Foods That Make Eczema And Psoriasis Worse
While the exact cause of eczema and psoriasis is not known, there are many factors that can make the symptoms worse, diet being one of them. If you have eczema or psoriasis there are certain foods that can cause flare ups. Both conditions are extremely uncomfortable and can be embarrassing for some, but there are a number of things that an individual can do to help reduce these symptoms.
What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis? Eczema is a skin condition which causes rough and inflamed patches of skin. With eczema, the skin is usually itchy and can sometimes crack and blister. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes the skin to regenerate every 3-4 days . The rapid regeneration of skin sells causes a buildup of cells that causes scaling on the skins surface. Inflammation, itchiness, and redness are also symptoms.
Here are some foods that make eczema and psoriasis worse:
- Red Meat: Red meat is high in saturated fat and saturated fat can increase inflammation in your body. Try to limit or even eliminate foods that are high in saturated fat, including foods like butter and cheese.
- Gluten: Some people with eczema and psoriasis have found that by removing or limiting gluten in their diet their flare-ups have decreased. Gluten is a protein found in processed foods such as bread, pasta, and cereal, just to name a few.
How Effective Are Over
Most of the over-the-counter products are low-potency corticosteroids or plain moisturizers. Keeping the skin well moisturized is helpful but not an effective sole treatment for these skin diseases. Be careful with botanicals and natural products, as many have fragrances that can aggravate the skin.
Causes Of Eczema Vs Psoriasis
Eczema and psoriasis are caused by different problems with the immune system. The cause of psoriasis is an autoimmune reaction wherein the immune system misidentifies cells in the skin as dangerous and attacks them. Eczema is an extreme sensitivity, sometimes caused by an allergy, to certain triggering substances. Common triggers for eczema include animals, fabrics, soaps, metals, and certain medications. In other words, psoriasis is caused when your immune system attacks itself, and eczema is caused when your immune system overreacts to an outside substance.
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Where You Get The Lesions
- Eczema:In babies: Any part of the body can be affected but it is particularly common on the face and scalp. In older children and adults: It tends to affect the skin folds
- Psoriasis: Elbows, knees, scalp and face, lower back, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Psoriasis can also cause pitting and splitting of the nails which does not occur in eczema.
What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriasis Vs Eczema
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, per the Mayo Clinic. There are other types of psoriasis as well, but plaque psoriasis is most likely to be misidentified as eczema. The symptoms of plaque psoriasis are most often found on the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, and genitals and may include:
- Raised, inflamed patches of skin
- A silvery-white coating of dead skin cells on top of those patches
- Cracking skin and bleeding
Eczema symptoms are similar but do have several important differences.
Eczema is really the collective name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which is why when most people say eczema, they usually mean atopic dermatitis, Todd Minars, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, tells SELF. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis can include:
- Dry, itchy patches of skin
- Small red-to-brownish-gray raised bumps
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When Should I See A Healthcare Provider For Skin Rashes
If you have skin rashes that wont go away, it is a good idea to seek help. Dermatologists are experts in eczema and psoriasis and can help you find a treatment plan that works for you.
Eczema and psoriasis rashes arent typically emergencies. But there are a few signs that you should seek treatment quickly. These include:
Important Differences Between Psoriasis And Eczema
Itchy, irritated skin and blotchy, red patches are just two symptoms that psoriasis and eczema share that can make it hard to tell the common skin conditions apart. Both psoriasis and eczema may have similar triggers, too, like stress, and neither of the conditions is contagious.
These similarities can make psoriasis and eczema tough for doctors to diagnose, but being aware of some of the differences can help you get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your particular skin woes.
For starters, eczema is a general term used to describe a set of itchy skin conditions that can be caused by dry skin, certain illnesses, contact with an allergen or irritant or even stress. Its most commonly an inflammatory response that happens when an allergen or irritant comes in contact with sensitive skin. Psoriasis, however, is a genetic autoimmune condition where skin cells grow too quickly, resulting in thick and uncomfortable raised patches of skin.
Here are four more important differences between eczema and psoriasis.
1. The time of onset is different.
- Eczema is most common in babies and young kids. In many cases, the symptoms will become less severe as the child gets older, and the skin condition may also occur in adults.
- Psoriasis can begin at any time, but its most common between the ages of 15 and 30. Its also not unusual for psoriasis to begin later in life, between 50 and 60.
