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Dealing with Eczema and Psoriasis Flare-ups

Eczema and psoriasis are some of the most common skin issues reported by young children and adults alike. They are conditions known for causing dry or scaly skin that lead to itching or discomfort. While several other conditions may also cause red, dry, or inflamed patches on the skin, it is crucial to be able to tell the difference. 

Professional cosmetic dermatologists Khongruk Wongkittiroch, DO, and Matthew Zarraga, DO, can help you ease or prevent irritated skin from forming. At Z-Roc Dermatology, located in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we offer a wide range of treatment options combined with state-of-the-art techniques that can address even the most challenging skin care problems. 

What is eczema? 

Eczema causes your skin to feel itchy or dry. Crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, or bleeding may occur as a result of eczema. Small, raised bumps may appear on the skin and form a crust over them or leak fluid. These spots can appear around your elbows, the back of your knees, your neck, wrists, or ankles. 

This condition has been known to affect children, who may outgrow symptoms of eczema once they reach their teenage years. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can affect patients beyond puberty and is common in people who have asthma or a sensitivity to various irritants. This condition is brought on by several factors, including exposure to allergens or bacteria. 

The condition is treated by protecting the skin with the right type of moisturiser, topical corticosteroids, and non-steroidal medication. Over-the-counter treatments may not be sufficient for severe cases. Seek one of our dermatologists who can devise a treatment plan that will keep your symptoms under control. 

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition that shows up on the skin when a person’s immune system triggers more rapid cell growth. This condition affects nearly 2% of the population and appears between the ages of 15 and 35. Psoriasis is a chronic and noncontagious disease. It is categorized as an inflammatory disorder that has been linked to a genetic predisposition. 

Dead skin cells should come off of the skin, but psoriasis causes them to build up instead. This lifelong illness is identified through the appearance of silvery-white plaques or scales that are well-defined and cause itching. These spots can show up your scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet. 

In severe causes, plaques can grow together, covering larger areas. Although psoriasis isn’t a life-threatening disorder, it has been linked to medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or depression. 

Patients living with psoriasis report having worse flare-ups during dry, winter months. Stress, certain medications, infections, or injury to the skin may lead to psoriasis flare-ups. You should avoid drinking alcohol and using tobacco, as it could raise your risk of worsening your outbreak. Keep your skin well moisturized, avoiding harsh soaps or other irritants that could bring on discomfort. 

The difference between psoriasis and eczema 

Itching is the most common complaint people who suffer from either psoriasis or eczema make. However, it is also one of the ways you might be able to distinguish between eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. Psoriasis can cause mild itching with some people reporting a burning or stinging sensation. 

Itching related to eczema is intense and often causes the person affected to open wounds. Broken skin can cause infections; in these cases, a topical antibiotic cream may be prescribed. 

How are they treated?

Symptoms of eczema can often be controlled by a prescribed corticosteroid or emollient that controls inflammation while keeping your skin moisturized. Medications that target the immune system like methotrexate, azathioprine, or dupilumab may be prescribed by one of our doctors in severe cases of eczema. 

Psoriasis can be controlled with topical corticosteroids or emollients. However, it is a systemic illness that affects your entire body and requires examination by a trusted dermatologist.

Light therapy, or phototherapy, can be used to treat severe cases of psoriasis or eczema. This treatment involves the controlled use of ultraviolet light to slow down the rapid growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. Severe cases of psoriasis may need to utilize light therapy in combination with medications like methotrexate, cyclosporine, acitretin, or apremilast. 

Can someone have psoriasis and eczema simultaneously? 

Patients of eczema or psoriasis can deal with multiple skin conditions at one time. This is rare, however, and is caused by specific genes present in the skin that triggers each condition type. Because similarities exist between the two conditions, it can often be difficult to diagnose. 

Someone struggling with both eczema and psoriasis may need follow separate treatment plans that address each illness individually. Our team of specialists can help you find the appropriate option to help you manage flare-ups and regain your quality of life.

If you’re suffering from eczema or psoriasis, call our office or book an appointment online today!

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