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.

Eczema is common seen in babies as a result of their immune system re-balancing after birth. You see when a woman is pregnant her immune system changes so that her body doesn’t reject the baby. Her T helper 2 (which are part of the white blood cells) increases while the T helper 1 reduces.

When a person has high levels of T helper 2 cells, they are more prone to eczema and sinusitis and excess T helper 1 cells gives rise to psoriasis.

The baby that’s growing in the uterus also has excess T helper 2 cells, so when they are born their immune system is immature and, as a result, it is commonly seen that babies develop eczema. The good news is that for most babies the eczema resolves as the immune system re-adjusts, and there is more balance between the T helper 1 and 2 cells.

How does treating eczema and psoriasis vary?

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Here is what you can do to help ease eczema and psoriasis. To make it easier here is a table comparing the diseases. Also, my experience with having psoriasis since I was 11 years old is that a natural approach to reducing inflammation in the body works to alleviate both diseases and assist with reducing the exacerbation of both conditions. By changing your diet, choosing to apply topical ointments made from natural ingredients such as botanical extracts and bathing in colloidal oatmeal and sea salt to alleviate the inflammation and the itch, will compliment any treatment you choose to use and potentially encourage it to work even better.

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

·       Pasta: 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

·       Pasta: 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

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So what treatments could help eczema and psoriasis?

Here is a list of a variety of therapies you could try.

  • Western Medicine (Cortisone, UVB rays, Methotrexate, Biologics, )
  • Chinese Medicine (Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture)
  • Chiropractic/Osteopathy
  • Naturopath (Herbal Medicine, Vitamin Therapy)
  • Intravenous Vitamin Therapy (Glutathione, Vitamin C, Zinc – administered by GP)
  • Homeopathy
  • Kinesiology
  • De-sensitisation of Allergens
  • Allergy Testing

We all respond differently and being someone that tried many different treatments for my psoriasis; I would recommend following a diet that is anti-inflammatory (as listed above) while trying any treatment as it will make your treatment work quicker and will alleviate pain and discomfort which ultimately is ideal and a favourable outcome.

Let us know of your experiences with treatments and what helped you.