How To Identify A Rash
Since eczema and rashes exhibit many of the same symptoms, such as being itchy, rashes can be identified through a variety of other considerations. Timing is important in diagnosing a rash, as a possible exposure to an irritant could have caused it. Think over what could have caused it, such as coming in contact with a new food or unusual plant. Rashes can also be caused by tobacco smoke, insect bites, pollen, pet dander, paint, pesticides, hygiene products, wool or other irritants.
The location of your skin irritation can also provide insight into the rash vs. eczema debate. Rashes most commonly appear on the hands, feet, ankles, neck, upper body and limbs. The most common places for eczema to appear are the hands, inside of the elbows, backs of the knees, the face and, in children, the scalp. Keep an eye on the location of your skin irritation, tooif it spreads to another part of the body, it is likely a rash.
Treating Psoriasis Vs Treating Eczema
While there are no cures for either disease, both eczema and psoriasis can fortunately be successfully treated with medication and other therapies. And some of the treatments work well for both conditions.
There is considerate overlap in how we treat eczema and psoriasis when it comes to topical treatments, says Golant. However, we have recently seen the FDA approval of a few novel, more targeted non-steroidal agents approved for both conditions, which is a very exciting development.
Corticosteroids, for example, have been used successfully to manage both eczema and psoriasis. These medications prescription or over-the-counter topical creams that are applied directly to the skin can suppress the immune system and ease the inflammation and irritation common to both diseases. And many OTC ointments and creams can be used by people with eczema and psoriasis to keep skin moisturized and healthy.
Other prescription medications, known as biologics or systemics, are specifically targeted to the causes of eczema and psoriasis. These may be pills taken orally, or they may be injections or intravenous infusions. Some, such as methotrexate, azathioprine, or cyclosporine, can be used for both diseases, but many of the newer medications are designed to target individual proteins involved in the immune response and are therefore specific to one disease or the other, but not both.
What Kind Of Rash Can You Get From A Dog
One of the most common rashes given to people from dogs is tinea corporis, also known as ringworm. Rashes caused by ringworm begin as small, raised patches of skin. The patches may be red and itchy. If left untreated, the middle of the patch clears up, leaving the telltale ring on the skin.
Symptoms of Belly Rash Rashes on your dogs belly can present in a few ways. Perhaps the most common is pyoderma, which is characterized by pimple-like lesions dry, scaly, crusty skin hair loss and itchiness. Your dogs skin may also appear red and inflamed, weepy, or scabbed.
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Physical Examination And Medical History
A dermatologist carefully examines your skin during a physical exam. The pattern, location, and appearance of a rash provide our doctors with important information about its causes.
Your doctor may ask questions about when symptoms appeared, what parts of the body they affect, and whether a rash is persistent or comes and goes. They also want to know if there are any noticeable patterns about when the rash appears, such as if there is a seasonal variation or if the rash appears when using certain perfumes or after exposure to certain metals or fabrics. Knowing whether anyone else in your family has been diagnosed with eczema or dermatitis may help doctors better understand your diagnosis.
Doctors may also ask about the personal hygiene products used in your household. Many cosmetics, moisturizers, and soaps contain irritating ingredients that may cause eczema and dermatitis. Our dermatologists can recommend nonirritating, fragrance-free products that have low levels of preservatives. Often, these are available at drugstores in a similar price range as the products you normally buy.
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 with regular use of 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. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that these drugs be used only when other treatments dont 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.
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How To Tell Whether That Itchy Rash Is Eczema Or Psoriasis
A rash is a patch of irritated skin. Almost everyone gets a rash at some point in their lives. Theyre not always a cause for concern, but itchy, red, and painful rashes that dont go away can be a sign of a more serious skin condition.
Eczema and psoriasis are two of the most common skin conditions in the United States. In fact, nearly 32 million Americans have eczema, and another 7.5 million have psoriasis. The causes and treatments of these two conditions are different, but since both cause red, itchy rashes, its not always easy to tell the difference.
