Is Psoriasis The Same As Eczema
Psoriasis and eczema are two different skin conditions. They differ in where the disease appears on the body, how much it itches and how it looks. Eczema tends to appear more often behind the knees and inside the elbows. Eczema also causes more intense itching than psoriasis. Many people, especially children, can get both eczema and psoriasis.
How Psoriasis Is Diagnosed
A GP can often diagnose psoriasis based on the appearance of your skin.
In rare cases, a small sample of skin called a biopsy will be sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope.
This determines the exact type of psoriasis and rules out other skin disorders, such as seborrhoeic dermatitis, lichen planus, lichen simplex and pityriasis rosea.
You may be referred to a specialist in diagnosing and treating skin conditions if your doctor is uncertain about your diagnosis, or if your condition is severe.
If your doctor suspects you have psoriatic arthritis, which is sometimes a complication of psoriasis, you may be referred to a doctor who specialises in arthritis .
You may have blood tests to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and X-rays of the affected joints may be taken.
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 Are Psoriasis Flare
One feature of psoriasis is that its recurring, often seasonally. Other times, the appearance or reappearance of your psoriasis symptoms can be unpredictable, with patterns or triggers changing over time. When your symptoms suddenly reappear or worsen, these are called flare-ups.
You may not have to suffer every time one occurs. Working with your doctor can help you make lifestyle choices to better manage flare-ups.
Ready to talk to your dermatologist? Learn about your options: Psoriasis Treatments
Skin: Condition: Infomation Internal Treatments
- Tablet options include acitretin , ciclosporin , methotrexate , and in some hospitals fumaric acid esters and apremilast.
- Injectable treatments for psoriasis include etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, ustekinumab, secukinumab, ixekizumab and guselkumab. Other new tablet and injected treatments are being developed in clinical studies at present.
- Blood tests may be recommended by your GP or dermatologist. If you are considering tablet or injection treatment for your psoriasis, then blood tests will be needed before and during treatment.
Further details of these treatments can be found in the Treatments for moderate and severe psoriasis and individual drug patient information leaflets.
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Plaque Psoriasis: Red Bumps And Silvery Scales
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the chronic skin condition, affecting about 80 percent of people with psoriasis. Usually starting as small red bumps on the skin, plaque psoriasis develops into red patches with a silvery, scaly coating these raised patches are called plaques. Plaques usually show up on elbows, knees, and the lower back, and they can last for months or even years without treatment.
How Is Psoriasis Assessed
Psoriasis should be assessed at diagnosis, before your first referral to a specialist, every time you see a specialist and to assess your response to treatment. Psoriasis may be assessed by your doctors using a variety of scores which measure the severity in your skin and joints, how psoriasis is affecting your mood and your activities of daily living and whether you are at risk of heart disease.
These scores include the PASI and DLQI
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How Can Psoriasis Be Treated
Treatment of psoriasis depends upon your individual circumstances. Treatment applied to the surface of your skin is sufficient alone in most patients. For people with more extensive or difficult to treat psoriasis, ultraviolet light treatment , tablet treatment or injection treatment may be required.
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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Can Psoriasis Affect Only My Nails
In some cases, psoriasis may involve only the fingernails and toenails, although more commonly, nail symptoms will accompany psoriasis and arthritis symptoms. The appearance of the nails may be altered, and affected nails may have small pinpoint pits or large yellow-colored separations on the nail plate called “oil spots.” Nail psoriasis can be hard to treat but may respond to medications taken for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Treatments include topical steroids applied to the cuticle, steroid injections at the cuticle, or oral medications.
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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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.
How Successful Are The Treatments
Anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness. Unfortunately, however, they can make skin symptoms worse in some people. Steroid injections to joints may give relief. Disease-modifying drugs such as methotrexate can damp down both skin and joint symptoms, as can targeted biologic agents.
In some cases, surgery to remove a thickened synovial membrane , realign a joint or to fuse a joint may stop pain which results from movement.
Sometimes it is possible to remove the painful end of a bone .
Remember: All treatments may have unwanted side effects or require special precautions . Always make sure you have all the information before embarking on any course of therapy this includes reading the patient information leaflets provided with your medicines.
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Acne: Blocked Pores That Lead To Pimples
Some forms of psoriasis appear as pus-filled blisters that may be confused with pimples. Pustular psoriasis forms white blisters that are filled with pus and surrounded by red skin. Far more common than psoriasis, acne also causes a pus-filled pimple eruption. However unlike psoriasis acne is caused by excess oil, blocked pores, and bacteria. Acne is common in teens and young adults and occurs on the face, neck, back, or chest. Pustular psoriasis is usually seen in adults and can occur anywhere on the body, but less likely on the face.
If You Have Psoriasis There Is Hope
I know this is not a lot of fun to talk about, but bear with me here. My hope is that the information here can help you to reduce or eliminate your chronic psoriasis symptoms!
Now, just to let you know the whole story…
In some rare cases psoriasis can be a life threatening condition. There are two forms of psoriasis that affect the whole body and require immediate medical attention.
Generalized pustular psoriasis includes not only a severe, bright red psoriasis rash but fever, chills, exhaustion, rapid pulse and other symptoms.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis causes a severe, painful, itchy red rash and shedding of the skin. This causes the skin to lose its natural protective effects and so other symptoms develop such as a fluctuating body temperature.
Don’t worry the more severe cases of psoriasis are very rare, and CAN be treated medically.
What does psoriasis look like? Psoriasis affects people of all ages worldwide though it is more common among lighter skinned people. It is a chronic skin condition which sometimes worsens in colder weather.
