When it comes to skin conditions, identifying them and understanding the difference between them can be hard when many of them are physically similar. However, treatment can be quicker and easier when you have a proper diagnosis. One of the most common skin condition misperceptions is understanding the difference between psoriasis and eczema. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms and treatment of these conditions.
What is Eczema?
Eczema or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that can be characterized by red itchy skin in people of all ages. While there is no cure, there are some medical and at-home remedies that can help make the symptoms more manageable during periods of flare-ups. The symptoms of eczema are usually characterized by dry itchy skin that may also be red or bumpy. The cause of eczema is an individual’s skin having the inability to retain moisture and protect itself from bacteria. This is often a hereditary trait or can be the result of an allergy.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a genetic skin condition in which the rate of skin cell turnover is so fast that the cells begin to build up and become rough and scaly. As these cells build up they tend to be dry and may even cause itching and discomfort. Psoriasis is considered to be a chronic skin disease and may even come and go. While there is no cure, medications have come to the market to help manage the symptoms for everyday life. Psoriasis may appear in the form of red patches on the skin that are bumpy and may also have thick silvery scales. In general, psoriasis isn’t dangerous to patients, but it can have emotional effect making those affected feel self-conscious.
How are They Different?
While they both often involve the look of dry red patches, psoriasis will sometimes have bigger bumps and a scalier surface. These conditions can also both involve the potential for itching and dryness making them easily confused. The most notable difference between the two is that their causes are different. For eczema, it is thought to be passed down genetically or have a relation to hay fever or allergy. As for psoriasis, there is not one specific cause known. However, psoriasis is thought to be related to the immune system and may stem from issue occurring with T cells and white blood cells.
If you think you may be experiencing eczema, psoriasis or any other chronic skin condition, contact Jupiter Dermatology and Hair Restoration today to schedule an appointment at our Jupiter, Florida practice.
In this video, Dr. Mejia talks about wart removal and some of the treatment options. It all depends on what it looks like, how big the wart is, how flat it is and the location.
A simple wart treatment is an over the counter 14% salicylic acid that is applied into the wart. The salicylic acid will slowly peel it away. Another common way to treat it with salicylic acid is to cover it with duct tape so it can penetrate deeper.
If those treatments don’t work, another alternative is to freeze it with liquid nitrogen at a dermatologist office or in some cases surgically remove it by lightly shaving it off and cauterizing it from the base. This is a simple procedure that can be done in the doctor’s office without any discomfort. The dermatologist will usually add some anesthesia which does cause some slight stinging or burning. But once the wart is removed and cauterized, it should not recur.
In this video Dr. Mejia talks about how to get rid of sunspots. Sunspots are slight brown spots on the surface of the skin that you can hardly feel. They are typically caused by chronic sun damage. Sunspots are not necessarily pre-cancerous to develop into a skin cancer.
They can be treated in a variety of different ways:
- Liquid nitrogen to damage the pigmentation so it slowly goes back to normal.
- Laser treatments that can help soften them.
- Bleaching creams that may help the discoloration if the sunspots are not so apparent.
A lot of my patients come to our office with a new rash, and the main question asked is: “What caused this skin rash?” Many times it can be very difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes a skin rash without formal testing. One of the most common causes of skin rashes are due to contact with certain chemicals used in our day to day lives such as:
- Laundry detergents
- Clothing dyes
Allergic Contact Dermatitis is the name we use for reactions to chemicals found in these products. The most common misconception is that products we have used in the past cannot cause our skin to react. This concept is wrong, due to the fact that our skin can become sensitized to chemicals.
Sensitized means our body does not have an allergic reaction when it first comes into contact with the chemical, but the following time(s) our skin is exposed. An example would be the antibiotic ointment Neosporin, many people used this product throughout childhood without a problem, and over time our body has the ability to become sensitized and allergic to it. Neosporin is an extremely common contact allergy due to this.
How can I find out which chemicals I’m allergic to?
Answer: Patch Testing.
Patch Testing is a series of testing where 80 different chemicals are applied to the back. At our office, the patches are left in place for two days, removed and read on day three and on day five. Chemicals range from fragrances, dyes, metals, plant chemicals, and even gold!
When patches are removed, we can determine whether or not the skin has mounted an immune response to the allergens, and let you know what to look for in products for possible triggers. The most important thing a patient can do after being told what they react to on a patch test is the detective work at home to see what products they use which actually contain the allergen.
Patients with an allergic contact dermatitis are recommended to avoid potential allergens, and commonly given a prescription for topical steroid use during flares of rashes on the skin. Over the counter 1% hydrocortisone may be used in milder reactions as well.