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Those Itchy Patches Might Be More Than a Skin Rash
We all know that certain people are more sensitive than others. They are more prone to develop allergies and may "break out" or have skin rashes more often than others. While some of these rashes may be due to an allergic reaction, there are medical conditions that cause periodic skin rashes such as psoriasis and eczema.

Eczema is a skin condition that normally appears in young children and follows them throughout life. Sixty percent of all cases of eczema appear before age one and an amazing 90 percent by the age of five. In some cases, this disorder can become less severe and may even disappear as the person gets older, but for the most part, it is a life-long sentence. In fact, more than half of the people who develop eczema as children continue to suffer with it as adults.

Eczema is identified by red, scaly, bumpy, itchy patches that can become infected and may discharge liquid or pus. In patients who scratch a lot, the skin of the infected areas can become thick and raised up. While other skin conditions can resemble eczema, there are certain spots of the body that are characteristic for eczema flare ups: behind the knees, in front of the elbows, the neck, and in other folds of the skin.

Since eczema can be confused with other conditions, the placement of the rash is key to identifying the disorder. Family history is also taken into consideration and a biopsy may also be ordered.

Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, certain factors do contribute to it. People who are overly sensitive to their environment or people who have a lot of allergies tend to be more susceptible to the disorder. It also is common in people who have a family history of eczema.

There are also certain triggers that can lead to an eczema flare up in persons who have been diagnosed with the disorder. Here is a short list of things that can cause an eczema skin rash:

- Certain types of clothing such as wool or other material that irritates the skin. - Lower humidity and/or temperature. - Stress - Creams, perfumes, or soaps may make it worse. - The weather.

By avoiding the triggers that cause flare ups and by following doctor-prescribed regimens, most eczema patients can lessen the impact that eczema has on their skin and lives. They can lengthen the time between episodes and can lessen the severity of those episodes when they do occur.

Research continues and one day a cure for eczema is hoped to be found. In the meantime, newer and better treatments are being formulated with fewer side effects than the treatments that have been traditionally used. And most cases are able to be controlled with these newer medications. No, it is not a cure, but it's a step in the right direction which is a relief for eczema sufferers young and old alike.

About the Author

Brian Dolezal is a contributing editor for TopConsumerReviews.com, a leading provider of independent reviews and rankings for hundreds of consumer products. You can find out how top Eczema Treatments compare by visiting TopConsumerReviews.com today.

"Dr. Crutchfield and his staff are extremely caring and leave nothing to chance in their psoriasis diagnosis and treatment plan. As a securities officer and volunteer firefighter, my hands are essential to my work and I was frustrated by the limited time and treatment options I received at other dermatology offices. From the moment I stepped into Crutchfield Dermatology I instantly realized that things at the clinic were different. Dr. Crutchfield knew what we were dealing with right away and he established a complete psoriasis treatment program that has changed the quality of my life". - Ken W., St. Paul

Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D. is a graduate of the Mayo Clinic Medical School. Dr. Crutchfield is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Crutchfield conducts active psoriasis research (he has a Master's Degree in Molecular Biology) and has recently received a United States Patent on one of his psoriasis treatment medications. Dr. Crutchfield lectures locally and nationally on the treatment of psoriasis. When other medical students, dermatology residents and physicians learn about psoriasis, they are often learning it from Dr. Crutchfield. Dr. Crutchfield also treats many physicians and nurses with psoriasis. When other Twin Cities' healthcare providers need psoriasis treatment, they often choose Dr. Crutchfield. We are happy to share that Dr. Crutchfield is recognized by Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine as on of the Twin Cities' "Top Doctors". Now that you know a little bit about Dr. Crutchfield we invite you to take a look at our results. Below are pictures of just a few of the many happy patients we have treated at Crutchfield Dermatology. Psoriasis is an age-old problem. For centuries it has affected people in all walks of life and from all countries. It can be progressive, and may appear at any time during one's life. It is one of the most common of skin diseases, striking an estimated 3-5% of the world's population. Of those affected, 25% can develop an associated psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis is not contagious, but it interferes with normal life and social relationships and causes many sufferers to isolate themselves from friends, family and fellow workers. Heredity may play a part in this disease. Stress, injury, infection, medication or trauma can trigger an initial episode or cause a flare-up.

At Crutchfield Dermatology we take a great deal of pride in our very effective psoriasis treatments. Dr. Crutchfield is a board certified dermatologist, graduate of the Mayo Clinic Medical School (1994) and a Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota, who has extensive training in the treatment of psoriasis including topical medications, phototherapeutic measures (narrow band-UVB), and traditional systemic anti-psoriatic medications [methotrexate, cyclosporine (Neoral), Soriatane], and the new generation of biologic agents to treat psoriasis [Enbrel (etanercept), Amevive (alefacept), Raptiva (efalizumab) and Humira (adalimumab)].

At Crutchfield Dermatology, we also have the most active phototherapy center for the treatment of psoriasis in the state of Minnesota, employing both full body and hand & foot, narrow band-UVB National Biological Corporation units.

Dr. Crutchfield has also developed and patented several very effective topical medications for the exclusive treatment of psoriasis in his patients.

