Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes skin cells to build up on the skin, creating scales and causing the skin to be dry, itchy, red or irritated. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin disorder that usually accompanies asthma or hay fever. Both diseases are chronic, which means that there isn't a "cure" and they won't ever go away completely. However, there are steps you can take to treat your skin when an outbreak occurs.
Avoid soaps, lotions or creams that have high concentrations of fragrance or other irritants to reduce the occurrence of symptoms and lessen the severity of symptoms. Use hypoallergenic products whenever possible.
Avoid scratching. Keep nails trimmed or wear gloves to help resist the temptation. Wear cool, smooth-textured clothing to prevent irritating your skin.
Take a warm bath. Add colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salt or bath oil to the bath and soak for 15 minutes. These items will help add moisture to the skin and calm inflamed skin. Use a gentle soap to wash your skin, applying light pressure in a circular motion on scaly areas in order to remove dry skin.
Apply cool, wet compresses to the areas of your skin that become irritated or itchy. Place clean, dry towels in cold water. Squeeze out the excess water and place on your skin.
Moisturize regularly. After bathing, blot skin dry and apply a generous amount of moisturizer. In colder months or if you tend to have dryer skin, you may need to apply moisturizer multiple times per day. If needed, apply an anti-itch cream or Calamine lotion. Use an over-the-counter oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream.
Seal in moisture by covering your skin at night. Apply an ointment-based moisturizer to scaly areas and wrap them with plastic wrap overnight. Doing so seals moisture into your skin, loosening any scales. In the morning, remove the plastic wrap and wash off any dry skin or scales. Repeat daily or as needed.
Use a humidifier in your home. Dry, indoor air can cause skin dryness. Skin dryness can exacerbate eczema or psoriasis symptoms.
Take an oral medication prescribed by your physician or dermatologist. Medications such as a retinoid or methotroxate can slow down the production of skin cells and suppress inflammation. Be sure to discuss taking these medications with your doctor to understand potential side effects.