Who Develops These Conditions
Anyone can get psoriasis of the scalp. Theres no way to prevent it. Its more likely to occur in adults who have psoriasis elsewhere on their body.
The exact cause of psoriasis isnt known, but it involves an overreaction of the immune system. It tends to run in families, so its likely theres a genetic link.
Anyone can get seborrheic dermatitis, too. However, males develop it more often than females. Some things that may play a role in developing seborrheic dermatitis include:
- a family history of seborrheic dermatitis
- oily skin
Implications For Sexual Health
Genital psoriasis becomes worse as a result of the friction that occurs during sexual intercourse. Some patients report feeling less discomfort when wearing condoms. Additionally, the condoms will serve as a barrier that prevents skin-to-skin irritation. After sexual intercourse, patients with genital psoriasis need to cleanse the area thoroughly and apply moisturizers.
Psoriasis and eczema may also change the appearance of the genitalia, which can be uncomfortable for you and your partner. For this reason, you should openly communicate with your partner about your condition to remove the tension. You need to remember that neither condition is transmissible, which means there is no risk of infecting another person who does not have the disease.
Psoriasis and eczema that affect the genitalia are common in the general population however, people are not familiar with their presentations. Learning about the signs and symptoms of these conditions will prevent the panic that arises from thinking its an STD. We hope that this article highlighted the clinical presentation of genital psoriasis and eczema.
If you want to read more about what your eczema might be, read this:
Key Characteristics That Distinguish The Two Diseases
Similarly to eczema, psoriasis is a hereditary chronic inflammatory disease presenting as itchy red patches in alternating periods of flare-ups and remission. So, what makes psoriasis different?
Psoriasis causes the skin to regenerate too quickly
Unlike eczema, psoriasis is linked to accelerated skin regeneration. More specifically, keratinocyte cells regenerate in just 7 days . Plus, the normal maturation process of these cells is disrupted. This causes the skin to thicken around the patches and to peel more than usual.
Affected areas of the body
Psoriasis patches appear in different areas of the body than eczema patches. The areas most often affected by psoriasis are the elbows, the front of the knees, the upper buttocks, and the scalp. The fingernails and hands are often affected as well. Psoriasis may even cover the entire body.
There is a particular form of psoriasis that affects the skin folds, appearing mostly on the folds in the groin, underarms and the navel.
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How Can You Ease Your Symptoms
Dr. Fernandez recommends using a moisturizing cream or ointment if you have either eczema or psoriasis. Keeping your skin moist is helpful because youre more likely to itch if your skin is dry.
Your skin can also benefit from these general health tips:
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink more water.
- Get plenty of exercise.
There is no cure for psoriasis and multiple types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis. But you can help limit the symptoms by getting proper treatment and taking good care of your skin, Dr. Fernandez says.
Treatments For Eczema And Psoriasis
Treatment for eczema
Doctors usually treat eczema with a corticosteroid ointment or cream. If your eczema is stubborn and doesnt go away, they might prescribe you some immunosuppressants and steroids.
Antihistamines are used for contact dermatitis.
Treatment for psoriasis
Psoriasis needs to be treated differently than eczema. Doctors might prescribe ointments designed specifically for psoriasis that include vitamin D, calcipotriene, calcitriol, or vitamin A as a topical therapy.
If your psoriasis is severe enough, doctors can prescribe phototherapy, which involves using ultraviolet light in controlled doses.
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Reviewed By Check Mark Icon
- Eczema is a common skin condition that can cause swelling and thick, scaly skin.
- Psoriasis is less common than eczema and causes a dry, itchy rash with scaly patches of skin.
- Treatment for mild cases of both conditions is similar but more severe cases require unique care.
Eczema and psoriasis are common inflammatory skin conditions. They both can cause itchy rashes and appear on the same parts of the body to an untrained eye they are easy to mix up.
Treatments for mild and moderate cases of these conditions are similar, but severe cases may require more specific medications.
Here are the causes, symptoms, and treatment of eczema and psoriasis and what makes them different.
Why Is Eczema Confused With Psoriasis
Mistaking eczema for psoriasis is common, as both are inflammatory skin conditions and are similar in appearance. The two not only share similar symptoms, but they frequently develop in the same areas of the body, such as the scalp or hands.
While those are two of the more common sites for flare-ups, both conditions can form anywhere on the body. They also share some common triggers, including cold, dry air and allergens in the environment.
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Fight Ignorance With Facts
You may be all too used to second glances and unkind remarks about your skin from others. People who donât understand what the disease is may worry that itâs contagious or a symptom of another health problem. Have a fast, fact-based statement ready, says Carolyn Jacob, MD, who has psoriasis and serves as director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology in Illinois. âI tell people who make comments, âI have psoriasis, which is a genetic condition. You canât catch it.ââ
Q: What About Prescription Treatments
It really depends on the patient and how severe their condition is, which is why personalization is so key.