Dr. Crutchfield will carefully evaluate your condition and design a custom psoriasis treatment program that is just right for you.. Most of our patients are clear in less than 30 days of their first visit.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Crutchfield call 651.209.3600

Psoriasis Patient Testimonial
November 04, 2007

Dear Dr Charles E Crutchfield III:

Thank you for presenting Fred Finkelstein and his film "My Skin's on Fire" to Minnesota on Saturday October 6th. I heard many people say that they had learned so much form your program. As usual, you gave most generously of your time and information during the question and answer period. Our people are hungry for accurate information and help.

It is because of your help and co-operation that our Minnesota Psoriasis Support Group has flourished. We do have one of the largest groups in the country. We are very grateful for all that you have done from the very beginning of our meetings. You have helped to educate and inform us about the many successful ways of treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

I especially appreciated the help of Kerry from your staff to get a mailing out. She is a most delightful and helpful young woman.

We look forward to working with you in the future,

Gertrude Coad, Leader
Minnesota Psoriasis Support Group

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Patient Testimonial
Dear Dr. Crutchfield and Staff,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the help you have given me in controlling my Psoriasis! My condition has been under control for the first time in my life since I came to Minnesota to see you, and to get your advice and help.

My Psoriasis had started 40 years before, and I had exhausted the roll of Dermatologists out here in California, while hearing the same old story from each of them time and again. Every doctor here told me it was “incurable” and then proceeded to give me the same tired old advice and treatments I had tried before and with no success. I finally settled for a lifetime of wearing long sleeves and long pants during the summer months in my attempts to cover my condition, unless I was with friends or family who accepted my appearance without question. It was always embarrassing however to be asked by strangers who spotted a patch of Psoriasis whether I had fallen down and hurt myself, so I usually lied to them and said yes.

My wife’s cousin had moved to Eagan from Hawaii years before, and part of his decision to do so was due to his own case of Psoriasis. In Hawaii one is almost forced to wear shorts and T-shirts and he too was tired of embarrassing questions. Eventually he was referred to your office for treatment, and the results were so incredible that he called me here in California and offered to fly me out to see you! My wife and I waited until we had free time and had made the decision to make the 4,000 mile round trip to Eagan in our car!

Thank God for that decision, and that long drive, because I had the privilege of spending time in your office and of benefiting from your effective advice and treatment. I was favorable impressed by the friendly and professional way I was treated the moment I walked through the door of your building, and two years later I am happy to report that my condition is still under control, and that I proudly wear my beloved short sleeved shirts and shorts here in the California sunshine! You listened to my questions with patience and caring and you gave answers were new and refreshing and that finally caused me to be optimistic about my condition. For the first time I walked away from an appointment with a Dermatologist with hope and a smile on my face, because after 40 years of searching I had finally found a doctor who didn’t listen to those who had given up long ago, and who went further than anyone else in his search for a cure for this terrible disease!

There is still no cure, but by following your advice and faithfully applying my medications I am 95% symptom free, and my life has been much happier because of it. I have given personal testimonies to others I spot with Psoriasis, and have referred them to your office for treatment, regardless of where they may live. I hope they took my advice to heart and found you.

This is the only way I know of thanking you. You have truly done your part to create a happier and better world. Thank you so very much and please keep up your search for a final cure. If anyone can find it----it is you!

Dennis W.

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Patient Testimonial
Dear Dr. Crutchfield and Staff,

My psoriasis had been so terrible the past 7 years, especially on my face and hairline, I was dreading having to pose for photographs at my daughter's wedding. I am so very very happy. You put me on a program that cleared my psoriasis, and you should see how big I am smiling in all the wedding photographs! My God bless you, Dr. Crutchfield.

Betty S.
St. Paul, Minnesota

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the help you have given me in controlling my Psoriasis! My condition has been under control for the first time in my life since I came to Minnesota to see you, and to get your advice and help. Read full Psoriasis Testimonial...

I can’t say enough about how happy I am with my psoriasis treatment. I am essentially clear and in a really good spot in my life. I wish I had come to you years ago. Your care really has been life changing for me.

Mike F.
Farmington, Minnesota

“I have had hand psoriasis for over 20 years. I have seen so many doctors that I have lost count. After seeing Dr. Crutchfield, in only 1 week, my hands are clear for the first time in 20 years. I think he is the world’s best dermatologist and I salute him.”

Chung Hoang
St. Paul, Minnesota

I’ve struggled with psoriasis for over 5 years and after 2 weeks of the treatments you recommended, I am clear! I can’t believe it and I am so happy I came to Crutchfield Dermatology.

Mike S.
St. Paul, Minnesota

You told me at my initial consultation that when I came back to see you the psoriasis would be gone. You are absolute correct and have my eternal gratitude.

-Marg S, West St. Paul


I have suffered from psoriasis almost all my life.  This is the first time I can remember feeling good about myself and my skin.  In fact, I wore a skirt and open-toe shoes to work for the first time in 10 years last week.  I’m soooo happy, I just feel great about myself.  I’ve referred my mother, my sister and 3 friend to Crutchfield Dermatology in the last week alone. Thanks so much!

-Tami W, Burnsville, Minnesota


Thank you for providing me with a very simple psoriasis treatment program. I can't tell you how much it's increased the quality of my life. I'm wearing short-sleeved shirts and shorts throughout the summer and enjoying life again without embarrassment. Thank you so very, very much.

-Greg T. Eagan, Minnesota

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