Dandruff or Psoriasis

scalp psoriasis favorite plusHaving dry, flaky skin on your scalp can be annoying. Two different conditions can cause these flakes — dandruff and psoriasis.

It is quite easy to treat dandruff (seborrhea), and it’s not a severe medical condition. Psoriasis, however, is a different issue. It is a chronic skin problem without a permanent cure and one that can cause a great deal of discomfort.

How it develops: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

Dandruff is a disorder that causes flakes of dry skin to appear on the scalp. The flakes can generally cascade from your hair and come to rest on your shoulders.

Dandruff commonly begins from a dry scalp. Frequent shampooing or using many chemicals on your hair can sometimes irritate your scalp and lead to flakes.

A common condition called seborrheic dermatitis is the cause of many dandruff cases. It causes patches of red and oily skin that leave yellowish flakes on the scalp. These flakes are often more prominent than the dandruff flakes that arise from dry skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause flaky, irritated patches elsewhere on the body.

Psoriasis is a problem rooted in your immune system. It is an autoimmune disease, where unique proteins, called autoantibodies, attack healthy tissue. This attack causes skin cell production to speed up. It then creates an unhealthy and abnormal growth of new skin that collects in dry, flaky patches on your body, including the scalp.

The normal process of skin regeneration is you shed dead skin in small, thin fragments from the outermost layer of skin. No one, not even yourself, can see that you are losing dead skin. New, healthy skin cells are developing beneath the surface of your skin and, in a few weeks, push up to the surface to take the place of the dead skin.

If you have psoriasis, that action speeds up in various spots on your body, and there is no time for the dead skin to go through its normal shedding. That causes dead skin cells to build upon the surface. It usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, and back.

Psoriasis can take different forms. Sometimes, your skin may look cracked and dry. Other times, it may look red and dotted with small silvery patches.

Prevention: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

You can easily stop dandruff. Dandruff shampoo is usually adequate to prevent dandruff from producing. Generally, keeping your hair clean is a must.

Oil and dirt can accumulate on your scalp and make it dry. Brushing your hair away from the scalp also helps keep grease from building up on your scalp.

On the contrary, there is no way to prevent psoriasis. It can develop in anyone at any age but is less frequent in kids. It frequently appears between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age.

Treatment: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

You can treat dandruff with medicated shampoo. You may have to switch shampoos, too, as one may become less effective over time.

You may treat psoriasis with topical lotions and medications. Many of these contain steroids, which only serve to make the symptoms somewhat milder. There’s no actual cure.

Light therapy can also help treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

When to See a Doctor: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

If your dandruff doesn’t go away or doesn’t get better after two weeks of anti-dandruff shampoo, you may need to see a dermatologist. There are prescription dandruff shampoos that may have the strength you need to overcome the problem. You may also require a medicated ointment.

On the other hand, if your symptoms indicate psoriasis, you should see a dermatologist right away. If you also have stiff or swollen joints, you may have psoriatic arthritis. See a rheumatologist.

 

What is the Difference between Psoriasis and Eczema?

psoriasis vs eczema favorite plusMany people don’t know the technical differences between psoriasis and eczema. Recognizing which is which will help determine how you treat it.

What is Psoriasis?

A spot of white scales characterizes psoriasis. It is a chronic autoimmune condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. The dead cells build up into silvery-white scales. The skin becomes inflamed and red, causing severe itching.

There’s no cure for psoriasis. However, some topical and systemic medication can abate this skin problem. It is not contagious.

What is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is another long-term condition that affects the skin. It occurs because of a hypersensitivity reaction. It causes the skin to overreact to specific triggers, such as animals, dyes, fabrics, soaps, and other irritants.

Eczema is prevalent among babies. The skin may appear blistered, cracked, inflamed, peeling, pus-filled, or red. Unlike psoriasis, it does not manifest as scaly dead skin.

It can occur anywhere on the body and cause intense itching. Topical treatment usually clears eczema.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Face

Although psoriasis often occurs on the knees and elbows, it may appear anywhere in the body. It includes the face, neck, and scalp. With treatment, it often resolves but may persist.

Scalp psoriasis usually extends onto the ears, forehead, or neck. It can be challenging to treat, especially when hair gets in the way. Phototherapy works best for scalp psoriasis because it can penetrate the hair strands.

Like psoriasis, eczema on the face can lead to discomfort. Problem areas can be extremely prickly deteriorating the skin further. Scratching causes breaks in the skin that allow bleeding or infection. The dryness associated with eczema can also cause cracked skin from general movement.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Hands

Even though most people with psoriasis have it on the backs of their hands, some have flare-ups on their palms. Psoriasis on the hands may also involve the nails. This condition causes overactive skin cells to produce too many new cells under the fingernails. It can look like a fungal infection that discolors the nails and even causes them to fall off.

