Eczema and psoriasis may be markedly different skin conditions, but both can cause itchy, painful symptoms that affect quality of life. According to the National Eczema Association, around 10% of Americans – 31.6 million, experience some type of eczema in a given year. Research from the National Eczema Foundation also describes how adults experience negative effects from their condition:
- Over a third of people affected by atopic dermatitis say they “often” or “always” feel embarrassed or angry about their appearance as a result of the condition
- Nearly 66% report that their eczema affects their ability to do their jobs or household chores
- Two-thirds of adults say their eczema affects what they can eat and drink
- 33% note that they spend between 1 and 3 hours a day treating the condition.
- Almost half (40%) turned down a job or educational opportunity because of their condition.
People with eczema report loss of or disrupted sleep, itchiness and discomfort, decreased academic and work performance, and more.
Psoriasis And Its Effect On Life Quality
Psoriasis, another disease that affects the skin, can have a similar effect on a sufferer’s well-being. The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that around 8 million Americans suffer the effects of psoriasis, which are far more than cosmetic. According to the NPF:
- Between 10 and 30% of those affected by Psoriasis will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis.
- 60% of people with psoriasis report that it has a significant effect on their everyday life.
- Severe psoriasis can affect more than 10% of the body, and 25% of Americans with psoriasis have a moderate to severe case.
Differences Between Eczema And Psoriasis
Both Eczema and psoriasis are painful skin conditions, but they do have marked differences:
- Type of itch: eczema suffers say that their scaly rash is intensely itchy. Those with psoriasis report some itching, but also state that they experience a stinging or burning sensation.
- Appearance: an eczema rash is often scaly, with rough or leathery patches. A psoriasis rash is often thicker and more inflamed and might appear silvery in appearance.
- Location : eczema most often presents in the folds of the skin, such as the webbing in fingers and toes, behind the knees, and insides of the elbows. Psoriasis affects the scalp and face, knees, elbows, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet.
Treatment For Eczema And Psoriasis
Each of these medical conditions is different, so they may involve different treatments. However, both benefit from the administration of corticosteroids and preventive techniques that can stop a flare-up.
Both psoriasis and eczema can flare up from drying conditions such as cold weather and hot water, as well as internal factors such as stress. Controlling these factors by keeping skin moisturized and controlling stress can be helpful in preventing flare-ups.
Despite best efforts, however, these itchy rashes can persist. Knowing the best way to treat them can help improve quality of life.
Corticosteroids For Eczema And Psoriasis
One of the most common treatments for eczema and psoriasis is corticosteroids. Available in both over-the-counter and prescription formulations, they work to reduce the inflammatory response within the rash and control other symptoms. such as itching.
Other possible treatments include coal tar, vitamin D creams, and retinoid. Each case of psoriasis and eczema is unique, and patients may benefit from a combination of strategies to achieve optimum life quality.
Compounding Medications For Eczema And Psoriasis
When a variety of treatment options exists for treating eczema and psoriasis, compounding them for a synergistic effect can be the best way to achieve optimum results. Compounding prescription and over-the-counter medications comes with the benefits of custom formulations to attack a unique problem. In addition, compounding medications for eczema and psoriasis have many other benefits:
- Fast, effective relief of itchy and painful symptoms
- Targeted relief to the area of the body that needs treatment most
- Prescription-strength medication applied in high doses to the treatment area only
- Control of the possible side effects of long-term corticosteroid use, such as skin-thinning
- Negate possible side effects of systemic steroids, such as bloating, weight gain, and mood swings
- Topical formulations are non-habit forming
- Odorless, non-greasy itch relief
Many of the over-the-counter medications mass-produced for eczema and psoriasis sufferers rely on one active ingredient, usually a corticosteroid, to relieve inflammation in hopes of controlling itching. While this may work for occasional or mild eczema or psoriasis sufferers, most experience these diseases differently. Compounded topical medications for itch relief help target the source of the symptoms and provide more effective treatment for the individual.
Many people who suffer from eczema and psoriasis experience a level of itching that greatly diminishes life quality. Some report regular disruptions to work, school, and social activities. Effective treatment of these conditions can help relieve itching and pain associated with the condition. Compounding topical medications based on individual symptoms can provide targeted treatment that vastly improves quality of life for those who suffer from psoriasis and eczema.
Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America
Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding.
He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.