Psoriasis only usually surfaces as patches of dry, inflamed, scaly skin. By contrast, while eczema sometimes manifests in this way, it can also appear as a moist area. The patches that psoriasis causes tend to be thicker, and may show up as a silvery color. And while eczema typically causes only an intense itch, psoriasis also may manifest with a stinging or burning sensation.
The two disorders also affect similar areas of the body, commonly the hands, feet, scalp, and neck. However, while psoriasis usually appears on the backs of the elbows and front of the knees, eczema tends to occur on the backs of the knees and inside the elbows. Also, eczema can develop on the ankles, an area that is usually left unaffected by psoriasis. And where psoriasis appears on the hands, pitting of the nails usually occurs while eczema doesn’t typically cause this symptom.
The cause of these conditions also differs. Eczema, which is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, is common in babies and children and may last through adulthood. Its rashes can be triggered by certain detergents and soaps, chlorine, or wool. By contrast, psoriasis is uncommon in children and usually develops after the age of 10. It’s frequently triggered by weather conditions, stress, damage to the skin, and certain medications.
By examining your symptoms and taking a medical history, can a diagnosis be formed. Even if there was trouble determining which type of rash you have, both usually respond to topical steroid creams as an initial line of defense. Both conditions may also respond to light therapy while oral medications are also sometimes prescribed for psoriasis. Lifestyle changes, such as avoidance of the factors that trigger your rashes, are also important for both conditions.
It’s important to determine which condition you have since both are associated with other disorders. As an experienced dermatological provider, Pinnacle is dedicated to helping patients with all of their skincare needs. We will be happy to evaluate your condition and create the appropriate treatment plan. Contact us today for your consultation.