3. They arent triggered by all of the same things.
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Traditional Treatment Cautions Eczema Vs Psoriasis In Toddlers
You make an appointment to see your doctor because your psoriasis is flaring. He takes a look and then whips out his prescription pad to order one of the following:
. A prescription strength topical treatment
. oral and injection therapy
. over the counter drugs
Any of these treatments may work fine to relieve your symptoms and make you feel better for now. The trouble with conventional treatment methods is that they rarely work to cure the underlying cause of this skin condition and that can leave you suffering repeat attacks. Still it is important to know what helps are available, and how they may help or hurt your chance of treatment success.
Topical Ointments Eczema Vs Psoriasis in Toddlers
Topical ointments are used at the first sign of psoriasis. If caught early enough they can sometimes stave off a full-blown attack. Unfortunately, most people report becoming immune to them when used often, which makes them useless for long term use. Still, using the occasional cream or gel can help relieve some of your symptoms. Steroids
Both topical and internal steroids can be prescribed to help ease psoriasis swelling inflammation and itching. Immunomodulators
An immune suppressing drug that was originally used to help transplant patients beat organ rejection, Cyclosporine helps to inhibit T lymphocyte production so that scaly plaque is unable to grow on the surface of the skin.
Oral Retinoid Eczema Vs Psoriasis in Toddlers
. stretch marks
Acne: Blocked Pores That Lead To Pimples
Some forms of psoriasis appear as pus-filled blisters that may be confused with pimples. Pustular psoriasis forms white blisters that are filled with pus and surrounded by red skin. Far more common than psoriasis, acne also causes a pus-filled pimple eruption. However unlike psoriasis acne is caused by excess oil, blocked pores, and bacteria. Acne is common in teens and young adults and occurs on the face, neck, back, or chest. Pustular psoriasis is usually seen in adults and can occur anywhere on the body, but less likely on the face.
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Eczema Or Psoriasis Which Is Worse
Well, psoriasis causes mild itching on the skin, generally rashes and burns.
On the flip side, eczema leads to intense itching and when it becomes severe, people scratch their skin very badly that it bleeds.
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Is It Eczema Or Psoriasis
Ever wonder about the differences between eczema and psoriasis? Or have you tried to explain the two conditions to someone and found yourself getting confused? Youre not alone. Even the most skin-savvy of us can sometimes get these common disorders mixed up. So, with Psoriasis Awareness Month here in the month of September, weve outlined some key details to clarify things and hopefully help more people get the accurate diagnosis and treatment they need.
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What Are Some Of The Symptoms
With both diseases, most patients experience severe itching that can be intense and interfere significantly with everyday life. Psoriasis appears in large sections of the skin, sometimes on elbows and knees, and is thick. It can also be accompanied by painful arthritis. Eczema occurs in the areas where the elbows and knees bend, but it can also be on your wrist, face and scalp. It creates dark, scaly, oozing skin that is not as thick as psoriasis.
How Does Age Affect Eczema And Psoriasis
Eczema is commonly experienced by children under the age of 5. This type of skin condition can continue till adolescence or adulthood. There are less common cases of adults getting eczema, unless they have thyroid disease, hormone changes, or stress.
Symptoms of psoriasis often start between ages 15 and 25 among men and women. Children can have mild, moderate, or severe psoriasis.
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Differences Between Psoriasis And Eczema
Psoriasis is a common, chronic autoimmune disease that affects the surface of the skin and sometimes the nails and joints.
Although doctors arent sure what causes people to develop psoriasis, they suspect that family history and environmental factors may play a role.
Eczema is another common skin condition that can, in some cases, present similar symptoms to those of psoriasis.
It, too, is an immune-driven disease and can often be triggered by an allergen or irritant.
When someone with eczema comes into contact with something theyre sensitive to, their immune system erupts with an allergic reaction that causes skin inflammation and other uncomfortable symptoms.
If you have red, scaly skin and arent sure whether its a form of psoriasis or eczema, there are a few questions that can help distinguish between the two:
- What kind of symptoms do I see on the surface of my skin? Both eczema and psoriasis cause red and inflamed skin, but only psoriasis creates raised lesions with silver scales. On the other hand, eczema generates dry patches of skin or blisters that ooze fluid and crust.
- Where do my symptoms appear? Although different forms of psoriasis target specific areas of the body, generally speaking, it tends to cluster on the elbows, knees, lower back, face, scalp, and nails. Eczema can affect those areas of the body but can also inflame places like the lower legs, back of the knees, hands, feet, and inside the elbows.
