How The Dermatologists Tell The Difference Between Eczema And Psoriasis
Some of the easiest ways to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis are looking at the patients patterns and symptoms.
Eczema typically happens in folds and soft creases of the body, such as inside the elbows and knees. Conversely, psoriasis normally shows on the outside of surfaces, like the front of our knees, elbows and shins. Dr. Reimer can also sometimes tell the difference by looking at someones scalp. If they get a scalp rash in the back of the hair, that can be a sign that its psoriasis, not eczema.
Some other ways to tell if its eczema and not psoriasis are how long the person has had it and if they have any other allergies. Typically, people with eczema have it since childhood and have other allergic tendencies like seasonal or food allergies. Psoriasis on the other hand doesnt normally happen until adulthood.
Another difference Dr. Reimer has noted is that in someone with eczema, I find they usually respond faster to therapy, unlike psoriasis that can take longer to respond to treatment.
The last simple way to tell the difference? One of the hallmark signs of eczema is that its so itchy. If it doesnt itch, its not eczema.
Diagnosis Of Psoriasis Vs Eczema
Psoriasis is usually diagnosed when a dermatologist performs a visual exam and takes your medical and family history. In some cases, the doctor may do a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Read more details about psoriasis diagnosis.
Similarly, eczema is typically diagnosed by observing the skin and asking questions about medical and family history. A biopsy may also be done to help diagnose eczema. A patch test may be performed to see if the itchy rash is caused by an allergy to an external contact.
In some cases, genetic testing may be needed to differentiate between psoriasis and eczema.
Q: Why Do These Conditions Typically Flare Up In The Winter
Cold, dry conditions sap the natural moisture from your skin, and dry skin can cause flares, especially with eczema. People also tend to take hot baths or showers in the winter, which further dries out the skin and causes more itching, since hot water can damage the outer layer of skin that holds in moisture.
Dry skin can trigger a psoriasis flare, as can reduced exposure to sunlight. In the winter, most people get very little natural exposure to UV light.
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Dry skin can also trigger a psoriasis flare, as can reduced exposure to sunlight. In the winter, most people get very little natural exposure to UV light because they spend so much time indoors or with skin covered up with warm clothing.
To help with this, psoriasis patients can consider , a treatment that essentially involves using a light box to expose skin to controlled amounts of UV light in order to dampen inflammation.
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Psoriasis On Hands And Fingers
Psoriasis on hands or psoriasis on fingers is a common type of psoriasis. Many people develop patches of psoriasis on the back sides of their hands or in the fingers. Some people get it on their palms. Psoriasis on hands can cause peeling of the skin that becomes dry. Even normal routine tasks such as washing of the hands or picking up things in hands can cause pain. Psoriasis on fingers can be very discomforting particularly when washing hands etc.
Another form of psoriasis on hands is called nail psoriasis. Nail psoriasis causes the skin to produce too many cells under the nails. It can look similar to a fungal infection and can look like discoloration of the nails. Sometimes, nails may fall off the skin. Psoriasis on hands can be treated with topical and other treatments. But it cannot be cured permanently.
Atopic Dermatitis And Psoriasis As Overlapping Syndromes
1Clinical Department of Internal Medicine, Dermatology and Allergology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
2European Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Urticaria in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
3Medical University of Wroclaw, Poland
Atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are inflammatory skin disorders that are clinically different. However, in the young population, PS is commonly mistaken for AD . AD affects 11%-30% of children, and PS affects 1%-3% of these children with AD . AD shows erythematous patches with excoriations associated with pruritus. PS presents with well-demarcated plaques covered with silvery-white scales . Despite the differences between AD and PS, they share some common features, such as infiltration of immune cells in the skin, altered expression of some proinflammatory cytokines, and barrier alterations . Although the pathogenesis of PS and AD is different, PS has been found to be associated with atopy and AD . However, PS can show eczematous changes in the acute phase, while AD can display psoriasiform lichenified changes in the persistent/resistant stage. Both AD and PS can be misinterpreted as the coexistence of two diseases .
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Diagnosis Of Eczema Vs Psoriasis
Eczema is typically diagnosed by observing the skin and asking questions about patient and family history. A patch test may be performed to confirm whether eczema is due to a specific allergen. Read more details about eczema diagnosis.
Psoriasis is usually diagnosed by a dermatologist by performing a visual exam and taking the patient and family history. In some cases, the doctor may do a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
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 Is The Difference Between Eczema And Ps
When it comes to appearance, psoriasis appears scaly, red, itchy and dry whereas eczema appears as cracked, red, itchy dry skin. Both conditions are caused by a malfunction of the immune system. Psoriasis is mainly caused by white blood cells that attack the skin, whereas eczema is linked to allergies.
What’s The Difference Between Eczema And Psoriasis
Children get eczema. They can also get psoriasis.
While more children develop eczema than psoriasis, almost 1% of children have psoriasis.
Its not always easy to tell whether a child has eczema or psoriasis. A study conducted in Australia found that most children who had psoriasis were initially diagnosed by their primary care doctor as having another disease, often eczema.
To a dermatologists trained eye, psoriasis and eczema tend to look quite different.
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Are Psoriasis And Eczema Related
Psoriasis and eczema are both responsible for causing itchy skin in many people. Over 30 million Americans have eczema, and it is estimated that 7 million Americans have psoriasis.
Dermatologists at Park Avenue Dermatology treat patients with eczema and those with psoriasis. It is important to have a diagnosis from a healthcare specialist, so if you have a skin disorder, contact your dermatologist for an appointment.
What Are The Treatment Options
Though the underlying causes are different, treatment is generally similar, Dr. Fernandez says. You should see a dermatologist for any rash that doesnt go away with over-the-counter medicine, he says.
- Topical cortisone, especially if you have a mild case.
- Immunosuppressive drugs for more moderate to severe cases.
- or ultraviolet light treatment for severe cases.
Also, eczema can prompt a secondary infection so your doctor may use topical and systemic antibiotics to remove bacteria and calm the inflammation.
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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.
Can Someone Have Both Psoriasis And Eczema
It’s rare that a person will have both eczema and psoriasis, but it is possible. According to a research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine that involved patients who had both eczema and psoriasis, the researchers found that people have different genes present in the skin tissue of each condition type that can help the doctors diagnose each condition better.
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How Do You Know If You Have Eczema
If you have a skin rash that is dry, red, and very itchy, it may be eczema. Certain things like perfume, wool, and dust mites can trigger eczema in certain people. To determine if your skin irritation is eczema, contact Park Avenue Dermatology or visit a dermatologist for an evaluation.
All areas of your skin can get eczema, but hands, wrists, the backs of knees, and on elbows are the most commonly affected areas in adults. Eczema is also frequently seen on the cheeks of infants.
Eczema can appear in babies as young as 6 months old but is seen in all ages. It can come and go throughout life.
Symptoms Of Psoriasis Vs Symptoms Of Eczema: What Do Psoriasis And Eczema Look Like
Eczema causes reddish skin and inflammation. The skin may become scaly with oozing blisters, or crusty skin. You can note rough patches like that of leather on the skin. These patches may become swollen.
Psoriasis may also have certain similar symptoms. Psoriasis may also cause red patches. They may also be scaly, sometimes silvery too. But, these patches caused due to psoriasis are slightly raised higher on the skin. The skin with psoriasis is thicker and more inflamed than that of eczema.
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The Appearances May Be Slightly Different
Both eczema and psoriasis can cause patches of red, raised, itchy skin. But the skin is thicker and more inflamed in psoriasis than with eczema. Both the conditions can show up anywhere on your body, but they have their own favorite areas.
Psoriasis often shows up on the: scalp, elbows, knees, buttocks, face, lower back, palms of your hands, soles of your feet. It may also appear in other areas, such as: fingernails and toenails, mouth and lips, eyelids, ears and skin folds.
Eczema most often affects parts of your body that bend, like your inner elbow or behind your knees. It can also appear on your neck, wrists, and ankles.
Can You Have Both Eczema And Psoriasis
Having both are quite different. But, their symptoms are very similar.
