Both psoriasis and eczema are chronic skin conditions that are believed to be autoimmune disorders. Both conditions are characterized by red, itchy and inflamed skin.
The itching in eczema can be so intense that the patient will scratch themselves until they start bleeding. In psoriasis, the skin can burn or sting as well as itch. While both conditions have red, scaly and inflamed skin, the skin of the psoriasis patient will also have silvery scales that are piled high. The psoriasis patient’s skin will also look thicker than that of the eczema patient.
How is Eczema Treated?
If the condition is mild, the patient may need to do nothing more than adopt a skin care regimen. Dry skin makes the eczema worse, so the patient will have to keep it moist. They should therefore use a mild soap that won’t dehydrate their skin. They should also start using a moisturizer right after every bath or shower, and they should use it at least one other time per day. The patient should avoid very hot or very long showers and baths, for they can dry out the skin. They should take short and warm showers or baths instead. The patient should also use a humidifier to moisten the air, and they should learn ways to manage stress.
In more severe cases, the patient will need medication. They may need prescription-strength moisturizers or hydrocortisone. Our doctor may also prescribe drugs that affect the immune system if other treatments fail. Examples of such drugs include methotrexate and cyclosporine. Corticosteroids may also be prescribed for severe or resistant cases. UVB light therapy can also be used to treat severe eczema.
How is Psoriasis Treated?
Home care for psoriasis is similar to that of eczema. The patient will also have to take steps to keep their skin from drying out. They should use moisturizers and avoid long, hot baths or showers. They should limit the number of baths and showers they take, especially during winter, when the air is drier. Sunlight can help psoriasis, but the patient needs to be careful to ensure they don’t get a sunburn while out in the sun.
There is a large variety of skin creams and ointments that can be used to treat psoriasis. The most common type is a steroid-based cream that can relieve the itching, reduce inflammation and slow down the production of excess skin cells. While the stronger creams are more effective, they are also more likely to cause side effects.
Our dermatologist may also prescribe retinoids that contain a synthetic form of Vitamin A or coal-tar ointments or shampoos. Drugs that affect the immune system like cyclosporine or methotrexate can also help psoriasis patients. UVB light therapy is also a treatment option.
Treating Psoriasis vs Eczema
When it comes down to treatment options for psoriasis vs eczema, the best treatment for each condition will depend on the individual’s unique situation. With offices in Manhattan and Atlantic Highlands, Rao Dermatology has a variety of effective treatment options for both of these conditions. Contact us today to schedule your consultation to learn more.