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Eczema and psoriasis are not the same conditions. Although they have several similarities, there are also distinct differences between the states. It is a common belief that psoriasis and eczema are closely related. However, it is essential to be aware that although some people may suffer from both conditions, the two are not the same thing. This article will explore how psoriasis and eczema differ and what possible links exist between these conditions. This information should help you better understand what your diagnosis means in terms of potential cause and available treatment options.
What is Eczema?
Eczema (also known as dermatitis) is a skin condition that causes dry, red, and itchy patches of skin. Various factors can cause these patches, and the symptoms usually occur in exposed areas, including the arms and legs. Eczema is generally associated with an itchy feeling and may become inflamed in some cases, often resulting in small crusty sores.
So what causes eczema?
Scientists do not fully understand the exact cause behind eczema (and other related conditions such as psoriasis). Although there are many theories about what causes these problems, most experts agree that one or more of the following could very well be involved:
- An inherited tendency for developing this condition;
- Unbalanced immune system;
- Contact with an allergen or irritant substance;
- Exposure to certain types of environmental conditions.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis (pronounced “sor-RYE-ah-sis”) is a skin condition that causes red, scaly patches of skin. These patches can occur anywhere on the body and often become inflamed in some cases, which results in small sores appearing on the affected area. Typically they feel itchy, and when they do, it becomes even more uncomfortable for people who have psoriasis. Before we try to understand how psoriasis and eczema differ from one another, let’s take a look at what precisely this skin problem is all about: The exact cause behind this skin condition remains unclear; however, most experts agree that genetics, along with an over-stimulated immune system are the major contributing factors. Some people believe that an allergic reaction causes psoriasis. However, this has not been proven. It is also thought that this skin condition could be linked to heredity; it tends to run in families. Some scientists claim that specific genes may make some individuals more susceptible to developing this skin condition than others.
What are the similarities between Psoriasis and Eczema?
Although psoriasis and eczema are distinct conditions, they do share some significant similarities. These skin issues generally appear on the arms, legs, and other body parts that are more frequently exposed to environmental factors such as sunlight.
- People who have either condition usually develop patches of red, scaly skin that often become itchy at times. The symptoms for both conditions can be mild or severe depending on individual susceptibility levels or severity of the environment encountered in everyday life situations.
- Both conditions cause damaged skin cells to build upon the outer layers of the skin; they often appear as patches on the skin, which tend to be red and scaly in appearance.
- Both conditions are known to appear on the skin of people suffering from other associated medical problems. For example, psoriasis can also occur if other health issues such as arthritis are present, whereas eczema is often related to underlying allergic reactions or contact with irritants.
What are the Differences between Psoriasis and Eczema?
The main difference between psoriasis and eczema is related to how severely these conditions affect people’s lives! Although both conditions can cause discomfort when left untreated, there are significant differences between these two skin issues. Although both conditions may share certain genetic traits, there are some essential differences between the two: As mentioned earlier, eczema is not caused by an allergic reaction but rather by several factors, including genetics and environmental triggers. On the other hand, Psoriasis has been shown to have several possible causes that result in an over-stimulated immune system. Since psoriasis results from an overactive immune response, this skin condition needs to be treated differently from eczema.
Complicating matters further, some studies have shown that individuals who suffer from both psoriasis and eczema may indeed have a genetic predisposition towards developing these conditions.
Here’s what this means:
It confirms that psoriasis and eczema share specific genetics that affects many people today; It indicates that having one or both conditions can increase a person’s risk of developing the other state in the long term. In other words, having one condition is not enough to cause the other to occur, too; However, when patients have both diseases at the same time, it makes it much more likely for one system to encourage or trigger another medical problem.
.What are the common triggers of eczema and psoriasis?
People who have eczema or psoriasis should avoid the following as they can aggravate their skin conditions:
Dry skin: It’s essential to keep the skin from becoming too dry as this can cause existing psoriasis or eczema to worsen. If you have a history of developing one of these conditions, make sure to use lukewarm water when bathing or showering and try not to over-scrub the affected area. Sufferers of these conditions should avoid hot showers as they can strip away much-needed moisture from the outer layers of the epidermis. When this happens, it leads to other itching and scratching, which can be very irritating. If you live in a cold climate and only take lukewarm showers, this could also potentially cause your skin to become dry and flaky.
Irritants: Many soaps, detergents, shower gels, and perfumes contain ingredients known to irritate sensitive skin. If you or anyone in your family suffers from either one of these conditions, then it’s best if these kinds of products aren’t used in the affected area as much as possible. Be sure to avoid any product that contains alcohol, fragrance, fatty acids, and formaldehyde.
UV rays: While it’s always good to get some natural sunlight now and again, too frequent exposure can worsen psoriasis. In addition, UV rays can also aggravate eczema, so it’s essential to protect the skin from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
Skin products: Some skin products can be common triggers for these conditions, such as alcohol-based cosmetics and perfumes containing fatty acids and formaldehyde. Ensure that the ingredients list on any product you buy doesn’t have anything listed above or bold.
