What is the Difference between Psoriasis and Eczema?

psoriasis vs eczema favorite plusMany people don’t know the technical differences between psoriasis and eczema. Recognizing which is which will help determine how you treat it.

What is Psoriasis?

A spot of white scales characterizes psoriasis. It is a chronic autoimmune condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. The dead cells build up into silvery-white scales. The skin becomes inflamed and red, causing severe itching.

There’s no cure for psoriasis. However, some topical and systemic medication can abate this skin problem. It is not contagious.

What is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is another long-term condition that affects the skin. It occurs because of a hypersensitivity reaction. It causes the skin to overreact to specific triggers, such as animals, dyes, fabrics, soaps, and other irritants.

Eczema is prevalent among babies. The skin may appear blistered, cracked, inflamed, peeling, pus-filled, or red. Unlike psoriasis, it does not manifest as scaly dead skin.

It can occur anywhere on the body and cause intense itching. Topical treatment usually clears eczema.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Face

Although psoriasis often occurs on the knees and elbows, it may appear anywhere in the body. It includes the face, neck, and scalp. With treatment, it often resolves but may persist.

Scalp psoriasis usually extends onto the ears, forehead, or neck. It can be challenging to treat, especially when hair gets in the way. Phototherapy works best for scalp psoriasis because it can penetrate the hair strands.

Like psoriasis, eczema on the face can lead to discomfort. Problem areas can be extremely prickly deteriorating the skin further. Scratching causes breaks in the skin that allow bleeding or infection. The dryness associated with eczema can also cause cracked skin from general movement.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Hands

Even though most people with psoriasis have it on the backs of their hands, some have flare-ups on their palms. Psoriasis on the hands may also involve the nails. This condition causes overactive skin cells to produce too many new cells under the fingernails. It can look like a fungal infection that discolors the nails and even causes them to fall off.

Likewise, eczema often appears on the hands. It is because they frequently come in contact with animals, fabrics, lotions, soaps, and other allergens. Constant hand washing can further dry out the skin of people with eczema. It can be hard to treat because of the periodic contact with water and other irritants.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Legs

Psoriasis often occurs on the knees and legs. Although some psoriasis may cover significant portions of the legs, other types may appear in isolated patches. The different kinds of psoriasis have various appearances.

For instance, guttate psoriasis on the legs would appear in many separate, drop-like, small red psoriasis patches. However, plaque psoriasis on the legs often appears in large, shapeless spots with thick red skin or thick white scales.

On the other hand, eczema on the legs may often occur in body creases, such as the back of the knee or the front of the ankle. These areas may trap sweat or irritants from clothing and the air. Close contact of irritants with skin and areas of skin rubbing together create a perfect environment for eczema.

Eczema on the back of the knees can become irritating and painful if left untreated. Constant contact with clothing can cause significant bleeding, infection, and oozing.

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Other Body Parts

Psoriasis can arise in sensitive places. Inverse psoriasis and other forms of psoriasis may appear on the armpits, bottoms of the feet, genitals, and skin creases. Psoriasis in the genital area or skin folds may resemble eczema.

Eczema can occur in many inconvenient places as well, especially for infants. Baby creams and diapers may irritate sensitive skin, causing extreme rashes. In some cases, it covers the entire area that comes into contact with a diaper.

Severe Psoriasis vs. Severe Eczema

Like most skin problems, psoriasis can become widespread and incredibly vexatious. Plaque psoriasis may affect nearly the entire body. In acute cases, inflammation can become so severe that it appears and feels like burns.

Eczema can also become grave and cover much of the skin’s surface. The amount of skin affected will depend on the sensitivity of the person’s skin, the skin’s exposure to irritants, and the type and effectiveness of treatments. Severe bleeding, cracking, and oozing in cases of severe eczema can become dangerous.

Treating Psoriasis

Dermatologists usually begin treatment by prescribing topical corticosteroid creams. If these do not work, most doctors prescribe a light therapy treatment.

Treating Eczema

Eczema is often also treated with topical corticosteroid cream. Other instances of eczema may require antibiotic creams or oral prescription medications. Some creams may also be useful to protect skin from infections and irritants, allowing it to heal.


One Reply to “What is the Difference between Psoriasis and Eczema?”

  1. I have, what looks like an extreme case of chapped lips! 4 about 2mos now & it will not go away. I had the same problem around 3yrs ago, but that was severe flaking under my eyes. My doctor at the time prescribed something & it cleared up. I don’t remember what that was? Maybe u can? I’m the only one thankful 4 the masks these days!

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