4 Ways to Identify if it is Eczema or Psoriasis (Eczema vs. Psoriasis)

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There are many diseases and disorders with similar, but not the same symptoms and causes. This means that only the right doctor can properly diagnose it for you and prescribe you medication for relieving the symptoms. Often when you’re searching on the internet about symptoms you have, you end up opening tons of tabs on many different diseases having similar symptoms and having a panic attack wondering which one you actually have. This article is about 4 ways to identify if it is eczema or psoriasis (eczema vs. psoriasis).

Eczema and psoriasis are two diseases that are often confused, even by general doctors, but a good dermatologist’s eye never fails to recognize the difference between the two. Eczema symptoms and psoriasis symptoms are different from each other. You should not feel scared reading all this. However, you should know how to differentiate between the two diseases if you are self-diagnosing, but always visit a doctor and get the correct checkup.

It should be noted that eczema and psoriasis are both skin conditions that affect millions of people around the world. Generally speaking, the differences between these two skin diseases can be categorized into four groups.

  • Onset
  • Appearance and Symptoms
  • Triggers
  • Treatment Options

1. Onset

Eczema is observed more commonly in babies and children. It may occur in adults too, but the chances are quite low. In children and young infants, eczema becomes less severe in its intensity with time.
Psoriasis disease can occur at any time during an individual’s life, however, it is more commonly found in young adults and adults of ages 15-35. Older people can also suffer from psoriasis.


2. Appearance and Symptoms

In eczema, the skin becomes dry, cracked and appears red. Sometimes in cases where eczema is left untreated and it becomes severe, small fluid-filled lumps or protuberances can appear on the skin. These are itchy spots and when scratched can cause bleeding. The symptoms of eczema appear mostly on the scalp, face, neck, ankles, wrists, back of the knees and inner elbow.

In psoriasis, there is swelling and protrusions on your skin that are silvery-greyish in color (skin plaques). In addition to the inflammation and itching, there is a severe burning sensation. Psoriasis appears mostly on the lower back, scalp, nails (in form of pits and ridges), knees, elbows, palms, and face.
Psoriasis is more painful, whereas eczema is itchy and bleeds a lot. There are more dry scales in psoriasis and red spots in eczema.

3. Triggers

The triggers for eczema and psoriasis are different from each other.
Psoriasis is believed to be caused by a defect in the immune system in which the immune system and its defensive cells begin to attack and destroy skin cells stimulating more production of skin cells to replace the older ones. This leads to the accumulation of the cells at the same place resulting in inflammation and silvery patches. The triggers for psoriasis include:

  • Stress
  • Genetic factors
  • Weak immune system
  • Certain medicines (beta-blockers, lithium, antimalarials)
  • Dry, cold weather
  • Infections
  • Sunburn

The triggers for eczema are:

  • Scratching
  • Stress
  • Dryness
  • Cold weather
  • Bacteria
  • Irritants, allergens

4. Treatment Options

Specialized doctors recommend different treatment options for eczema and psoriasis.

Treatments for psoriasis include:

  • Biologics
    These are medications that inhibit the inflammatory response leading to worsening psoriasis.
  • UVB phototherapy or UVB light therapy
  • Coal tars

At this time, the available eczema treatment include:

  • Wet dressings
  • Light therapy
  • Topical corticosteroid creams

Undoubtedly, it might be confusing to read all the signs and symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. These were the basic 4 ways to identify if it is eczema or psoriasis (eczema vs. psoriasis). That’s okay too because you can visit a doctor, consult him for the right medication and treatment according to your condition. Indeed Marham.pk is a platform you can use to find and consult the best dermatologists in Pakistan.

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Hadiqa Inam
Future Biochemist. Ailurophile. Writer. Poet. Graphic Designer. Volunteer. Dreamer... And Marvel movies! Creativity is intelligence having fun

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