What Triggers Eczema And Psoriasis
Triggers of eczema and psoriasis may be different for each person. Here is a list of common eczema triggers:
Extreme temperature changes or weather patterns
Sweat and rubbing of the skin
Wool or other irritating clothing
Topical allergens, such as certain preservatives and fragrances
Prolonged and frequent bathing with harsh soaps
While stress can also cause psoriasis flare-ups, in general, psoriasis triggers differ from those of eczema and commonly include:
Infections and illnesses, like strep throat
Certain medications, such as prednisone and lithium
Scratches, burns, and injuries to skin
Lifestyle factors like being a heavier weight and drinking alcohol
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Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Below The Surface
Although the skin symptoms of psoriasis and eczema can look and feel similar, the conditions are very different below the surface of the skin. Eczema is frequently related to allergies many people with eczema also have food allergies, seasonal allergies and asthma. Psoriasis is a systemic disease, meaning that it affects the whole body. Psoriasis causes inflammation, fatigue, and other symptoms. About 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which can cause progressive joint damage and lead to disability. Psoriatic disease can also cause uveitis , which can result in loss of vision.
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How Common Is Psoriasis
More than 4.5 million adults in the United States have psoriasis, and about 20 percent of them have moderate to severe cases. It occurs equally in men and women, and a bit more often in Caucasians than African Americans. Psoriasis is rare in Native Americans and uncommon among Asians.
You can get psoriasis at any age, but it shows up most often between the ages of 15 and 35. One in ten psoriasis patients develops the condition during childhood, and 75 percent of patients show symptoms before the age of 40. The earlier psoriasis shows up, the more likely it is to recur and to be widespread.
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Whats The Biggest Misconception About Eczema And Psoriasis
Often, patients think they are doing something wrong that is causing the disease. We want them to understand that these are skin diseases that requires expert evaluation, treatment and follow-up, as well as a lot of hard work on the part of the patient, especially for children and their parents, to treat these conditions.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call .
A version of this information appeared in Baltimore magazine.
In This Section:
Causes Of The Diseases
Eczema and psoriasis, while two distinct conditions, have something key in common. Both diseases, says Dr. Amy Paller, Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, involve the human immune system, just in different ways.
With psoriasis, the immune system is overactive in a manner that leads to the growth of too many new skin cells, too fast. These cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing thick scales or plaques that can be dry, flaky and painful. Psoriasis can be triggered or worsened by stress, skin injury, cold/dry weather, medications or infections. Genetics also seem to play a role with psoriasis risks running in families.
While experts dont completely know what causes eczema, a combination of genes, immune system tendencies and triggers are believed to be involved. People with eczema tend to have overly-reactive immune systems that, when triggered by a substance outside or inside the body, respond by causing inflammation. Researchers have also found that some people with eczema have a mutation in a gene that plays an important role in the skin barrier leaving the skin more vulnerable to dryness, irritants and allergens . Similar to psoriasis, stress can also trigger eczema and family history can increase eczema risks.
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How Are Eczema And Psoriasis Treated
Because eczema is an inflammatory condition, its easier to treat than psoriasis. Whereas, when someone develops an autoimmune condition like psoriasis, they are much more difficult to treat, and they cannot be reversed, said Dr. Vojdani. They can only be placed into remission. But that doesnt mean theres no hope for those diagnosed with it.
Both can be treated with topical steroids like triamcinolone or clobetasol, said Dr. Bhanusali. If systemic symptoms occur, which is more common in psoriasis, we can add biologic medications. This is an advanced medication or injection that interrupts the immune systems natural response.
There are additional ways to manage psoriasis and eczema at home. This includes avoiding known triggers as much as possible, moisturizing the skin regularly, using a humidifier to keep the air in your home from getting too dry, and avoiding hot water showers or baths. Many people also find success in switching to fragrance-free, sensitive skin-safe products formulated with ingredients like ceramides. When flare-ups do occur, over-the-counter hydrocortisone can be used to alleviate irritation and itchiness.
In the functional medicine space, we put patients on anti-inflammatory diets like a paleo diet and also reduce the consumption of high histamine-containing foods and support the gut environment with probiotics, said Dr. Vojdani.
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Shingles: A Rash And Severe Pain That Lingers
Shingles is another viral infection that shares some symptoms with psoriasis. Like psoriasis, shingles can make your skin burn and itch and produces a red, blistered skin rash. Shingles is caused by the same virus that first brings on chickenpox. The virus stays in your body and can come back years later to cause shingles, especially during times of stress or infection. The skin rash of shingles follows the course of a single nerve, usually on the trunk. In some cases, severe pain lasts long after the burning, itchy rash disappears. Shingles is more common in people over age 50.
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