However, different genes are responsible for causing both of them. So, it makes it easier for doctors to diagnose the right disease. But, if someone has both then they have to treat them separately.
Thus, to answer are psoriasis and eczema the same? We can say that they both are different skin conditions with different treatments but the symptoms can make them look the same.
Now, lets discuss eczema or psoriasis which is worse?
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Psoriasis And Eczema
Most people are not able to recognize whether its psoriasis or eczema . The treatment of psoriasis or eczema depends on recognizing the patch of skin thats inflamed, reddish, or peeling as one of the characteristic symptoms of these conditions. Both of them are skin conditions with almost similar symptoms, but there are differences technically that can differentiate them apart.
Q: Can Lifestyle Changes Help
Lifestyle changes alone probably won’t be enough to completely address symptoms, especially when it comes to psoriasis, since it is a chronic autoimmune disease.
But because dryness is a trigger for both psoriasis and eczema, you can certainly reduce your risk of having a flare by taking shorter, lukewarm showers and applying a thick, hydrating cream or ointment right after you towel off. That will help lock in moisture, as well as repair the skin barrier, which is important because cracked and irritated skin allows more irritants and allergens to get in.
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If you have eczema, it’s really important to use fragrance-free, hypoallergenic soap and moisturizers, as fragrances can cause allergies and further trigger itchiness and inflammation. One over-the-counter creamthat may help provide relief from symptoms: AveenoÂ® Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream, which is free from steroids and fragrances. It also contains colloidal oatmeal and ceramide, which have been clinically proven to help reduce redness and itching associated with eczema.
You should also use scent-free hypoallergenic laundry detergent for the same reason. Certain fabrics, such as those made with wool, may be irritating to delicate skin as well.
If your indoor air is very dry it’s also a good idea to run a humidifier. Just be sure to clean it often to avoid a buildup of mold or bacteria.
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Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Below The Surface
Although the skin symptoms of psoriasis and eczema can look and feel similar, the conditions are very different below the surface of the skin. Eczema is frequently related to allergies many people with eczema also have food allergies, seasonal allergies and asthma. Psoriasis is a systemic disease, meaning that it affects the whole body. Psoriasis causes inflammation, fatigue, and other symptoms. About 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which can cause progressive joint damage and lead to disability. Psoriatic disease can also cause uveitis , which can result in loss of vision.
Eczema Or Psoriasis Which Is Worse
Psoriasis usually has milder symptoms than Eczema. Eczema has severe symptoms like intense body itching. Sometimes itching can lead to bleeding too.
Thus, Eczema is worse than Psoriasis.
Ringworm infection, eczema, and Psoriasis have similar symptoms. So lets discuss ringworm vs eczema vs psoriasis
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Atopic Dermatitis Vs Psoriasis
Psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are common, long-term skin diseases. Both are noncontagious. Because both the rashes look somewhat similar, the diagnosis may be difficult at the first glance, and a biopsy of the skin remains the last resort. However, certain things that can help differentiate between the two before the doctor orders a biopsy.
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
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Severe And Pervasive Psoriasis
Like most skin conditions, psoriasis can become widespread and very irritating. For instance, plaque psoriasis may cover almost the entire surface of the body.
In extreme cases, inflammation can become so severe that it appears and feels like burns.
Extensive, highly painful, burn-like psoriasis can be life-threatening. This requires immediate attention from a health professional.
Other widespread psoriasis may simply require standard treatment to partially heal or resolve.
What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
Eczema isn’t actually one condition all its own the diagnosis refers to a group of skin conditions that cause itchiness, inflammation and rashes, according to the National Eczema Association . Your bout of eczema may include one of seven common conditions that affect more than 30 million Americans, including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and others.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, Dr. Wang says. It usually starts in early childhood and features itchy rashes, most routinely on the face and in the soft spot behind the knees, that come and go.
Itchiness is the most common symptom of all types of eczema. Though, it affects people in different ways. Some only have mild itchiness, while others are so itchy that they scratch until their skin bleeds.
Other symptoms, according to the NEA, include:
- Dry, sensitive skin
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