Psoriasis and eczema are both responsible for causing itchy skin in many people. Over 30 million Americans have eczema, and it is estimated that 7 million Americans have psoriasis.
Dermatologists at Park Avenue Dermatology treat patients with eczema and those with psoriasis. It is important to have a diagnosis from a healthcare specialist, so if you have a skin disorder, contact your dermatologist for an appointment.
Are Eczema and Psoriasis the Same?
Eczema and psoriasis are not the same. Both skin conditions cause itchiness, and in some cases they may appear similar, but they have different causes, triggers, and treatments. Neither eczema nor psoriasis is contagious, according to a recent Cleveland Clinic report.
Eczema refers to several skin conditions. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Other forms of eczema include contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis.
Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, family history and genes factor into the likelihood of developing eczema.
How Do You Know If You Have Eczema?
If you have a skin rash that is dry, red, and very itchy, it may be eczema. Certain things like perfume, wool, and dust mites can trigger eczema in certain people. To determine if your skin irritation is eczema, contact Park Avenue Dermatology or visit a dermatologist for an evaluation.
All areas of your skin can get eczema, but hands, wrists, the backs of knees, and on elbows are the most commonly affected areas in adults. Eczema is also frequently seen on the cheeks of infants.
Eczema can appear in babies as young as 6 months old but is seen in all ages. It can come and go throughout life.
Don’t Scratch Eczema
If you have extremely itchy, red patches of skin, it is tempting to make the itch go away by scratching. Eczema can develop bacterial or viral infections, so it is important to not scratch the irritated area.
Often eczema becomes raw and bleeds from being scratched. The skin then thickens and becomes leathery.
Your dermatologist will suggest the best treatment after evaluating your eczema. Often corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation and itching. Severe cases of eczema may require oral medications, biologics, or phototherapy.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which skin builds up too quickly, forming thick plaques. A family history of psoriasis and your genes are factors in the likelihood you will develop it.
Psoriasis is commonly triggered by infections like strep throat. Stress is also a trigger.
What Does Psoriasis Look Like?
Although psoriasis occurs at any age, it most frequently appears between the ages of 16 and 22. If you have skin plaques that may be psoriasis, call specialists like the dermatologists at Park Avenue Dermatology for an evaluation.
There are different types of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is most common.
Thick, red patches of painful, itchy skin can appear on any part of the body, but often on the scalp, lower back, knees, and elbows. Other types of psoriasis appear on other areas of the body, like the feet, underarms, or groin area.
If you have psoriasis, your chance of developing other health problems like psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, Celiac disease, and metabolic syndrome increases.
How Is Psoriasis Treated?
Corticosteroids are often used to treat psoriasis. If the scalp is affected, there are treatment shampoos. Excessive skin cells can be removed with salicylic acid, lactic acid, or urea. Your dermatologist will recommend the best treatment for your psoriasis.
Psoriasis and Eczema are frequently confused skin conditions, but they are not related to each other. If you have any skin rash, schedule a consultation at Park Avenue Dermatology to get the proper treatment regimen for you.