Psoriasis and eczema are both skin rashes. Both skin infections hurt, itch and irritate. In spite of their similarities, each has unique symptoms, with which, they can be identified.
Psoriatic patches are red, white and silvery. Eczema rashes are lighter than the rest of the skin.
Psoriatic patches are slightly raised above the surrounding skin. Eczema rashes are flat. Eczema rashes are at the same level as the healthy skin.
Psoriatic patches form within clearly defined borders. Eczema rashes are more spread out. They do not have any clear-cut borders.
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Psoriatic patches are more likely to occur inside skin folds. You’ll most likely find them outside the elbows or in front of the knees. Eczema rashes are more likely to occur inside skin joints i.e. inside the elbows and behind the knees.
There are five types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. Plaque psoriasis is the most widespread. It affects between 80 to 90% of all psoriatic patients.
Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriatic rashes are caused by the over production of skin cells. The over production is an immune-mediated response to a perceived threat.
In normal healthy skin, the skin cells are replaced once every four weeks. At the rate of reproduction, the body effectively gets rid of dead skin cells. During a psoriatic flare, new skin cells are produced every day.
The body is unable to cope with this excess production. As a result, old dead cells accumulate on the epidermis and soon enough, they begin itching and irritating.
In a healthy individual, the immune system uses white blood cells to fight pathogens. T cells are a type of white blood cells. During a psoriatic flare, T cells attack healthy skin cells. This happens because of an immune system failure. The immune system mistakes a healthy cell for a pathogen and activates the T cells.
Several factors can trigger this immune system failure.
Genetics is the leading trigger. Psoriatic plaques are largely congenital. One out of every three persons with psoriasis has a family member who has or has had the infection.
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Other known triggers include stress (mental or physical), smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, streptococcus infections, skin injury (sunburn, koebner response) and other immune system disorders.
Psoriatic plaques can affect any body part or the entire body. The most frequently affected body parts include: knees, elbows, eyelids, mouth, toenails, fingernails, genitals, skin folds, armpits and face.
Psoriatic flares can be treated with one or any combination of the following treatment techniques: topical agents, systemic agents, phototherapy, biologics and alternative therapy.
Not all treatment techniques are suitable for all conditions. Severe infections need more potent techniques like systemic agents. System agents are pharmaceutical drugs. They are very potent but they also have nefarious side-effects because of their toxicity.
Psoriasis Skin Rash
Phototherapy is suitable for moderate psoriatic infections. Phototherapy involves the use of ultraviolet light to heal the infection. Ultraviolet light works by penetrating the skin and slowing down the production of new skin cells.
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