Trust your skin care to Oswald Mikell, MD, and our team at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry. Were experts in diagnosing and treating eczema and psoriasis, and in this blog were taking a closer look at what makes them different.
How To Treat Heat Rash
The good news is that heat rash typically goes away on its own. You might be able to speed up the process by stopping whatever activity youre engaged in and cooling off.
Remove any heavy or sweaty clothing that may be trapping sweat in your skin. Take a cool shower to help lower your body temperature. This can also help remove any dirt and oils from the surface of your skin that may be clogging your pores.
For a more intense case of prickly heat, you may want to apply a calamine lotion or a low-dose hydrocortisone cream.
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How Common Is Eczema
Eczema affects up to 15 million Americans. Infants are prone to eczema and 10% to 20% will have it. However, nearly half outgrow the condition or have significant improvement as they get older.
Eczema affects males and females equally and is more common in people who have a personal or family history of asthma, environmental allergies and/or food allergies.
Relief Requires Finding The Cause
Effective treatment begins with finding the cause. Anything that irritates your skin can cause hand eczema. Even something as harmless as water can irritate your skin if you often have wet hands. Many people who frequently have wet hands throughout the day, such as nurses, hair stylists, and plumbers get hand eczema.
Working with chemicals like solvents, detergents, or cement also increases the risk. Hand eczema is common among construction workers and machinists.
Chef with hand eczema
Anything that irritates your skin can cause hand eczema. For example, whenever this chef handles garlic, hand eczema develops.
Hand eczema can also be caused by an allergic reaction. Some health care workers get hand eczema from wearing latex gloves.
You also have a higher risk of developing hand eczema if you had atopic dermatitis as a child.
Because so many things can cause hand eczema, finding the cause can be tricky. Until you find the cause and avoid it, hand eczema can worsen.
Thats why it can help to see a dermatologist. These doctors have the expertise needed to track down the cause, as Marks* story illustrates.
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Prevention Of Bed Bug Bites
If you have bed bugs rather than eczema , you will simply continue to suffer from bites if you donot get to the root of the problem and get rid of the bed bugs.
In fact, you can even move to a new houseand bring bed bugs with you. So, you must eradicate them.
The EPA provides recommendations here for killing the bed bugs once you locate them, including non-chemical methods such as heat or cold treatment or steam cleaners.
Once you believe you have eliminated the threat, use traps or interceptors to prevent future infestations of your furnishings.
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.
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Tips For Reducing Outbreaks
- 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 pat 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.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed
There is no specific test used to diagnose eczema. The doctor will look at the rash and ask about symptoms, the child’s past health, and the family’s health. If family members have any atopic conditions, that’s an important clue.
The doctor will rule out other conditions that can cause skin inflammation, and might recommend that your child see a dermatologist or an allergist.
The doctor may ask you to ban some foods from your child’s diet, switch detergents or soaps, or make other changes for a time to see if your child is reacting to something.
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Importance Of Eczema Treatment
There is growing evidence that allergens introduced into the body through the skin can lead to the later development of food allergy, asthma and hay fever. Aggressively treating eczema in children and taking steps to restore normal skin barrier function may lower the risk of future development of these conditions.
What Does It Look Like
The signs of eczema in infants include itchy, dry and scaly skin, redness and swelling of the skin and small bumps that open and weep when scratched. In infants and young children, eczema is usually found on the face, outside of the elbows, and on the knees.
In older children and adults, eczema tends to be on the hands and feet, the arms, and on the back of the knees.Keep in mind that all patches of dry skin are not eczema. The cold, dry outdoor air and indoor heating can dry all babies skin in winter, causing dry patches. In children prone to dry skin, so can the sun, air conditioning, and pool and salt water.
We dermatologists usually say if its not itchy, its not eczema you cant make a diagnosis of eczema unless there is an itchiness that goes with the rash. Babies with cradle cap, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, can also have a wide-spread rash, which is not eczema in itself. But it is common for cradle cap and eczema to co-exist in the first several months of life.
