Skin problems can be very much irritating and may cause a lot of discomfort in the person suffering from the same. They may have a lot of concern about their skin problems. It is really essential to have proper diagnosis and effective treatments for the skin conditions. There are two major skin problems namely Eczema and Psoriasis, which are mostly confused for each other though they both are very different from one another. It is essential for us to know the difference between the two. So, here we will know about the differences between Eczema and Psoriasis.
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Differences worth Knowing
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Basic Differences
Eczema is also known as Dermatitis and is a group of conditions where the skin becomes hot, dry, itchy and scaly. The skin may also become raw, red and bleed in severe outbreaks in case of Eczema. It is thought that Eczema is caused because of a reaction to environmental irritants or allergies and stress and hormonal fluctuations even worsen the symptoms. Apart from the environmental factors, it is also known that the eczema may also be caused due to hereditary factors. Such conditions run in families most often. Usually Eczema begins in infancy or early childhood. Some people eventually outgrow it and some continue to have it as adults.
Psoriasis is a different inflammatory skin condition, which is marked by patches of raised reddish skin that is covered with a whitish silver layer. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis, which is common to be seen on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back etc. It is believed that the psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system overreacts to a stimulus. Psoriasis also runs in families.
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Differences Based on Age of the Patient Suffering From it
Looking at the differences based on the age of the patient, it can be said that Eczema is most common in infants and small children while psoriasis is most common in case of the adults.
Eczema Vs Psoriasis Differences Based on the Symptoms
Let us take a proper look on the symptoms of the two skin conditions and know the differences between the two.
Symptoms of Eczema
- Symptoms here include itchy, red and inflamed skin.
- Swelling and cracking of the skin.
- Scaling, blisters, red crusty rash seen on cheek.
- Blisters or rashes noticed on the legs or arms.
- Rashes near joints, mostly behind the knees and inside the elbows are common.
- Because of itchiness, the patient may have difficulty sleeping.
- Hyperpigmented eyelids, dark rings around the eyes or allergic shiners, leathery skin from excessive rubbing, extra fold of skin under eye, etc are some other symptoms of Eczema.
- Small, rough bumps, scaly skin areas, papules, hyperlinear palms, hives, lip inflammation etc may also be the symptoms of Eczema.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
- Small red patches that gradually expand and turn scaly, silvery and red plaques.
- Inflammation and itchiness of the skin.
- Cracked skin with blisters and restricted joint motion are some other symptoms of psoriasis.
- It also cause a lot of discomfort and emotional stress in the affected person.
- In about 10% of the cases, patients of psoriasis proceed to psoriatic arthritis.
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Differences Based on the Triggers
- Eczema triggers are different and they are dependent on the type of eczema you have. However, the most common causes of flare-ups include laundry detergents, soaps, and specific foods, environmental allergens like pets, dusts and also viruses, cold, dry air and itchy materials such as wool. Stress and sudden temperature change can also trigger a reaction.
- Psoriasis triggers include stress, medications like beta-blockers and lithium, illnesses as well as dry, cold air. A scratch or bad sunburn can also trigger flare-up in psoriasis. Some people also believe that alcohol, dairy products, sugar, red meat, etc may also trigger flare-up in psoriasis.
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Differences Based on Location
In case of Eczema, the location varies with the age of the patient. In case of babies, eczema is most likely to affect the babies face. However, Psoriasis is mostly seen on the knees, elbows etc, although it may also occur on other body parts including face, scalp, and neck.
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Differences Based on the Treatments
Treatments for Eczema
- Mild cases of Eczema may be cured by simply improving skin care. As dry skin is part of the package, the patient with eczema should get a humidifier.
- They should also avoid long or very hot showers or baths, as those can dry out the skin and exacerbate the symptoms.
- Patients with eczema should also make use of mild soaps with moisturizer.
- Over-the-counter medications like hydrocortisone may be used for mild cases of eczema.
- Prescription medications that might help may include antihistamines, moisturizers and creams that control inflammation.
- In case of severe eczema, Ultraviolet light therapy can help the patient.
- Corticosteroids may also be prescribed to some people with severe eczema.
Treatments for Psoriasis
In general, the psoriasis has no cure. However, the treatments take three primary forms.
- Skin creams. They are used in mild cases of psoriasis.
- Oral or Injected Medications. In case of severe psoriasis, oral or injected medications may be used.
- Light Therapy. This is one more form of treatment where the patient is exposed to artificial or natural UV light, which slows the inflammation of the skin and reduces the appearance of plaques on the skin.
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Some Other Differences
- In case of Eczema, silvery scales over the skin lesion are absent. However, they are present in case of psoriasis.
- In case of Eczema, extra fold of skin beneath the eye or Dennie Morgan fold is present, which is absent in case of Psoriasis.
- Usually patients with eczema may have allergy to food. However, the allergy to food is usually not present in case of psoriasis.
- Patients with Eczema usually do not have emotional distress, but the patients with psoriasis may be seen with emotional stress in most cases.
- Eczema is not associated with arthritis. However, Psoriasis is associated with psoriatic arthritis.
- Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Eczema vs. psoriasis: How to tell the difference. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12362-eczema-vs-psoriasis
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Psoriasis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840
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