For some people with eczema, over-the-counter products may be sufficient. But many people with even mild eczema, which affects less than 10% of the body, typically need to use a prescription topical corticosteroid or topical calcineurin inhibitorâboth of which work to reduce inflammationâon occasion.
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Is Psoriasis Contagious
You can’t “give” it to anyone, and no one can “catch” it from you.
“You can touch psoriasis all day long,” High says. “As a dermatologist â¦ I see at least one person if not a few people with psoriasis , and I don’t have it.” High adds, “My wife doesn’t have it. I didn’t bring it home. I don’t do special laundry. I don’t undress in the garage or anything like that.”
Is Psoriasis Hereditary
Although psoriasis is not contagious from person to person, there is a known hereditary tendency. Therefore, family history is very helpful in making the diagnosis.
There are many effective psoriasis treatment choices. The best treatment is individually determined by the treating doctor and depends, in part, on the type of disease, the severity, and amount of skin involved and the type of insurance coverage.
For mild disease that involves only small areas of the body , topical treatments , such as creams, lotions, and sprays, may be very effective and safe to use. Occasionally, a small local injection of steroids directly into a tough or resistant isolated psoriatic plaque may be helpful.
For moderate to severe psoriasis that involves much larger areas of the body , topical products may not be effective or practical to apply. This may require ultraviolet light treatments or systemic medicines. Internal medications usually have greater risks. Because topical therapy has no effect on psoriatic arthritis, systemic medications are generally required to stop the progression to permanent joint destruction.
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Causes Of The Diseases
Eczema and psoriasis, while two distinct conditions, have something key in common. Both diseases, says Dr. Amy Paller, Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, involve the human immune system, just in different ways.
With psoriasis, the immune system is overactive in a manner that leads to the growth of too many new skin cells, too fast. These cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing thick scales or plaques that can be dry, flaky and painful. Psoriasis can be triggered or worsened by stress, skin injury, cold/dry weather, medications or infections. Genetics also seem to play a role with psoriasis risks running in families.
While experts dont completely know what causes eczema, a combination of genes, immune system tendencies and triggers are believed to be involved. People with eczema tend to have overly-reactive immune systems that, when triggered by a substance outside or inside the body, respond by causing inflammation. Researchers have also found that some people with eczema have a mutation in a gene that plays an important role in the skin barrier leaving the skin more vulnerable to dryness, irritants and allergens . Similar to psoriasis, stress can also trigger eczema and family history can increase eczema risks.
Causes Of Eczema And Psoriasis
Doctors arent entirely sure what causes eczema and psoriasis. However, they have linked them to conditions and circumstances that can influence an outbreak.
Causes of eczema
Eczema is believed to be triggered by allergic reactions to organisms or substances you encounter. The condition might also be passed down through inherited genes. Studies have shown that children whose parents have allergies and asthma are more at risk of developing eczema.
Some other eczema triggers are believed to be:
- Cold or dry air
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Lean On Your Loved Ones
If youâre feeling lousy, touching another person or talking about your psoriasis may be the last thing you feel like doing. But research shows that people with psoriasis who get social support feel better day to day and are less likely to have depression. Let your friends and family know how psoriasis affects you emotionally. âThey may not âget itâ until you open up to them. But when you do, theyâll want to support you,â Kaminska says.
Is It Eczema Or Psoriasis
Ever wonder about the differences between eczema and psoriasis? Or have you tried to explain the two conditions to someone and found yourself getting confused? Youre not alone. Even the most skin-savvy of us can sometimes get these common disorders mixed up. So, with Psoriasis Awareness Month here in the month of September, weve outlined some key details to clarify things and hopefully help more people get the accurate diagnosis and treatment they need.
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Which Is Worse: Eczema Or Psoriasis
Eczema affects children who are incapable of taking care of themselves in these situations. Psoriasis, on the other hand, causes severe deformation of nails. Eczema may sometimes cause intense skin irritation which becomes uncontrollable whereas psoriasis can be connected to diabetes, depression and heart ailments.
After analysing various studies it is safe to say that both psoriasis and eczema are equally disturbing and carry a lot of social stigma and discrimination along with them. It is not possible to say definitively that one is worse than the other.
The Last Word
You must be informed about both eczema and psoriasis, understand their possible triggers, know their characteristics and symptoms to be able to differentiate them, diagnose them and opt for the right treatment.
Make sure you talk to your doctor, understand the treatments to manage the flare-ups. Choose herbal remedies, naturally-formulated products in your daily skincare routine over chemical ones to maintain your skin health.
What Causes Eczema
Eczema is caused by a combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers and stress.
- Your immune system. If you have eczema, your immune system overreacts to small irritants or allergens. This overreaction can inflame your skin.
- Your genetics. Youre more likely to have eczema if there is a history of dermatitis in your family. Youre also at a higher risk if theres a history of asthma, hay fever and/or allergens. Allergens are substances like pollen, pet hair or foods that trigger an allergic reaction. Also, there might be a change in your genes that control a protein that helps your body maintain healthy skin. Without normal levels of that protein, your skin will not be completely healthy.
- Your environment. There is a lot in your environment that can irritate your skin. Some examples include exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollutants, harsh soaps, fabrics such as wool and some skin products. Low humidity can cause your skin to become dry and itchy. Heat and high humidity can cause sweating and that can make the itchiness even worse.
- Your stress. Your stress levels can cause or worsen your eczema. There are mental/emotional signs of stress and physical signs of stress. They include:
Notice that diabetes is not included in this list.
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Who Do They Affect
Eczema is more common among children than adults, although adults can have it if they were not affected by it in their childhood. The frequency of atopic dermatitis or eczema has significantly increased from 8% to 12% among children since 1997.
Psoriasis on the other hand mostly affects adults mostly between the age of 20-30 years or between the age of 50-60 years. Almost 2-3% of the worlds total population is affected by psoriasis.
Psoriasis On The Face
Although psoriasis most commonly occurs on the knees and elbows, it may occur anywhere. This includes the face, scalp, and neck.
With treatment, psoriasis on the face and scalp often resolves, but it may recur.
In many cases, scalp psoriasis extends onto the forehead, ears, or neck. It can be difficult to treat, especially when hair gets in the way.
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What Are The Differences Between Eczema And Psoriasis Topic Guide
- Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that that causes scaling, burning, and itching on the face, scalp, chest, back, legs, below the breasts, and in the groin area. Triggers for seborrheic dermatitis include hormonal changes, stress, illness, harsh detergents/solvents/chemicals/soaps, cold/dry weather, certain medications, certain neurological conditions, HIV/AIDS, and other medical conditions.
Causes Of Eczema Vs Psoriasis
Eczema and psoriasis are caused by different problems with the immune system. The cause of psoriasis is an autoimmune reaction wherein the immune system misidentifies cells in the skin as dangerous and attacks them. Eczema is an extreme sensitivity, sometimes caused by an allergy, to certain triggering substances. Common triggers for eczema include animals, fabrics, soaps, metals, and certain medications. In other words, psoriasis is caused when your immune system attacks itself, and eczema is caused when your immune system overreacts to an outside substance.
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Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Self
Liberal use of a thick, nonirritating moisturizer can ease dryness and help restore the skin barrier in both conditions, says Khetarpal.
Avoiding products with dyes and fragrances is important in eczema.
Since sunburn can worsen both psoriasis and eczema, its important to wear a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when spending time outdoors.
While there isnt evidence that a specific diet that eliminates items like dairy or sugar can help either condition, you can benefit from drinking alcohol only in moderation, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and exercising .
Is There A Cure For Psoriasis And Eczema
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease with red raised patches covered in silvery scales affecting my knees, elbows and forearms. After educating herself on nutrition, she then cut out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy and wheat. I cleared my psoriasis, eczema and acne, and lost five stone in weight without trying.
While the exact cause of eczema and psoriasis is not known, there are many factors that can make the symptoms worse, diet being one of them. If you have eczema or psoriasis there are certain foods that can cause flare ups.
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What Is Psoriatic Arthritis
Some people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Though most commonly experienced in the fingers, toes and along the spine, psoriatic arthritis can affect any part of your body, and the pain and swelling can range from mild to severe. Similar to other psoriasis types, there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, and its imperative that those with this type of psoriasis seek medical treatment, as symptoms can become disabling if left untreated.7
What Is Pustular Psoriasis
This type of psoriasis appears as small blisters surrounded by red skin and can be limited to certain areas of the body or cover most of the body. With this psoriasis type, the redness usually appears first, before the pustules and scaling develop. Its worth noting that these blisters associated with pustular psoriasis are filled with white blood cells and are not contagious.5
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What Does Psoriasis Look Like
Although psoriasis occurs at any age, it most frequently appears between the ages of 16 and 22. If you have skin plaques that may be psoriasis, call specialists like the dermatologists at Park Avenue Dermatology for an evaluation.
There are different types of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is most common.
Thick, red patches of painful, itchy skin can appear on any part of the body, but often on the scalp, lower back, knees, and elbows. Other types of psoriasis appear on other areas of the body, like the feet, underarms, or groin area.
If you have psoriasis, your chance of developing other health problems like psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, Celiac disease, and metabolic syndrome increases.
Both eczema and psoriasis are chronic skin diseases that cause red, dry, scaly skin rashes. Although they share similar signs and symptoms, their underlying causes are different. As a result, the ways in which the diseases are treated can also differ sometimes significantly.
Given this, it is important that you get a formal diagnosis if you suspect eczema or psoriasis. Fortunately, there are ways your healthcare provider can differentiate the two diseases so that they can be treated appropriately and effectively.
Jessica Olah / Verywell