Eczema & Psoriasis – Lifelong Treatment & Coping with Depression

The Eczemas and Psoriasis are More than Just Skin Rashes

There are many different types of eczema, including nummular eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Psoriasis is a skin disorder that is believed to be autoimmune, whereas the immune system of an individual turns on itself to produce more skin cells than what is necessary to maintain good skin integrity. This overproduction lends itself to creating areas of red scaly patches, the scales being white in color, that sometime ooze an exudate and/or crack and bleed. They can be extremely itchy and can cause painful discomfort, not only physically, but psychologically and emotionally as well.

Those affected may isolate themselves from others, thinking that their skin is on display for the world to see, and that people think that they are contagious and freakish. Nothing is further from the truth. Although some may ignorantly point fingers and shy away from sufferers of psoriasis, the condition cannot be spread to others, even when physical contact is made. This “ostracization” can cause sufferers anxiety, leading to depression. If this is not confronted and made to be understood, a person can turn inward, thinking themselves ugly and unworthy. Some severe cases have resulted in suicides.

Treatment for Eczema and Psoriasis

There are many treatments for psoriasis. Moisturizers, sometimes containing salicylic acid, are used to soften scales and relieve itching. Topical corticosteroids available in varying potencies can slow down skin cell turnover and inflammation. These are available in creams, ointments, tape, and other forms. In severe cases, the corticosteroid can be injected into the lesions themselves. Ultraviolet lamp treatment can be used to irradiate and also slow down overproduction of skin cells. “Tars” are also helpful with scaling and dryness relief.

However, these methods cannot continue indefinitely. With corticosteroids, topical and injected, the skin may become thin with overuse, or organs other than the skin may be damaged, like the liver or kidneys. Futhermore, prolonged ultraviolet treatment can cause skin burning and/or some forms of cancer. The administering physician has to be highly trained and cautious in the proper and adequate use of modalities. Here is where frustration plays a big part of the story: The psoriasis or eczema can, and usually does, return with a vengeance.

Lifelong Treatment and Coping with Depression Makes Eczema and Psoriasis a Challenge

The prognosis for a cure is highly doubtful. Those who suffer with eczema and psoriasis are usually destined to have it for the rest of their lives. The condition starts abruptly, usually triggered by an irritant such as rubber or chemical, an allergen, but then, the immune system picks up the torch, so to speak, and the condition then develops “a life of its own” while the initiating allergen is no longer a factor. This is what leads medical scientists to believe in the hereditary factor. It is quite the vicious circle: onset, full blown skin disease, effective treatment, discontinuing treatment, return of the condition with a vengeance, anxiety over condition leading to depression.

The basic outlook for a psoriasis or eczema sufferer to have is to try to be positive. Even though there is no cure for eczema and psoriasis, research is ongoing. There are also support groups such as optinghealth com where persons can share their feelings and try to cope together. If depression becomes an issue, the sufferer should get help. Mental health is much more important than the skin disease. And above all else, persevere. Eczema and psoriasis demands a lifelong treatment; depression can be overcome.