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Is it Psoriasis or Eczema?

Psoriasis and eczema can often exhibit some of the same symptoms leaving some confusion between the two. So, let’s clear the air and talk about what distinguishes these similar, but very different conditions. Read our blog below to learn more!

Psoriasis vs Eczema: What’s the Difference?

Do you have an itch that just won’t quit surrounded by red patches? The culprit may be psoriasis or eczema, but how do you note the difference? Let’s begin with a definition of the two:

  • Eczema is the name of a chronic skin condition that combines seven different types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.
  • Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease associated with systemic inflammation resulting in cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, or type 2 diabetes.

Photo displaying eczema and psoriasis side by side.

Both psoriasis and eczema share symptoms such as itchiness, dryness, and redness that occur on areas like the hands and feet. However, eczema presents thinner patches of dry, bumpy red or brown skin. In contrast, psoriasis manifests with more thick, scaly patches of skin. The desire to scratch is common with both conditions, but how the skin reacts when you do is different. Those dealing with eczema may experience a desperate desire to scratch the skin to the point where they cause damage and bleed. Although psoriasis is also itchy, there’s more going on. Many of those facing psoriasis note that they experience a stinging or burning sensation, often comparing it to getting bitten by fire ants.

What Does Treatment Look Like  

While the conditions are different, the treatment process for both eczema and psoriasis is similar. Usually, a healthcare professional will prescribe a cream to reduce inflammation in the skin; topical steroid creams are favored. When discussing more severe cases of the two, biologic medications may be discussed. This medication helps reduce the hyperactivity of the immune system. For those affected by psoriasis, biologic medication can also help protect the joints.

Psoriasis Action Month 

It can sometimes be somewhat isolating to live day to day with a chronic condition such as psoriasis; that’s why Psoriasis Action Month is so special. It reminds that psoriasis affects all walks of life and significantly impacts the body of those affected. While friends and family try to be supportive, they may struggle to understand. Therefore, the National Psoriasis Foundation chooses to shine a light on psoriasis during August, with planned activities to connect those experiencing it firsthand while raising awareness for those that know someone who is. There is power in awareness and community; utilize it!

August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month.

For updates on all things skin, be sure to visit our website or give us a call at (210) 255 – 8447 with any questions. This August, help us raise awareness about Psoriasis – It’s never too late to take action toward bettering your health!

Have concerns you or a loved one may have psoriasis? Alamo Heights Dermatology is here to help – click here to learn more about our treatment options and book your appointment today.