Eczema vs psoriasis – how they differ?

Eczema or psoriasis? Excessively dry and reddened skin can be a symptom of many skin diseases. Red papules appear on the skin suddenly and it is often difficult to pinpoint the cause of their occurrence.

In the blink of an eye, they occupy other areas of the body, and everything is accompanied by severe pain and burning.

From the article you will learn:

  • what are the causes of eczema and psoriasis,
  • where you can observe the symptoms of each disease,
  • how to recognize eczema and then psoriasis.

Eczema vs psoriasis – The symptoms of two dermatological diseases are remarkably similar – psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Even doctors at first glance may have trouble distinguishing them.

How do you know if you have eczema or psoriasis? What are the differences between AD and psoriasis? You will find answers to these questions later in the article.

Eczema vs psoriasis- causes

Due to the many similarities in the course of AD and psoriasis, let’s look at the direct causes of both diseases.

Causes of psoriasis

Psoriasis develops when a person’s immune system stimulates skin cell growth faster than in a normal person. Under normal circumstances, the process of maturation and death of skin cells lasts from 26 to 28 days, in psoriasis sufferers it is shortened to about 4 days.

As a result, new cells mature when the old ones have not yet exfoliated, so instead of dead cells detaching from the skin in a natural way, we have successive layers of skin overlapping, which create a visible thickening.

The causes of psoriasis are not fully known, but the triggers of the disease can be identified. Among the main causes of the disease are stress, disorders of the immune system, infections, improper diet or taking certain medications. Symptoms are exacerbated by frequent scratching and prolonged exposure to the sun.

Causes of eczema

The situation is slightly different with atopic dermatitis. AD is the result of a relationship between genetic, immunological and environmental factors, with a concomitant defect of the skin barrier.

The development and course of atopic dermatitis can be influenced by soaps, washing powders and liquids, environmental allergens, some foods, and even inadequate air humidity. Stress and sudden changes in temperature also contribute to the exacerbation of symptoms.

Eczema vs psoriasis – place of occurrence and symptoms

Lesions in atopic dermatitis most often appear on the bends of the elbows and knees. Psoriasis, in turn, takes places exactly on the other side – elbows and knees.

Eczema vs psoriasis: symptoms similar to eczema and psoriasis

It turns out, however, that both diseases can manifest themselves in the same places. Common areas of skin lesions are the face, buttocks and scalp.

Eczema vs psoriasis: eczema symptoms

In the course of atopic dermatitis, the patient observes strong red patches on the skin, but not always.

Some people develop pronounced irregularities in the skin such as papules, blisters and rashes, and the lesions burst, creating wounds that are difficult to heal. In these places, the accumulated skin resembles a “shell” and fluid exudes.

It is worth emphasizing that AD, although it can appear at any stage of life, even at the age of 20, most often affects 5-6 year old children.

Eczema vs psoriasis: psoriasis symptoms

Psoriasis, on the other hand, takes the form of thickened, clearly demarcated red patches that are covered with scales. Unlike atopic dermatitis, psoriasis does not spread all over the skin. The scales fall off over time, revealing a smooth and shiny spot, which is called the stearin candle symptom.

In the case of psoriasis, it is quite the opposite than in AD – the disease very rarely affects children. It usually develops after the age of 15.

How to distinguish eczema from psoriasis?

The place of itching is of great importance for the diagnosis. Itching is one of the few but significant differences between psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Psoriasis sufferers report mild itching, while eczema sufferers complain of persistent itching, which is a direct cause of swelling, redness, and even cracking of the skin.

Eczema vs psoriasis – treatment

Unfortunately, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis cannot be completely cured. Regular skin care and self-care can lead to remission of the disease, but it will be with us for life and can really activate at any time.

How to treat eczema?

In the course of atopic dermatitis, it is recommended to use creams, ointments, emulsions and lotions whose task is to deeply moisturize the skin and prevent its excessive drying. Cold compresses provide incredible relief from itching and burning. Bleach baths are also helpful

In the advanced course of AD, the doctor recommends antihistamines or corticosteroids. But even with drug treatment, you cannot give up the external care of the affected areas.

How to treat psoriasis?

To combat the symptoms of psoriasis, regularly lubricate the skin with preparations that prevent the rapid multiplication of skin cells. Patients with psoriasis can also reach for retinoids or salicylic acid.

However, effective treatment can only be applied when the correct diagnosis has been made.

Author: Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson is a passionate advocate for healthy living and skin wellness. Through her work, Emily aims to empower individuals to take control of their skin health and lead happier, eczema-free lives.

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