What's Going Around: Eczema and psoriasis - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

What's Going Around: Eczema and psoriasis

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Dr. Maureen Olivier with Imperial Health Dermatology in Lake Charles. (KPLC) Dr. Maureen Olivier with Imperial Health Dermatology in Lake Charles. (KPLC)
If you have noticed red, itchy or inflamed areas of your skin, you could be suffering from one of the common skin conditions being treated by local dermatologists, like Dr. Maureen Olivier with Imperial Health Dermatology.

Anyone exposed to extreme heat or moisture can develop eczema.  These are scaly, itchy patches on the skin that are especially prone to develop in the crease areas of the body.

Treating eczema varies from over-the-counter creams to prescription medication.  "We use moisturizers, we use topical steroids, sometimes we actually give oral medicines so they don't itch so much and they can sleep," said Dr. Olivier.  "If it's very severe, say in the case of poison ivy, we may go ahead and give oral corticosteroids."

People who work in the heat are more likely to develop eczema.

Another condition affecting the skin is actually a disease of the immune system.  Psoriasis changes the timeline for skin cell replacement.  "We replace our epidermis every 30 days," said Dr. Olivier, "in a psoriasis patient, their cells are turned on to do it about every week, so this causes an inflammation."

Psoriasis leaves patients with large, itchy patches on their skin.  "What we see on the skin is a little bit different and we'll see a very defined red, raised patch with a silvery scale," said Dr. Olivier.

Patients typically notice these patches on areas with more friction: like the elbows, knees and scalp.  Mild cases can be treated with topical agents, but in moderate or severe cases, oral and injectable medications will be needed. 

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