What Are The Key Differences
Cause. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition, meaning your immune system becomes overactive. In this case, certain inflammatory cells cause the body to make new skin cells too fast. These cells pile up on the surface of the skin, leading to thick, scaly patches that are often itchy and painful.
While experts do not know the exact cause of eczema, they think its a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Similar to psoriasis, there is also inflammation in the skin, and this may be related to an irritant or an allergen that triggers the immune system, or may cause an eczema flare-up.
Age. Eczema is most common in babies and children. Psoriasis often starts between the ages of 15 and 35. However, people of all ages can experience these conditions.
Itch. Another key difference between these conditions is the intensity of itching, particularly at night and in children. With psoriasis, the itching may be absent or mild to moderate. But for eczema, it is common, can be intense and can affect sleep.
Seeking The Right Treatment
Unfortunately, there are currently no cures for these skin conditions, and many people have to manage their symptoms over a lifetime. Depending on several factors, including your age and severity of your condition, your doctor will develop a treatment plan that includes a combination of medicine, avoiding triggers, and having a good skin care regimen and healthy lifestyle. Its important to get the right diagnosis with a doctor who specializes in these conditions, such as a dermatologist, and to develop a treatment plan thats tailored to your specific needs.
Ringworm: Fungal Infections Of The Skin And Nails
Tinea is a type of fungal infection that resembles some symptoms of psoriasis. Psoriasis can cause the thick fingernails symptomatic of fungal nail infections, and both can cause red, itchy skin rashes. When tinea grows on your skin, it can cause a scaly, red skin rash that clears in the middle, called ringworm . Fungal infections of the skin and nails can be hard to treat. Antifungal medications work, but you may need to take them for a long time.
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Nasty Skin Conditions That Are Not Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition many believe to be an autoimmune disorder. It causes the life cycle of skin cells to proceed abnormally fast, so the body cant get rid of the dead skin cells, which means they then pile up in scaly, itchy, reddened patches. Psoriasis can also affect the nails and cause a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. It can range in severity from affecting just a few patches of skin to covering large parts of the body. There are also five types of psoriasis, each with different symptoms. One problem in treating psoriasis is correctly diagnosing it, since it has a lot of look-alikes, ranging from benign conditions, such as eczema or acne to dangerous diseases, like basal cell carcinoma. In general, skin conditions tend to have similar symptoms, like rashes or red and inflamed areas. With this in mind, if you have a sore, rash, or other skin problem that doesnt respond to home care and shows no signs of going away after a couple of weeks, get a dermatologist to check it out to make sure you dont have psoriasis or any of the other following nasty skin diseases.
What Is Psoriasis Everything You Need To Know
What is psoriasis? might seem like a pretty straightforward questionits a skin condition that causes raised bumpy patches, right? Not quite, actually. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes issues with the skin. And its so much more than the physical symptoms you probably associate with it. For one, there are several different types of psoriasis and each persons experience with the condition is unique. Moreover, psoriasiss impact is more than skin-deep, with the potential to cause everything from painful psoriatic arthritis to serious self-image issues.
Before we dive in, lets cover the basics: Psoriasis causes the skin to regenerate more quickly than normal. Typically, your skin cells go through a cycle known as cell turnover, starting deep in your skin and slowly rising to the surface. Usually, this takes about a month, but according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, it can take only a few days when you have psoriasis, causing the skin cells to rise too fast and pile up on the surface of your skin. Because of this, people who have psoriasisabout 7.5 million people in the U.S., per the American Academy of Dermatology can have flare-ups that cause the characteristic itchy, scaly skin patches to show up on their skin.
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How Is Ringworm Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider might be able to tell whether you have a ringworm infection just by looking at it. They also might take skin scrapings from the affected area.
The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that diagnosing ringworm can be a little tricky, because it often resembles other conditions. For example, tinea corporis might be confused with eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis tinea capitis might be confused with alopecia areata and ringworm of the toenails can look like dystrophic toenails caused by trauma to the nails. A ringworm diagnosis can be confirmed with a fungal culture.
Can Psoriasis Be Treated
Yes, there are many forms of treatment for psoriasis, which range from those you apply to the skin to tablets, and more recently injectable therapies, See Treatments for Psoriasis.
