“Itchy rash”, “dry skin”, “scaly patches”; these are some of the most common complaints presented to dermatologists daily. And although all of these descriptions cover many diagnoses, the most well-known are eczema and psoriasis.
The terms are sometimes used interchangeably by patients, but both the presentation of these conditions and treatments used are unique.
What is Psoriasis?
By definition, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes an overproduction of skin cells. The continue to compound into silvery-white scales, known as plaques. This results in redness, inflammation, and severe itching. Despite its sometimes alarming appearance, psoriasis is not contagious.
Although there is currently no cure for psoriasis, it can be effectively controlled in several different ways. Several factors, including severity and the percentage of body surface area affected, may play a role in whether a provider suggests topical, light-based, systemic therapy, or even a combination of treatments.
What is Eczema?
Also known as atopic dermatitis, this is also a chronic condition that can occur anywhere on the body. However, its occurrence is due to a hypersensitivity reaction, not an autoimmune response. Instead of thick patches of skin, eczema presents as red and inflamed areas that may peel, crack, or blister.
The heightened level of sensitivity causes the skin to be triggered by certain irritants the patient comes into contact with, such as soaps, perfumes, fabrics, metals, animals, etc. It is most commonly treated with topicals, but an injectable medication has been released in recent years to treat severe cases.
The Right Diagnosis is Important
As with any medical condition, a provider’s diagnosis can not only offer peace of mind, it also provides the most up-to-date information and treatment options available, tailored specifically to each patient.
Schedule an appointment at Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater today!