Likewise, eczema often appears on the hands. It is because they frequently come in contact with animals, fabrics, lotions, soaps, and other allergens. Constant hand washing can further dry out the skin of people with eczema. It can be hard to treat because of the periodic contact with water and other irritants.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Legs

Psoriasis often occurs on the knees and legs. Although some psoriasis may cover significant portions of the legs, other types may appear in isolated patches. The different kinds of psoriasis have various appearances.

For instance, guttate psoriasis on the legs would appear in many separate, drop-like, small red psoriasis patches. However, plaque psoriasis on the legs often appears in large, shapeless spots with thick red skin or thick white scales.

On the other hand, eczema on the legs may often occur in body creases, such as the back of the knee or the front of the ankle. These areas may trap sweat or irritants from clothing and the air. Close contact of irritants with skin and areas of skin rubbing together create a perfect environment for eczema.

Eczema on the back of the knees can become irritating and painful if left untreated. Constant contact with clothing can cause significant bleeding, infection, and oozing.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Other Body Parts

Psoriasis can arise in sensitive places. Inverse psoriasis and other forms of psoriasis may appear on the armpits, bottoms of the feet, genitals, and skin creases. Psoriasis in the genital area or skin folds may resemble eczema.

Eczema can occur in many inconvenient places as well, especially for infants. Baby creams and diapers may irritate sensitive skin, causing extreme rashes. In some cases, it covers the entire area that comes into contact with a diaper.

Severe Psoriasis vs. Severe Eczema

Like most skin problems, psoriasis can become widespread and incredibly vexatious. Plaque psoriasis may affect nearly the entire body. In acute cases, inflammation can become so severe that it appears and feels like burns.

Eczema can also become grave and cover much of the skin’s surface. The amount of skin affected will depend on the sensitivity of the person’s skin, the skin’s exposure to irritants, and the type and effectiveness of treatments. Severe bleeding, cracking, and oozing in cases of severe eczema can become dangerous.

Treating Psoriasis

Dermatologists usually begin treatment by prescribing topical corticosteroid creams. If these do not work, most doctors prescribe a light therapy treatment.

Treating Eczema

Eczema is often also treated with topical corticosteroid cream. Other instances of eczema may require antibiotic creams or oral prescription medications. Some creams may also be useful to protect skin from infections and irritants, allowing it to heal.

 

Pediatric Psoriasis Treatment

psoriasis children favoriteplusPsoriasis is a disease that causes itchy, dry patches on your skin. Up to 40% of people with psoriasis have symptoms before they are 16 years old, and 10% get it before they are 10.

Children can have mild, moderate, or severe psoriasis. It is a lifelong condition with no cure, but you can treat the symptoms with medication. Most pediatric cases of psoriasis are mild and get better with treatment.

Psoriasis is not contagious. Often, a bacterial infection like strep throat triggers psoriasis for the first time in children. Other kids get certain genes from their parents that make them more likely to get it.

Things that raise a child’s risk of getting the disease also include:

  • Cold weather
  • Cuts, rashes, scratches, or sunburn on the skin
  • Medications such as beta blockers, lithium, or malaria drugs
  • Cold weather
  • Obesity
  • Stress

Types of Psoriasis in Children

There are five types of psoriasis, but some are much more common in children than others. The two types children are most likely to get are:

Guttate psoriasis. This kind of psoriasis is also called “drop-like” psoriasis. It causes little red dots to form on the arms, back, chest, and legs. Strep infection most likely triggers this. Many children who get this type of psoriasis also develop plaque psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis. Most kids who have psoriasis have this type. It causes red, dry patches called plaques. It can also cause silvery scales, which usually show up on elbows, knees, lower back, and the scalp. They are itchy, red, and sometimes painful. They can also bleed. Plaque psoriasis patches are smaller, thinner, and less scaly in children than in adults.

Children under two years can get psoriatic diaper rash. It happens on the skin that’s covered up by the diaper. It may show up like plaque psoriasis, or it may cause a bright red, weeping rash. You can tell the difference between psoriatic diaper rash and regular diaper rash. Psoriatic diaper rash does not get better with regular diaper rash treatment.

Diagnosis

A dermatologist can usually tell it is psoriasis just by looking at your child’s nails, scalp, or skin. To be sure, they might also remove a small sample of skin and send it to a lab for a closer look. They will also ask questions about your family history and habits to see how many risk factors your child has.

Treatment

Your child’s doctor is likely to recommend an antihistamine to help with itching. Keeping the skin moisturized is important, too. They may suggest the use of petroleum jelly to lock in moisture. Moreover, salicylic acid may also be an option for thick plaques, but you should not use it on children under six years old.

Other options may include:

Topical treatments. Most children who have mild psoriasis heal with cream, lotion, or ointment. Topical treatments include anthralin, calcipotriene, coal tar, and corticosteroids.

Phototherapy. Your child’s doctor might choose this option if plaques are on most of your child’s body. However, the doctor will likely try a topical treatment first before recommending therapy.

Oral medications. Your child’s doctor will recommend medicine to take by mouth or by shot only if the psoriasis is severe. Many of the ones doctors use for adults are not as safe in children and have serious side effects.

 

Psoriasis and Your Diet

psoriasis treatment favoriteplusTaking care of your psoriasis can be a long process. But, you can do a lot on your own to look after your psoriasis symptoms. A huge component is your diet.

There is little scientific research on psoriasis and diet. However, appropriate dietary changes can be responsible for clearing or worsening the symptoms. It is important to know that a proper diet varies in each person.

You should recognize that the addition or elimination of one substance from the diet can be the remedy for some and the culprit for others. Still, there are some guidelines to follow for healthy eating that can help with psoriasis.

Types of Food that Improve Psoriasis

As a general rule, your diet should be rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids. You also need foods that heal the bowels, glands, and liver, as well as foods that reduce inflammation.

Your diet should also consist of fiber, healthy whole grains, and vegetables.

You need to increase your intake of essential fatty acids, such as black currant oil, evening primrose oil, fish, or flaxseed. They contain ingredients that interfere with the production and storage of arachidonic acid.  Arachidonic acid is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that causes inflammation.

Drink 2 liters of water a day to cleanse your body. Drink green smoothies in the morning to include fiber and other nutrients in your diet. Green smoothies and herbal teas are beneficial for psoriasis.

Types of Food that Aggravate Psoriasis

Reducing the intake of alcohol, red meat, sugar, vinegar, and products containing gluten can also help improve psoriasis. In short, avoid acidic foods.

Some researchers believe that people with psoriasis may also have gluten intolerance. Consult your doctor and get the appropriate tests before starting a gluten-free diet.

Psoriasis and Dietary Supplements

There is no proof that dietary supplements help cure psoriasis. However, many patients find that including supplements in their diet helps clear their skin.

Vitamins for Psoriasis:

  • Vitamin A accelerates the healing process.
  • Vitamin B complex helps deal with stress.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids invigorates the immune system.
  • Vitamin D3 prevents psoriatic cells from growing.
  • Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant.

Minerals for Psoriasis:

  • Magnesium, especially if stress is a trigger
  • Copper and zinc help heal the skin.

Other Dietary Supplements:

  • Digestive enzymes improve digestion.
  • Essential fatty acids and Omega 7 contribute to reducing inflammation.
  • Lecithin helps with fats and protects the cells.
  • Probiotics balance the intestinal flora and strengthen the immune system.

 

Alternative Remedies for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common skin problem that influences the life cycle of skin cells. This skin disease compels the cells to develop very quickly on the surface of the skin, making thick, silvery scales and dry, red patches to appear, which can also be itchy and painful.

Psoriasis patches may arise as minor spots with scaling, but may also come out as major flare-ups on large areas of the skin. Mild cases of psoriasis can be annoying, and more severe cases can be disabling and disfiguring.

The real cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is thought to be associated with genetic susceptibility and the immune system.

Systemic medications and topical treatments are frequently used to treat psoriasis, but there are several alternative remedies that may be employed to cure this skin condition.

Light Therapy (Phototherapy)

This alternative treatment for psoriasis uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light. The easiest and simplest mode of light therapy is exposing the skin to restrained amounts of natural sunlight. When exposed to UV rays, the activated T cells in the skin are eradicated. This delays skin cell turnover and lessens inflammation and scaling. Short, everyday exposure to tiny amounts of sunlight may help treat psoriasis.

Other methods of phototherapy involve ultraviolet B (UVB) light. Controlled quantities of UVB light from an artificial light source may promote healing of mild to moderate psoriasis. UVB phototherapy (broadband UVB) can be manipulated to medicate psoriasis that does not respond to topical treatments.

A more recent type of light therapy makes use of narrowband UVB, which is said to be more effective than broadband UVB. Examples of these are the Dermalight 80 and DermaHealer Handheld UV-B Phototherapy Lamp, which utilize UV-B/311nm narrowband lamps, minimizing potential side effects like itching and redness.

Wet Therapy

Applying wet compress, showering, soaking in a tub, and swimming all help rehydrate and soften dry skin, removing thick scales without much damage to the skin. Thick psoriasis scales block the entry of topical medications and ultraviolet light into the skin, which is why it is vital to get rid of as much scale as possible. Regular soaking also eases redness and itching. Use lukewarm water since hot water can actually intensify the itch. Also, it is important to moisturize your skin immediately after soaking or washing to protect your skin against moisture loss.

Herbal Topicals

Many herbal treatments help relieve psoriasis. Aloe soothes the skin, helping reduce redness and scaling associated with psoriasis. Oat extracts ease itching and also soothe the skin, which is why they are used as an ingredient in numerous skin care products. Countless people with psoriasis attest that lightly rubbing oat paste on their skin or soaking in an oatmeal bath reduces redness and relieves itchy skin. Tea tree oil can help with psoriasis of the scalp; as well as apple cider vinegar that can also relieve scalp itch.

Adding Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts to your warm bath water and soaking in it for about 15 minutes can ease itching and remove scales.

Comparison Review of Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Eczema UVB Lamps

Ultraviolet light treatment makes use of a specific band of the nonvisible light spectrum to treat psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema, and other skin diseases. It may be used alone or in combination with drugs applied topically or taken internally. Recent light therapy instruments employ LED technology, making them smaller and more agreeable to users; and we are going to review two UVB lamps so you can decide on which product is best for you.

Dermalight 80 UV-B Phototherapy Lamp for Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Eczema

The Dermalight 80 UV-B Phototherapy Lamp for Psoriasis, Vitiligo, and Eczema is a safe, clinically-proven tool in treating psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema, and other similar skin conditions. It uses UV-B/311nm narrowband lamps that have an exact and characteristic spectral energy distribution, with an emission peak at 311nm, minimizing possible side effects, such as itching and redness.

PROS:

The Dermalight 80 UV-B Phototherapy Lamp may be used on all parts of the body, including the scalp. It comes with a comb attachment especially for scalp use, but may also be put to use as a distance guard when treating other parts of the body. It is lightweight and portable so you can take it anywhere with you. It also comes with good quality UV goggles to protect your eyes and LCD timer for accurate timing of treatments. It is medically certified for psoriasis treatment, and it is made in Germany. The user manual gives clear instructions and it is very user friendly.

CONS:

The Dermalight 80 UV-B Lamp is a bit high priced. And, because of its size, you can only treat one area at a time. If you have a large part of your body covered with psoriasis, it may take some time to finish with the process. Additionally, it is not programmable; you need to use a separate timer when operating and shut if off manually.

SET INCLUDES:

Dermalight comes with a comb attachment, AC adapter, LCD timer, UV goggles, and a user manual.

CONCLUSION:

The Dermalight 80 UV-B Phototherapy Lamp for Psoriasis, Vitiligo, and Eczema can be effectively used to treat the skin and scalp; although it does take some time to make the condition disappear entirely, especially if you are affected in several areas of the body. Still, with patience and proper use of the lamp, it does bring in positive results. Compared to expensive miracle creams, this product will give all your money’s worth.

DermaHealer UV-B Phototherapy Lamp for Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Eczema

The DermaHealer UV-B Phototherapy Lamp for Psoriasis, Vitiligo, and Eczema makes use of original Philips™ UV-B/311nm narrowband lamps with a specific wavelength similar to that of the sun’s natural spectrum in treating eczema, hyperbilirubin, psoriasis, vitiligo, and other skin diseases. It is designed for home use, but may come in handy for dermatologists and medical clinics.

PROS:

The DermaHealer UV-B Phototherapy Lamp has an integrated digital programming timer for precise exposure treatment. It is portable, lightweight, and safe so you can bring it even when you go on out of town trips. You don’t need a prescription to own one. It is reasonably priced, even though it uses Philips, a trusted and top quality brand in lights, for its narrowband lamps.

CONS:

Like the Dermalight, the DermaHealer UV-B Lamp can only be used at one small area at a time. Though it promises that you only need to use it for a few minutes every few days to treat several areas of the body, you need more patience and more time. Also, its instruction manual is a little less easy to understand for the non-technical user.

SET INCLUDES:

DermaHealer comes with a comb attachment, AC adapter, UV goggles, and user manual.

CONCLUSION:

The DermaHealer is much more affordable compared to other UVB lamps. Plus, its integrated digital programming keeps you safe from over exposure. And since it’s using Philips narrowband lamps, you can be assured of its high quality.