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What Is The Difference Between Plaque Psoriasis And Eczema

What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriasis

Difference between Eczema and Psoriasis

Psoriasis tends to be pink or red with silvery scales on those with light or fair skin tones. On medium skin tones it can appear salmon-colored and silvery-white scales. On darker skin tones psoriasis tends to be violet with gray scales. Or it can also appear dark brown and difficult to see.

The patches can appear anywhere on the body, especially on the elbows and knees. They can also show up on the scalp. The patches can be itchy or tender to the touch.

What Are The Similarities Between Eczema And Psoriasis

As you can see, without the consult of a knowledgeable medical provider, it may be difficult to form a distinction between the different types of eczema and psoriasis although they are different conditions, eczema and psoriasis share many similarities in their symptoms. First, its important to note that neither condition is contagious. You cannot catch eczema or psoriasis from someone who has it. However, both conditions can lead to infections.

Eczema and psoriasis can cause a rash, and the rashes may appear in the same places on the body, like the hands and scalp. Other symptoms may also include discolored skin and itching or burning sensations. Eczema and psoriasis are also both believed to be caused, at least partially, by an overactive immune system that mistakenly attacks the body.

What Is Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis associated with extreme inflammation, itching and pain that affects most of the body. Other symptoms include large sheets of shedding skin , an increase in heart rate, swelling due to fluid retention and significant changes in your body temperature. Its important to seek immediate medical attention if youâre experiencing a flare-up of erythrodermic psoriasis as it can lead to pneumonia or heart failure if left untreated.6

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Can You Use Eczema Cream On Psoriasis

Mild eczema and psoriasis are treated in the same way. Typically, this starts with creams that lower inflammation in the skin, including both topical steroid creams and nonsteroidal creams. You can also use soothing, over-the-counter ointments to help moisturize the skin. These treatments help decrease both eczema and psoriasis flares-ups.

Severe cases of eczema and psoriasis are also treated in a similar way. New medications called biologics treat both conditions by lowering overactivity in the immune system. Dupixent is a biologic medication commonly used to treat severe eczema. And the biologic Skyrizi is a common treatment for severe psoriasis. These medications can also protect the joints from psoriatic arthritis.

Different Types Of Eczema

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There are seven different types of eczema. It is possible to have more than one type of eczema at the same time, and each type has its own triggers and treatments.

Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema and usually begins in childhood. It may improve at times and get worse at others. Itching is the most common symptom, but sore or painful skin is also common.

Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin becomes inflamed or irritated after coming in contact with a substance that triggers an allergic reaction. There are two types of contact dermatitis: irritant contact dermatitis, which occurs when skin cells are damaged by exposure to an irritant, and allergic contact dermatitis, which is a delayed allergic reaction that occurs a day or two after skin is exposed to an allergen.

Dyshidrotic eczema causes small, itchy blisters on the edges of the fingers and toes, palms of hands, and soles of feet. It is most common in people who have another type of eczema and usually runs in families.

Neurodermatitis is characterized by intense itching and scratching. It is usually confined to one or two patches of skin.

Nummular eczema is characterized by circular patches of skin that are often itchy and may sometimes ooze liquid.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic form of eczema that appears in areas where there are a lot of oil-producing glands, such as the nose, scalp, and upper back.

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What Is Inverse Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis appears as extremely red, possibly shiny patches in the folds of your body, including under your arms, behind your knees and in the groin area. Due to the moisture in these areas, inverse psoriasis usually does not cause patches of scales, but because of how your skin rubs together in these areas, it is particularly prone to irritation. Inverse psoriasis is more common in overweight people with deeper skin folds4 and those who have this type of psoriasis may also have other forms of the condition.

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

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 assures.

Dry skin is itchy skin, so one of the keys to managing these conditions is to try to keep your skin moist and hydrated. Dr. Fernandez recommends using a moisturizing cream or ointment, regardless of the need for prescription medications, if you have either eczema or psoriasis.

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How Do You Treat These Conditions

Mild cases of both psoriasis and eczema usually resolve with the use of topical cortisone. Meanwhile, moderate or severe cases respond to immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporine or methotrexate. Severe cases can also respond to phototherapy or UV light treatment. Eczema can also prompt secondary infections, so doctors might prescribe systemic antibiotics to calm these inflammations.

Besides treating the root of the condition, patients could also use an ointment or moisturizing cream to prevent itching and dryness. Look after your overall health as well eat healthy food, drink enough water, and get plenty of exercise. Forming these habits is a good preventive measure against future flare-ups. Coupled with an effective eczema cream, patients can lead healthy lives free from chronic rashes and dry skin.

There is currently no cure for most types of eczema or psoriasis. However, it is possible to manage symptoms by following a treatment plan and taking care of your skin.

