Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Symptoms, Treatments, and More

Not sure what the difference is between psoriasis and eczema? While both often lead to chronic problems with red, inflamed, itchy skin in all areas of the body, they’re as different in as many ways as they are similar. Understanding the differences can help you maximize treatment efficiency and avoid wasting your time on ineffective solutions.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder which causes the excessive production of skin cells, leading to a buildup of dead cells into white scales and regular inflammation and itching. It cannot be cured but may go into remission with consistent treatment.


Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is a sensitivity reaction in which the skin overreacts to specific triggers. It may or may not be a chronic condition, and many people outgrow it throughout childhood and early adulthood.


In both conditions, you may experience bouts of inflamed, red, and/or peeling skin anywhere on your body. Both conditions consistently lead to itching, and in severe cases, both can present with blisters, pustules, or cracked skin and may trigger fevers and other generalized illnesses.

Most of the time, psoriasis can be differentiated from eczema by looking for white scales or plaques resulting from the excessive production and death of skin cells, which are common in psoriasis but not in eczema. Other differences come about in the specific areas and ways each is likely to show up; while both can show up anywhere, psoriasis is most common on the knees and elbows while eczema is most common on the hands and other parts of the body which regularly encounter the triggering irritants and allergens.


The first line of treatment for eczema and psoriasis usually looks the same: topical corticosteroid creams. However, there are other treatments available. If you’d like to learn more about psoriasis vs. eczema, or any other skin conditions, make an appointment at Rao Dermatology, with offices located in Fresno, Hanford, Atlantic Highlands, Woodbridge, and Manhattan. Contact us today to book a consultation!

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