Differences Between Eczema And Psoriasis
It can be difficult to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema, but it is important to be able to distinguish between them, especially for treatment. Both conditions are rather common, especially in the United States. Eczema affectsapproximately 15 million Americans, whileapproximately 7.5 million Americanshave psoriasis. Although eczema affects a larger group of people, it is still important to learn exactly which condition you may have. To understand each condition completely, it is important to recognize the various distinguishing factors they have.
Both Have Different Levels Of Intensity
The two conditions may also demonstrate different levels of intensity for the person experiencing them. Those with psoriasis may experience milder itching or a burning feeling. However, eczema may cause a much harsher sensation of itching. In severe cases of eczema, it is possible for some patients to scratch the skin hard enough to cause bleeding. The severity and subtleties of the sensations you experience may indicate which of the two conditions you may have.
What Do Psoriasis And Eczema Look Like
Signs and symptoms of psoriasis
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis appears as thick, raised, red patches on the skin that are covered with white scales made of old, dead skin cells. These plaques can be itchy and painful. They can also crack and bleed.
Psoriasis can affect any part of the skin, but it usually shows up on the knees, elbows, scalp, and lower back. Other forms of psoriasis can occur on the genitals or in your skin folds, like in your armpits . Psoriasis can also just involve the hands and feet .
Up to 35% of people with psoriasis also have nail changes related to psoriasis. This includes:
Small pits or holes in the nail
Yellow or brown nail color
Thickening of the nail
Changes to the nail shape
There are several other serious health problems that can be more likely if you have psoriasis. Some of the more common issues include:
Signs and symptoms of eczema
Eczema appears as red, dry patches of skin that are very itchy. Some people with eczema scratch these areas a lot, which can lead to bleeding and thick or leathery skin. Unlike psoriasis, eczema can become infected with bacteria or viruses.
Although eczema can affect any part of the skin, some areas are more common. In infants, eczema usually happens on the cheeks, elbows, and knees. In older children and adults, eczema usually affects the insides of the elbows, behind the knees, and the hands and wrists.
Read Also: What Is Guttate Psoriasis Pictures
Conditions They’re Linked To
Eczema usually comes along with dry, sensitive skin. You may have someone in your family who has it or has asthma or hay fever.
Psoriasis is linked to other serious health conditions. If you have it, you may also have diabetes, heart disease, or depression.
Whether it’s psoriasis or eczema, your doctor can recommend ways to get relief for it.
Eczema In Inconvenient Places
Eczema can occur in many inconvenient places especially for infants. Diapers and baby creams may irritate sensitive skin, causing extreme diaper rashes. In some cases, the eczema covers the entire area that comes into contact with a diaper.
Hypersensitivity to the material of a diaper or the creams used in washing the area can aggravate skin. Switching to soft cotton diapers or using a different cleanser may help ease eczema in the genital area for infants.
Adults with eczema in sensitive areas may need to change laundry detergents, cleansers, and fabrics.
Read Also: Is Blue Star Ointment Good For Psoriasis
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.
Eczema Up And Down The Legs
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 atopic dermatitis to thrive.
If eczema on the backs of the knees isnt quickly or effectively treated, it can become very irritating and painful. Constant contact from clothing can cause significant bleeding, oozing, and infection.
Recommended Reading: Best Lotion For Scalp Psoriasis
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.
Are Psoriasis Shampoos Available
Coal tar shampoos are very useful in controlling psoriasis of the scalp. Using the shampoo daily can be very beneficial adjunctive therapy. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos available without a prescription. There is no evidence that one shampoo is superior to another. Generally, the selection of a tar shampoo is simply a matter of personal preference.
Also Check: Psoriasis Home Treatment In Telugu
Psoriasis In Inconvenient Places
Psoriasis can develop in very uncomfortable places.
Inverse psoriasis and other types of psoriasis may develop on the genitals, armpits, bottoms of the feet, and skin creases. Psoriasis in skinfolds or the genital area will appear smooth and shiny, but may resemble eczema.
