Do I Have Dry Skin, Eczema, or Psoriasis?

My skin has a white cast and looks dull and grey. It itches in the winter and the skin on my hands and my feet are cracked. What’s wrong with my skin?

Chances are you have dry skin which can be easily remedied You just need moisturizer. Most noticeably affecting African Americans dry or “ashy” skin can result from cold weather, dry heat and low humidity. Taking too-hot showers and baths makes dry skin worse. To repair your dry skin try lowering the temperature of your bath water, using less or gentler soaps, and applying moisturizer immediately after bathing. For dry hands or feet, apply Vaseline before bedtime under warm socks. In especially dry areas, try using a humidifier at night.

Good creams and moisturizers for dry skin are Eucerin, Lubriderm, and Cetaphyl. Do not use Ivory and other harsh soaps; do not let dandruff shampoo get on your body. Rinse all soaps well.

My skin is very itchy. Could I have eczema?

If you have raised, itchy patches on your skin, you may have eczema. You need to confirm your condition with a doctor for medical treatment. Eczema is common in people with allergies. Spending more time in the sun (while preventing sunburn) and using vitamin e oil, can provide relief from mild eczema.

Children are known to have atopic dermatitis, which is a common form of eczema. They usually outgrow it.

I have scales on my elbows, knees and other parts of my body. Is this a worse condition than dry skin?

Scales on the skin otherwise known as plaques are a sign of psoriasis. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease resulting from an overactive immune system. This condition can be disfiguring, and painful. It can result in arthritis debilitating arthritis as well. Most people have a mild form of the disease, which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Psoriasis on the scalp can cause hair loss. It is often discovered after hair loss and confused for cradle cap or hair loss to due chemicals. African Americans with Psoriasis should consider wearing their hair in is natural, unprocessed state.
Currently, doctors can prescribe medications for symptom relief. Sun therapy is also useful. There are many drug trials underway to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions.

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