Eczema & Psoriasis

What is “Eczema” and “Why does it happen?”

There are many forms of eczema and atopic eczema is the most common of them.  It is when you have dry, red, cracked or scaly skin and it can be itchy, most times it gets worse when you scratch it.  The skin can break, become painful and become infected (pus will be discharged).  Children are affected the most and it can carry on throughout your life.  Common areas occur in folds of skin where there can be a lack of air flow such as behind the knee and elbow joints, around the neck, eyes and ears.

There are many reasons why eczema occurs: it can be inherited from parents, especially if both parents suffer from eczema as eight out of ten children will also be affected; allergies to environmental matters such as dust, pollen, mites and fur; food such as eggs, lactose, soya, nuts and eggs; chemicals in cleaning products such as washing up liquids and detergents; preservatives and e-numbers in food; cold weather; soaps with irritants in them; course surfaces on clothes; over washing the body; and moisture in rooms.

There are also many trigger factors that make eczema worse such as: hormonal changes in pregnancy and the menstrual cycle (although one in four pregnant women can actually see an improvement in their condition); stress can exacerbate the condition, whereas the condition can cause even more stress leading to a lose-lose situation; sweating during exercise or just when the weather is hot can make eczema flare-up; latex gloves and products that contain perfume; pollutants from motor vehicles and cigarettes; hard water; the winter season or any cold conditions such as working in cool air-conditioned rooms.

What is “Psoriasis” and “Why does it happen?”

There are also many types of psoriasis; generally the symptoms are crusty and red patches around on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.  There are also scales, silvery in appearance.  The condition is usually long lasting and occurs in people under thirty five years old.  Plaque psoriasis occurs in nine out of ten sufferers.  There is red skin lesions covered in silver scales and they can be very itchy and painful.  The skin may also bleed if the psoriasis occurs on joints such as the knees and elbows.  Scalp psoriasis is another form which can affect the head and become extremely itchy causing discomfort and stress.  Nail psoriasis causes the nails to break and crumble, usually you will initially see pits and the nail becomes loose.  Again this is very distressing to sufferers.

It is not known in the medical profession why there is an excess growth of skin leading to a build up of dead skin.  Usually skin grows in cycles of twenty one to twenty eight days but in psoriasis the skin grows in cycles of three to seven days, approximately three times faster than normal.  Psoriasis is genetic and inherited from parents in a third of cases or in some cases the immune system can start fighting your body rather than foreign bodies causing new skin cells to grow unnecessarily leading to psoriasis.

There are many trigger factors that cause psoriasis such as drinking too much alcohol, stress, smoking, injuries to skin such as cuts and even sunburn, HIV, throat infections, puberty, the menopause and medicines such as ACE inhibitors (lisinopril, captopril and ramipril), beta-blockers (atenolol, propranolol and bisoprolol), lithium and ibuprofen.

What you can use to treat Eczema?

The world famous brand, E45, produces many excellent moisturisers to treat and prevent mild eczema and can be used whenever and wherever.  We have E45 Cream Pump which comes in an easy to use 500g dispenser to relieve all sorts of dry skin conditions such as Ichthyosis (inherited dry skin condition where skin constantly falls off in large flakes), the early dry stages of eczema and where there is just dry skin.  A very good natural treatment for eczema and psoriasis is Salcura Dermaspray Intensive.  This is totally free of steroids and harsh chemicals.  It is also one hundred per cent natural and itch-free.  It can be used from the age of one.  If you really need a cream for a quick solution to your dry skin problems then order hydrocortisone cream which comes in a handy 15g pack.  This will treat dryness, reduce any inflammation and provides excellent itch relief.

What can you use to treat Psoriasis?

We stock the medicated Dithrocream Forte which is a very good treatment for psoriasis as it stops replication of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) therefore preventing excessive skin and plaque production.  It comes in strengths of 0.1%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1% and 2%.  The Forte formula is an intermediate cream at the strength of 0.5%.  The treatment should be started at the lowest strength for seven to fourteen days.  If there is no improvement then move up to the next higher strength.

What you can use to prevent eczema from coming back?

There are many trigger factors which you can stop eczema:

  • Keep your house temperature cool at eighteen to twenty degrees celsius.
  • You Simple soaps and shampoos as they are irritant free
  • Where 100% cotton clothes as synthetic material can cause aggravate the skin.
  • Use emollients on a regular basis to keep moisture locked into skin so it does not dry out.
  • If you are prone to skin infections ask your Doctor to provide antiseptics for skin use only containing chlorhexidine or triclosan.
  • If your baby scratches itself use baby mitts.
  • If your children are in the habit of scratching then cut their nails on a regular basis.

We stock plenty of bath and shower toiletries you can use on a daily basis that will keep your skin moist and clear of any dryness.  Dermol is a very popular brand in pharmacies and they produce many excellent products such as Dermol 200 Shower Emollient.  Another one of our important bath products is Oilatum who produce fragrance free emollients for use in kids and adults.