Eczema and psoriasis are two common skin conditions that cause a similar type of inflammation on the skin. There are a number of similarities between the two, such as the appearance of the conditions on the skin, the symptoms and even many of the treatments. In reality, these two skin conditions are exceedingly different in a number of ways, despite the fact that many people confuse the two.
At Pinnacle Dermatology in Birmingham, we can address the causes and treatment options for both psoriasis and eczema. Your skin is our top priority and we are dedicated to helping you get and keep healthy, glowing skin. To schedule your appointment, contact Pinnacle Dermatology today. Our medical staff can help customize an ongoing treatment plan for all your skin woes.
Primary Differences between Psoriasis and Eczema
When it comes to the appearance of psoriasis and eczema, the former will appear as scaly, dry, red and itchy patches of skin, while the latter will appear as cracked, dry, red and itchy skin. Both of these skin conditions are caused by some form of a malfunction within the immune system.
Psoriasis is caused by white blood cells attacking a person’s skin, while eczema is commonly caused by allergies. Each of these conditions tend to affect different areas of the body. In general, Psoriasis affects all areas of the body, even including toenails and fingernails. Eczema is a bit more specific, with the most common affected areas being the bended portions of the knees and elbows, as well as the arms, face and chest areas.
Another key difference is that psoriasis is only itchy at certain periods of time during the breakouts, while eczema is itchy on a constant basis.
There are also notable differences in who the conditions affect. Eczema typically happens in young children and infants, while psoriasis usually takes places in adults. It’s also important to note that eczema can flare up more readily for those within hot and dry climates, while psoriasis breakouts have little to do with any environmental factors. These dry climates, as well as itchy clothing, are the most common triggers for eczema flare ups. In comparison, flare ups of Psoriasis are generally caused by certain physiological conditions, such as smoking, drinking, taking medications and due to infections within the skin, among other factors.
It’s also important to look at the differences of eczema and psoriasis when it comes to severity of the condition. Though the initial effects of both eczema and psoriasis might be largely similar in nature, their differences are maximized the more severe the condition becomes.
In more extreme cases of eczema, severe cracking of the skin, as well as bleeding and even oozing, can occur. Severe cases of psoriasis tend to involve a very large area on the body, as well as a burning sensation and appearance.
In regards to the differences between treatment options for the two conditions, the treatment of eczema typically takes the form of topical corticosteroid creams. This can be bought over-the-counter or as a prescription. Antibiotic and barrier creams are also used on a regular basis for Eczema. As for Psoriasis, treatment usually involves corticosteroid creams as well, though calcipotriene, an artificial type of vitamin D is one of the primary treatment options specific to Psoriasis.