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Eczema & Psoriasis

Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition otherwise known as atopic dermatitis. Eczema is more common in infants and children, but can affect people of all ages. Eczema can be a life-long or chronic skin condition. There is no “cure” for eczema; however there have been great improvements in treating eczema with different therapy methods. A therapy method will be customized to your individual case. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin. Sometimes the itching can be intense especially in drier, colder climates. Scratching these itchy patches can lead to redness, swelling, and cracking of the skin, in more severe cases, the skin may weep a clear fluid causing crusting of the skin. Continuous scratching can become bothersome and frustrating. It also may lead to other skin problems and possibly infection.

Studies show that eczema is due to the inheritance of certain genes that lack filaggrin (a protein that builds a protection barrier on the top layer of skin). There are many factors that may trigger an eczema flare or increase the intensity and areas impacted. The most frequent triggers include: environmental factors, irritants, allergens, microbes, food allergy, stress, and hormones. Certain types of eczema may be inherited.  Eczema is also often associated in patients who suffer from allergic disease, such as hay fever or asthma, and it may trigger the skin condition.

Areas where the skin may fold or crease are the most frequent sites for the rash to erupt, including the backs of the knees, the insides of the elbows, and on the hands, neck or face. The rash may be relegated to the scalp, or In extreme cases cover the majority of the body. One or more of the following symptoms are typical:

  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Intense itching
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Rough, leathery patches
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Areas of swelling
  • Dark colored patches of skin

There are several types of eczema, each with differing symptoms and affecting different parts of the body. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, eczema can be difficult to manage and become frustrating enough to impede on one’s quality of life. There are multiple treatments available in managing eczema. Treatments available today range from the use of topical steroid application to the use of immune-modifying medications; treatments may be used in combination with making lifestyle changes as well.

Visit us at Georgia Dermatology in Cumming, GA so we can diagnose your type of eczema and prescribe the appropriate treatment program. We treat all stages and types of eczema from infancy to adults. Regardless of your symptoms or the triggers, our primary treatment objective is to retain a comfortable life style and adequately control the symptoms of your eczema.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disorder that causes thick scaling and crusting of the skin. The growth cycle of the skin cells escalate, and the mature cells accumulate rather than being shed, resulting in a build-up of raised, scaly patches. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, genitals, and feet. There are different types of psoriasis and each presents particular symptoms, and sometimes can mock other skin disorders. A biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis so a treatment plan can be initiated. Psoriasis can be treated successfully and maintained with multiple medications.

Here at Georgia Dermatology Center, we provide the most advanced medications and treatment protocols in managing psoriasis. We understand the affects psoriasis has on our patients’ self-esteem, self-confidence, and daily activities.  Georgia Dermatology Center participates in psoriasis studies and is used as a medical research facility for treating psoriasis with biologics. We offer a variety of treatments from topical therapy to IV infusion therapy to help a patient maintain a healthy, self-assured appearance.

Psoriasis varies widely among affected individuals, and can appear all over the body,typically developing on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back, but it can also appear on your eyelids, ears, mouth and lips, skin folds, hands, feet, and nails. Raised, red patches covered with a silvery white build up of dead cells is a telltale sign of the condition. In addition, psoriasis has been linked to some serious health conditions, including psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain and stiffness. At Georgia Dermatology we understand that everyone’s skin characteristics differ, and a specialized treatment approach to eliminate your symptoms is warranted to minimize risk for psoriasis associated disease and your overall health.

Patients who suffer from eczema or psoriasis should avoid using household products that can irritate the skin like fragrant detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets. In addition, many daily activities contribute to the stripping of natural body oils, which leads to excessive dryness. Dry skin only intensifies eczema and psoriasis, so pass up hot showers and baths, and only use gentle cleansers, and moisturize.

References: www.aad.org

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