Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery
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The largest dermatology practice in America, Advanced Dermatology provides complete clinical and cosmetic skin care. Immediate appointments available at one of our 180+ locations.

Understanding the Differences Between Psoriasis and Eczema

Psoriasis and eczema can cause similar symptoms, which leads many people to confuse these common skin conditions. Both conditions require treatment by a dermatologist, but understanding your diagnosis will help you choose the right home management strategies and recognize when it's time to call your doctor. Here is a look at the ways in which psoriasis and eczema differ.

Itchiness

Psoriasis and eczema can both cause itchiness. However, itching sensations caused by eczema can be extremely intense. Many people with eczema describe scratching until their skin bleeds just to try to find relief. The itchiness with psoriasis is usually much less pronounced. Psoriasis is more likely to cause burning and stinging sensations than intense itching. This kind of burning and stinging is not generally associated with eczema.

Appearance

Eczema and psoriasis can look very similar. They both cause red patches on the skin that may become swollen or raised. By looking closely at the patches of skin, you may be able to see a difference between eczema and psoriasis irritation. Eczema causes leathery-looking skin that may ooze pus, while skin inflamed by psoriasis often looks silvery and scaly. Skin impacted by psoriasis also tends to exhibit more severe inflammation.

Causes

Eczema is often caused by exposure to an irritant in people with sensitive skin. If you have allergies or asthma, you have a higher risk of developing eczema, as it may develop as an allergic reaction on your skin. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and frequently affects people with other autoimmune problems, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. It is also more common in people with heart disease and depression.

If you have irritated skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery to get an accurate diagnosis and the treatment you need. Eczema and psoriasis treatments are most effective when they are started early, so see a clinical dermatologist as soon as symptoms appear. For more information or to make an appointment, call (866) 400-3376.

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