Tag: prurigo nodularis

November 29, 2018
skin

No two people are born completely identical. Even in the case of twins, personalities, preferences, and even minute physical differences, makes each person a unique individual. In the same way, the appearance and symptoms of skin conditions vary from person to person.

Eczema, psoriasis and prurigo nodularis (PN) are three common diagnoses that have no known  cure, yet they affect the lives of millions across the globe. The symptoms of each disease are remarkably similar, and yet they each maintain distinct differences, making general treatment options difficult to prescribe. In celebration of Healthy Skin Month, here is a brief explanation of these three diseases, and what symptoms they each manifest.

skin

Eczema

Eczema is an umbrella term used to describe a condition in which the skin becomes rough, inflamed, and causes itching and bleeding. Sometimes also referred to as Atopic Dermatitis, eczema is a hypersensitive allergic response in which the immune system attacks an unspecified stimulant inside or outside the body. Symptoms include:

  • Dry skin
  • Redness
  • Itching/Bleeding
  • Skin cracking

According to the National Eczema Association, while all types of eczema can cause redness and itching, specific types of eczema, such as Nummular eczema, can leave open, crusted or “weeping” sores. Fortunately, eczema does tend to appear in “flares”, and can subside over time.

Psoriasis

Similar to eczema, psoriasis causes itching, dry patches on the surface of the skin. The primary difference is that psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that results in the production of too many skin cells. These skin cells cause thick, scaly patches to form, which can limit flexibility and cause pain. Other symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Red patches covered in thick, silvery scales
  • Itching, burning, soreness
  • Swollen and stiff joints

Prurigo Nodularis (PN)

Unlike eczema and psoriasis, PN is an intensely itchy skin condition that is hypothesized to be primarily caused by a thickening of nerve endings that sends a strong itching impulse to the brain. When repeatedly scratched, these nerve endings develop thick, hard nodules on the surface of the skin that can scar. Patients diagnosed with PN often find themselves scratching until pain or bleeding occurs, even while asleep. Similar to the effects of poison ivy, the more scratching that occurs, the more the nodules form and spread.

skin

Treatment and Research

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for these conditions. Physicians at ActivMed are looking to change this reality by continually seeking new treatment options for patients diagnosed with eczema, psoriasis and PN. Those who qualify and participate in a clinical study will see a dermatologist at no cost, and receive compensation for travel. If you or someone you know has experienced chronic, itchy skin conditions, you may be eligible to participate! To learn more on how you can be involved, CLICK HERE.

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