Skin disorders are very common and doctors often diagnose them with just one look. Today, we are going to learn how to distinguish Eczema, Dermatitis and Psoriasis.
Some of these diseases have similar characteristics – redness, itching and peeling – such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. The similarities can be so strong that it hinders diagnosis, in such cases, a biopsy is necessary to determine the appropriate treatment.
The ABC’s of Eczema
Eczema is a chronic or acute process of inflammation of the skin and presents itself as reddish spots with small blisters. Although it prevails in some parts of the body, such as the hands and face, the disease can also extend throughout the body.
The disease can be classified into two types: contact eczema and atopic eczema. The first type is caused by irritating agents such as soaps, jewellery and cosmetics. The second type is developed in early childhood and it is common to appear in those who have a family history of the disease.
The causes of this disease are not fully understood, but we know that genetics can play a role in the development of atopic eczema, for instance. The contact eczema, on the other hand, is usually triggered by toxic substances.
Medical help is essential to find out what is the cause of eczema, which is key to find the right treatment. To relieve the symptoms, doctors can prescribe moisturizing ointments, antihistamines and topical corticoids.
What’s behind Dermatitis?
Like eczema, dermatitis is an allergic skin reaction that causes redness, itching, blistering and can reach any part of the body. It can appear at any age, for various reasons, whether genetic, emotional, such as stress, or triggered by external agents (eg. cold weather and oiliness of the skin).
There are different types of dermatitis and they can be confused if not correctly diagnosed. Currently, there are 9 types of dermatitis: contact, seborrheic, atopic, herpetiform, ochre, exfoliative, assuring, perioral and nummular.
The treatments for the disease may vary according to its type and intensity. But regardless of the type of dermatitis you have, the important thing is not to self-medicate and seek the help of your dermatologist.
READ MORE: Heat Rash – Summer May Be A Trigger
Psoriasis & Genetics
Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious skin disease with as yet unknown causes. Approximately 3% of the world’s population is affected by psoriasis. In about 22% to 33% of cases, psoriasis begins in childhood, often during adolescence. Recent studies also show that situations of intense prenatal stress significantly increase the risk of children developing psoriasis, whether in childhood, teenage or adulthood.
With psoriasis, the skin can feel itchy but also feels like a burning sensation. Most people imagine that psoriasis exists only in one way, but the existent disease types are 7: plaque, scalp, guttate, pustular, inverse, erythrodermic and psoriatic arthritis.
It is believed that genetics play a major role on at least 30% of people living with psoriasis and that its treatment is vital for a good quality of life, as it is, unfortunately, an incurable disease.
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