Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis

Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis

Are you confused about whether what you have is eczema or psoriasis? Skin conditions can affect one in varying degrees and forms. The degree of irritation may be mild in some people, whereas, in others, it may be severe. Both eczema and psoriasis are common skin disorders, and they share similar symptoms.

Eczema and psoriasis are like peas in a pod, and they may have some similarities, but they are very different. Therefore, it is usually challenging to tell the difference between the two. Red scaly patches on the skin characterize both. 

On the one hand, psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. It can affect any part of the skin. On the other hand, eczema is a broader term for dermatitis (any inflammation of any sort on the skin). Both are non-contagious, but they can lead to infections.

Although skin irritations and inflammations are generally referred to as eczema, there is a difference between psoriasis and eczema. The skin is usually more inflamed and patchy when the case is psoriasis.

What is psoriasis

Most people who have psoriasis were initially diagnosed with eczema. Eczema can be more prevalent, but psoriasis is also widespread. Studies have shown that over 30 million people in the United States have eczema, while about 7.5 million have psoriasis. The high rate makes it even more difficult to tell one apart from the other.

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Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis

Psoriasis and eczema both break out in red scaly patches and can often occur in similar areas. They also both uneasiness. But there are some significant differences. Some common symptoms of psoriasis and eczema include itchiness, cracked skin, and red patches on the surface. Whereas they have similar symptoms, the significant differences lie in:

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1. Cause

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder caused by an overproduction of skin cells. These skin cells grow faster than normal, then move to the skin surface and form red patches with silvery scales. Although the cause of eczema is complicated, it is likely to be caused or triggered by genetic and environmental factors such as allergens.

Eczema can occur if the skin is in contact with products or chemicals it is sensitive to. With eczema, the gene which is supposed to protect the skin from environmental factors that can trigger the rash is weak or mutated, leaving the skin vulnerable to environmental factors that can cause it.

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2. Areas affected

Psoriasis can appear on any part of the skin. However, it usually affects the front of the knees or the back of the elbow, while eczema affects the folds of the elbow, the back of the knees, and in between toes. Eczema affects the parts of skin that tend to be wet and ‘flexural’ that are areas of the body that bend.

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3. Age

While eczema is common among infants and children, psoriasis usually occurs in individuals between 15-35 years old. Psoriasis can also affect adults as old as 50 years old or more. Eczema is common among children, but this does not mean it can not affect children as well. Psoriasis can affect children too.

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4. Itchiness

Both eczema and psoriasis cause itching, but itching related to psoriasis is milder whereas more intense with eczema. Sometimes when itching gets bad, some people may scratch their skin so hard that it begins to bleed.

Eczema oozes liquid that tends to form a crust when it trickles, but psoriasis does not ooze liquid. Eczema itching is usually worse at night.

What is eczema

See more: Can Psoriasis Cause Hair Loss?

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5. Sunshine may worsen eczema

For those with psoriasis, sunshine is welcome. Sunshine may slow down the rate at which the skin produces cells. Patients with psoriasis are advised to get enough natural ultraviolet B (UVB). Patients with eczema may not really feel good in hot weather. When eczema patients are exposed to heat, they may begin to sweat, and this can cause the skin to flare.

People who have eczema or psoriasis better understand the pain of having sensitive skin.  Whether your skin condition is minor or significant, it is essential to know which disease you have, so that you know exactly how to avoid flaring it. Both psoriasis and eczema are not curable, but symptoms can be managed. As soon as signs of either psoriasis or eczema are detected, you should see a dermatologist. 

Psoriasis shares similar treatment with eczema. Dermatologists sometimes prescribe creams and suggest some light therapy treatment for psoriasis. Where none of these works, the dermatologist may prescribe intravenous medications or oral medications. Usually, they are the final stage in the treatment process.

Eczema is often treated with a cream prescribed by a dermatologist. In some cases, they may suggest over the counter medications. Sometimes cases of eczema may require antibiotic creams or oral medications. Importantly, patients with sensitive skin prone to any skin disorder should avoid skin products that can irritate the skin.

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Source: caringprograms.com

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