The Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis


Problems with your skin can drive you insane. The itching is impossible. It can make it hard to think about anything else, no matter how hard you try. You lose sleep because your skin feels like its on fire. Your outfits are chosen based on what you can find the patches of inflamed skin behind, or by what you can reach to scratch the skin. What are you going to do? Well, before you can find relief, you must figure out what you have. Then you can go to the doctor and have a real talk about what’s wrong and real solutions to the condition.

The Similarities

First, let’s take a look at some things that look the same about the two conditions. Then you can start to look at the differences and see what needs to be done next. The first thing that you will notice about both Eczema and Psoriasis is that there is no age limit on who can get either one. Children as young as 3 can get either one. Older men and women can also face itchy problems. You can have both at the same time. Both can occur on the face, bottom, or on the head. You can get medications for either one. Creams, soaps, and powders can help. Keeping the skin clean and dry help. The skin can get puffy, swollen, or you can even get secondary skin infections because you are scratching the skin and this breaks the skin and allows bacteria to get in.

The Differences in Appearances

A quick glance is probably not going to give you an answer. At first glance, you will see red irritated skin that is inflamed and swollen. You have to take a closer look to see what the condition really is.

Psoriasis tends to be more defined. It looks a lot more like scaly skin. The skin tends to be thicker. The scales are a lot more defined.

Eczema is more crusted and can seem to be oozy. Almost like the patches of poison ivy that you see. The patches of skin that are affected may look more leathery or tough than the patches of Psoriasis. They look almost dark. Of course, it can cause swelling of the infected area, but it can also cause swelling of the skin around the affected areas.

The Differences in Location

Where your skin irritation is can mean the difference in which condition you have. For instances, Psoriasis can appear almost anywhere on the body. It can affect the joints and even cause pain and stiffness in the joints. Whereas Eczema usually only appears in the bends of your arms and legs. Psoriasis can appear here too but not as likely. Eczema can appear on the face, but usually only in younger patients.

The Symptoms

We have already told you that Psoriasis can cause joint pain and swelling. It can also interrupt nail growth or cause the nails to be yellow, thick, or brittle. The itching is also less likely to be so intense that affects your daily life.

Eczema tends to be so intense that you can’t do much else. It is overwhelming and can even feel like your skin is on fire. It tends to be a more miserable and irritating condition of the two.

The Treatment and Prevention of Psoriasis

The differences in what causes the two conditions are subtle. They can be easily overlooked, which may affect the treatment plan. Here are just a few things can cause psoriasis to appear:

  • Smoking
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Cold weather
  • Other infections

The best way to avoid Psoriasis to do your best to live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t over consume alcohol. Don’t smoke or stop smoking. Lower your stress or try to find a way to combat stress. For instance, get a hobby that helps to take your mind off what’s going on. Find a way to unwind at night. Keep your skin clean and dry. Wash your hands often, especially if you are scratching a lot. Keep your fingernails clean and short so that you don’t pass bacteria from your fingernails to the broken skin around where your itching is. If you must go out in cold weather, protect the skin so that it stays warm and so that you don’t suffer from wind burn.

If you already have Psoriasis, then the best thing for you to do is to keep the area clean and dry. You can get over the counter creams that will help to reduce the pain, swelling, and redness. They will work on moderate Psoriasis, but not on more severe cases. For those situations, it is best to go see a doctor and get a prescription cream to help you feel better.

The Treatment and Prevention Of Eczema

Some of the causes for Eczema are easy to fix and others may not be so obvious like:

  • Allergies to soap or lotions
  • Food allergies
  • Exposure to dust and pet dander
  • Stress
  • Clothing or fabric allergies
  • Pet Allergies
  • Sun exposure

The best way to find avoid getting it is to avoid things that you know irritate your skin. You may not realize that food allergies, like those of eggs or wheat, tend to show up on our face. This is because our body excretes them. Its made more miserable because you probably are already not feeling so good, and now your skin is super itchy. Of course, you already know the best way to avoid having sun irritated skin is to prevent sun irritations. Always use sunblock. Reapply the sunblock as the directions on the packages say. If you are going to be in and out of the water, reapply the sunblock every time you dry your skin. Avoid using harsh soaps or lotions that contain alcohol because this can dry your skin out and make you more susceptible to skin conditions. Pay attention to the detergents you are using on your clothing. Certain fabric softeners, detergents, and even dryer sheets can cause skin irritation. These are often overlooked as causes.

If you are already dealing with Eczema, try to stay out of the sun. Keep your skin clean. Don’t scratch any spots that you have. Scratching can spread bacteria and make your skin worse. You can get over the counter soaps and lotions that will help to heal your skin. Try to use non-allergenic detergents and fabric softens so that you can avoid skin irritants. These are the best ways to treat eczema, especially in children.

Your doctor can help you to find relief as well. They can prescribe lotions or creams to help soothe and heal your skin. You can also get some more ideas on what could possibly be causing your problem. The thing to remember is that these creams are meant to be short term solutions. There aren’t a lot of studies done on long term use in these creams, but most of them do have steroids that can affect young children. There has been some evidence that these creams can cause cancer after long term use. It’s best to try to find the cause of your problem and fix it rather than try to treat the symptoms.

Other Causes for Skin Irritations

There are other causes of skin irritations that tend to be mistaken for both Psoriasis and Eczema. These usually can be treated similarly.

For instances, Athletes foot is a fungus. It can be treated with creams, but it is usually easier to prevent than it is to treat. You can use soaps that prevent skin eczema to prevent some forms of athlete’s foot.

Cradle cap looks a lot like eczema. It is really easy to treat with baby oil. Simply rub it in and then remove the flakes with a baby comb. It is hard to know what causes it exactly, but treatments are no problem.

Rosacea and Shingles both cause rashes that may give you a reason to believe that you have eczema. There are treatment plans for both of these that include seeing your doctor. Over the counter, treatment is not going to bring you the relief that you need and could possibly make it worse. Shingles is a variety of the chicken pox virus. That means it can be contagious and is something that you should see the doctor for. Yes, the rash is uncomfortable and itchy, but it is best to talk to your doctor before you apply anything to it.

It is our hope that you have found some useful information in this article. It is our hope that you don’t have to fight the crazy itchiness for very long. It can be frustrating to try to find a treatment that works. You may have to change your game plan a few times before you come up with a solution that is practical and brings you a solution that you need.

Research is your best friend. Once you have a take in knowledge of what’s going on in your skin it is so much easier to find a solution.