Many people who have psoriasis find that the sun and artificial ultraviolet light helps to improve their skins appearance. For some the change is dramatic. Be aware that exposure to the sun and artificial UV therapy can cause damage to the skin. See Psoriasis and the sun and Psoriasis and phototherapy
For some people, talking therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy can also help them understand the psychological impact of psoriasis and provide a safe therapy which may help them cope with psoriasis. See our free online CBT programme
Your general practitioner or dermatologist will be best placed to advise you and keep you informed of all current and new treatments available and to recommend the best treatment programme for you personally.
Remember: Your treatment can only be as good as you allow it to be – that means if the treatment takes six weeks, you have to follow it as instructed for six weeks and no ducking out! Adherence to treatment instructions is an essential part of managing your psoriasis.
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Who Gets Nail Psoriasis
After developing a type of psoriasis on your skin, its common for psoriasis to affect the nails. Nail psoriasis becomes more common with age. Its also more common if youve had psoriasis on your skin for some time or have severe psoriasis.
Signs of nail psoriasis include tiny dents in your nails , discoloration under one or more nails, and a nail lifting away from the nail bed so that its no longer completely attached. Some people have a buildup of skin under one or more of their nails, which can also cause a nail to lift up.
Which Is Worse: Eczema Or Psoriasis
So which is worse? It can depend on the severity of your case and your point of view, says Dr. Bayart.
You can have a very mild case of either that barely affects your life or have a severe case of either that can be completely debilitating, she says.
It may require some trial and error, but the right diagnosis and the right treatment can go a long way toward helping you manage. While it can certainly be frustrating and in some extreme cases, debilitating, most patients can achieve relief with the proper treatment plan and regain and enjoyable quality of life, says Dr. Minars.
However, its important to recognize that psoriasis is also linked to other serious health conditions, like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Your skin is telling you from the outside that you are at higher risk for those issues, says Dr. Bayart. You need to be especially careful about your health.
The first step is the right diagnosis. Knowing what the rash means can put you in control of your health.
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Is It Eczema Or Psoriasis
You can get eczema or psoriasis, or you can get both. It can be tricky to tell them apart. They can even appear in the same places, like the elbows and the knees. One key way to tell the difference: the itch. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, children who get eczema tend to experience intense itching, while psoriasis is more likely to only cause mild itching.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Psoriasis
There are several types of doctors who may treat psoriasis. Dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders, including psoriasis. Rheumatologists specialize in the treatment of joint disorders, including psoriatic arthritis. Family physicians, internal medicine physicians, rheumatologists, dermatologists, and other medical doctors may all be involved in the care and treatment of patients with psoriasis.
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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.
What Does Psoriasis Look Like
Psoriasis usually appears as red or pink plaques of raised, thick, scaly skin. However, it can also appear as small, flat bumps or large, thick plaques. It most commonly affects the skin on the elbows, knees, and scalp, though it can appear anywhere on the body. The following slides will review some of the different types of psoriasis.
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Tips For Getting The Right Diagnosis
For the best chance of getting the right diagnosis, a person should make sure they give an accurate history when a doctor or dermatologist asks. The more information a medical professional has to work with, the more likely they are to diagnose a persons illness correctly.
This is especially important with skin conditions such as psoriasis. A medical professional will typically rely on both a history and a visual assessment to work out what a persons skin condition is. A visual assessment alone may not be enough.
If a person is unsure about their diagnosis, they can request further diagnostic tests. This may involve speaking to a dermatologist, who might use dermoscopy or recommend a skin biopsy.
A skin biopsy involves taking a small sample of the skin and sending it to a lab for testing.
What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have psoriasis, ask your healthcare provider:
- How can I prevent outbreaks and control symptoms?
- What medication will work best for me?
- What else should I do to improve symptoms?
- What are my options if creams dont work?
- Will psoriasis ever go away?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Psoriasis, an itchy skin condition, can come and go throughout your life. Its related to an overactive immune response and is not contagious. If you have skin changes that arent going away, talk to your healthcare provider. There is no cure for psoriasis, but psoriasis treatments can improve symptoms. Your provider may prescribe a special cream or moisturizer or medications. Other therapies are available if creams or medicines dont work. Maintaining your overall health will also help improve symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/17/2020.
