October 13, 2022
Dr Dray
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Eczema and psoriasis have distinct characteristics, such as the appearance of the skin, itchiness levels, triggers, and age of onset.

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Key Insights

  • šŸ˜· Eczema and psoriasis are skin conditions that can be difficult to distinguish, so it's important to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
  • šŸ˜± Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated skin condition that can lead to other health problems like arthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
  • šŸ¤ Both eczema and psoriasis involve inflammation and abnormal behavior of skin cells, but eczema is an umbrella term for seven different skin diseases, while psoriasis is specifically a condition of excessive skin cell division.
  • šŸŒ”ļø Eczema is characterized by an impaired skin barrier, leading to increased water loss and vulnerability to irritants, while psoriasis is marked by proliferation and inflammation in the skin.
  • šŸ‘ƒ People with atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema) are more likely to have seasonal allergies, asthma, and possibly food allergies. ā° Atopic dermatitis commonly appears in early childhood and tends to improve or disappear in adulthood, while psoriasis often first appears in early adulthood or adolescence.
  • šŸ‘ Eczema and psoriasis can occur in similar locations such as the scalp, palms, soles, and elbows, but psoriasis lesions may be more symmetrical.
  • šŸ‘€ Psoriasis scales are white and silvery, while eczema can result in oozing fluid that dries into crusts. Psoriasis may also have pus bumps, while eczema can develop water blisters.
  • šŸ”„ Eczema is notoriously itchy, leading to a vicious itch-scratch cycle that exacerbates the condition, while psoriasis may have some itch but is not as strongly associated with intense itching. Stress can trigger both conditions, but specific triggers like sweat or irritants are more common in eczema, while infections and skin injury can trigger psoriasis.


how do you tell the difference between eczema versus psoriasis we're going to get into that in this video truthfully distinguishing eczema from psoriasis can be very challenging I don't advocate for trying to self-diagnose skin conditions if you have a skin problem make sure you see a board-certified dermatologist rather than trying to self-diagnos... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the key differences between eczema and psoriasis?

Eczema and psoriasis have distinct characteristics, such as age of onset, appearance of skin lesions, itchiness levels, and triggers. Psoriasis often appears in early adulthood or adolescence and causes well-defined, silvery and scaly skin lesions, while atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema) presents in early childhood and manifests as dry, red, and itchy patches.

Q: Can a person have both eczema and psoriasis?

Yes, it is possible for a person to have both eczema and psoriasis. Some individuals may have a family history of both conditions and experience symptoms associated with each. Treatment approaches can overlap, but it's essential to seek a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from a board-certified dermatologist.

Q: What triggers eczema flare-ups?

Eczema flare-ups can be triggered by various factors, including sweat, overheating, contact with certain materials (such as wool), harsh soaps and cleansers, excessive bathing, staph infections on top of eczema, and allergens like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold. Additionally, cold and dry winter weather can lead to increased water loss from the skin, resulting in a flare-up.

Q: How does psoriasis differ from eczema in terms of itchiness?

While both conditions can cause itchiness, the intensity and linkage to the condition differ. Eczema is notorious for its intense itching, often leading to disruptions in sleep and the development of an itch-scratch cycle. Psoriasis may have some itchiness, but it is not as tightly linked to the condition as it is with eczema.

Q: How can you distinguish between psoriasis and eczema skin lesions?

Psoriasis skin lesions typically have well-defined borders, are silvery and scaly in appearance, and can sometimes have little pus bumps. In contrast, eczema lesions are less defined and more patchy in appearance. Eczema may also exhibit oozing of fluid, leading to the formation of crusts, and the presence of water blisters in some cases.

Q: What distinguishes psoriasis from eczema in terms of triggers?

While both conditions can be triggered by stress, psoriasis can be triggered by streptococcal infections, resulting in a subtype known as guttate psoriasis. Additionally, psoriasis exhibits the cabinet authorization phenomenon, where any skin injury or friction can elicit more psoriasis in the affected areas. Eczema, on the other hand, is more commonly triggered by sweat, overheating, contact irritants, and dry winter weather.

Q: Are there any medications that can trigger psoriasis?

Yes, certain medications such as lithium and certain blood pressure medications have been known to trigger psoriasis in some individuals. It is essential to discuss any potential triggers or concerns with a dermatologist to ensure appropriate treatment and management plans are in place.

Q: What is the most crucial advice to distinguish between eczema and psoriasis?

The most crucial advice is to avoid self-diagnosis and self-treatment. It can be challenging to differentiate between eczema and psoriasis, and there are other conditions such as ringworm that can mimic these conditions. Seeking diagnosis and treatment from a board-certified dermatologist is vital to ensure accurate management and appropriate use of treatments.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated skin condition characterized by abnormal skin cell division and total body inflammation, while eczema refers to a group of seven different skin diseases, with atopic dermatitis being the most common type discussed in the video.

  • Psoriasis often appears in early adulthood or adolescence, while atopic dermatitis typically presents in early childhood, although some people may continue to experience symptoms into adulthood.

  • Both conditions can occur in similar areas of the body, but there are some differences in terms of location, appearance of skin lesions, itchiness levels, and triggers.

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