What Causes Psoriasis Vs Eczema
These two skin problems have different causes and can appear in different stages of your life. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects about 7.5 million Americans, according to the AAD. It happens when the skin cells go through their life cycle more quickly than normal. Typically, it takes about a month for skin cells to regenerate, but in people with psoriasis, this process happens every three to four days, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Psoriasis typically strikes when someone is between the ages of 15 and 35, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, but it can affect anyone at any age. What we do know is that psoriasis is immune-mediated, meaning there is some imbalance in the immune system, which leads to inflamed skin, dermatologist and National Psoriasis Foundation medical board member Jashin Wu, M.D., tells SELF. It tends to run in families, but there may not be straightforward patterns of inheritance. One well-known trigger is strep throat infections, but not all new cases of psoriasis result from strep throat.
Eczema is much more common than psoriasis. According to the most recent estimate available, more than 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.
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What If Those Psoriasis Treatments Dont Work
If psoriasis doesnt improve, your healthcare provider may recommend these treatments:
- Light therapy: UV light at specific wavelengths can decrease skin inflammation and help slow skin cell production.
- PUVA: This treatment combines a medication called psoralen with exposure to a special form of UV light.
- Methotrexate: Providers sometimes recommend this medication for severe cases. It may cause liver disease. If you take it, your provider will monitor you with blood tests. You may need periodic liver biopsies to check your liver health.
- Retinoids: These vitamin A-related drugs can cause side effects, including birth defects.
- Cyclosporine: This medicine can help severe psoriasis. But it may cause high blood pressure and kidney damage.
- Immune therapies: Newer immune therapy medications work by blocking the bodys immune system so it cant jumpstart an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis.
What Body Parts Does Plaque Psoriasis Affect
The American Academy of Dermatology Association states that plaque psoriasis can occur on any part of the body but most often appears on a persons:
- lower back
One of the reasons we think psoriasis develops on the extensor elbows and knees is because theres frictional stress on those areas, says Dr. Brodell.
Whether a person has one or more areas of their body affected varies. Dr. Brodell sees patients with psoriasis just in one area of the body and some with several areas of the body affected. We even have people who just have pitting in their nails for years before we find that they have psoriasis showing up on areas of their body, he says.
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What Type Of Psoriasis Treatment Will I Need
Several treatment options can relieve psoriasis. Creams or ointments may be enough to improve the rash in small areas of skin. If the rash affects larger areas, or you also have joint pain, you may need other treatments. Joint pain may be a sign that you have arthritis.
Your provider will decide on a treatment plan based on:
- Severity of the rash.
- Vitamin A or retinoid creams.
Fungal Skin Infection Ringworm
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that presents with a ring-shaped lesion. It can be passed on after contact with infected people and animals, as well as infected items, such as bedsheets, towels and combs. This lesion may be scaly, dry, inflamed and itchy and can appear anywhere on the body, including the scalp and groin .
Differential diagnoses include psoriasis, scabies, seborrheic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. The circular lesion is the most common way to identify ringworm and rule out alternatives however, there are some questions that can be used to rule out differential diagnoses:
- Where is the lesion located primarily?
- Seborrheic dermatitis and contact dermatitis are more likely to present as larger lesions that may be symmetrical, even though there may be similar symptoms
- Scabies presents most commonly between the fingers or genital areas and can spread quickly over the whole body.
Ringworm can sometimes be hard to distinguish when diagnosing patients with SOC because the characteristic redness may be difficult to observe however, the location of the lesion on the body and the circular rash with scale are the main diagnosing factors.
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Can Guttate Psoriasis Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there isnt a way to know who will develop guttate psoriasis, which means there also isnt a way to prevent it.
However, people who have a history of guttate psoriasis, especially those who develop chronic plaque psoriasis, can experience follow-up attacks of the condition. These are commonly connected to the following:
- Bacterial or viral infections, especially respiratory infections like strep throat.
Skin Conditions That Look Like Eczema
How to tell if you have eczema?
Well, the signs of eczema are redness, inflamed, itchy and dry skin.
But most of these signs are common in other skin conditions like scabies, psoriasis and ringworm. Simply put, it is confusing for the first timers to tell if they have eczema or what as symptoms are similar to those of other diseases.
If you have a red, dry and inflamed skin, dont jump to the conclusion that you have eczema. Here are the skin conditions that may look like eczema due to the similar symptoms.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How long does treatment last?
- Will I have to be on medicine for the rest of my life?
- Should I make any changes to my skin care routine?
- Are there any skin products or foods that I should avoid?
- If symptoms get worse, when should I call the doctor?
- If I have psoriasis, will my children get it?
- Is there a support group that you recommend?
Is Scalp Psoriasis Curable
Dr. Wofford says, Unfortunately, there is no cure for any form of psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis. However, advancing research has enabled your dermatologist to provide effective treatments to prevent flare-ups and manage symptoms when they do arise. That means most people have mild symptoms that do not last long.
There is a range of treatments available for scalp psoriasis. In most cases, youll begin with medicated shampoos, creams, or other topical treatments that you apply directly to the affected areas. Some of these products are available over the counter and in prescription-strength formulas. Prescription topical treatments may also include ingredients like anthralin, antimicrobials, vitamin D , corticosteroids, and/or vitamin A derivatives.
For severe symptoms that dont improve with topical treatment, a combination of in-office and at-home dermatology treatments may be recommended in addition to continuing topical treatments. Some commonly recommended solutions include:
- Laser therapy using low-heat lasers to address itch and redness and improve scalp psoriasis symptoms
- Oral medications corticosteroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, retinoids , apremilast
- Biologics adalimumab, brodalumab, certolizumab, etanercept, guselkumab, infliximab, ixekizumab, risankizumab, secukinumab, tildrakizumab, ustekinumab
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Clinical Presentation And Differential Diagnosis
1. Hoppe RT, Wood GS, Abel EA. Mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome: pathology, staging, and treatment. Curr Probl Cancer. 1990 14:293371.
2. Dalton JA, Yag-Howard C, Messina JL, Glass LF. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Int J Dermatol. 1997 36:8019.
3. Zackheim HS, McCalmont TH, Deanovic FW, Odom RB. Mycosis fungoides with onset before 20 years of age. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 36:55762.
4. Burg G, Dummer R, Nestle FO, Doebbeling U, Haeffner A. Cutaneous lymphomas consist of a spectrum of nosologically different entities including mycosis fungoides and small plaque parapsoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 1996 132:56772.
5. Fitzpatrick TB, ed. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in general medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993:1285305.
6. Knowles FC, ed. Diseases of the skin. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1923:316.
7. Hansen ER. Immunoregulatory events in the skin of patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Arch Dermatol. 1996 132:55461.
8. Demierre MF, Foss FM, Koh HK. Proceedings of the International Consensus Conference on Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Treatment Recommendations. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 36:4606.
9. Kim YH, Jensen RA, Watanabe G, Varghese A, Hoppe RT. Clinical stage IA mycosis fungoides. A long-term outcome analysis. Arch Dermatol. 1996 132:130913.
What Symptoms Should You Watch For
Visually, it can sometimes be difficult to tell one condition from the other.
You have to look at all the clinical aspects of a rash to distinguish between eczema and psoriasis, including the history and the patients other medical problems, Dr. Fernandez says.
The common signs dry and/or cracked scaly skin, itching and red patches or plaques may show up for either.
With psoriasis, the plaques on your skin are likely thicker and have dry scaling. But sometimes thats not enough to tell between the two with the naked eye, Dr. Fernandez says.
A more obvious clue fluid leaking through the skin points to eczema.
When we see that, we definitely think about eczema instead of psoriasis, he says. But there are definitely times when we cannot tell the difference. And, in those cases, we will perform biopsies.
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What Studies Say About Psoriasis And Covid
Cases of psoriasis exacerbation have been reported on COVID-positive patients with a history of the skin condition
There was a reported case wherein a 71-year-old woman with no skin lesions but with a history of psoriasis was diagnosed with COVID-19. The patient experienced a flare-up of symptoms after receiving hydroxychloroquine for COVID treatment. The use of hydroxychloroquine is one of the possible causes of the flare-up. But its likelier that the stress of knowing she contracted the virus has increased her stress levels which is a known psoriasis trigger.
COVID-19 patients have been found to have increased plasma concentrations of cytokines, which are present during psoriasis flare-ups. This has led experts to conclude that the virus may be an entity that triggers psoriasis in people with skin problems, especially when COVID-19 forces the body into a state of hyperinflammation. A similar case of lesions fell in line with this theory when a 38-year old man with a history of plaque psoriasis experienced flare-ups after contracting the virus.
But in a broader study on the relationship between psoriasis and COVID-19, it was concluded that psoriatic arthritis wasnt among the risk factors affecting the frequency of coronavirus infection. Further studies are needed on psoriasis and COVID-19. Initial findings show that getting infected with coronavirus leads to the production of cytokines which is responsible for triggering psoriasis symptoms.
