Eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis are three usual causes of skin rash. These are not easy to diagnose since no particular test is able to determine these diseases. Apart from this, they are easily confused since they are similar in appearance.
Your doctor may ask about your symptoms and your medical history to be able to make the right diagnosis. You may undergo multiple tests or skin examinations. Inflammation and itching often causes one to be bothered, all these tests would be eventually worth the effort and the time. When the cause is determined, you may begin your treatment and relieve the symptoms.
You may help your doctor in making accurate diagnosis regarding your condition by learning about the differences of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
What are the dissimilarities of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis?
What is eczema?
Eczema commonly appears as itchy patches which turns reddish, becomes swollen, then cracks due to scratching. These rashes usually show up on certain body parts like hands, feet, at the back of the knees, in the elbows, or on the face.
The precise cause of this skin condition is yet to be discovered but is being linked with environmental factors and genetics. Atopic dermatitis, the most usual type of this skin disease, is a hypersensitive condition which often shows up in children or babies. Atopic dermatitis may disappear by the time that the child turns 2 years old or may last up to adulthood.
Eczema breakout may be triggered by specific substances, so it is necessary that these are identified in order that they may be avoided. Examples of usual irritants are wool, chlorine, soaps, detergents, and household cleaners. Apart from these, stress causes development of eczema as well.
In order to confirm eczema, your doctor may inquire regarding medical history of allergies or may suggest that you undergo a blood test or an allergy test.
What is dermatitis?
In general, the word “dermatitis” means redness of the skin. Contact dermatitis may be developed once the skin makes contact with irritants. Contact dermatitis has two major types: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. Both of them usually cause red and itchy skin rashes.
1. Allergic contact dermatitis. This is caused by allergy or sensitivity to a specific substance like fragrances or metals e.g. nickel. With this type of contact dermatitis, skin rashes may appear on the part which came in contact with the substance in a matter of 24 to 48 hours. Its main symptom is itching. People who have frequent flare-ups of allergic contact dermatitis are advised to try to undergo allergy testing.
2. Irritant contact dermatitis. This is more widely spread than allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis causes skin to develop inflammation through exposure to irritants such as detergents, soaps, acids, or chemicals. This type of contact dermatitis may show up whether you were previously exposed to the substance or not. Rashes often show on the hands, associated by pain, itching and burning sensations. These reactions will continue until you have discovered what really caused them so that you may be able to avoid whatever that cause may be.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic condition which causes silvery-white flakes and calloused, red patches on the skin. These patches or psoriasis may become sore and itchy, or may even cause a burning sensation. Oftentimes, these may be found outside the knees and elbows. However, psoriasis usually affects the nails and the scalp as well.
There are numerous psoriasis triggers. These include particular medications, skin injuries, cold weather, and stress. Psoriasis more usually develops among adults unlike atopic dermatitis.
Psoriasis has the ability to mimic other types of skin diseases. Psoriasis diagnosis is performed by doctors by looking at the scalp, nails, and skin. Aside from this examination, your doctor may also recommend that you undergo skin biopsy. In skin biopsy, small sample of skin will be removed and viewed through microscope.
Evidently, the symptoms of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis could be similar but the triggers and/or the causes of each skin disease are distinct from each other.