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How to Tell the Difference with Psoriasis and Eczema

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How to Tell the Difference with Psoriasis and Eczema

Today, more people are learning to take good care of their skin by having daily skin routines. Sometimes, however, the skin may become stubborn. There are many skin conditions people  deal with, psoriasis and eczema being among them.  

After developing an intense itch, red patch on your skin, perhaps the first thing that you think of is that you have eczema- but this is not always the case. While both psoriasis and eczema are chronic skin conditions, many people mistake the two due to similar symptoms. To help you understand the difference between psoriasis and eczema, here are some things you need to know:

1. The causes

Psoriasis often occurs when there is an imbalance in the immune system, leading to the inflammation of the skin, which causes itchiness. The overproduction of the T-cells makes your skin cells grow rapidly, causing them to pile up and cause a flaky white scale. The causes of eczema, on the other hand, are yet to be clearly established. However, genes and some environmental factors are believed to trigger the condition. Some of the causes of eczema include pollen, molds, heat, dry skin, harsh soaps, and detergents, wool, low humidity. Also, stress and some foods we eat are is can also cause flare-ups. 

2. Level of itchiness

While both psoriasis and eczema are characterized by the itch they cause, there is a difference in intensity. Eczema has a more intense itch compared to psoriasis. A person who is suffering from psoriasis can experience some sort of burning sensation or a feel of being stung. In severe cases of eczema, a person may itch badly, forcing them to scratch their skin which could result in bleeding. By all means possible, avoid scratching your skin until it starts bleeding, as that may be the start of other skin infections. As such, always seek immediate attention when the itchiness becomes unbearable. 

3. Ages it affects

At a very tender age, babies may develop some itchy rashes on their skin which makes them uncomfortable. In such cases, your baby might just be suffering from eczema. Eczema often starts showing in babies and infants. On the other hand, psoriasis might occur between 15 to 35 years of age. However, it is important to note that this does not mean that anyone not in that age group cannot have psoriasis. 

4. The visible difference

While the two skin conditions may look similar, dermatologists can easily tell the difference. With Eczema, your skin may appear dry, red, inflamed, a bit darker, and some bleeding may also be noticeable due to the intense scratching. Psoriasis, on the other hand, makes the skin look thicker, dry, and may have silvery shade. 

5. Body parts they affect

Eczema appears on body parts with folds, such as behind the knees, inner elbow, wrists, neck, and ankles. On the other hand, psoriasis affects the scalp, palms of your hands, knees, lower back, soles of your feet, and the face. You may also notice patches on your fingernails, eyelids, ears, mouth, and lips.

6. Treatment

If you suffer from mild eczema, your dermatologist will prescribe a topical corticosteroid to control the condition. The moisturizer you use should be a cream or oil base to avoid drying your skin. In severe cases of eczema, you may require oral medication or antibiotic creams. With psoriasis, there are three main treatment methods, using topical corticosteroid creams, light therapy, or the use of oral and injectable medications. 

It is advisable to use natural skincare products that do not have fragrances to treat the two conditions. It is also important to note that while some home remedies might help you manage the two skin conditions, they are not a guarantee for relief. Also, there are foods that you can avoid to prevent the two skin conditions. For eczema, for example, you should avoid soy, dairy, eggs, gluten, and tomatoes, to mention a few. If you have psoriasis, avoid eating red meat, dairy products, citrus fruits, gluten, and drinking alcohol. 


Both eczema and psoriasis are common chronic skin conditions, but they differ in various ways, as mentioned above. Now that you have the above information in mind, you can easily differentiate between the two. 

In case you suffer from any of the two skin conditions, it is best to seek medical attention from a reputable dermatologist. They will do a thorough assessment to determine what might be the cause of your condition and offer treatment for the same. Home remedies can also help you ease the symptoms, but note that what works for another person may not necessarily work for you. Also, avoid stress and focus on things that make you happy, as emotional stress may be a cause of the flare-ups. 

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