Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and dermatitis can appear similar. Both cause patches of red skin. However, in psoriasis, the scales are thick and the edges of those scales are well-defined.
Discuss with your healthcare provider your questions about which type of skin condition you have. You can have more than one skin condition at a time. Treatments for one may not work for the other.
Eczema Causes And Risk Factors
Experts arenât sure what exactly causes eczema. Things that may make it more likely include:
- An immune system response to something irritating
- Problems in your skinâs barrier that let moisture out and germs in
- A family history of other allergies or asthma
Know more about the link between allergies and eczema.
Nummular Eczema Vs Ringworm
As they progress, nummular eczema lesions can resemble another condition caused by the ringworm fungus.
Ringworm also tends to present itchy bumps that turn into round, itchy, and scaly patches with a clear center. They may look red or pink on lighter skin, or brown and gray on darker skin. Both types of lesions will be very itchy. Ringworm lesions tend to heal from the center first.
A dermatologist is a specialist trained in knowing the difference between these two conditions, and other conditions, like psoriasis, that have similar presentations.
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Is There A Difference Between Eczema And Dermatitis
Although the terms dermatitis and eczema may overlap in how theyre used, specific types of skin conditions are better known by just one of the names. For example, many doctors use the terms atopic dermatitis and eczema interchangeably but wouldnt use the term contact dermatitis in place of eczema.
Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin. Eczema is inflamed skin that has other symptoms like itching, a flaky or scaly rash, and dry skin.
The table below compares the two conditions, with the bolded terms signifying differences.
How To Treat Eczema
Emollients are medical creams and lotions that can start to heal the open, dry skin from eczema. A true emollient is moisturizing and never contains any fragrances or dyes. Another way you can control that constant itch is with oral medications. Taking an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, can bring down the itching and make you much more comfortable as your skin heals. Because these types of medications can cause fatigue, try taking it at bedtime to see how it affects you.
2. Prescription Eczema Creams
If your eczema continues to worsen and the emollient just isnt cutting it, try an over-the-counter-cream that contains hydrocortisone. Using cortisone for eczema will moisturize your skin while relieving the incessant itching. Failing that, your doctor will most likely prescribe an ointment that contains a steroid. These medications can quickly clear up the itching and inflammation, but you do need to be careful with them. Using them for too long can lead to skin discoloration or thinning. Make sure to wash your hands after applying it and always follow the directions.
Light therapy is an effective way to treat eczema when lotions and steroids alone cant control it. Exposing your skin to natural sunlight is the first step. If you live in a cold climate, natural sunlight may not be an option. Your doctor may then recommend phototherapy, a treatment where light is exposed to areas of the skin affected by eczema.
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Natural Remedies For Eczema
If you search online, youll be flooded with natural remedies for eczema. Its important to note that complementary and alternative therapies for eczema are largely unproven. While the research is mixed, many eczema sufferers swear by their natural treatments.
If youre interested in natural remedies for eczema, its best to speak with a naturopathic doctor. A naturopathic doctor will help you pinpoint the cause of your eczema by looking at your vitamin D intake, your overall gut health and any food sensitivities you might have.
In a study discussing the benefits of various natural remedies for eczema, omega-3 supplements and probiotics were found to show great promise. The study concluded that a dietary intake of omega-3 supplements may have therapeutic effects on eczema symptoms. In addition, probiotics supplements may also help eczema by regulating the immune system and preventing the inflammation that comes with it.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Eczema
Skin affected by eczema is unable to retain moisture well, possibly because of low production of fats and oils. It is also caused by a disrupted skin barrier, allowing whatever moisture the skin has to freely evaporate into the air. This causes it to become dry and lose its protective properties.
It’s not clear what causes certain people to develop eczema, specifically atopic dermatitis.
Children are more likely to develop eczema if other allergic diseases such as hay fever and asthma run in the family, which suggests that there may be a genetic component to the condition. Read more about conditions related to eczema below.
Though dermatologists dont necessarily consider eczema an autoimmune disorder, the symptoms of atopic dermatitis are thought to be the result of an immune system overreaction or dysfunction.
Indian Journal of Dermatology
In addition to genetic and immune system factors, environmental factors also play a role in worsening or triggering eczema.
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Eczema And Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment to apply to your rash. This will help reduce itching and calm inflammation. Use it right after bathing. Follow your doctors directions for using this medicine or check the label for proper use. Call your doctor if your skin does not get better after 3 weeks of using the medicine.
Antihistamines like hydroxyzine reduce itching. They can help make it easier to not scratch. A new class of drugs, called immunomodulators, works well if you have a severe rash. Two drugs in this class are tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. These drugs keep your immune system from overreacting when stimulated by an allergen. However, they can affect your immune system. So the Food and Drug Administration recommends that these drugs be used only when other treatments wont work.
Try not to scratch the irritated area on your skin, even if it itches. Scratching can break the skin. Bacteria can enter these breaks and cause infection. Moisturizing your skin will help prevent itchiness.
Tips For Reducing Outbreaks
Here are a few ways to prevent eczema flare-ups and manage symptoms:
- Apply cool compresses to your skin, or take a colloidal oatmeal or baking soda bath to relieve the itch.
- Moisturize your skin daily with a rich, oil-based cream or ointment to form a protective barrier against the elements. Apply the cream right after you get out of the shower or bath to seal in moisture.
- After you bathe, gently blot your skin with a soft towel. Never rub.
- Avoid scratching. You could cause an infection.
- Use fragrance-free detergents, cleansers, makeup, and other skin care products.
- Wear gloves and protective clothing whenever you handle chemicals.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes made from soft fibers, like cotton.
You should also avoid any known triggers.
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Eczema Around The Eye
When eczema occurs on the face, it often affects the skin around the eyes or eyelids . Eczema that develops near the eyes needs special attention because the eyes themselves can be affected.
What Treatment Options Are Available
Treatments for scalp eczema will vary based on the type you have. You may be able to treat it at home with different hygiene practices and by changing hair products, or you may need to see a doctor to clear up and manage your symptoms.
Keep in mind that seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis can be lifelong conditions. Contact dermatitis should go away once you remove the element causing your symptoms.
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Eczema Elimination Diet Plan
There are many individuals who have been able to reduce these eczema flare-ups by just the diet itself. The elimination diet or eczema diet plan may sound somewhat scary or unrealistic but this is important to know that there are few foods that act as eczema triggers. However, the removal of specific food or a group of foods varies from individual to individual.
An elimination diet consists of removing certain foods from your diet like dairy, soy, glutens, peanuts and reintroducing them slowly back into your diet to observe a reaction. It is necessary to acknowledge the food choices being adopted while dealing with Atopic Dermatitis.
When To See A Doctor
Usually, minor cases of dermatitis can be resolved with self-care. Still, if your symptoms dont improve, you should visit a dermatologist to determine the best course of action for symptom management of eczema or dermatitis.
If your skin becomes painful, infected, or very uncomfortable, you should make a doctors appointment as soon as possible.
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What Is Scalp Eczema
Irritation on your scalp may be a sign of eczema. Eczema, also called dermatitis, is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed, or have a rash-like appearance.
This condition affects your skin, and there are several types that may affect your scalp. Symptoms vary based on the type you have. Some will disappear with treatment, while others are chronic and require long-term observation and management.
Speak with a doctor to confirm the cause of your eczema as well as to rule out other conditions that may be causing the symptoms.
Keep reading to learn more about what may be causing your eczema and how to find relief.
There are different types of dermatitis that may appear on your scalp. These are seborrheic, atopic, and contact.
Soothe Atopic Dermatitis All Over
Little-known fact: Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can occur wherever you have skin. So: anywhere. While you may typically think of it as a condition that affects your elbows, knees, back of the neck, and hands, it can pop up from scalp to tush. But dont start scratching : We have simple solutions for every sensitive area.
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Eczema Coping Tips Good Hygiene
Skin affected by eczema is more vulnerable to a range of infections, including impetigo, cold sores and warts. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus may cause a secondary infection of impetigo, and possibly contribute to the symptoms of eczema.Suggestions for washing include:
- Take lukewarm baths or showers, and avoid really hot showers.
- Dont use ordinary soap, as the ingredients may aggravate your eczema. Wash your body with warm water alone. For armpits and groin, use soap-free products, such as sorbolene cream.
- Bath oils can help to moisturise your skin while bathing.
- When towelling dry, pat rather than rub your skin.
Wear Gloves To Protect The Skin On Your Hands
Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves. This will prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.
Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin. Dryness can make your eczema worse. Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend. Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin.
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What Else Should I Know
If you live with eczema, tune in to what triggers it and how to manage it. For example, if you find that some types of makeup irritate your skin, ask a dermatologist to recommend brands that are less likely to do so.
