“Eczema is the extreme form of dry skin, while psoriasis is more like plaque on your skin,” says Michele S. Green, MD, a dermatologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Both Eczema and Psoriasis are skin conditions with very similar symptoms and are often mis-diagnosed when the first symptoms start to appear. They are very separate entities however, it is mostly unheard of for Eczema to ever turn into Psoriasis.
Here several ways that you can differentiate the two:
Time of Onset
Eczema usually starts in babies or young children. In many cases, the symptoms will become less severe as the child gets older however, it is possible to get it as an adult but that is usually connected to another condition such as thyroid disease, stress or hormone imbalances.
Psoriasis is uncommon for a baby to have, as it most commonly starts between ages 15 and 35. It is possible for psoriasis to start even later in life between the ages of 50 and 60.
The first symptom is usually intense itching. The rash, which may appear bumpy and red, comes later. The itching can be so bad that the scratching will cause bleeding.
Itching is an early symptom, but it is not as intense and often comes with stinging and burning like the bite from fire ants. We recently wrote a post on everything you need to know about Psoriasis
Symptoms can occur anywhere, but they often start on parts of the body that bend such as inside the elbows and knees. Babies most often have symptoms on their face scalp, chest and back, neck, wrist, ankles. Eczema causes skin to appear red, dry and cracked. In severe cases, the skin can also blister and weep.
Symptoms are most likely to show up on the outsides of the knees and elbows, the lower back and on the scalp. Other common areas for symptoms to start are on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet, eyelids, ears and skin folds. Psoriasis causes thick red or white patches that can also appear silvery and scaly.
The most common triggers and the cause of flare ups include laundry detergents, soaps, dust and pet allergies, itchy materials, colds and viruses or certain foods. Stress or hormone changes are also possible triggers for Eczema.
The common triggers are similar to Eczema, for example, stress, illness, climate changes and certain foods. However, damage to the skin from a scratch or a bad sunburn are also trigger’s as are certain infections and medications that interfere with the immune system.
Treatment is mostly managed with topical oil-based creams, lotions and cold compresses to control the dryness and itching. For more severe eczema Doctors may prescribe corticosteroids or antihistamines or even stronger immune suppressant drugs and light therapy.
With no permanent cure for psoriasis most treatments aim first to reduce symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and scaling. From there the range of treatments is vast depending upon the mildness, severity or longevity of the disease. From creams and emollients to light therapies, immune suppressants and biologics that inhibit certain proteins in the immune system, psoriasis sufferers are all different in the way that they manage their symptoms. Diet, nutrition, natural detoxifiers and herbal remedies are starting to become important life skills for many sufferers who want to heal the body holistically and more permanently and who want to try and avoid the longer-term side effects of high doses of medication.
We use a natural extract in all of our Eczema and Psoriasis treatments called Mahonia Aquifolium, learn more about how Mahonia Aquifolium can help with these skin conditions.