Psoriasis and eczema are two very common skin conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. Both are chronic conditions that can quickly become uncomfortable and frustrating.
Some similarities between the two skin conditions can make it easy for people to get confused. Still, some key differences set apart the two conditions and can help in accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
The exact causes of psoriasis and eczema are not fully understood. However, research has suggested that they both have genetic and environmental factors.
Psoriasis is believed to be an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks healthy skin cells, leading to an overproduction of skin cells. This overproduction causes thick, scaly patches on the skin.
On the other hand, eczema is a skin condition caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that can trigger an inflammatory response.
This inflammation causes red, itchy, and dry patches on the skin. While both conditions are not contagious, they can be hereditary.
The appearance of psoriasis and eczema can differ, which can help distinguish one from the other.
Psoriasis typically causes raised, scaly patches that can be silvery or white in color. These patches are often thick and well-defined and can appear anywhere on the body. The scalp, lower back, knees, and elbows tend to be affected by psoriasis.
On the other hand, eczema often causes patches of dry, itchy skin that may appear thick, cracked, or leathery. These patches can be reddish-brown in color, and they may also ooze or crust over in severe cases.
Eczema can occur anywhere on the body, but hands, feet, and face are most often affected.
The location of the affected skin can also help differentiate between psoriasis and eczema. Psoriasis often affects specific areas of the body, such as the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. However, it can also appear anywhere on the body, including the palms, soles, and genitals.
On the other hand, eczema can occur anywhere on the body but is more commonly found on the hands, feet, and face. It can also affect the inside of the elbows and knees and the neck, wrists, and ankles.
Age of Onset
The age of onset is another key difference between psoriasis and eczema. Psoriasis often develops in early adulthood, typically between the ages of 15 and 35. However, it can also develop at any age, including in children.
Eczema, on the other hand, is more common in infants and young children. In many cases, eczema can resolve by the time the child reaches adolescence, although it can also persist into adulthood. Adult-onset eczema is less common.
Both conditions can easily be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes, topical medications, and in severe cases, oral or injectable medications. But the specific treatment options may differ depending on the severity and location of the affected skin.
Topical treatments like corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, and coal tar can be used to treat psoriasis and eczema. In some cases, phototherapy, or light therapy, may be recommended to treat psoriasis.
Oral or injectable medications such as biologic drugs, immunosuppressants, and retinoids may be prescribed for severe cases of either condition that do not respond to topical treatments.
Besides medication, lifestyle changes such as avoiding triggers, keeping skin moisturized, maintaining a healthy diet, and managing stress can also help manage symptoms of both conditions.
Don’t wait around if you notice any signs of eczema or psoriasis! It’s best to consult a professional as soon as possible and start treatment. Advocate My Meds can help you speed up that treatment. We offer financial assistance for prescriptions to kickstart treatment. Contact us now for more information.