Do I Have Eczema or Psoriasis?
Some skin conditions are simple to diagnose, like acne, cold sores or warts. But then there are problems that have us wondering because their symptoms seem similar to those of other issues. Eczema and psoriasis can fall into this category. People often confuse the two.
Eczema and psoriasis are chronic skin conditions that feature itchy, irritated skin covered in blotchy red patches. Both are very uncomfortable and embarrassing.
But how do you know which it is – eczema or psoriasis?
I’m here to help with that and also to recommend creams and cleansers that are made from nature’s most soothing and effective ingredients.
How They Look and Feel
When your skin has significant patches that are red, inflamed, peeling and persistently – even distressingly – itchy, you could have either eczema or psoriasis.
These two conditions are actually quite different if you know what to look for.
With eczema, the red skin is very inflamed, dry, and often cracked or peeling or blistered (although generally not scaly). Some blisters may fill with pus. If those are scratched or burst, the pus can contribute to crusty, scab-like patches. But trying not to scratch eczema-affected skin is such a trial because it has an intense itch. Some cases may cause skin to become very rough, dark and ‘leathery’. This condition is quite common on parts of the body with creases, like inside elbows or behind knees. However, it can also strike other places like wrists, ankles and the neck.
Psoriasis causes thick red or white patches to develop that very often feature silvery-white scales. The condition can be itchy, but may also produce a stinging or burning that some sufferers have likened to being bitten by fire ants. Psoriasis most commonly occurs on the elbows, knees, face, neck, scalp, lower back, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It can even cause pitting in fingernails and toenails, making them brittle.
When They Strike
Psoriasis is most common between the ages of 15 and 30, although it’s not unheard of for it to strike in later life (50-60 years old).
Eczema is most commonly diagnosed in babies and young children under five. Its general pattern is to become less severe with age and it is rare for it to develop after 30.
Both conditions involve inflammation, but a key difference is that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. Therefore they have different triggers. Common triggers for eczema flare-ups include irritation from contact with laundry detergents, soaps, specific foods, allergies, viruses and certain materials in clothing. As for psoriasis, triggers include immune reactions, stress, some medications, and dry cold. Many sufferers believe that inflammatory foods like sugar, red meat and alcohol also play a role in psoriasis outbreaks.
Someone suffering from either eczema or psoriasis wants one thing: relief. The irritation, dryness, itching and even pain can be maddening. It can be difficult sometimes choosing products because some claim to be good for psoriasis but not eczema, and vice versa. The best news is that it IS possible to have products that help the symptoms of both conditions.
While there are topical creams, lotions and shampoos loaded with chemicals out there, and some doctors prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids, some of the most helpful substances occur in nature. Manuka honey is quite possibly the best thing for treating eczema and psoriasis. It has outstanding anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and healing properties, while encouraging moisture retention under the skin. It can be eaten – to aid immunity and good health – and also used in cleansers, body washes, creams, moisturizing lotions, shampoos and conditioners.
When you need to relieve the irritations of eczema or psoriasis, look for products that include the gentle but powerful anti-inflammatory and regenerative effectiveness of trusted natural ingredients like aloe vera, Manuka honey and cehami flower extract. You’ll be glad you did.Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Wild Naturals and a clickable link back to this page.