Eczema and psoriasis are two common skin conditions that affect millions of people around the world. While they share some similarities, there are also distinct differences between the two. In this article, we'll explore the relationship between eczema and psoriasis, including their symptoms, causes, and treatments. Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes red, itchy, dry skin rashes. It is more common in infants and children, and can be triggered by an irritant or allergen that activates the immune system.
Eczema often appears on the back of the knees, the inside of the elbows, the face and the front of the neck, but can occur anywhere on the body. It is characterized by poorly demarcated red, dry areas with fine scales. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes dry, itchy, and thick patches of skin. It usually begins between the ages of 15 and 35. Psoriasis causes well-defined, thick, red, scaly patches, commonly on areas such as the elbows and knees. It is common to see psoriasis on a child's face, buttocks, and scalp.
You'll also see thick patches of skin with overlapping redness. Both eczema and psoriasis can be itchy, but eczema may cause severe itching while psoriasis causes more burning or stinging sensation or mild itching. In fact, while eczema is often very itchy, especially at night and in children to the point of interrupting sleep, psoriasis may not be itchy at all. It is possible to have both conditions at once. A person may need to use different treatments for each of them. A dermatologist will be able to recommend specific treatment options and medications based on the exact type of eczema or psoriasis they have. If you have moderate to severe eczema or psoriasis, you may need to try a medicine that affects your immune system such as methotrexate, azathioprine or cyclosporine.
There are no cures for either condition but several treatments can be used to relieve symptoms and help prevent outbreaks. Understanding the differences between psoriasis and eczema can help you properly recognize and treat your condition. Yosipovitch advises providers to be aware of atypical presentations of psoriasis and eczema, highlighting forms of psoriasis that occur similarly to eczema and noting that it is possible for a patient to have both conditions. In conclusion, while there is a relationship between eczema and psoriasis due to their shared symptoms and causes, they are distinct conditions with different treatments. If you think you may have either condition, it's important to speak with a dermatologist who can help you identify your condition and provide appropriate treatment.