Psoriasis or Eczema: Similarities, Differences, and Treatment



There are so, so some ways — each inner and exterior, however all cursed — to finish up with a patch of itchy pores and skin. However when you’ve dominated out a mosquito chunk, psoriasis and eczema are two of the pores and skin issues that most likely come to thoughts. The situations are extraordinarily frequent — an estimated 10% of individuals within the U.S. could have some form of eczema of their lifetimes, and 3% have psoriasis — and have a few of the identical signs, which may result in conflation within the consciousness of us non-dermatologists. Though psoriasis and eczema have some similarities, their typical appearances, frequent triggers, and potential remedies can fluctuate.

Each psoriasis and eczema are continual inflammatory pores and skin situations, says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York Metropolis. However regardless of that very same place to begin, the 2 manifest otherwise. “Psoriasis is a results of an overactive immune system which ends up in elevated pores and skin cell progress, inflicting giant patches on the pores and skin as results of the skin-cell build-up,” explains Dr. Engelman. “Eczema can also be brought on by an overactive immune system, however on this case, the pores and skin barrier is weakened, due to this fact the moisture within the pores and skin is depleted inflicting extra-dry and itchy pores and skin.”

We spoke to dermatologists to get the low-down on the 2 situations and the way they differ. However even when these execs make it easier to determine the supply of that urgent itch (or purple patch, or pores and skin bump), remember that a medical examination is one of the simplest ways to find out what you’re coping with. “Analysis by a healthcare skilled is essential for correct remedy and administration of those situations,” says Divya Shokeen, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Manhattan Seashore, California. When you’re ready for that appointment, learn on to teach your self in regards to the variations between psoriasis and eczema.

Meet the Specialists:

  • Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Shafer Clinic in New York Metropolis.
  • Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Laser & Pores and skin Surgical procedure Heart in New York Metropolis and Southampton, New York.
  • Divya Shokeen, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Ocean Pores and skin and Vein Institute in southern California.

On this story:

Do psoriasis and eczema look the identical?

In brief: most likely not. Psoriasis manifests as patchy, purple pores and skin that always will get dry and cracked, says Dr. Shokeen. The affected areas are sometimes lined with silvery scales, and even exterior the affected space, sufferers “might also have thickened, pitted, or ridged nails.” You may also see purple patches with eczema, however the space “typically has brownish patches” with “small, raised bumps which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched,” Dr. Shokeen continues.

As well as, the placement of the difficulty can present a clue. Both concern can manifest wherever on the physique, however there are frequent areas the place dermatologists typically see points. In keeping with Dr. Engelman, eczema is extra more likely to develop in pores and skin folds, corresponding to within the creases of the arms or on the backs of the knees. In distinction, psoriasis is often discovered “on the scalp, elbows, arms, knees, and face.” The best way the affected space feels can also be a serious clue: The first criticism for a lot of eczema sufferers is itchiness, Dr. Engelman continues. However psoriasis can really feel uncomfortable or sore, because of the cracked or bleeding pores and skin.

Do psoriasis and eczema have the identical triggers?

Like coronary heart illness, zits, insomnia, and just about each different medical situation, each psoriasis and eczema will be exacerbated by stress. However in response to Blair Murphy-Rose, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with places of work in New York Metropolis and Southampton, New York, the checklist of triggers in any other case is totally different. For eczema, she lists allergy symptoms, publicity to pores and skin irritants, and modifications in climate and humidity. Psoriasis, in the meantime, can develop in “areas of trauma or friction,” and will be induced by some medicines and even strep infections. A correct analysis is step one towards studying which triggers to keep away from, however considering via your current historical past might also assist. In case you simply modified laundry detergents, for instance, that could be a clue that you simply’re coping with eczema; for those who discover a pores and skin plaque within the space of a current scrape, psoriasis would be the perpetrator.

How are psoriasis and eczema handled?

Therapy and prevention of psoriasis and eczema each contain elevated consciousness about the way you care for your pores and skin. In keeping with Dr. Murphy-Rose, these with eczema “are inclined to have dry pores and skin and a diminished protecting pores and skin barrier.” That signifies that remedy typically consists of frequent moisturizing with mild, hypoallergenic skin-care merchandise. Psoriasis sufferers may count on their docs to recommend merchandise that include salicylic acid and retinoids, which may help to scale back the symptom of pores and skin thickening.


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