How To Tell Whether That Itchy Rash Is Eczema Or Psoriasis

Psoriasis VS Eczema, how both relative heal the same…

Do you have a dry, itchy, red rash that doesnt seem to go away? You may have eczema or psoriasis. Both conditions have similar symptoms and both can run in families, which can make it difficult to distinguish one from the other. These similar skin conditions are often managed with similar treatments, but there are differences you should know.

Here at Riviera Allergy Medical Center, allergy specialist Dr. Ulrike Ziegnerhelps patients manage a wide variety of allergies and immune-related conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Eczema And Psoriasis

A dermatologist can often diagnose eczema or psoriasis after an exam and visual assessment. Theyll ask you questions about your health, symptoms, and allergies you have. Theyll examine your skin and nails and they may order tests, including:

  • A patch test: A patch test can help determine if you have any allergies that may be causing rashes or reactions. For this test, a doctor will apply small amounts of different allergens and irritants to your skin and cover each area with a patch. Youll return to the doctor 2 days later to remove the patches. A few days after that, youll return again so your doctor can perform a formal reading to assess your reaction to the irritants.
  • Skin biopsy: During a skin biopsy, a small sample of skin tissue is removed. This sample is then sent to a lab. A skin biopsy can help diagnose psoriasis and eczema. It can also rule out similar conditions.

What Are The Key Differences

Cause. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition, meaning your immune system becomes overactive. In this case, certain inflammatory cells cause the body to make new skin cells too fast. These cells pile up on the surface of the skin, leading to thick, scaly patches that are often itchy and painful.

While experts do not know the exact cause of eczema, they think its a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Similar to psoriasis, there is also inflammation in the skin, and this may be related to an irritant or an allergen that triggers the immune system, or may cause an eczema flare-up.

Age. Eczema is most common in babies and children. Psoriasis often starts between the ages of 15 and 35. However, people of all ages can experience these conditions.

Itch. Another key difference between these conditions is the intensity of itching, particularly at night and in children. With psoriasis, the itching may be absent or mild to moderate. But for eczema, it is common, can be intense and can affect sleep.

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When To See A Doctor For Psoriasis Or Eczema

The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that anyone living with psoriasis see a dermatologist. Its especially important to see a dermatologist if your psoriasis symptoms are getting worse, if you develop new symptoms, if your joints start to hurt, or if the treatment recommended by your primary care physician isnt working.

If you have eczema and your symptoms get worse or if you show signs of an infectionred, painful, oozing, or blistery skinthen its best to see a doctor as soon as possible. If youve seen a doctor already and the treatment plan they gave you isnt working, a dermatologist will be able to give you more specialized care.

What Symptoms Should You Look Out For

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Unfortunately, its difficult for the average person to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis. Its best to see a specialist if you spot a rash of any kind that doesnt clear up or returns.

Dr. Ziegner is specially trained to look at various aspects of rashes to distinguish between psoriasis, eczema, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Theres no substitute for expert evaluation. In addition to a visual examination, Dr. Ziegner will go over your medical history and discuss your symptoms.

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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

Whats The Difference Between Psoriasis & Eczema

Nothing is more satisfying than scratching an intense itch. Likewise, nothing is more frustrating than a persistent itch that evades relief. Psoriasis and eczema are two relatively common skin disorders that cause dryness, itching, and rashes which can become red and inflamed with scratching.

Psoriasis and eczema sometimes look very similar, but its the differences that may help you and your doctor come to a diagnosis. Heres what you need to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for both.

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Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Differences Images Treatment

  • Psoriasis and eczema both present as patches of red, scaly and itchy skin, but psoriasis plaques tend to be thicker
  • Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, while eczema is triggered by genetic or environmental factors
  • Neither condition is contagious
  • Treatments for both are similar, but eczema sometimes requires antibiotics due to infection from open sores

To the untrained eye, psoriasis and eczema are quite similar in appearance. Patches of red, dry skin develop which can cause itching, embarrassment, and have an impact on quality of life.

And while they share some of the same characteristics and treatment options, the underlying cause of these two common skin conditions differs and determines the best approach to reducing future flare-ups.


Psoriasis And Eczema Which Do You Have


Psoriasis is a common, chronic autoimmune disease that affects the surface of the skin and sometimes the nails and joints.

Although doctors arent sure what causes people to develop psoriasis, they suspect that family history and environmental factors may play a role.

Eczema is another common skin condition that can, in some cases, present similar symptoms to those of psoriasis.

It, too, is an immune-driven disease and can often be triggered by an allergen or irritant.

When someone with eczema comes into contact with something theyre sensitive to, their immune system erupts with an allergic reaction that causes skin inflammation and other uncomfortable symptoms.

