Psoriasis vs Eczema… What’s the difference? I get asked this question a lot (If I had a pound and all that).
Before we go any further with this post, I want to say I am not a doctor, not training to be a doctor and have no professional medical experience. What you read in this post is a personal experience of having both and facts from the internet. If you are not sure if you have either or both please consult a doctor to get the best advice and treatment for you. Now, as I was saying…
The truth is psoriasis and eczema are different, from the same family but different. They have similar symptoms and can look very similar. Where as there is only one eczema type, there are five different types of psoriasis. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis (this is the one I have), which most resembles eczema.
Psoriasis is a condition that occurs when your immune system triggers skin cells to grow faster than usual. Instead of the dead skin cells coming off the skin, they build up on the skin leaving patches of red, raised and irritated skin. Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease which cannot be cured but can be managed with the correct medication.
Eczema, on the other hand, can be caused by a number of factors including environment, allergies and family history. Eczema is also chronic but can improve significantly as someone gets older or become manageable using the correct medication. Both conditions can cause red, itchy skin but have different causes and different treatments.
It is rare that a person would have both eczema and psoriasis but is completely possible! As a teenager, I had small patches of eczema which would appear on my knuckles and in the cracks of my fingers when cold but seemed to clear up as I got older. At the age of 20, I got my first patch of psoriasis which now thanks to medication is under control.
It can be really difficult for doctors to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema. So, if you don’t get the right treatment or answer the first time, keep going back. Don’t give up! It’s the only way your skin will get better. I know it’s really annoying but persistence is key with skin conditions!