Your self-esteem doesn’t have to suffer because you have eczema, and neither does your social life! Getting involved in your school and extracurricular activities can be a great way to get your mind off the itch.
Don’t forget to exercise. It’s a great way to blow off stress try walking, bike riding, swimming, or another sport that keeps your skin cool and dry while you work out.
Tips For Healthy Eating
- As we get older, we often have smaller appetites, so tend to eat less. Its important to maintain a balanced diet, which will help to support tissue healing, particularly when the skin is broken.
- Fats, protein and zinc found in dairy foods all help healing. Vitamin C in fruit and vegetables helps combat infection.
- Its important to drink plenty of fluids, as dehydration can reduce the flow of oxygen and nutrients essential for healing.
- A balanced intake of vitamins will help to boost the immune system.
To obtain the information on this page in a PDF format, please download our Eczema in later life factsheet, below.
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How To Use Emollients
Use your emollient all the time, even if you are not experiencing symptoms as they can help limit the return of your condition. Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients at work or school.
To apply the emollient:
- use a large amount
- don’t rub it in, smooth it into the skin in the same direction that the hair grows instead
- for very dry skin, apply the emollient every two to three hours
- after a bath or shower, gently dry the skin and then immediately apply the emollient while the skin is still moist
If you are exposed to irritants at work, make sure you apply emollients regularly during and after work.
Don’t share emollients with other people.
Types Of Facial Eczema
Eczema is actually a term for a group of conditions that cause itchy, red, and inflamed skin rashes. The types of eczema that are most likely to appear on the face are:
- Atopic dermatitis: This is the most common type of eczema overall. It is very common on the cheeks and chin, especially in infants. It can also appear around the eyes, on the eyelids, and around the lips. It can, however, occur anywhere on the face or the rest of the body.
- Contact dermatitis: This is also a common type of eczema. It is a skin reaction to a specific irritant. On the face, it is usually found around the eyes, the hairline, and in areas that contact perfumes and jewelry, like the neck and earlobes. But, like atopic dermatitis, this type of eczema can occur anywhere.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This type most often occurs around the hairline, in the eyebrows, around the ears, and on the sides of the nose.
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Breast And Vaginal Eczema: The Fix
Choose a mild .5% topical cortisone and use a dab the size of a pea for the breast/nipple area, and a blueberry or marble for the vagina. Apply it no more than twice daily for up to one week. At that point, if youre not seeing a difference, set up a dermatologist appointment, says Dr. Garshick.
Regarding the genital region specifically, excess cortisone can also increase the risk of getting a yeast or fungal infection as a warm area that accumulates moisture, its already predisposed to these types of infection. If cortisone is causing issues, you can instead apply a soothing ointment, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to provide a barrier that minimizes further irritation.
What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema
The conversation with your healthcare provider will need to cover a lot of information. Be sure to be specific about your symptoms.
- Where is your eczema located?
- What have you used to try to treat your eczema?
- What medical conditions do you have? Allergies? Asthma?
- Is there a history of eczema in your family?
- How long have you had symptoms of eczema?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Have you noticed that something triggers or worsens your eczema? Soaps? Detergents? Cigarette smoke?
- Is there so much itchiness that you have trouble sleeping? Working? Living your normal life?
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment is best for me?
- Should I use a steroid cream or ointment?
- What are the side effects from the steroid cream or ointment?
- Do I need to take any other medicines?
- What is the best way to prevent flare-ups from eczema and atopic dermatitis?
- Is there a certain type of soap I should use?
- My child has eczema. What kind of moisturizer is best for him/her?
- How can I keep my child from scratching the rash?
- I have eczema. Will my children have it?
- How should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?
Emollients For Treating Eczema
Emollient creams add moisture to the skin. Apply moisturisers each day to clean, dry skin. It is especially important to moisturise after showering and bathing, and when living or working in an air-conditioned or heated environment. You may need to try several different brands until you find the emollient that works best for you. Ask your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist for advice.
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Favorite Alternative Medicine Resource
Our favorite way to take a deep dive into authoritative articles about eczema alternative medicine treatments is to visit the alternative treatment tag page on the NEA website. Learn about how acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, natural oils, and other alternative treatments can help to ease eczema symptoms.
The National Eczema Association has an online store of sensitive skinfriendly products that bear the NEA Seal of Acceptance, meaning they are intended for people with moderate to severe skin conditions. Get moisturizers, cleansers, detergents, and other items designed to protect and not irritate your skin.