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What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?

January 23, 2017

What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?

Eczema and Psoriasis usually get grouped together as one disease but they are very different skin diseases. They both are a result of inflammation in the skin however the triggers are different and the immune response is different.

Here are some differences:

  • Eczema is common in babies as a result of their immune system not effectively re-balancing after birth. When a woman is pregnant, her immune system must change so that her body doesn’t reject the baby. The T helper 2 cells increase while the T helper 1 cells reduce. Typically after the baby is born the mother’s immune system goes back to original state of health.
  • Elevated T helper 2 cells gives rise to eczema and sinusitis
  • Higher levels of T helper 1 cells leads to psoriasis
  • Psoriasis is a result of the skin shedding every 4 days instead of every 28 days
  • Eczema is linked to asthma and is considered to be related to allergies
  • Psoriasis has been linked to metabolic syndrome, which means psoriasis sufferers have a stronger genetic link to developing diabetes, heart disease or having a stroke.
What do you do if you start to develop either psoriasis or eczema?
  • Use a soap that is pH neutral to minimise any reaction to the skin at bath time
  • Use a natural washing detergent
  • Keep a food journal and see if your skin reacts to anything specifically. Note: the reaction can occur several days later.
  • Improve gut health by having a probiotic daily.
  • Generally people affected by both eczema and psoriasis should avoid inflammatory foods.
  • To ease itchy skin add colloidal oatmeal into the bath.
  • Use a natural cream to ease the inflammation in the skin.
  Here is a list to compare the slightly different approach taken to treat eczema and psoriasis:  
Eczema Psoriasis
Colloidal oatmeal bath / sea salt bath Colloidal oatmeal bath / sea salt bath
Diet: Avoid · Spicy/Hot food · Greasy/Fatty Food · Sugar-filled food · Wheat/yeast products · Dairy Products · Cashews · Alcohol · Soft Drinks · Try to reduce cold things · Processed foods · Fast Food   Enjoy · Green vegetables – preferably organic · Seasonal fruits - preferably organic · Bananas – are alkaline and contain potassium · At least 2 litres filtered water per day · Lamb, Chicken, Fish · Soy, Almond or Rice Milk · Cereals that are wheat and sugar free · Pastas : rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, millet etc · Raw nuts such as walnuts/almonds · Wholegrain and whole foods – generally avoid anything processed · If possible eat organic fruits and vegetables and biodynamic meats, free range and organic poultry · Avoid farmed fish such as salmon and trout · Gluten free Diet: Avoid · Acidic Fruits/Vegetables, such as oranges, tomatoes, lemons, · Spicy/Hot food · Greasy/Fatty Food · Sugar-filled food · Wheat/yeast products · Dairy Products · Cashews · Legumes: Kidney, Adzuki, Green Beans, Borlotti Beans, Mung Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, Chick Peas · Alcohol · Soft Drinks · Try to reduce cold things · Grains such as wheat, barley, oats, rye – all that contain gluten · Processed foods · Fast Food   Enjoy · Green vegetables – preferably organic · Seasonal fruits - preferably organic · At least 2 litres filtered water per day · Lamb, Chicken, Fish · Snow peas · Soy, Almond or Rice Milk · Cereals that are wheat and sugar free · Pastas : rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, millet etc · Raw nuts such as walnuts/almonds · Small quantities of Low GI carbs  
Natural products: Soaps, shampoos, washing detergent and cleaning products around the home   Clothing: Only cotton as its breathable – organic cotton Natural products: Soaps, shampoos, washing detergent and cleaning products around the home   Clothing: Only cotton as its breathable – organic cotton
  Overall, the best way to avoid long term pain associated with either of these conditions is to ensure you have a very healthy diet, understand to manage stressful situations and have a plan to treat any flare ups efficiently so to minimise the potential of a severe flare up which is hard to treat and this will also help your mental state to manage this condition more effectively. I would love to hear your experiences with Psoriasis or Eczema. Have you figured out the tools to manage your condition or are you still exploring options? Irene



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