Affected areas often include larger, more solid patches of smoother skin than typical psoriasis. This is likely because of increased moisture in these areas.
For Genital Eczema The Treatments That May Help With This Condition Include:
Calcineurin inhibitors these drugs modulate your immune system to dampen inflammation. Common prescriptions include tacrolimus and pimecrolimus .
Inflammation control drugs that control inflammation and immune response, such as prednisone, are an excellent way to treat inflammation.
Antibiotics infections are a common complication of genital psoriasis and eczema. The prescription of antibiotics in this situation is necessary to prevent severe forms.
Injectable treatments if your skin condition does not respond to treatment, your doctor may recommend dupilumab . This drug gets injected to treat severe cases of eczema.
light therapy may be an effective method to treat dermatological conditions that affect the genitalia. However, this treatment is reserved for severe cases.
Recommended Reading: Foods To Avoid With Psoriasis Arthritis
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.
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.
Also Check: Best Bath Soak For Psoriasis
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
At What Age Do They Start
Eczema usually starts in babies or young children. Often, symptoms improve when a kid becomes a grown-up.
It’s less common, but possible, to get it as an adult. When that happens, it’s usually because you have another condition like thyroid disease, hormone changes, or stress.
Psoriasis, on the other hand, usually shows up between ages 15 and 35. But you can get it at other ages too. It’s rare for a baby to have it.
Also Check: Is Coffee Bad For Psoriasis
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:
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.
Recommended Reading: What Does Psoriasis Scalp Look Like
Problems With The Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s defence against disease and it helps fight infection. One of the main types of cell used by the immune system is called a T-cell.
T-cells normally travel through the body to detect and fight invading germs, such as bacteria. But in people with psoriasis, they start to attack healthy skin cells by mistake.
This causes the deepest layer of skin to produce new skin cells more quickly than usual, triggering the immune system to produce more T-cells.
It’s not known what exactly causes this problem with the immune system, although certain genes and environmental triggers may play a role.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Cure Psoriasis From The Inside Out
Psoriasis And Eczema In The Genitalia
Psoriasis and eczema are common skin conditions that affect different parts of the body. In recent years, people became more familiar with these diseases and how they present on the skin however, when they appear in the genital area, it can be very concerning for patients.
For instance, genital psoriasis can affect the penis or vulva, your upper thighs, and the folds of the skin between your thigh and groin. Eczema may have a similar pattern. Most people associate rashes around the genital area with sexually transmitted diseases , which can create panic and restlessness.
In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of psoriasis and eczema in the genitalia and how to treat both conditions.
Natural Remedies For Psoriasis And Eczema
Generally speaking, dermatologists suggest that an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in leafy greens, fresh fruits and omega 3, is good for your skin. If you have a skin condition, it is best to try slowly eliminating different foods from you diet to see if that makes a difference. People with psoriasis should avoid spicy food, alcohol and coffee, while those with eczema seem to do better if they avoid allergenic food, such as shellfish or peanuts.
Here are a few natural remedies that can be applied for skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema.
- Warm bath this helps you relax and de-stress. It also helps remove scales and calms irritated, inflamed skin. Adding Epsom salts can be effective.
- Daily moisturizers apply a heavy base of moisturizer following a shower or bath. In the colder months, apply moisturizer more than once a day.
- Sunlight therapy expose skin to a little sunlight. It can improve psoriasis. Be careful not to over-expose or you can make the condition worse.
- Eliminate triggers focus on what might trigger symptoms and try eliminating them from your daily routine.
- Avoid scratching it can make skin diseases worse.
- Use mild soaps with either no scent or minimal perfume.
- Use a humidifier it will add moisture to the air and also to your skin.
- Wear light, cotton clothing It will be less irritating for your skin.
- Minimize stress in your life stress effects all aspects of your health.
Also Check: Psoriasis On Face And Neck
The Differences Between Eczema And Psoriasis
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
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. It’s worth noting that these blisters associated with pustular psoriasis are filled with white blood cells and are not contagious.5
Recommended Reading: Dr Blaine’s Revitaderm Psoriasis Treatment Reviews
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream