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What You Need to Know About Psoriasis vs. Eczema

I love health and passionately believe we should do more to look after our health. Natural remedies can be as effective as conventional ones

Examples of psoriasis

Psoriasis on hands

Psoriasis on hands

What You Need to Know About Psoriasis and Eczema

Do you have a rash on your hands or somewhere else on your body, and you are not sure what it is? Perhaps you already know you are suffering from psoriasis or eczema. Both conditions are common, and home remedies are an excellent way to treat both psoriasis and the many different forms of eczema.

This article will give you an insight into what it is like to live with psoriasis and eczema, and easy home remedies to treat both conditions.

Some of the article's highlights.

  • Psoriasis vs Eczema
  • What is the difference between psoriasis and eczema
  • Symptoms of psoriasis
  • Treating psoriasis
  • Diet and psoriasis
  • Natural remedies for psoriasis
  • What is eczema? A look at different types of eczema
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Best supplements for eczema and psoriasis

Psoriasis Vs Eczema

Psoriasis and eczema are both conditions that 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 happen. Both conditions can have a genetic link, and problems with the skin tend to run in families just as heart disease or kidney problems.

What Is Psoriasis And What Are The Symptoms of Psoriasis?

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.

How to Treat Psoriasis

There is no known 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.

Can The Right Diet Treat Psoriasis?

Diet is vital when treating psoriasis. Oily fish such as mackerel and salmon have been found to have a positive effect. All oily cold-water fish contain large amounts of essential fatty acids that 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 from the 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 spices 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.

The Best Natural Remedies for Psoriasis

Salty sea baths are useful as well and sufferers are often recommended not to use beauty products containing parabens.

Taking vitamin D supplements and fish oil supplements are both excellent remedies as both seem to help to keep psoriasis under control.

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Vitamin D For Psoriasis

Research over the past few years has identified the importance of Vitamin D. Many groups of the population have low vitamin D status. Psoriasis sufferers are one of those groups. Does this mean a supplement of vitamin D can help to control the disease? This is very possible.

Vitamin D is one of the many vitamins which regulates the immune system. As we know, when you suffer from psoriasis, the immune system "misunderstands" the condition and assumes it is normal. This is why it is thought vitamin D can help to control psoriasis.

Should you take a supplement? Yes, you probably should, and you should also spend more time in the sun as sunlight synthesizes Vitamin D.

Examples of Different Kinds of Eczema

Atopic Eczema

Atopic Eczema

Contact dermatitis can cause a hand to swell

Contact dermatitis can cause a hand to swell

What is Eczema and What Makes It Different From Dermatitis?

There are different types of eczema, and the most two common types are contact dermatitis and atopic eczema.

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is eczema which develops when a person's skin is sensitive to certain irritants and the most common triggers are wool, nylon, makeup, 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.

What is Atopic Eczema?

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 develops. Diet is thought to play a big part and the main causes are milk, other dairy products, and eggs.

Atopic eczema in adults is often a result of food additives and it can be very difficult to pinpoint the additive which is causing the problem however artificial sweeteners
have a strong link to atopic eczema in adults.

Allergies and Eczema - What foods trigger eczema flare-ups?

The link between eczema and allergy is still unclear and debated frequently 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 shellfish, nuts, soy, 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 and Eczema

Babies can develop eczema once the mother stops breastfeeding and switches to cow's milk. This can indicate an allergy to dairy products. Scientists wonder if this is an indication of an intolerance to the actual cow's milk. It could be a reaction to additives in the milk. More alarmingly cows are fed an unnatural diet that 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 them with almond milk which is rich in calcium or GM-free soy milk. Almond milk is an excellent alternative as it is natural and rich in micronutrients.

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.

More About Dermatitis

Hands and feet dermatitis - this is not a singular condition. Both can occur for a number of reasons. Irritant contact with cleaning and skincare products is the most common reason.

Stasis dermatitis - is caused by poor circulation. Symptoms include itching, scaling, redness and even ulceration. Common after leg surgery and joint replacements.

Nummular dermatitis - inflammation of the skin characterized by coin-shaped lesions.

Seborrheic dermatitis - inflammation of skin regions with a higher than average density of sebaceous glands such as glands, face and scalp.

What is the best natural treatment for eczema? Best Supplement for Eczema and Psoriasis

New research shows that Omega 3 essential fatty acid can help to reduce the problem of skin inflammation experienced by psoriasis and eczema sufferers. Salmon, sardines, and tuna are good sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids but there are also some great supplements available such as Fish oil and Salmon Oil.

The activity of an inflammatory agent involved in eczema, leukotriene B4, has shown to be significant signs of reduction when a supplement of Omega 3 essential fatty acids (fish oil) has been added to the diet of a sufferer. Leukotriene B4 is also known to play a role in arthritis and asthma. There is a link between joint pain and eczema.

Eczema sufferers often suffer from joint pains. This is common when the eczema outbreak repeatedly occurs over a joint such as the elbow, or behind the knee. If you suffer from eczema or dermatitis on your hands, joint pain can affect you as well.

When inflammation is reduced, the skin will heal quicker. The theory behind joint pain in eczema sufferers is that inflammation enters the bloodstream and spreads to the closest joint. However, some sufferers also report experiencing joint pain in other parts of the body other than the joint closest to the one affected by the eczema outbreak.

You can, of course, add cold-water fish to your diet. Eating cold-water fish will support your overall health, but a supplement will guarantee your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Incidentally, an Omega 3 essential fatty acids supplement is one of the few supplements which help to control both eczema and psoriasis.

Tai Chi Can Help to Reduce Stress Which is Both Linked to Eczema and Psoriasis

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Annie Messeri


Annie Messeri (author) from Spain on May 05, 2020:

Hi Marcy, I am glad you find the information useful. So many people are saying this - it must be true. There is a clear link as far as I am concerned. I am going to check this out and see if I can find out a bit about the link between vitamin D and psoriasis.

Marcy Bialeschki from Cerro Gordo, IL on May 04, 2020:

I found your article interesting, especially the part about the link between psoriasis and vitamin D. I have psoriasis and discovered that connection myself. I told a friend who also suffers, and he started taking a mega dose of vitamin D daily. Neither of our doctors ever told us of the connection, and vitamin D is the single most helpful treatment we have both discovered.

Annie Messeri (author) from Spain on October 03, 2012:

Hi, I am glad you found the hub use. Take care Annie

Kathy Henderson from Pa on October 03, 2012:

good information thanks :)

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