If you arent sure whether its a form of psoriasis or eczema, there are a few questions that can help distinguish between the two:

Sometimes, even when you account for symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish between psoriasis and eczema.

The only way to know which condition you have is to see a doctor with extensive experience identifying skin diseases. And even then, you may need a small biopsy for an accurate diagnosis.

Dermatologists are often the best healthcare providers to see.

They can take a look at your rash, provide an accurate diagnosis, and recommend a course of medical treatment that will help you manage your symptoms and live a higher quality of life.

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Still Unsure Time For Some Help

Most persons will have difficulty discerning the condition. The best bet is to visit a dermatologist. Dermatologists can perform different tests to diagnose the condition clearly. There are no cures for either eczema and psoriasis. Rest assured, the doctor will provide the right medication and advice for the right disease.

Does The Sun Play A Factor

In short, yes, the sun can worsen eczema and psoriasis. But it may also help both conditions.

Sunlight is a source of ultraviolet radiation. Too much exposure to UV rays can lead to sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer. But some sunlight can be beneficial for lowering skin inflammation. That is why light therapy is a treatment for both eczema and psoriasis. Light treatment is done in a healthcare providers office and is managed to ensure your skin doesnt burn. Small hand-held units are also available for at-home use.

Getting some sun outdoors can be helpful, as well. But it is important that you wear sunscreen and dont stay in direct sunlight for more than 15 minutes. Keep in mind, heat and sunlight can cause flare-ups for some people, so this approach isnt helpful for everyone.

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There Can Be Overlap Between Eczema And Psoriasis

  • Still in some children, its hard to tell the difference. In this case, a dermatologist might diagnose the child with psoriasiform dermatitis.

  • Sometimes, a child has both eczema and psoriasis, so there can be some overlap.

  • A dermatologist, however, will generally be able to differentiate between these two relatively common skin disorders.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges the support from Leo Pharma, Inc., and Sanofi and Regeneron.

Can Eczema Turn Into Psoriasis

psoriasis symptoms

No. Eczema and psoriasis are very different conditions. Eczema cant turn into psoriasis. However, its possible for the two conditions to be mistaken for one another, especially in children. Sometimes, a child can receive a misdiagnosis of eczema, and then later get a correct diagnosis of psoriasis.

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Differences Between Psoriasis And Eczema

Psoriasis is a common, chronic autoimmune disease that affects the surface of the skin and sometimes the nails and joints.

Although doctors arent sure what causes people to develop psoriasis, they suspect that family history and environmental factors may play a role.

Eczema is another common skin condition that can, in some cases, present similar symptoms to those of psoriasis.

It, too, is an immune-driven disease and can often be triggered by an allergen or irritant.

When someone with eczema comes into contact with something theyre sensitive to, their immune system erupts with an allergic reaction that causes skin inflammation and other uncomfortable symptoms.

If you have red, scaly skin and arent sure whether its a form of psoriasis or eczema, there are a few questions that can help distinguish between the two:

  • What kind of symptoms do I see on the surface of my skin? Both eczema and psoriasis cause red and inflamed skin, but only psoriasis creates raised lesions with silver scales. On the other hand, eczema generates dry patches of skin or blisters that ooze fluid and crust.
  • Where do my symptoms appear? Although different forms of psoriasis target specific areas of the body, generally speaking, it tends to cluster on the elbows, knees, lower back, face, scalp, and nails. Eczema can affect those areas of the body but can also inflame places like the lower legs, back of the knees, hands, feet, and inside the elbows.

How Do Symptoms Of Eczema And Psoriasis Compare

The symptoms of eczema and psoriasis can also help you determine which condition you have. For instance, eczema tends to develop in the folds and creases of the skin, such as behind the knees, on the neck, in the creases of the arms, and on the face.

Conversely, psoriasis typically develops on the outer surface of the skin in areas, such as the scalp, front of knees, and belly button. You can see a complete breakdown of symptoms in the chart below.

Eczema symptoms

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Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Whats The Difference

If you have patches of itchy, inflamed, or red skin, youre not alone.

Chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can be uncomfortable but are very common.

Eczema affects up to 15 million Americans, many of whom are infants and young children.

Psoriasis is also widespread, impacting 3% of adults in the United States.

Although eczema and psoriasis are different conditions that require specific treatment plans, it can be difficult to distinguish between them.

Even general practitioners can misdiagnose patients with psoriasis.

So if you have patches of symptomatic skin and are unsure what is going on, its important to make an appointment with a dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis.

In the meantime, this article will help you learn more about psoriasis and eczema, including the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and risk factors for each.

Ill also explain the triggers for psoriasis and eczema, as well as how to prevent flare-ups and when to see a doctor about a skin condition.


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