If you suffer from itchy, dry patches of skin, you might wonder whether you're dealing with psoriasis or eczema. These two skin conditions are often confused because they have similar symptoms, but there are some key ways to tell them apart. Let's take a look at ten of the main differences between psoriasis and eczema.
Psoriasis and eczema typically appear on parts of the skin that are usually dry and exposed, like the face, elbows, knees, and scalp. The main difference is that psoriasis is most often found on surfaces or the parts of the body that extend away from the centre, like the arms and legs. In terms of location on the body, eczema often occurs on flexural surfaces or the parts of the body that flex, like the inside of the elbow or behind the knee.
Both these skin conditions cause itchiness, but to varying degrees. An eczema itch is usually worse and can be so severe that it interferes with sleep. Psoriasis is often itchy as well, but it's not as intense and severe as eczema. Both psoriasis and eczema can cause itchiness, redness, and dryness, but eczema is more likely to cause blistering and rash-like patches. With psoriasis, it's less likely that you'll see blisters or pustules.
A key feature of psoriasis is the silvery plaques or scales that it causes on the skin. These scaly areas are prone to cracking when scratched, and may even bleed. However, eczema doesn't usually cause scaliness, rather it leads to crusting, swelling, and bumps on the skin. Eczema rashes are less likely to bleed, instead, they may start to ooze pus when scratched.
Eczema symptoms tend to come and go, whereas psoriasis is more persistent. Flare-ups of eczema can be triggered by environmental factors or stress, and will usually go away on their own. Psoriasis flare-ups are also common, but the condition is considered chronic, meaning it can last for months or even years.
Psoriasis often appears as red, inflamed patches, and its characteristic scales may be white or silver in colour. Eczema rashes are sometimes described as ‘leather-like’ and may have a slightly darker appearance, often brownish or red in colour.
It's believed that those with a family history or family members with psoriasis are more likely to develop the condition themselves. In contrast, eczema is not thought to have a strong genetic link, although there may be some inherited predisposition.
Both these skin conditions can be triggered by things in the environment, such as pollutants or allergens. However, eczema flare-ups are often triggered by more specific things, such as detergents, dander and dust, and certain foods like soy and wheat. Psoriasis flare-ups tend to result from more general triggers like smoking, stress, and damage to the skin.
Psoriasis and eczema may look similar, but they can often be distinguished by touch. Psoriasis patches are usually rough and scaly, whereas eczema patches are bumpy and leathery. Whether your skin is scaly or prone to rashes, our skin saviour balm can provide some relief. Its natural ingredients may soothe your itchiness and provide dry patches with much-needed moisture and hydration.
Psoriasis can be triggered by infections, be it viral, bacterial, or fungal. Skin trauma like sunburn, cuts, or scrapes may also lead to psoriasis. In contrast, eczema is not thought to be linked to infection, although it can become infected if the skin is cracked and open.
A natural treatment option that may benefit those with either skin condition is taking a liquid probiotic. Our multi-strain biotic supplement can be taken daily to help soothe and heal the gut, which calms inflammation throughout the body. This may help you control some of your symptoms and revitalise the skin.Eczema and psoriasis share some similarities, but looking out for these ten differences might help you tell them apart. If you’re still unsure of which skin condition you have, the best way to find out is to see a dermatologist so they can give you a correct diagnosis. Whether you have eczema or psoriasis, there are steps you can take to lessen the severity of your symptoms naturally. You can find more about healing the skin from within by reading Hanna's bestseller, Skin Healing Expert.