Contact dermatitis is an itchy rash that may burn, sting, swell, and/or blister. Contact dermatitis is triggered by exposure to something that irritates the skin such as poison ivy, nickel, latex, some soaps and detergents, some fragrances, medications, and hair dyes. Contact dermatitis can also be triggered by an allergic reaction that causes a rash. More than 3000 substances are known to cause contact dermatitis. Treatment depends on the cause.
Eczema usually begins in infancy and persists into adulthood. 90% of those affected developed eczema before their fifth birthday. Eczema is associated with dry, sensitive skin that is easily irritated. It can resolve with age, but flare if triggered. It is caused by genetics and a trigger that causes the skin to overreact to a stimulus, causing the common symptoms of inflammation, itchy and painful flareups. People with eczema often have asthma, hay fever or family with these conditions.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting about 2% of Americans. It causes the body to produce new skin cells within days rather than weeks. Psoriasis produces thick, scaly, itchy patches or plaques that appear on the knees, elbows, lower back and scalp. The patches may also sting, burn, feel tight and painful.
It is not contagious, but we don’t know the cause. Psoriasis is a permanent immune system disorder where the T cells that fight infections attack the skin cells. Psoriasis runs in families and can develop with exposure to a trigger. Common triggers are stress, an infection, some medications, cold and dry weather, alcohol and tobacco.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. A complication of psoriasis is psoriatic arthritis that affects the joints. Psoriasis increases the risk of developing other medical problems such as eye problems, mood changes, swollen and bleeding gums, abdominal pain, fever, Crohn’s disease, weight gain, fatigue, stiff joint and fluid retention.
Other types of psoriasis include:
- Tiny red bumps that appear after an infection.
- Smooth, red patches that are sore and painful in skin that touches skin, such as in the armpits, genitals, and buttocks.
- Pustular psoriasis is pus-filled bumps usually on the hands and feet that is sore and painful and can be life-threatening.
- Nail psoriasis changes the fingernails and toenails causing dents in the nails, discoloration, and lift the nail because of the buildup of skin cells below the nail.
A rash is a scaly, bumpy, itchy or irritated and inflamed patch of skin. Some rashes can lead to blisters. A rash is a symptom, not a diagnosis. A rash can be caused by an infection, an allergy, heat, medications, genetics and skin disorders.
When you suffer with dry scaly patches of skin it is important to receive the correct diagnosis. Contact Dr. Zeena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Make certain to tell her about your symptoms, family history and anything you think is triggering your problem.
At a Glance
Dr. Zeena Al-Dujaili
- Double board certified in dermatology and Mohs Surgery
- Fellowship trained in cosmetic dermatology
- Authored several chapters in clinical textbooks and peer-reviewed publications
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