Eczema / Psoriasis

Overview

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.

No cure has been found for atopic dermatitis. But treatments and self-care measures can relieve itching and prevent new outbreaks. For example, it helps to avoid harsh soaps, moisturize your skin regularly, and apply medicated creams or ointments.

Symptoms

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) signs and symptoms vary widely from person to person and include:

  • Dry skin
  • Itching, which may be severe, especially at night
  • Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp
    Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
  • Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching

Atopic dermatitis most often begins before age 5 and may persist into adolescence and adulthood. For some people, it flares periodically and then clears up for a time, even for several years.

Complications

Complications of atopic dermatitis (eczema) may include:

  • Asthma and hay fever
  • Chronic itchy, scaly skin
  • Skin infections.
  • Repeated scratching that breaks the skin can cause open sores and cracks
  • Irritant hand dermatitis
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Sleep problems

Risk Factors

The primary risk factor for atopic dermatitis is having a personal or family history of eczema, allergies, hay fever or asthma.

Overview

Psoriasis is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful.

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that often comes and goes. The main goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly.

There is no cure for psoriasis, but you can manage symptoms. Lifestyle measures, such as moisturizing, quitting smoking and managing stress, may help.

Symptoms

Psoriasis signs and symptoms are different for everyone. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
  • Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
    Itching, burning or soreness
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  • Swollen and stiff joints

Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas.

Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission.

There are several types of psoriasis. These include:

  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Nail psoriasis
  • Guttate psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Pustular psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

Complications

If you have psoriasis, you’re at greater risk of developing certain diseases. These include:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Eye conditions
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Other autoimmune diseases
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Emotional problems

Risk Factors

Anyone can develop psoriasis, but these factors can increase your risk of developing the disease:

  • Family history
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Smoking