Patches, Redness and Flare-Ups, Oh My! Rosacea vs. Psoriasis
Rosacea and psoriasis are two of the most common skin conditions that plague Americans, but not many can identify the differing tell-tale signs between the two.
Here's how you can spot the signs, understand your diagnosis, and what you can do to relieve your symptoms.
Psoriasis can affect your entire body, resulting in itchy, red, patches.
According to Gardens Dermatology, psoriasis is a chronic, long-lasting disease that develops when a person's immune system sends faulty signals to the skin cells, prompting them to multiply. New skin cells form within days as opposed to weeks. Instead of shedding, the cells pile up on the skin's surface creating patches of psoriasis to appear. This disease is not contagious, so you cannot get it by touching a person who has it. Psoriasis can run in families but can happen in individuals without a family member with the disease.
There are different types of psoriasis, including:
- Plaque (most common form)
Some people have more than one type or can develop into other forms. Current studies show that more than eight million Americans have this skin disease. The condition can start at any age but it is more common that it starts in adults.
Roughly 25% to 30% of people with psoriasis, may develop psoriatic arthritis, another form of the skin condition, which causes inflammation and swelling in the joints. Some psoriasis arthritis symptoms include a swollen finger or toe, nail separating from nail bed, lower back pain, heel pain, and stiffness when you wake up or sit for hours. There are treatment options to help ease symptoms or prevent further damage—including physical therapy, arthritis-friendly, exercise, and medication.
While there is currently no cure for psoriasis, you can alleviate itching, cracking and bleeding, by taking care of your skin. The dermatologists at Gardens Dermatology recommend:
- Avoid excessive sun exposure.
- Avoid skin injuries like bug bites and cuts.
- Try not to scratch, as scratching can worsen your condition.
- Here are some ways to relieve itching: applying a cold compress or ice pack, take medication as directed by your doctor, and moisturize daily, in the morning and evening before bed.
In contrast to psoriasis, rosacea is contained to the face and results in flushing of the skin and acne, like pimples and bumps.
Rosacea is a common skin ailment that begins with a tendency to blush or flush more than others, according to Gardens Dermatology. The redness slowly spreads from the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. In some people, it can reach the chest, back and remain red at all times. Due to the number of symptoms, there are four subtypes:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea—redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels.
- Papulopustular rosacea—redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
- Phymatous rosacea—thick skin with a bumpy texture
- Ocular rosacea—red and irritated eyes or swollen eyelids. Severe cases may require you to see an ophthalmologist.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association found that 16 million Americans have rosacea. It's most common in individuals ages 30 and 60 with fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. Women experiencing menopause are also likely to develop rosacea. While women likely to get rosacea, men are likely to have severe cases. People with a family history of rosacea may inherit the genes of the disease.
Many people living with this skin condition say it affects their quality of life. They express having feelings of frustration, embarrassment, worry, depression, and low self-esteem. It also impacts the work and personal lives of many. There is no cure, but there are treatments to prevent rosacea from worsening. Some of these options include medication, antibiotics and laser or light procedures. You can also decrease its severity by avoiding hot showers, sweating, and heat which may increase blood flow to the affected area of the face and wearing sunscreen during the day and applying an emollient to help repair skin.
For more information on what causes acne and how to improve your skin, please call Gardens Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center at 561-776-7041 or visit them online at gardensdermatology.com.