Two common skin conditions that can be uncomfortable and upsetting are psoriasis and eczema. While their symptoms and outward appearances may be somewhat similar, it’s important to recognise the differences between the two in order to get an accurate diagnosis and receive the best possible care. We will explore the causes, signs, and available treatments for psoriasis vs eczema in this post to help you confidently navigate these skin mysteries.
The Overactive Immune System in Psoriasis
A chronic autoimmune disease called psoriasis is characterised by an overactive immune system that unintentionally speeds up the skin cell turnover process. On the skin, these quickly growing cells cause the development of thick, flaming, and scaly areas. Psoriasis commonly affects the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, and nails. There are many different symptoms, but they frequently involve elevated, silver-white scales, itching, dryness, and occasionally discomfort.
Although the precise aetiology of psoriasis is still unknown, genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Psoriasis symptoms can be made worse by triggers like stress, some drugs, infections, and skin injuries. While there is no known cure, a number of treatment methods, such as topical creams, oral drugs, light therapy, and lifestyle changes, try to manage and control the symptoms.
Eczema: The Inflammatory Itchy Skin Disease
A common inflammatory skin condition that frequently begins in childhood but can last into adulthood is eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. It is characterised by skin patches that are red, itchy, and inflamed and can develop anywhere on the body. With excessive scratching, the affected areas may become dry, scaly, or even leak or crust over.
Eczema is thought to be brought on by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, while its exact aetiology is yet unknown. People who have eczema have impaired skin barrier function, which makes their skin more sensitive to allergens and irritants. Allergens, irritants (such harsh soaps or textiles), dry skin, stress, and changes in temperature or humidity are some of the causes of eczema flare-ups.
Eczema treatment focuses on symptom management, itching relief, and avoiding flare-ups. Antihistamines, topical corticosteroids or immunomodulators, moisturisers, and avoiding triggers that exacerbate the illness may all be used to help with this. Additionally, eczema symptoms can be controlled by adopting healthy skincare practises like gentle cleaning, routine moisturising, and wearing non-irritating textiles.
Differentiating between Eczema and Psoriasis
Although psoriasis and eczema might have a similar appearance, there are some important distinctions that can help in their differentiation:
Psoriasis commonly manifests as thick, red patches covered in silver-white scales, whereas eczema patches are frequently red, itchy, and may appear weepy or crusty.
Location: Eczema can develop on the face, neck, hands, and feet, but psoriasis typically affects the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, and nails. Eczema’s signature symptom is itching, which can be extreme. Psoriasis is more frequently characterised by mild to moderate irritation.
Family History: Although there may be a hereditary component to both disorders, eczema is more frequently linked to allergies, asthma, or eczema itself in families.
In search of expert diagnosis and treatment.
It is essential to see a dermatologist for a precise diagnosis and the best course of therapy if you think you might have psoriasis or eczema.