In some cases psoriasis can affect the joints of the body. This is called psoriatic arthritis and generally will appear in patients who are 30 to 40 years old.
Psoriasis can also appear on the nails as pits or yellow colored separations of the nail.
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Are There Complications Of Psoriasis
In some people, psoriasis causes more than itchiness and red skin. It can lead to swollen joints and arthritis. If you have psoriasis, you may be at higher risk of:
- Use medicated shampoo for scales on your scalp.
Other steps you should take to stay as healthy as possible:
- Talk to your healthcare provider about lowering your risk for related conditions, such as heart disease, depression and diabetes.
- Lower your stress with meditation, exercise or seeing a mental health professional.
Home Treatment For Psoriasis
There are some home remedies that may help minimize outbreaks or reduce symptoms of psoriasis:
- Exposure to sunlight.
- Apply moisturizers after bathing to keep skin soft.
- Avoid irritating cosmetics or soaps.
- Do not scratch to the point you cause bleeding or excessive irritation.
- Over-the-counter cortisone creams can reduce itching of mild psoriasis.
A dermatologist may prescribe an ultraviolet B unit and instruct the patient on home use.
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What Injections Or Infusions Are Available For Psoriasis
Recently, a new group of drugs called biologics have become available to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They are produced by living cells cultures in an industrial setting. They are all proteins and therefore must be administered through the skin because they would otherwise be degraded during digestion. All biologics work by suppressing certain specific portions of the immune inflammatory response that are overactive in psoriasis. A convenient method of categorizing these drugs is on the basis of their site of action:
Drug choice can be complicated, and your physician will help in selecting the best option. In some patients, it may be possible to predict drug efficacy on the basis of a prospective patient’s genetics. It appears that the presence of the HLA-Cw6 gene is correlated with a beneficial response to ustekinumab.
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.
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Generalised Pustular Psoriasis Or Von Zumbusch Psoriasis
This causes pustules that develop very quickly on a wide area of skin. The pus consists of white blood cells and is not a sign of infection.
The pustules may reappear every few days or weeks in cycles. During the start of these cycles, von Zumbusch psoriasis can cause fever, chills, weight loss and fatigue.
What Can I Do To Help
- Discuss your psoriasis and how it affects your life with your GP or dermatologist and identify treatment goals.
- Manage your risk factors for heart disease and stroke with your GP.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle: eat a balanced diet, try to lose weight if you are overweight and exercise regularly.
- Stop smoking if you smoke.
- If you drink excessive alcohol, reducing your intake might be helpful.
- Reduce stress, where possible.
- Take your medications as recommended by your GP or dermatologist.
If you have pain in your joints discuss with your GP or dermatologist.
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What Does Plaque Psoriasis Look Like
About 80 to 90 percent of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. This makes it the most common type of psoriasis.
A plaque psoriasis rash looks like raised patches of thick, inflamed skin. On light skin, it looks red and scaly, often with a layer of silver on top. On skin with more pigment, the plaques look purple, gray, or darker brown and tend to be thicker.
Plaques can develop anywhere but are most likely to appear on your:
- lower back
Plaques also tend to be symmetrical. For example, youre more likely to have plaques on both knees or elbows than on just one side. Other symptoms include:
2009 study of 1,593 people with psoriasis found that guttate psoriasis affects about 8 percent of people with psoriasis.
You can spot this type of psoriasis rash by small, raised round spots called papules. They sometimes have a scaly appearance. The spots might look red on light skin and purple or brown on skin with more pigment.
Guttate psoriasis can start at any age. For most people, though, it starts in childhood or adolescence. It can develop after an infection, such as strep throat or tonsillitis.
Its most likely to develop on the limbs and torso, though some people get it on the scalp, face, or ears.
Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body. It can develop in just one area, or it can show up in several. For example, theres:
Plaque, inverse, and guttate are the most common types. Others include:
What Are The Basic Differences
Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disease. That means your immune system becomes dysfunctional and chronically activated, resulting in skin changes. It causes raised, red, scaly patches on your skin or scalp.
There are multiple subtypes of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common and accounts for nearly 80-90 percent of psoriasis cases.
People with plaque psoriasis typically have sharply demarcated, raised, itchy, painful red plaques covered with silvery scales. The plaques are most often found on elbows and knees, but they can occur anywhere.
Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that can have numerous triggers. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It typically occurs in people with a personal or family history of asthma, hay fever or other allergies, and it is often seen in children. It makes skin more sensitive and more prone to infection.
At any time in your life, you can develop eczema from dry skin or chemicals that contact the skin and trigger irritation or allergic reactions.
Neither psoriasis nor eczema is contagious, Dr. Fernandez says. But while you cant pass them from person to person, they may run in families.
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What Does Psoriasis Look Like
What does psoriasis look like? These pictures of psoriasis are a little graphic, but the good news is that if you have psoriasis, there IS hope! There are many home remedies for psoriasis that can bring relief to even the worse cases of psoriasis.
Here are some psoriasis photos from the doctors at DermNet.com who have graciously given us permission to share with your some psoriasis photos.
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Measles: A Facial Rash That Can Cover The Body
Like guttate psoriasis, measles also follow symptoms of an upper respiratory infection in children and cause a skin rash of small, red spots. However, the measles skin rash usually starts on the face and spreads down to cover the body and is accompanied by fever, cough, and a runny nose. Measles rash is also flat, while the rash of psoriasis is typically raised. Measles is caused by a virus and is contagious, though the measles vaccination has made this a rare disease in the United States.