Maybe you are going out with your friends for a party or trying to settle in the easy chair with a cup of coffee. Either way, you have to pause and stop because you have got an itch, and you can’t help scratching the area that is already red and dry. The first thing you do is open the search engine on your mobile and check out the probable disease corresponding to the symptom.
Google tells you that you have probably got eczema. But will it be a good idea to rush to the medical store immediately to get some medicines for eczema? You can be the victim of another skin condition called Psoriasis, which has the same symptoms virtually, but the eczema cream won’t work on it.
Similar but different
Psoriasis and eczema are like twins. They look similar on the skin but are actually different in the primary factors. Self-diagnosis is very difficult as both Psoriasis and eczema will cause rashes, raised patches of red and itchy skin, which will appear in the same places of your body, like the scalp or hands. None of these conditions are contagious, but only a professional dermatologist with trained eyes can spot the difference.
Clues to differentiate
Although it is quite difficult to differentiate the two conditions, there is still some difference between Psoriasis and eczema. It is essential to know about them for better treatment.
- The real causes
The chief difference between Psoriasis and eczema is the genuine underlying cause. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that implies that your immune system is having some functional issues, and so the skin cells start dividing at an abnormally high rate. As a result, the cells start piling up, forming white scales.
But the cause of eczema is even more complicated. Environmental and genetic factors can both contribute to triggering the condition. The gene responsible for creating the protective layer on the surface of the skin undergoes mutation and gives rise to flare and infection. Climate can also be a triggering factor as dry weather or high pollution level causing dry skin can also lead to eczema.
- Difference in appearance
Although there is no difference between the appearance of the two conditions if you take a glance, there are a few points of difference that you might notice if you intently notice the affected area.
- Eczema causes inflammation and red skin problem. It can appear like scales with crusty or oozing nature; you can see leathery and rough patches that can be of dark texture. There can also be some swelling.
- Psoriasis will also cause patches of red, but these will be silvery in color, raised, and scaly. If you take a closer look, you will see that the skin is much thicker, and the inflammation is more for eczema.
- Places they show up
Eczema will usually appear on the different parts of your body that undergo bending, like behind the knees and the inner side of elbows. You can also have the problem in wrists, ankles. Neck, and even in chin, cheeks, scalp, back, chest, legs, and arms.
But Psoriasis will usually show in knees, elbows, palms of the hand, scalp, and face, soles of feet, lower back, and palms of your hand. The skin folds, mouth and lips, toenails and fingernails, ears, and eyelids are all prone to Psoriasis.
- Common triggers
Eczema can result from things that usually irritate the skin, like soaps, detergents, disinfectants, juices from meats, or other produce. Pets, dandruff, dust, mold, pollen, and some foods that cause allergies can also set off eczema. You will be surprised to know that sweating, stress, humidity, heat, and hormonal changes can also trigger eczema.
Although Psoriasis shares some triggers like infection and stress, you can also get flare-ups when the skin suffers from injuries like scratches, sunburns, and vaccination. Even medicines that contain lithium for treating bipolar disorders and drugs for malaria can bring on psoriasis flares.
- Age factor
You will notice the onset of eczema right from childhood in the babies. Sometimes, the symptoms improve when the kid grows up. The onset of eczema in adults is not so common but possible. If you have a thyroid-related disease or hormonal imbalance, eczema can occur.
But Psoriasis will always show up between the age of 15 to 35 years. Although you can get t at other ages too, symptoms in babies are rare. That is why this factor can be a vital one while trying to determine whether you have Psoriasis or eczema.
- Sunshine reaction
Summer can never be your favorite season if you have eczema. It is because overheating causes perspiration that will undoubtedly cause skin flares. But the effect is just the reverse if you have Psoriasis. The abundance of UVB or Blue ultraviolet rays is a blessing for psoriasis patients. But again, you cannot get too much sunlight that can have an adverse effect.
The severity of eczema will be the determinant for the treatment process. The topical corticosteroid can work if your case is mild or moderate as it can control the inflammation. Then you have to apply emollient on the skin. Such moisturizers have cream or oil-based and not water base like the lotions that eventually makes your skin drier.
To get the long-term solution for chronic skin conditions, you need to undergo a systematic treatment plan that will be time-consuming but effective. If the level of Psoriasis is mild or the spread within a permissible limit, then topical treatment using corticosteroids and emollients will be good enough.
Drugs in use
Sometimes, doctors refer to light therapy that they pair up with apremilast, cyclosporine, methotrexate, or acretin that has a positive impact when the condition is serious.a Several other biological drugs are effective against psoriasis-like Brodalumab, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Toldrakizumab, Uztekinuab, Etanercept. Risankizumab, Guselkumab, Certolizumab pegol and Ixekizumab.
It is always better to consult the dermatologist and get sure about the disease before experimenting with medicines.