerate, but in people with psoriasis, this process happens every three to four days, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Psoriasis typically strikes when someone is between the ages of 15 and 35, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, but it can affect anyone at any age. What we do know is that psoriasis is immune-mediated, meaning there is some imbalance in the immune system, which leads to inflamed skin, dermatologist and National Psoriasis Foundation medical board member Jashin Wu, M.D., tells SELF. It tends to run in families, but there may not be straightforward patterns of inheritance. One well-known trigger is strep throat infections, but not all new cases of psoriasis result from strep throat.
Eczema is much more common than psoriasis. According to the most recent estimate available, more than 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.
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Articles On Psoriasis Symptoms
Maybe you’re settling into your easy chair for a little Sunday siesta. Or you’re heading out the door for a day of fun in the sun. Either way, you stop and pause, because you’ve got an itch that just won’t leave you alone — along with blotches of red on your skin. What gives?
Your doctor needs to make the final call, but psoriasis or eczema could be the problem. Both are skin conditions with similar symptoms, but there are ways to tell them apart.
What Are Eczema And Psoriasis
It’s essential to understand the symptoms and causes of each of the conditions so that you can talk to your doctor about them when they are diagnosing them.
One is triggered by allergies and skin reactions. The other triggers because your body is reacting abnormally.
What is eczema?
Roughly 30% of all people are affected by eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that affects mostly adolescents and children.
What is psoriasis?
Around 7 million people have psoriasis. Psoriasis appears on your skin in the same way that eczema does. The difference between psoriasis and eczema is that psoriasis is triggered by things that are not allergies.
Psoriasis starts beneath the skin. It then grows into patches of thick and red itchy skin that shed scaly dead skin cells.
Is Psoriasis Hereditary
Although psoriasis is not contagious from person to person, there is a known hereditary tendency. Therefore, family history is very helpful in making the diagnosis.
There are many effective psoriasis treatment choices. The best treatment is individually determined by the treating doctor and depends, in part, on the type of disease, the severity, and amount of skin involved and the type of insurance coverage.
For mild disease that involves only small areas of the body , topical treatments , such as creams, lotions, and sprays, may be very effective and safe to use. Occasionally, a small local injection of steroids directly into a tough or resistant isolated psoriatic plaque may be helpful.
For moderate to severe psoriasis that involves much larger areas of the body , topical products may not be effective or practical to apply. This may require ultraviolet light treatments or systemic medicines. Internal medications usually have greater risks. Because topical therapy has no effect on psoriatic arthritis, systemic medications are generally required to stop the progression to permanent joint destruction.
How Common Is Eczema
Eczema affects up to 15 million Americans. Infants are prone to eczema and 10% to 20% will have it. However, nearly half outgrow the condition or have significant improvement as they get older.
Eczema affects males and females equally and is more common in people who have a personal or family history of asthma, environmental allergies and/or food allergies.
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Conditions That Can Look Like Eczema But Arent
Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that can make your skin irritated, inflamed, and itchy. Your doctor may call it atopic dermatitis, which is also the most common type of eczema. Youâre more likely to get eczema when youâre a child, but adults can get it, too.
The symptoms you have and where they show up on your body vary from person to person. You might have one or more of these signs:
- Red patches on white skin
- Gray or violet-brown patches on dark skin
- Oozing or crusty skin from scratching
Several health problems can bring on similar symptoms, so itâs important to talk to your doctor, a dermatologist, or an allergist to find out whatâs going on with your skin. They might tell you that you have one of these conditions that looks like eczema but isnât:
- Red, scaly patches
- Dry, cracked skin
Eczema patches tend to be thinner than psoriasis patches. Another difference: Fluid can ooze from your skin with eczema.
Scabies. This contagious condition happens when tiny bugs called mites burrow into the top layer of your skin and lay eggs. You might have symptoms like bad itching and a rash that looks like pimples. Like eczema, you could also get scaly-looking patches.
Acne. This skin condition can take several forms, including:
Psoriasis On The Hands
Although many people have patches of psoriasis on the backs of their hands and knuckles, others have outbreaks on the palms.
Intense peeling and dry skin on the hands can make even simple actions, such as washing hands or picking up a bag, very painful and uncomfortable.
Psoriasis on the hands may also include nail psoriasis. This condition causes overactive skin cells to produce too many new cells under the nails. This can look like a fungal infection that discolors the nails and even causes them to fall off.
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When To See A Doctor
If you or a loved one are experiencing itchiness, patches, inflammation, or redness of the skin, its a good idea to get it checked out by doctor. A dermatologist can examine the skin and give you the correct diagnosis as well as the right treatment to help control the condition so you can live with minimal symptoms.
If you are looking for a doctor to treat dermatology conditions for you and your family, call the Childrens Skin Center. Dr. Ana M. Duarte is an expert in pediatric and adult dermatology and treats a variety of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Call 669-6555 to make an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online.
The Dry Skin Of Eczema
Eczema frequently includes very dry patches of skin. These can make skin so fragile that it cracks very easily.
The peeling of eczema may resemble that of a sunburn or a peeling blister or callus.
In some cases, the skin may peel without causing raw skin or open wounds. In others, peeling skin reveals broken skin or open blisters. These should be carefully treated to avoid introducing a bacterial or viral infection.
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How Do I Take Care Of Myself
Reducing your stress is very important. Try these tips:
- Count to ten as you take a deep breath.
- Exercise daily.
- Try not to drink as much caffeine and alcohol.
- Sleep eight hours a night.
- Eat healthy.
- Try to have a positive attitude.
- Journal every day.
- Talk about your life with friends, family and a therapist.
Can You Treat Eczema And Psoriasis The Same Way
Some of the medications that are used to treat psoriasis may help treat eczema and vice versa. This doesnt necessarily mean that theres a one-size-fits-all treatment plan for both conditions though. A dermatologist can help you find a treatment plan that will work best for you based on your individual symptoms and medical history.
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What Is It Like Living With Eczema
Many people live with eczema . As many as 15 million Americans may have this skin condition. Living with it can be challenging.
There may be times when your eczema disappears. This is known as a remission period. Other times you may have a flare-up, which is when it gets worse. The goal of treatment is to prevent such flare-ups, preventing your symptoms from getting worse. Be sure to avoid triggers, moisturize, take your medicine and do anything else your healthcare provider recommends.
What Is Erythrodermic Psoriasis
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis associated with extreme inflammation, itching and pain that affects most of the body. Other symptoms include large sheets of shedding skin , an increase in heart rate, swelling due to fluid retention and significant changes in your body temperature. Its important to seek immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing a flare-up of erythrodermic psoriasis as it can lead to pneumonia or heart failure if left untreated.6
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Can Stress Exacerbate Psoriasis Or Eczema
Theres no doubt that living with psoriasis and eczema can be stressful, and their connection to stress has been widely discussed in the dermatology community.
Although experts often advise people with psoriasis and eczema to avoid stressful situations, a lot remains to be proven about exactly how stress can influence these conditions. A November 2017 meta-analysis in the British Journal of Dermatology evaluated 39 studies with more than 32,500 patients, concluding that no convincing evidence exists that preceding stress is strongly associated with psoriasis exacerbation/onset. As for eczema, an October 2017 study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reported that psychological stress may exacerbate atopic dermatitis, and it might be mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Just because science hasnt fully clarified the role stress plays in these conditions doesnt mean the link doesnt exist. Dr. Wu says hes seen patients experience stress-related psoriasis or eczema flare-ups in the past, and the AAD mentions stress when discussing both psoriasis and eczema.