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How Does A Dermatologist Diagnose Psoriasis
To diagnose psoriasis, a dermatologist:
- Examines a patients skin, nails, and scalp for signs of psoriasis.
- Asks whether family members have psoriasis.
- Learns about what has been happening in the patients life. A dermatologist may want to know whether a patient has been under a lot of stress, had a recent illness, or just started taking a medicine.
Sometimes a dermatologist also removes a bit of skin. A dermatologist may call this confirming the diagnosis. By looking at the removed skin under a microscope, one can confirm whether a person has psoriasis.
What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
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How Psoriasis Spreads
Repeat after us: Psoriasis is not contagious. Not now, not ever.
A psoriasis flare-up can spread to different parts of your body, but it cant spread to a different person.
Heres the scoop: Psoriasis is propelled by your immune system, which is why most docs and researchers file it under autoimmune diseases. Basically, the inflammation erupts from *inside* your body, not in response to a single outside irritant.
Whats causing that inflammation? Its essentially friendly fire from your immune system. Your immune system is responding to a trigger and lashing out at the wrong guys . This attack shows up as rashes and plaques on different parts of your body.
So when a psoriasis flare spreads, its not because you accidentally touched your arm to the plaque on your leg. It means your immune system is still misguided, but in a new location.
Psoriasis can spread differently depending on the type:
Maybe! You can definitely take steps to help.
Who Does It Affect
It affects men, women and children alike. It can appear at any age in varying degrees but usually between the ages of 10 and 30. The severity of the disease varies enormously, from a minute patch to large patches covering most body areas. Psoriasis can also run in familiesand it is known that the disease is multi-genetic and therefore children may not necessarily inherit psoriasis. It is estimated that if one parent has psoriasis then there is a 3 out of 20 chance that a child will develop the condition. If both parents have psoriasis this increases to about 15 out of 20 . Interestingly, if a child develops psoriasis and neither parent is affected there is a 1 out of 5 chance that a brother or sister will also get psoriasis. This is because the condition is known to skip generations, so somewhere there will be a familial link to a relative via one or both parents.
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An Itching Or Burning Feeling On The Skin
Although psoriasis patches arent usually irritating, some people do report itchiness. People who have psoriasis of the scalp can report its very itchy or dry, says Anthony Rossi, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
The itching and pain can interfere with basic daily activities including self-care, sleep, and even walking.
What Does The Start Of Psoriasis Look Like
Kaplan: Ringworm can certainly look like psoriasis in the fact that it’s an itchy, red rash, but again it looks very different. The scales look a little different, and you usually tend to have just one spot of it, while psoriasis you tend to have lots of other spots.
One may also ask, what does psoriasis look like on the legs? Psoriasis frequently occurs on the legs and knees. For instance, guttate psoriasis on the legs would appear in many separate, drop-like, small red psoriasis patches. However, plaque psoriasis on the legs often appears in large, shapeless patches with thick red skin or thick white scales.
In this manner, what are the first signs of psoriasis?
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales.
- Small scaling spots
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed.
- Itching, burning or soreness.
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails.
- Swollen and stiff joints.
What can be mistaken for psoriasis?
Skin conditions such as rashes, dry skin, dandruff, eczema, and fungal infections have symptoms that can look like psoriasis.
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Articles On Types Of Psoriasis
Knowing which kind of psoriasis you have helps you and your doctor make a treatment plan. Most people have only one type at a time. Sometimes, after your symptoms go away, a new form of psoriasis will crop up in response to a trigger.
In general, most types of psoriasis result from the same triggers:
Here’s how you can spot the 7 types of psoriasis and what you can do to treat them.
Patches Of Skin That Look Pink Or Red And Scaly With A Silver Coloring On Top
They may feel itchy or sore, and it almost looks like the skin has been burned or injured. “If you try to uncover one of the plaques, you’ll get some pinpoint bleeding due to enlarged blood vessels,” says Rhonda Q. Klein, MD, MPH, a dermatologist at Connecticut Dermatology Group. And these patches tend to be symmetricalin other words, if they show up on one side of the body, you’ll often see a mirror image of the patches on the other side of the body.
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