Common Types Of Psoriasis
This is the most common form, accounting for about 80 to 90% of cases.
Its symptoms are dry red skin lesions, known as plaques, covered in silver scales.
They normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body.
The plaques can be itchy or sore, or both. In severe cases, the skin around your joints may crack and bleed.
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Can You Treat Eczema And Psoriasis The Same Way
Some of the medications that are used to treat psoriasis may help treat eczema and vice versa. This doesnt necessarily mean that theres a one-size-fits-all treatment plan for both conditions though. A dermatologist can help you find a treatment plan that will work best for you based on your individual symptoms and medical history.
Who Is Affected By Guttate Psoriasis
- Usually young people get guttate psoriasis, in their teens or twenties. Men and women are affected equally.
- It seems to occur all over the world.
- No one really quite knows how common it is. In general, a GP in the UK would have heard of it and probably know how to diagnose it, but they may not have seen a case themselves for many years.
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Medovie The Best Option For Helping Those With Skin Conditions
Medovie products are recommended for keeping the skin healthy
Always keeping your guard up and protecting yourself from the virus can take a toll on your mental health. Additionally, you have to keep your skin healthy to minimise the onset of flare-ups. But juggling too many things can result in anxiety and stress which are known to trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
To keep your skin healthy, use products from Medovie that are easy on psoriasis-prone skin. Our range of products is designed to leave the skin feeling smooth, nourished, and moisturised. They soothe irritation and improve skin texture and appearance so that you wont get more stressed than you already are.
Medovie products are made from botanicals naturally found in nature, so you can rest assured that youre using creams, lotions, and shampoos that are gentle on sensitive skin. Our patented 3HX Formula is present in all our products and is made to support healthy skin production inside and out. Check out the reviews from popular channels and the testimonials from individuals who have trusted Medovie products in dealing with their chronic skin problems.
Skin Conditions Similar To Psoriasis
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What Are The Types Of Psoriasis
In children, common types of psoriasis include:
Plaque psoriasis. This is the most common type of psoriasis. It causes plaques and silvery scales, usually on the knees, elbows, lower back, and scalp. They can be itchy and painful and may crack and bleed.
Guttate psoriasis. This type often shows up after an illness, especially strep throat. It causes small red spots, usually on the trunk, arms, and legs. Spots also can appear on the face, scalp, and ears.
Inverse psoriasis. This causes smooth, raw-looking patches of red skin that feel sore. The patches develop in places where skin touches skin, such as the armpits, buttocks, upper eyelids, groin and genitals, or under a womans breasts.
Medical Treatment Topical Agents
The first line of treatment for psoriasis includes topical medications applied to your skin. The main topical treatments are corticosteroids , vitamin D-3 derivatives, coal tar, anthralin, and retinoids. These drugs may lose potency over time, so often they are rotated or combined. Ask your doctor before combining medications, as some drugs should not be combined.
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How Is Psoriasis Treated
There is no cure for psoriasis but there are many treatments that can help to keep it under control.
Mild psoriasis is usually treated with products applied to the skin. These include:
- corticosteroid creams or ointments
- vitamin D preparations
You may also receive ultraviolet light therapy. This can slow down the production of skin cells.
If your psoriasis needs stronger treatment, you may be prescribed oral medicines or injected medicines to reduce the immune response. Two new medicines for severe psoriasis are now subsidised for people with psoriasis in Australia, Tremfya and Ilumya.
The best thing you can do to improve the psoriasis is quite smoking and limit how much alcohol you consume.
You can help manage your psoriasis by:
- taking your prescribed treatment regularly to help prevent flare-ups
- reducing stress
- having a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet
Eczema: Red Itchy Irritated Skin
Like psoriasis, eczema is a chronic skin condition that often causes intense itching. Scratching causes redness and inflammation of the skin, leading to a worsening of the eczema. Scratching can also cause a secondary bacterial infection. The most common type of eczema is caused by a reaction to irritants like detergents, soaps, or household cleansers. So if you have eczema, you should be careful to use mild soap and regularly moisturize your sensitive skin. Your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream or other medications if eczema is severe.
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What Are The Complications Of Psoriasis
People with severe psoriasis have an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity, some types of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and other immuneârelated disorders, and liver and kidney disease.
The condition can affect the nails and joints, and can seriously affect someone’s emotional and social wellbeing. It may affect their ability to work, go to school or participate in physical activities.