Friday, March 9, 2012

How To Ensure That You Do Not Confuse Psoriasis With Eczema

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition with no cure at the present time although there are many treatment methods including home remedies for psoriasis that have been found to work effectively at controlling the disease. While psoriasis is usually very simple to diagnose by a doctor, it can still be confused with other skin conditions with the main one being eczema.

In order to understand the differences between the diseases which will help in determining the proper treatment regimen that may include drugs, ointments, following a proper diet, home remedies for psoriasis, etc, it is important to understand these two skin conditions.

What is Eczema?

Eczema which is sometimes called dermatisis which is the catchall term for many skin conditions arising from the inflammation of the skin including eczema. Eczema is usually characterized by blisters on the skin in severe cases of the condition. There will also be oozing, redness, crusts/scabs, fluid in the tissue, and itching or burning. The areas most affected are those where creasing of the skin occurs such as the back of the knee or the top of the elbow.

There are also many different types of eczema just like with psoriasis with one of the most common types being known as atopic dermatisis which results from an allergic reaction and there is usually a family history of hay fever or asthma.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis results from rapid skin turnover in a sufferer. In normal skin, skin turnover (when new skin pushes away the top layer of skin leading to dead skin that is sloughed away) usually occurs every 30 to 35 days and is usually unnoticeable. With psoriasis, this turnover takes place much quicker in bout four to five days leading to dead skin piling up on top of skin which is very noticeable.

Psoriasis is usually evidenced by thick red eruptions that are usually covered with white, silvery white or gray oval shaped scales over small or large areas of the body. These areas can itch or burn. It affects up to 2% of the population and usually shows up between the ages of 15 and 30. This condition is not contagious.

Commonly affected areas include the lower back, knees, knuckles, elbows and the scalp. Other areas of the body that can be affected by psoriasis include the fingernails and toenails when pitting, brown discoloration, cracking and lifting of the nail will be evidenced. While these are common areas affected, psoriasis can affect any body part including genitals, joints, etc. While there is no psoriasis cure, many treatments including home remedies for psoriasis can work to keep the condition at bay.

Differences between Psoriasis and Eczema

  1. Psoriasis usually features dry thick scales over the affected area whereas eczema is often oozing and wet.
  2. Eczema usually includes cracks in the skin.
  3. Eczema in most cases especially atopic dermatisis mentioned above usually begins before the age of two while most cases of psoriasis first appear in adulthood.
  4. Although both conditions can feature itchy lesions, eczema is usually very itchy while the itching associated with psoriasis is usually mild to none at all although some psoriasis lesions can be very itchy.
  5. Eczema does not feature the silvery white scales on top of lesions as evidenced with most cases of psoriasis.
  6. Eczema sufferers do not usually show any changes in their fingernails or toenails as found with many cases of psoriasis.
  7. With plaque psoriasis which is the most common type of psoriasis, there will be a clear border between affected skin and healthy skin. This border between healthy and unhealthy skin is not usually present when eczema first makes its presence known.
  8. History of asthma or hay fever is usually common with certain types of eczema such as atopic dermatisis while this type of family history is not present with psoriasis.

Other skin conditions that may be mistaken for psoriasis include fungal infections (ringworm) as well as candidiasis (yeast infection) that may be found around the genitalia as well as underneath the breasts.

As mentioned previously, a doctor will be able to easily determine what skin condition you are suffering from in order for the proper treatment to commence, including drugs, home remedies for psoriasis, etc.

Psoriasis Diagnosis

This is usually done by the doctor first analyzing your skin, your scalp as well as your nails for any signs of psoriasis. A biopsy, blood tests as well as x-rays can also be used to diagnose psoriasis and then start a treatment regimen that may include home remedies for psoriasis.

The first step in overcoming this chronic skin disease is to receive a proper diagnosis and this can be easily done by your doctor. This awareness will make it much easier to find the proper treatment. Even though there isn't a psoriasis cure and while one treatment can work for one sufferer but not for another, there are still many treatment options including home remedies for psoriasis that can work.

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