eczema vs psoriasis

Psoriasis or Eczema?

Psoriasis and eczema are two of the most common skin disorders, with psoriasis affecting approximately 1.8 million people in the UK alone. The similarities in the appearance of the two conditions often result in the one being mistaken for the other. So how do we tell them apart?

Both are auto-immune conditions; eczema is the immune system’s reaction to allergens whereas psoriasis is an abnormal immune system response causing skin cells to renew much more rapidly than they can be shed.

Eczema usually presents as a red, itchy rash and can be triggered by allergens such as certain foods, pollen, pet hair, and irritants present in toiletries, detergents and other items that come into contact with the skin. Eczematous skin can also be aggravated by stress, humidity and extreme temperatures, or an infection. Eczema is more common in babies and children, and usually improves with age. However, it may persist in adults, resulting in a more sensitive skin.

Psoriasis is generally less itchy and can cause a similar rash to eczema or thick patches of silvery, scaly, inflamed skin. Similar to eczema, psoriasis can be triggered by stress or an infection, yet it may also flare up following even slight injury to the skin, such as a scratch or sunburn. In addition, psoriasis symptoms can include fatigue, joint pain and inflammation and a lowered immune function. Psoriasis can occur at any age and often appears and disappears unpredictably.

The rash can appear on several parts of the body, leading to unease and discomfort for the sufferer. Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis or eczema but certain lifestyle choices can be made to help keep the conditions under control. Allergens and irritants can be avoided and an anti-inflammatory diet adopted. Exercising can help to reduce stress levels, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Marine green clay may be used as a natural solution to reduce inflammation, normalise the metabolism, soothe itching and regenerate the skin. Certain flower extracts and preparations have soothing and healing properties for especially sensitive skin such as psoriasis and eczema; Violet Tricolor, Calendula and Helichrysum can be added to the clay for additional benefits. Epson salts and Dead Sea salts may also ease symptoms and can be alternated with clay when bathing.

CLAY BATH

Add three or four cups of clay to lukewarm bath water.  When the clay is added to warm water it will disperse spontaneously and rise to the surface creating a cloud. While you are bathing the movement of your arms and legs will be sufficient to keep the clay in suspension.  Bathing with clay does not dirty your skin and you do not need to rinse yourself when you get out of the bath.  You will note with pleasure that your skin has become softer.  You can clean the bathtub of clay deposits with a jet of water from the shower.  The clay will not block the bathroom plumbing.

 

CLAY PREPARATION FOR CATAPLASM   

Clay can be applied to the affected skin as a cataplasm once every two days until symptoms improve.

1 cup of Fine Green Clay, 1 tablespoon of Honey, 1 tablespoon of Olive oil, ½ cup of natural mineral water1

Dissolve the honey in the mineral water, add the oil and mix well with a wooden or plastic spoon. Gradually add the clay, continuing to stir energetically until the mixture is smooth, creamy and thick.  Apply a 1-5 cm layer of clay for 20-30 minutes. The clay can be covered with a gauze if preferred. 

It is advisable to apply the clay using a spatula and remove using a sponge dampened with warm water.

Attention:  After a few minutes, the mask will begin to tighten the skin. This is a normal reaction. In some cases, the skin will be reddened after removing the mask, this too is a normal reaction for some skin types.  In the case of very sensitive skin, a light tingling sensation can be felt on the skin accompanied by some reddening that will disappear after removing the mask.  This is also a normal reaction.

Important:  A few minutes after applying a mask you will notice a pleasant sense of freshness and relaxation of the skin. After having removed the mask you will find that your skin has become more soft, smooth and silky.

Blog post written for Molly Mojo by Sarah Ferguson, Argital UK. Argital’s Baby and Allergen Free ranges2, were created specifically for sensitive skin and contain Marine Green Clay and Violet Tricolor, to soothe, heal, renew and protect delicate and sensitive skin.

1The quality of the water is fundamental. We advise you to use mineral water because tap water, apart from having a certain degree of hardness, also contains chlorine. This is necessary to avoid bacterial contamination.

2Allergens of DL 15/02/2005 N.50. Tests carried out include: patch and skin irritation tests; negative presence of allergens; negative presence of Nickel, Cobalt and Chrome.