Recently, “Rashes & Skin Allergy Testing,” was posted and it reviewed what eczema looks like and how allergy patch testing can be helpful. What many may not know is how psoriasis and eczema are related, yet, are significantly different. Come to Dermatology Arts in Bellevue for help understanding if you have one of these conditions.
Both psoriasis and eczema are red, itchy rashes that can appear as scales or plaques, be improved by topical steroids, and worsen with cold weather. But, what sets the two apart is very clear. Psoriasis, while red and itchy, has distinct borders and the skin is often raised. Eczema rashes have ill-defined borders, making it difficult to know when it starts and stops.
Common places for psoriasis to appear include the elbows, knees, and belly button. It can even cause symptoms affecting the fingernails. Psoriasis rashes result from an autoimmune disorder where an excess of skin builds up and doesn’t shed. Typical treatments can include topical steroids, but in more severe cases systemic medicines may be needed. Psoriasis is also associated with several other conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Among those who have psoriasis, 5% can also experience psoriatic arthritis.
Eczema, on the other hand, can improve with topical steroids and or several lifestyle changes like taking warm showers, avoiding harsh soaps, etc. Although eczema may show up in the same places as psoriasis, there is less skin buildup and inflammation. The underlying cause is also very different. Triggers such as environment, bacteria, allergens, and genetics all play a role in severity, onset, and symptom improvement. Related diagnoses include allergies, keratosis pilaris, and asthma.
Neither psoriasis or eczema have a cure, but Dermatology Arts offers many treatment options that can control symptoms and prevent frequent flare ups. It can be difficult to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema, but with a trained eye and many years of experience dermatologists can successfully diagnose and treat appropriately.