1. What is eczema?
  2. Eczema, or dermatitis, is an inflamed and irritated skin 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 and then subside. It might be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.
  3. What are the symptoms?
  4. The symptoms can include redness, swelling, itching, dryness, blistering, and oozing. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe.
  5. Are there any at-home treatments?
  6. Yes, there are several things you can do at home to help provide relief.

When bathing, use lukewarm water without soap. If soap is necessary, use a mild, moisturizing soap. Avoid hot water and soap, which tend to dry the skin.

Apply a moisturizer at least once a day. Apply moisturizer within three minutes after bathing. Wear smooth, cool clothes and avoid wool.

  1. Are there different kinds of eczema?
  2. There are at least 11 different skin conditions that produce eczema. In order to develop an effective treatment plan, it is important to distinguish among them. All types of eczema cause itching and redness and some will blister, weep or peel. Eczema typically affects the insides of the elbows, backs of the knees, and the face, but some eczema types can cover most of the body.
  3. What is psoriasis?
  4. Psoriasis is a common skin condition that changes the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful.
  5. Is psoriasis curable?
  6. Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that currently has no cure. That being said, the condition can be managed through proper treatment.
  7. Is psoriasis the result of poor hygiene?
  8. There is no link between the disease and hygiene. Again, psoriasis is a disease of the immune system. It can be triggered by factors including weather, stress, infections, skin trauma, and certain medications.
  9. Is psoriasis easy to diagnose?
  10. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to diagnose psoriasis, and the disease is often mistaken for skin conditions such as eczema.
  11. Is psoriasis difficult to cope with?
  12. Psoriasis can have a profound psychological impact on sufferers. In severe cases, the effects can be debilitating, especially when the symptoms are easily visible.

People with psoriasis might experience a range of emotions, from frustration and embarrassment to anger and depression.

  1. How do I know if I have eczema or psoriasis and what treatments are available?
  2. You should have a professional opinion for diagnosis and treatment. Call a dermatologist for a consultation.

Dr. Oswald Lightsey Mikell, certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, is the owner of Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry.