Common Skin Disorders Explained

Common Skin Disorders Explained Mar 8, 2019 / by The CFD Team

We encounter a number of skin conditions in our Lincoln offices and satellite offices around Nebraska and treat a variety of them every day. Of course, some skin conditions are more perplexing than others. Skin conditions, such as Rosacea, Eczema, and Psoriasis are conditions with similar symptoms that can complicate the diagnosis process. Here is a break down of these three common skin conditions.

Rosacea

If you have experienced redness and visible blood vessels in the face, it may be a sign if Rosacea. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it may be a result of heredity and environmental factors. The chronic disease causes its symptoms to flare up and reappear periodically. Though there is no cure, there are treatment options available to help people control and reduce their symptoms. Rosacea is common, and patients will also undergo tests for acne, psoriasis, eczema, or lupus to rule out all other conditions.

A great way to limit rosacea flare-ups is to avoid what triggers your rosacea. This will take some detective work, as it varies from person to person, but common triggers include

  • Sunlight
  • Stress
  • Heat
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy Foods
  • Certain skin and hair products
  • Wind and cold

For a more complete list, visit the National Rosacea Society's website, Rosacea.org.

Eczema

The symptoms of eczema vary case-by-case—it may appear differently in different regions of the body and from person-to-person. But the most universal symptoms are itchiness, redness, and inflammation. Eczema is actually an umbrella term for a group of conditions, these conditions are:

  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Nummular eczema
  • Stasis dermatitis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis.

Over 30 million people in the U.S. have some form of eczema. Although there is no cure, this common skin disorder is usually quite manageable and not contagious, so do not sweat if you were recently diagnosed. Though the cause of eczema is unknown, children often show symptoms that disappear with age, but some children do carry eczema into adulthood. Adults may also develop eczema as they age, as well.

Of the conditions associated with eczema, atopic dermatitis is the most chronic and severe. Each form of eczema carries its own triggers, symptoms, and treatments. People with these conditions should take note of what triggers their eczema and what treatments respond best, which dermatologists will also take note of and recommend. This way, patients can manage their condition optimally and go on living a normal life.

Psoriasis

Like many other auto-immune diseases, the cause of psoriasis is unknown. The condition causes raised red and scaly patches to appear on the skin. These patches are caused by something unknown that triggers the skin cells to grow at an abnormally fast rate, creating lesions usually around the elbows, scalp, or knees, though they can occur anywhere. Psoriasis will first appear as a rash that does not subside with over-the-counter medication, so contact a dermatologist if this description fits your scenario.

Diagnosing psoriasis is usually done by taking a biopsy—removing a piece of infected skin—and an investigation into family history. Roughly “one-third of people with psoriasis have a family member with the disease.”

There are five different types of psoriasis:

  • Erythrodermic—though rare, Erythrodermic psoriasis is the most severe and is capable of spreading over most of the body. Only 3 percent of people with psoriasis experience this form in their lifetime. This psoriasis typically appears on people whose plaque psoriasis is unstable. If left unchecked, this form of psoriasis can be life-threatening, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Guttate—This second most common form of psoriasis can be triggered by a strep infection. It appears as small, dot-like lesions and affects 10 percent of people with psoriasis.
  • Inverse—This form of psoriasis is sort of opposite in appearance when compared to other forms’ it appears as smooth and shiny red lesions in folds of the body. It’s common for people with this form of psoriasis to experience another type of the disease in a different region of the body simultaneously.
  • Plaque—The most common form of psoriasis, Plaque psoriasis appears as raised, red patches covered with a white build up of dead skin cells. They are often itchy, painful, and susceptible to bleeding.
  • Pustular—this form of psoriasis appears as white blisters surrounded by red skin. The pus within the blisters is noninfectious, as they made up of white blood cells.

All forms of psoriasis are non-contagious, as the disease is associated with a defective immune system. There are multiple forms of treatment for psoriasis, which will be used depending on how each individual responds.

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