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Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis
T he difference between eczema and psoriasis resourse
Difference between eczema and psoriasis: What You
Difference between eczema and psoriasis
W h a t i s t h e d i f f er en ce b et w een eczem a a n d p s o r i a s i s ?
Eczema and Psoriasis are two skin conditions that are often confused for each other. T hey have
many similarities in terms of symptoms in the sense that both produce red rashes on the skin
that are itchy, visible, and highly uncomfortable.
Both skin conditions are extremely inconvenient and cause people to be embarrassed of their
skin. Millions of people around the world suffer from eczema and psoriasis and most
misdiagnose one condition from the other, leading to treatments that may or may not work.
Let’s take a look at what each of these skin disorders are, as well as their similarities and
differences to find what is the diffe re nce be twe e n e cze ma and ps orias is
What is Eczema?
Eczema is also known as dermatitis. It is
characterized by dry, itchy, and scaly red bumps
that appear on sensitive parts of the body such
as the inside of the elbows, back of the knees, as
well as the cheeks, neck, and other areas of the
body near the joints.
Eczema may also become raw and moist, leading
to bacterial infections, blisters, and lesions. T he
effects of severe scratching can lead to bleeding
as well. Sufferers often have other
inconveniences such as difficulty sleeping at night due to extreme itchiness, as well as
restrictions in movement when rashes on the joints make it impossible to move with ease.
Causes of Eczema
T he causes of eczema are a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Individuals who
suffer from this condition have a predisposed condition to the disorder and the appearance of
the symptoms are caused by exposure to external factors such as heat and harsh chemicals
from cosmetics, extreme temperature, as well as from certain types of food.
Recently, scientists have discovered that eczema may be caused by a genetic defect present in
the skin’s epidermal barrier. T his defect allows allergens, irritants, and microfibers to penetrate
the skin and cause allergic reactions, leading to eczema.
Age of Occurrence and Parts of the Body
Eczema usually occurs in childhood but may continue until adulthood. T he symptoms usually
start to appear after the age of 5 but infants can also suffer from the condition.
Eczema occurs on the flexor surfaces of the body, which are the soft, thin, and sensitive parts of
the skin such as the inside of the arms and the back of the knees. However, certain sufferers
also experience rashes all over the body in cases of severe conditions.
Symptoms of Eczema
T he symptoms of this skin condition include itchy, inflamed, and red bumps on the skin. T hey
are extremely itchy and severe rubbing can lead to blisters, cracks, and swelling. Bacterial
infections can occur when the bumps are opened, leading to inflammation.
Symptoms that accompany eczema include hives, lip inflammation, hyperpigmented eyelids,
papules (which are small raised bumps), ichthyosis (scaly skin), as well as lichenification which is
leathery skin from excessive rubbing.
Several possible treatments are available to treat and reduce the symptoms of eczema. T he
most common types are steroid creams that are applied to the skin. However, these creams
often have side effects such as thinning of the skin and stretch marks. T hey also have a
tendency to interfere with the immune system.
Recent developments in eczema treatment include topical immunomodulators, which are antiinflammatory and non-steroid creams.
In cases of infection, anti-bacterial oral medication are often prescribed by doctors.
Other treatments include UV ray exposure, moisturizing the affected areas, avoiding cosmetics
and products with harsh chemicals – including those that have perfumes, as well as determining
which types of foods increase the symptoms. T he most common food allergens are dairy
products, coffee, soybean products, eggs, and nuts.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis, on the other hand, is an inflammatory
skin condition that can be described as an
autoimmune disorder. It is characterized by
patches of raised reddish skin that are covered
with a whitish silvery layer that flakes. T here are
several types of psoriasis but the most common
is Plaque Psoriasis.
About 6-7 million Americans suffer from Psoriasis,
and it’s a chronic skin condition with no known
exact cure but have a relapsing and remitting
Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriasis has a genetic link, with individuals showing symptoms in response to internal bodily
factors. Among these factors are stress, hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle choices such as
excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as reactions to certain medications.
Age of Occurrence and Parts of the Body
Psoriasis occurs in adulthood and they usually appear on extensor surfaces such as the knees,
the elbows, and back of the ankles. However, extreme cases of psoriasis can expand to the rest
of the body.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is characterized by small, red patches that gradually expand on the outer surface of
the skin. T hey form in the skin cells, where they grow and rise to the surface. T hey first appear
red and eventually become scaly and hard, with a silvery, white plaque on the surface.
Inflammation and itchiness accompany the patches and they often expand to bigger sizes when
not treated early. T hey can also crack and become blisters due to excessive dryness and
Common treatments for psoriasis include topical treatments such as corticosteroid creams and
topical retinoids. Corticosteroid creams are deemed to be the most effective while retinoids are
a derivative of Vitamin A that slow skin cell growth.
Salicylic Acid are also prescribed to promote the shedding of the scaly characteristics of the
If the psoriasis is resistant to topical treatments, systemic therapies are recommended, which
include oral medications and/or injectable treatments.
T h e d i f f er en ce b et w een eczem a a n d p s o r i a s i s
In T erms of Symptoms
T he symptoms of eczema are red, itchy, and small, pimple-like bumps that appear on the skin,
while psoriasis symptoms are patches of red skin that are covered by a white, silvery coat with a
scaly characteristic. Both are itchy and highly uncomfortable.
Eczema rashes are often moist while psoriasis patches are dry, and never moist.
In T erms of Causes
Both conditions have a genetic link but eczema responds to environmental factors such as food
intake and exposure to harsh elements like extreme heat or cold. Eczema, in short, is an allergic
reaction to external factors caused by a predisposition to react to outside elements. Psoriasis on
the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder that responds to internal factors inside the body
such as the consumption of medication and other elements such as alcohol and smoking.
In T erms of Age and Parts of the Body
Eczema mostly occurs in childhood while psoriasis occurs in adulthood. Eczema, however, can
also continue into adulthood. While eczema appears on the sensitive parts of the skin such as
the back of the knees, the inside of the elbows, cheeks, under the eyes, and other thin skin
surfaces, psoriasis mostly occurs on the harder surfaces of the skin such as the knees, the back
of the elbows and the ankles.
In T erms of T reatments
Both skin conditions respond well to topical creams, specifically steroid creams. Both also
respond to UV rays or sun exposure. Psoriasis, however, also responds well to medications and
While avoidance of soaps and harsh chemicals, as well as avoiding certain types of food can
alleviate symptoms of eczema, they don’t apply for psoriasis.
T here you have it, psoriasis vs eczema – the main similarities and differences between the two
most common types of skin conditions that plague the general population. If you find it hard to
diagnose one from the other, it is best to consult a dermatologist to avail of the proper
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