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What exactly is Psoriasis and How Does It Differ from Other Skin Conditions (Eczema or Skin Allergy)?

Not all that itches is eczema, instead of everything that’ s scaly is necessarily psoriasis.   Several conditions can mimic one another and cause red-colored, inflamed and dry appearing patches or plaques at the skin.   Oftentimes, it’ s hard to tell them aside!

There are several features and clues that can help distinguish the three most common causes of inflamed skin, which include eczema (also called atopic dermatitis), psoriasis and contact dermatitis.

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What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition caused by a good over-reactive immune system leading to persistent skin inflammation.   Your skin proliferates too quickly in psoriasis, producing discrete red, heavy plaques with silvery white scale. While these psoriatic skin lesions can sometimes be sore or “ burnt, ” they are typically less itchy than eczema.

Typically, psoriasis appears in adulthood as opposed to eczema which usually emerges in young children (85% of cases appear simply by age one). Psoriasis classically favors the outside part of the elbows and knees, but may affect other parts of the legs and arms as well as the face, buttocks, armpits and groin. Involvement from the scalp (mild dandruff or red scaly plaques) plus nails (small pits or brown stains, or splitting up of the nail from the nail bed) is common in psoriasis but not eczema.

Guttate psoriasis is a version of psoriasis that presents with smaller plaques within an eruptive pattern associated with strep infection.   In psoriatic arthritis, joint pain and stiffness develop. Flare-ups of psoriasis, in general, can be triggered by stress, skin trauma, plus certain medications.   It is not contagious.

How to Treat Psoriasis : While there is  simply no cure for psoriasis, effective treatments do exist.   Anabolic steroid and vitamin D creams are usually the first treatments attempted.   In moderate to severe disease, light treatment (phototherapy) and systemic medications (whether by mouth or injectable) are believed.

What Is Eczema?

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a persistent inflammatory skin condition caused by a hypersensitivity reaction.   Eczema generally first appears in childhood, and the majority outgrow the problem by their teens.   There is usually a family history of eczema  and a strong association with asthma and hay temperature. Like psoriasis, eczema appears red and inflamed. Nevertheless , eczema is dramatically itchier and less likely to be protected with thick silvery scale. Instead, it can appear dried out, cracked, peeling, bumpy, blistered or raw.

Eczema likes to appear along the inner part of the arms plus behind the knees (the folds), which is the opposite associated with where psoriasis prefers to develop.

The best way to Treat Eczema : Stress can worsen eczema exactly like psoriasis. Other eczema triggers include inadequate moisturizing (dry skin), the use of severe soaps, detergents or other personal care products, as well as environment allergens and exposure to cold, dry conditions. Avoiding these types of triggers as well as keeping your skin properly moisturized are key to keeping dermatitis at bay.

What Is Contact Hautentzündung (Skin Allergy)?

Contact hautentzündung mimics eczema with the appearance of red, itchy, annoyed skin caused by environmental triggers.   It can appear on anybody, including those without a history of atopic dermatitis.   Hypersensitive contact dermatitis is a hypersensitivity (immune-mediated) reaction, and the most typical causes are fragrances, nickel exposure, rubber or various other chemicals.   Irritant contact dermatitis is not a hypersensitivity reaction.   It is caused by direct skin injury from the physical or chemical irritant (most commonly excess hands washing or harsh soaps)

Methods to Treat Skin Allergies:   Irritant or sensitive contact dermatitis is treated similarly to eczema. Sometimes epidermis allergy or patch testing is needed to identify the problem allergen(s). Removal of the responsible irritants or allergens need to lead to full clearance, unlike eczema which is chronic and may be expected to come and go periodically.

About the author

Gracee Tolentino