27 Jan Everything You Need to Know About Eczema and Psoriasis
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a common skin condition with symptoms that include itchiness, dryness, redness, and cracked skin. It’s regularly treated at Spectrum Dermatology, where you can receive medical-grade treatments for immediate relief. Both children and adults can suffer from eczema, with ten percent of newborns presenting eczema at some point.
Nobody knows exactly what causes eczema, but we do know that it has a genetic component and that it’s most common in people who tend to have allergies. Children have it more often than adults, and fortunately some children outgrow the condition. Eczema can be triggered or exacerbated by stress, environmental factors (like certain laundry detergents), and certain foods. Diagnosis requires an examination and consideration of family history. In some cases, a blood test may be recommended to rule out other causes.
Eczema has no cure, but 75 percent of children with eczema are clear of the condition by their teenage years. Otherwise, specialized ointments can help with the symptoms. Avoiding most soaps is also helpful, and many eczema patients “wash” with their dermatologist-recommended moisturizers in lieu of soap. Prescribed oral medications and monitored UV exposure is also helpful for some eczema patients.
A recent study has shown that those with eczema face a larger risk of broken bones. A British study analyzed the hospital records of three million adults and discovered those with eczema were 13 percent more likely to suffer a fracture. The more severe the eczema, the greater the risk of a broken bone, particularly in the spine, pelvis, and hip. Researchers suggest that the link is actually between oral steroids used to treat eczema and broken bones.
This risk is just one reason why it’s important to seek out the best eczema treatments for you, and that can include cutting-edge treatments. That’s why Spectrum Dermatology is hosting a psoriasis study and is currently recruiting participants. Read more about our clinical trials.
Psoriasis is caused by the immune system forcing the body to make new skin cells faster than it should. There are various types of psoriasis, but the most common is plaque psoriasis which presents as thick, red skin often topped with silver scales. You’ll most often see psoriasis on the elbows and knees, and the condition is extremely itchy. Like eczema, there’s no cure for psoriasis but there are plenty of methods to soothe the condition.
In the US alone, about 7.5 million people struggle with psoriasis and there are 150,000 new diagnoses every year. Anyone can get this condition, but it usually first appears between the ages of 15 and 35. Men and women are equally diagnosed with psoriasis.
Although plaque psoriasis makes up 80 percent of cases, there’s also scalp psoriasis, which has the added symptom of flaking (and may be misdiagnosed as dandruff). Nail psoriasis is exclusive to the nailbeds and can cause pitting, while psoriatic arthritis affects 30 percent of psoriasis patients and presents with stiffness and swelling in the joints.
There are many more types of psoriasis, each with their unique symptoms and treatment plans. However, avoiding a psoriasis flare-up is always the best approach. An infection and some medications are common causes of these flare-ups, which makes sense considering that psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. Children who repeatedly have strep throat and other infections are at a higher risk of developing psoriasis. Staying healthy is the key to managing psoriasis, and avoiding certain medications associated with flare-ups may be a good idea. These medications include common NSAID painkillers, lithium, tetracycline, beta-blockers, and drugs for malaria.
Smokers and those who are obese are also at an increased risk of a flare-up. If you have high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, you might also have a higher chance of developing psoriasis. Additionally, swift weather changes, alcohol, and stress can exacerbate psoriasis.
A correct diagnosis is key so that you can start trying various treatment methods for psoriasis symptoms. The most common include topical prescription treatments, medications, and light therapy, which are all available at Spectrum Dermatology. To learn more about psoriasis or eczema treatments, call Spectrum Dermatology today for a consultation or appointment at (480) 948-8400.