How to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis.
Q: What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?
Eczema and psoriasis are both skin conditions linked to an overactive immune system. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the conditions can look similar to the untrained eye and even primary care doctors often confuse the conditions.
Psoriasis causes well-defined, thick, red, scaly patches, most often appearing on the elbows or knees. But it is also common to see psoriasis on the face, buttocks or scalp.
Eczema tends to appear in the crooks of the knees or the elbows, with red, inflamed, peeling, cracked, blistered or pus-filled patches. But generally it’s not covered with scaly dead skin.
Eczema is generally extremely itchy, so bad that many people will scratch their skin until it bleeds. Psoriasis can also be itchy, but may also sting or burn. While eczema can be triggered by chemical irritants, dry skin or stress, psoriasis can be triggered by stress, infection, sunburn or scratches.
Eczema usually starts in the first years of life, while psoriasis typically doesn’t emerge until after age 15. Treatments exist for both conditions that can reduce or eliminate many of their symptoms.
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