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When you have dry, red, and itchy skin, one of your first thoughts is, “How do I get rid of this?” Before you start applying ointments and lotions, it’s important to research the difference between psoriasis vs. eczema so you can find the results your skin needs.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences in causes, treatments, and symptoms when it comes to these two common skin conditions.
Psoriasis Vs. Eczema
What’s The Difference?
Psoriasis and eczema have several shared characteristics. Both conditions are likely to cause patches of itchy, red skin to form across places like the scalp, hands, and elbows, plus neither condition is contagious.
Even though psoriasis and eczema are two very different skin conditions, it’s hard to tell which is which just by looking at the skin. Let’s start by examining how each one is defined.
First, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that impacts the skin and causes skin cells to multiply faster than normal. The result is cells that grow on top of regular skin development and create a white, scaly appearance.
There are many different types of psoriasis, ranging from plaque to erythrodermic. Each type might impact a different part of the body, create distinct reactions on the skin, or affect specific age groups.
Also known as dermatitis, eczema is an inflammation of the skin that is caused by various factors, such as your environment, genetics, and medications that you use.
Much like psoriasis, the result of these factors is skin that is itchy, red, dry, and scaly. When left untreated, both conditions can ultimately lead to an infection.
Who Do They Affect?
Although it ranges from case to case, eczema commonly begins at a young age and gets progressively better over time. Psoriasis is known to affect teenagers and young adults between 15 and 30 but can show up in older adults and younger children, too.
Where Do They Show Up?
Common places for psoriasis to appear include your knees, elbows, scalp, palms, and soles of your feet. Eczema typically shows up on flexible parts of your body, like your wrists, ankles, behind your knees, or your inner elbow.
Now that we have a few of the primary differences down, let’s find out what the underlying causes are for each condition.
Psoriasis Vs. Eczema: Causes
As we mentioned above, there are many similarities between what causes psoriasis and eczema, such as immune systems, genetics, stress, and your environment. But, in many cases, it can be the differences that help you better identify which condition you have.
Along with the more common causes of psoriasis, sunburn is another possible factor behind your skin’s redness or scaling. When you develop a bad sunburn, it can trigger psoriasis or cause symptoms of existing psoriasis to flare up.
If you find yourself scratching your skin too often or too aggressively, you may discover this is a trigger for psoriasis flare-ups. Over time, too much of this scratching can prevent lesions from healing properly and result in infections.
Certain prescriptions have also been linked to psoriasis flare-ups. Some blood pressure medications, mental health prescriptions, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers may worsen psoriasis symptoms.
Speak with your doctor before you stop taking any prescriptions.
Some cases of eczema are confused with allergic reactions. This is because many environmental factors and common allergens can cause eczema to become more inflamed, especially when it comes to everyday household products.
Certain soaps or detergents, for example, affect the pH level of your skin. Since the normal pH level of your skin is around 5, using products with a pH of 9 or 10 (which is standard for many household cleaning items) can worsen your eczema symptoms.
Other products that might play a role in skin irritation are shampoos, cleaning solutions, and hairsprays.
The weather has a big impact on the health of your skin. Cold, dry weather is a typical factor in eczema flare-ups.
To prevent your eczema from getting worse as the weather becomes colder, bundle up with a hat and gloves to protect the vulnerable parts of your body, like your head and hands.
Also, be sure to avoid drastic temperature changes such as coming from cold, dry weather outside to jumping in a hot and humid shower.
Typical allergens might cause a different type of eczema, known as contact dermatitis. Although it’s often mistaken for allergies, this is a specific reaction the skin has with things like dust or pollen that trigger your eczema symptoms.
You might also experience contact dermatitis from common allergens such as pet fur, mold, fragrances, or any of the household products listed two sections above.
Psoriasis Vs. Eczema: Symptoms
Depending on the type of psoriasis you have, your symptoms will vary. Plaque, nail, guttate, and inverse psoriasis are among the most common types.
While nail and inverse psoriasis will affect specific areas of your skin, such as toenails, fingernails, or skin folds of the breasts, buttocks, and groin, guttate psoriasis is triggered by a bacterial infection that forms drop-shaped scales on your arms or legs.
Rare types of psoriasis, like pustular or erythrodermic, are associated with lesions filled with pus (pustular) on the soles of your feet or your palms or a painful, burning rash that covers your entire body and causes peeling (erythrodermic).
The symptoms of eczema are known to be itchy, but compared to psoriasis, it is usually much less painful.
The itchiness associated with eczema may be a mild or uncomfortable sensation. You might also experience skin that is drier than normal, discolored, leathery, swollen, and scaly. Some people experience one or two of the symptoms, while others experience them all.
Once you’ve identified the cause of your irritated skin, what does treatment look like, and are there any solutions or ingredients that heal both eczema and psoriasis? Let’s find out!
Psoriasis Vs. Eczema: Treatment
There is no known cure for eczema or psoriasis, but there are many treatments that can reduce swelling, redness, and itchiness, and even help keep flare-ups at bay.
For certain areas of the skin that you’re looking to heal, a topical treatment might be the perfect solution. These creams, lotions, moisturizers, corticosteroids, and more work to soothe your skin and reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
Our Psoriasis Calming Cream does exactly this. Uniquely formulated with salicylic acid and a proprietary blend of clinical-grade botanicals, this cream helps reduce psoriasis symptoms so you can take on your day without worrying about itching, redness, and irritation.
For psoriasis specifically impacting your scalp, try our Psoriasis Scalp Relief Treatment to help reduce itchiness and flaking.
If your psoriasis is more severe or impacting your entire body rather than a few specific areas, then it might be more impactful to use a systemic treatment. These treatments usually help your immune system target all areas of your body.
An example of systemic treatment that your doctor may prescribe is a pill or similar oral medication used to treat advanced cases of psoriasis.
To treat symptoms of eczema, you’ll first want to determine whether the best option is a medicinal or topical treatment.
Similar to topical treatments for psoriasis, these options for eczema reduce a wide variety of symptoms by following an easy process of applying the product to the impacted areas.
Medicinal options, such as corticosteroid creams, gels, and ointments, might work better as a stronger form of treatment, to target the entire body, or if topical treatments don’t work.
Most psoriasis and eczema products are designed to target symptoms of redness, itching, and dry skin, which might cause you to wonder whether you can use one product to treat either condition.
Although many of these options might help reduce the shared symptoms, choosing a product intended for either eczema or psoriasis is the best course of action to tackle your skin’s particular needs.
Still, a great way to relieve pain and prevent flare-ups with both conditions is to use products made for your vulnerable skin. For example, our Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Body Wash helps lock in moisture to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth without causing irritation.
Live More Freely With Bodewell
Whether you’re looking to treat eczema or psoriasis, finding relief is as easy as following our expert guide and choosing the right skincare products.
At Bodewell, we craft our formulas to provide you with gentle yet powerful solutions to the symptoms unique to your skin.
From our Psoriasis Soothing Spray to our Dry Scalp Daily Shampoo and everything in-between, all of our skincare products are made with one simple mission in mind: to help you achieve more good skin days.