Skin Conditions | Psoriasis and Eczema
Psoriasis and Eczema are two common skin conditions that affect many people, including children. Both skin conditions can have similar symptoms and are commonly confused for one another. Read on to learn about psoriasis and eczema.
Psoriasis is when skin cells build up and will form red, patchy scales. It is considered a chronic disease that comes and goes with no cure*. There are ways to manage and reduce symptoms. Symptoms of psoriasis include:
- itchy, red patches
- dry, cracked skin that can bleed
- silvery, white scales on the skin
- swollen, stiff joints
Psoriasis can appear as a few patches or can cover a large area. It often flares up for several weeks or months then disappears for some time. It can also go into complete remission.
Causes of psoriasis are not completely known, however it is thought to be an immune response. In psoriasis, cells attack other healthy cells by mistake. This triggers an overproduction of skin cells that build up to form psoriasis. Those with a family history of psoriasis are more at risk to have it. It typically first shows up between the ages 15- 35. It is rare for babies or children to have psoriasis.
Psoriasis is often starts or worsens because of a trigger. Identifying one’s triggers is an important step in the treatment and remission of psoriasis. The following are common triggers:
- smoking cigarettes
- heavy alcohol consumption
- injuries to the skin or skin infections
- Vitamin D deficiency
- some medications
Psoriasis is often treated with creams and ointments and for more severe cases with oral medication or injections.
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, makes your skin red and itchy. Just like Psoriasis, it is chronic, flares up then goes away and a cure has not been found. Eczema is the skin’s inability to protect itself from environmental factors, irritants, and allergens. Symptoms include:
- Dry skin
- Red patches especially around hands, feet, neck, and inside the bends of elbows and knees
- Thickened, scaly skin
- Red bumps that ooze fluid
- Stinging and burning feeling on skin
Eczema often begins before age 5 and can continue into adulthood. About 20 percent of babies and young children experience eczema with most developing symptoms within the first year. In babies, eczema tends to show up on the scalp, cheeks, arms and legs. Many children outgrow eczema by age 2. Food allergies can contribute to eczema in children.
Eczema is very itchy and scratching can cause problems. Scratching can cause thickened and darkened skin that scars over time.
Like psoriasis, eczema is more likely if there is a family history. Allergens or irritants in the environment can also trigger it. This includes pollen, cigarette smoke, or allergens in one’s diet. The rash is often aggravated by heat and irritants (such as chemicals in soaps and lotions). Stress can also cause a flare up of eczema.
Eczema is typically treated with topical treatment and avoiding known allergens and irritants.
Psoriasis and Eczema can be very difficult to deal with. Not only are they irritating and painful, they can cause a lot of embarrassment. While the mainstream medical field will say there is no cure for psoriasis or eczema, Joan was able to cure her psoriasis and has not experienced any symptoms in over 5 years. For Joan’s story on how she healed her psoriasis, come back to our blog next week for her story.
Irritants in body care products can trigger and/or exacerbate outbreaks of both psoriasis and eczema. For those looking to make more natural body care products check out our online courses and ebooks:
Do you suffer from psoriasis or eczema? What has your experience been? Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.