Pets: Allergies to pets may very well exacerbate both forms of skin irritation. If your cat or dog licks you, then there’s a good chance that these pets will aggravate an already irritated, itchy scalp or flare-up eczema on the legs and arms.
Cigarette smoke – smoking has been known to cause increased levels of inflammation on the skin, which may only worsen an existing condition. Alcohol–consuming alcohol can irritate the skin, making it feel even more uncomfortable for people with eczema and psoriasis.
Aspirin is another common irritant that could worsen symptoms; Avoid anti-inflammatory drugs because they do quite the opposite of what their name suggests (they increase inflammation).
Stress – coping with stress triggers many types of anxiety attacks; It also causes our bodies to produce chemicals known as “stress hormones”; These chemicals can trigger inflammations anywhere in the body, including on the skin, which is already affected by psoriasis or eczema.
In terms of treating eczema and psoriasis:
Many treatments work great on their own for managing and controlling either health issue; The problem arises when eczema and psoriasis co-exist; It becomes difficult for doctors to treat severe cases because they must choose between using medications that will help with treating either form of skin irritation, or they should use ones that get of rid of both. In most cases, doctors will choose:
- Topical Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation, redness, and itching; They’re more effective when used for mild to moderate cases of eczema and psoriasis, especially in areas like the face, neck, and scalp. These creams will usually be prescribed alongside other types of treatment, such as anti-inflammatory medicine or emollients.
- Oral Corticosteroids: Like creams and ointments, they work by counteracting inflammation, but these come in pill form and can be taken orally; Although taking them often causes side effects such as weight gain, mood changes, osteoporosis, glucose intolerance, and an increased risk of diabetes.
- Immunosuppressives: Like oral corticosteroids, these types of drugs have a similar mechanism of action; They’re usually reserved for people who can’t tolerate topical corticosteroid use.
- Phototherapy: Also known as photochemotherapy, this form of treatment is when the affected area is exposed to ultraviolet light to improve symptoms; The most common wavelengths used for treating eczema and psoriasis fall within the UVB spectrum somewhere between 290-320 nm, although there are also cases where UVA radiation (302-400 nm) has been used which works by penetrating up to 20 times further into the skin compared to its UVB cousin.
- Topical Immunomodulators: These are also known as biologics because they work by manipulating the body’s natural immune system. They’re usually prescribed because other treatment types have failed to improve some instances of eczema or psoriasis.
- Biologic Therapies: Like topical immunomodulatory, these are also administered to treat psoriasis and eczema cases that have failed to improve with other forms of treatment.
- Psoralen Photochemotherapy: This is the same as phototherapy except it’s combined with a light-sensitizing medication known as psoralen, which is taken orally; It increases the effectiveness of PUVA therapy (Psoralen + UVA) by making the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, which then helps prevent future outbreaks.
- Home remedies: The use of oatmeal baths and aloe vera lotions are also beneficial to those with psoriasis or eczema; Oatmeal has been reported to reduce the symptoms of itchiness by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Aloe vera contains a compound called anthraquinone, which is a potent antioxidant that can prevent inflammation.
- Medications:You can get other medications without a prescription from your doctor, such as anti-inflammatory or anti-itch cream; These work by reducing inflammation and providing a reprieve from itchiness.
- Stress management: This is the last form of treatment and one of the most important ones. Stress will trigger psoriasis or eczema symptoms outbursts; Most reports state that about 64% of depressive patients have dermatoheliosis (skin disorders).
When treating either form of skin irritation, the next thing you should do is consult a homeopathy doctor who will be better suited to guide you on which option/s would best suit you at managing it long-term.
How does homeopathy treat eczema and psoriasis?
- Homeopathy doctors treat eczema and psoriasis by using homeopathic remedies on sensitive skin areas; they will also prescribe other medications simultaneously.
- If you have an outbreak of either condition or it’s your first one, your homeopathy physician will recommend some form of stress management therapy at the same time.
- The aim is to help you control it without using any topical medication because these can cause side effects in most cases; Homeopathy treats both conditions by giving them a thorough examination.
- By doing this, the homeopathy doctor will be able to determine what personality traits may trigger an attack (stressors) or if any hidden food allergens could cause flare-ups if not found out sooner rather than them being revealed to you later.
- Several homeopathic remedies can be used, but it depends on which area/s of your body is affected by the conditions.
- Homeopathic treatment help treat it successfully without any side effects because it works by stimulating your skin cells to regenerate faster.
- However, it should be taken as part of a complete treatment plan alongside other forms of management such as stress therapy and proper nutrition planning.
- Homeopathic remedies offer long-lasting relief from both eczema and psoriasis in most cases.
People go back and forth between conventional and complementary medicines because they don’t know which one to go for first because of the surplus information given to them by their trusted homeopathy doctor. For more information, you can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy!