Eczematous dermatitis and Psoriasis are two common types of skin rashes. Eczema is actually one of the most common subtypes of eczematous dermatitis, but is not the only type. If you have a rash, it is important to seek out a board certified dermatologist to get an evaluation and assess treatment options.
What are Eczematous Dermatitis and Eczema?
Eczematous dermatitis is actually the name for the reaction pattern caused by a number of different but interrelated skin conditions. Common types of eczematous dermatitis include atopic dermatitis (commonly referred to as eczema), contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, stasis dermatitis and neurodermatitis. Eczema is one of the most common types of eczematous dermatitis and generally what most types of eczematous dermatitis are known by in the general population, despite that label not always being accurate. We will focus on both eczema (atopic dermatitis) and other forms of eczematous dermatitis.
Different Treatments for Different Underlying Skin Rashes
Treatment for any type of eczematous dermatitis depends on the underlying skin condition causing the rash. Because there are so many different types of skin conditions that can cause these symptoms, our purpose here is to help inform you about the broader process of eczema and the potential treatments.
If you have a skin rash of any type we highly recommend that you make an appointment today so that we can determine the severity and type of your skin rash and start the appropriate treatment.
Symptoms of Eczema and Eczematous Dermatitis
While the underlying skin conditions are generally different, this is the overall reaction pattern that is similar across all different types of skin conditions:
- Red, inflamed, irritated skin
- Fluid-filled blisters that can ooze occasionally form
- Itchy skin
There are a variety of conditions that cause eczema and other types of eczematous dermatitis. If you have these symptoms contact your dermatologist today so they can evaluate which type you have and devise a plan on how to treat it.
Causes of Eczema and other Types of Eczematous Dermatitis
The causes of skin conditions that manifest eczema and eczematous dermatitis are complex. Genes, where we live, the way our immune system works and what we come into contact with all play a role. The symptoms seem to be created by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to an allergen or irritant. Eczema is more commonly found in families that also have a history of allergies, which have a similar cause. Some people have been able to find triggers for their rashes which allow them to avoid or minimize outbreaks. Eczematous dermatitis can usually be effectively managed with dermatological treatment and avoiding any known triggers. It is not contagious.
Treatments of Eczema and Eczematous Dermatitis
While treatments for eczema and eczematous dermatitis vary depending on the underlying condition causing the rash, they generally focus on relieving the itching and lessening inflammation. Relieving itching helps to avoid potential infection. We discourage patients from trying to self-treat and strongly encourage them to come in to have a board certified dermatologist evaluate their condition and determine the appropriate treatment.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis happens when skin cells start to multiply much faster than normal and build up on the surface of the skin. These layers of dead skin cause raised, red scaly patches. Psoriasis is common on the scalp, knees and elbows, but it can affect any skin surface and involve the joints as well.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
There are a number of different types of psoriasis that can all vary somewhat in their appearance. About 80% of psoriasis cases are plaque psoriasis. The symptoms include:
- Inflamed and raised red skin
- White, scaly thick skin on top of raised red skin
- Itching and/or burning
Less common forms of psoriasis include guttate, inverse and pustular. Guttate can cause small pink or red spots, inverse causes smooth and shiny red patches in skin folds, and pustular appears as pus filled bumps surrounded by red skin.
The Cause of Psoriasis
The cause of psoriasis is not known, but there are numerous factors that have proven to be triggers for flare ups of psoriasis. Psoriasis is thought to be caused by an overreaction of the body causing cell growth to increase substantially as an immune response. While what is causing the immune system to react so strongly is not completely known, there are a number of potential triggers that can be avoided to minimize the chances of psoriasis being triggered.
Potential triggers of the most common type of psoriasis include:
- A skin injury such as a cut, sunburn or scratching
- Various medications: lithium, many high blood pressure and heart medications and other less common medications
If you think you have psoriasis it is best for you to consult your dermatologist and get a professional evaluation done to figure out how to treat your particular case of psoriasis.
Treatments of Psoriasis
While there is no cure for psoriasis there are a number of options that we use to help patients keep the condition under far better control. Even in severe cases of psoriasis treatment can significantly help. There are a variety of different topical, oral, and injectable treatments for psoriasis. Which is most appropriate for you will depend on a number of factors.
What if you don’t think you have Psoriasis or Eczematous Dermatitis?
Even if you don’t think you have either of these types of rashes, if you have a rash we highly recommend you see a board certified dermatologist to get it evaluated. Waiting could cause the rash to get worse and make treatment harder and less effective. Just because you get your rash evaluated does not mean you have to move forward with treatment, but it will give you peace of mind and help you to know what you are up against.