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Here Are Some Other Common Types Of Rashes:
- Eczema , also called atopic dermatitis, is a common rash for kids. Eczema can cause dry, chapped, bumpy areas around the elbows and knees or more serious cases of red, scaly, and swollen skin all over the body.
- Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by skin contact with something irritating, such as a chemical, soap, or detergent. It can be red, swollen, and itchy. Even sunburn can be a kind of irritant dermatitis because its red and might itch while its healing.
- Allergic contact dermatitis is a rash caused by contact with an allergen . An allergen is something you are allergic to, such as rubber, hair dye, or nickel, a metal found in some jewelry. If you have nickel allergy, you might get a red, scaly, crusty rash wherever the jewelry touched the skin, like around your finger if you were wearing a ring. Urushiol , an oil or resin contained in poison ivy, oak, and sumac, also can cause this kind of rash.
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Treatment Of Bed Bug Bites
What if you have bed bug bites? In terms ofactual treatment, you dont have to do much of anything. Bed bug bites healwithout intervention. It usually takes a couple of weeks, sometimes less.
If your bites are particularly itchy or painful, you might try taking an antihistamine. You also might use hydrocortisone cream.
Again, avoid scratching. This will make it less likely that you will develop a secondary infection that could require further treatment.
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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?
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Eczema
- How can you tell that I have eczema?
- If I dont have eczema, what other skin condition might I have?
- Is there a specific brand of moisturizer that you recommend?
- Is there a prescription cream that you can prescribe?
- How often should I see a dermatologist regarding my eczema?
- What soaps, lotions, makeup, etc. should I avoid?
- What medications do you recommend?
- What at-home treatments do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Eczema is very normal, very common, and very, very uncomfortable. It can affect your quality of life. At its worse it can keep you from sleeping, distract you and make you feel self-conscious in public. See your dermatologist or other healthcare provider as soon as you start to see signs of it. Explore at-home remedies and prescribed treatments.
Youre not alone! 15% to 20% of people experience eczema or another type of dermatitis at some point in their lives.
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Eczema Coping Tips Avoid Changes In Temperature
Abrupt temperature and humidity changes can sometimes irritate the skin for example, going in and out of air-conditioned buildings on hot days or heated buildings on cold days.Hard physical activity or exercise that makes you sweat heavily can also trigger the itch of eczema.Suggestions include:
- In winter, dont overheat your house. Dress warmly when going outdoors and remove the extra layers as soon as you return.
- In summer, dont over cool your house. Air conditioners can dry out the air and irritate your skin.
- Avoid hard physical activity in hot weather. For example, do your gardening first thing in the morning, or in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.
What Are The At
There some treatments you can do at home, but you should only do them with instructions and permission from your healthcare provider:
- Ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet A or B light waves can help your skin.
- Wet wrap therapy. This therapy increases moisture in your skin.
- Bleach baths. The amount of bleach is diluted. You shouldnt do this more than twice a week. Check with your healthcare provider before you try this therapy.
There are some other treatments you can do at home with no supervision:
- Use moisturizer. Right after you shower or bathe, apply moisturizer to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated.
- Dont overheat. Keep your space at a cool temperature and avoid high humidity.
- Protect your skin. Stay away from anything that could irritate it. This includes rough clothing like wool.
- Take steps to keep your stress levels down. If you need to, see a therapist for counseling and a psychiatrist for medication.
- Bathe in lukewarm water. Be sure to use lukewarm water instead of hot. Take no more than one bath or shower per day.
- Use a mild soap. Use soap or cleanser that is unscented.
- Avoid scratching. Scratching at your dermatitis irritates it. You could break the skin, risking infection.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe one or more of the following medications:
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Causes Of Atopic Eczema
The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but it’s clear it is not down to one single thing.
Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies. “Atopic” means sensitivity to allergens.
The symptoms of atopic eczema often have certain triggers, such as soaps, detergents, stress and the weather.
Sometimes food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with severe eczema.
You may be asked to keep a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse.
Allergy tests are not usually needed, although they’re sometimes helpful in identifying whether a food allergy may be triggering symptoms.