- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
What You Need to Know About Psoriasis vs. Eczema
Examples of psoriasis
Skin conditions - psoriasis and eczema
Psoriasis and eczema are both conditions which affect the skin. Although they may appear to look similar they are in fact two separate conditions.
It is very rare for someone to suffer both from psoriasis and eczema but it can actually happen. Both conditions can have a genetic link, and problems with the skin tend run in families just as heart disease or kidney problems.
What is Psoriasis and what are the symptoms
Psoriasis is a chronic condition and there is a strong genetic link. This condition surprisingly affects one person in fifty in the United States and Europe.
Psoriasis symptoms are defined by scaly pink patches which can appear on elbows, knees, feet and scalp. Fingernails and toenails can be affected which can result in weeping and the nails following off.
Psoriasis is very uncomfortable as the itchiness is difficult to deal with, and the red appearance can become hot and very painful. The flakiness of psoriasis is unpleasant and many sufferers find this the most difficult part of the condition.
There is no none cure for this disease and sufferers are often prescribed various creams and skin ointments to keep the disease under control. The problem with psoriasis is that the skin believes it is normal and this is what makes it so difficult to treat and control.
Diet is also an important weapon against psoriasis and is a very effective way to keep the problem under control. Stress can be a factor and the conditions appear to get worse at times of stress.
Sun seems to be one of the best remedies for psoriasis which is really interesting as recent research shows that sufferers have a problem when it comes to metabolizing vitamin D.
Psoriasis and diet
Diet is important when treating psoriasis. Oily fish such as mackerel and salmon has been found to have a positive effect. All oily cold water fish contain large amounts of essential fatty acids which have an anti inflammatory effect and they also contain large amounts of vitamin D.
Eliminating certain foods from the diet seems to help as well. One particular food item which should be removed diet is liver as this contains arachidonic acid. This acid is converted into prostaglandins in the body which makes inflammation worse.
Other psoriasis sufferers find that removing dairy products, red meats and certain species also help the condition. It is a good idea to limit alcohol consumption as this widens the blood vessels increasing the blood flow to the skin leading to more itchiness, redness and flakiness.
Other remedies for psoriasis
Salty sea baths are useful as well and sufferers are often recommended not to use beauty products containing parabens.
Taking a vitamin D and a fish oil supplement is an excellent remedy as both seem to help to keep psoriasis under control.
Examples of eczema
There are different types of eczema, and the most two common types are contact dermatitis and atopic eczema.
Contact dermatitis is an eczema which develops when a person's skin is sensitive to certain irritants and the most common triggers are wool, nylon, make up, detergents, and certain metals for instance nickel.
It is difficult to tell what the initial trigger is so an allergy test is important to eliminate the most common substances which can cause problems.
On occasion the trigger can't be found through an allergy test and it is then very important to keep a note of what you have touched, worn or otherwise come in contact with recently.
Atopic eczema can be a genetic disorder and often runs in families which have may also have a family history of asthma, hay fever and urticaria ( hives or nettle rash).
Many children develop eczema early on but often grown out of it as their immune system develop.
Diet is thought to play a big part and the main causes are milk, other dairy products and eggs.
Atopic eczema in adults are often a result of food additives and it can be very difficult to pin point the additive which is causing the problem however artificial sweeteners
have a strong link to atopic eczema in adults.
Allergies and eczema
The link between eczema and allergy is still unclear and debates on this topic are frequent in the scientific community.
The prime triggers of atopic eczema, eggs and dairy products, are very difficult to avoid in our daily diet. The other food substances which have been
identified as a problem are most commonly shell fish, nuts, soya, yeast, wheat and tomatoes. Additives are most definitely a big problem when it comes to atopic eczema and interestingly enough the same additives which trigger migraine headaches are known to trigger atopic eczema.
Babies can develop eczema once the mother starts breast feeding and switches to cow's milk and this can indicate an allergy to dairy products.
Scientists do now wonder of this is actually an indication of an intolerance to the actual cow's milk. It could a reaction to additives in the milk, and more alarmingly cows are today feed a very unnatural diet which can contain antibiotics. Antibiotics can cause easily cause atopic eczema and severe allergic reactions in both babies, young children and adults.
If you suspect you or your child is allergic to dairy products remove them completely from the diet, and replace with almond milk which is rich in calcium or GM free soya milk. Almond milk is an excellent alternative as it is very natural and rich in micro nutrients.
Symptoms of contact dermatitis and atopic eczema
Both types of eczema have very similar symptoms. The symptoms include severe itching, redness of the skin, small blisters that often weep and dry, flaky skin.
This is often why there is some confusion between psoriasis and eczema, and it is important to get your condition diagnosed as soon as possible.
Omega 3 Essential fatty acids
New research shows that Omega 3 essential fatty acid can help to reduce the problem of skin inflammation experienced by Psoriasis and Ezcema sufferers.
Salmon, sardines and tuna are great sources for Omega 3 essential fatty acids but there are also some great supplements available such as Fish oil and Salmon Oil.