If you have red places on your skin that are accompanied by a stubborn itch, you may be wondering what is causing it. You may have heard about skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema and are wondering if you have one of the conditions. You may even find yourself asking if there is a difference between psoriasis vs eczema. If there is a difference, you may then begin to question which is worse.
Both conditions cause itching. However, a closer evaluation of the symptoms can reveal some differences between the two conditions. Eczema causes an itch that is so intense at times that it is very difficult to stop scratching. Many people even scratch so much that their skin starts to bleed. Psoriasis causes itching too but, along with the itching, burning and stinging sensations are often felt.
Psoriasis and eczema both frequently appear on the feet, hands and nape of the neck. While both conditions can also appear on the elbows and knees, there is usually a difference in how the two conditions affect these joints. Psoriasis will more often appear on the back of the elbows and front of the knees. In other words, when you bend the elbow or knee, it appears on the extensor surfaces. Eczema, on the other hand will be just the opposite. It is more often seen on the front of the elbows and back of the knees, or the flexor surfaces.
Psoriasis can impact the nails in a more serious way than eczema typically does. Psoriasis can cause pitting of the nails or, in some cases, thickening or ridges. While red places on the skin that are often accompanied by scaling are common for both conditions, psoriasis can cause the skin to become thicker and more inflamed than does eczema.
When it comes down to psoriasis vs eczema, there can be some differences in the ages at which people tend to develop the conditions. In most cases, eczema starts while the person is still a baby. Many of these children grow out of the condition by the time the reach their late childhood years. Psoriasis, on the other hand, is rare in children this young. It usually develops between the ages of 15 and 35.
Individuals who have eczema often have skin that is dryer and more sensitive than most people’s. There could also be a family history of allergies. Psoriasis can be connected to other health conditions like diabetes, depression or heart disease. There is also a link to psoriatic arthritis, in many cases.
While it can be difficult for most individuals to tell if a condition is eczema, psoriasis or something else, it is usually fairly easy for doctors and similar medical professionals to tell. In most cases, they can distinguish one from the other by visually examining the affected areas and asking questions about the symptoms. In either case, they can prescribe something that can help.
If you have a skin irritation that does not want to go away, you should seek an opinion from our team at Rao Dermatology. We can evaluate your condition, give you something to help and see if there is a possible link to another medical condition that may need attention. When it comes down to psoriasis vs eczema, one may not necessarily be worse than the other; however, they both can be addressed at our office. We have locations in Manhattan, Atlantic Highlands, Woodbridge, Fresno and Hanford. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.