Skin disorders can be very annoying and troublesome, warranting attention beyond alleviating the discomfort. Both Psoriasis and Eczema are autoimmune skin diseases characterized by redness of the skin along with itchiness and scaly patches.
Both share many similar manifestations but there are some distinctive features of each of these diseases which help in their diagnosis. These two diseases are very closely related to each other as they both produce inflammations of the skin. Proper evaluation will help to understand both these diseases better.
The Discriminating Features of the Two Diseases
Eczema produces severe itching where as psoriasis offers a burning sensation along with itching.
In Eczema the skin appears inflamed, oozing with leathery, crusted patches. Fluid filled blisters appear which is very uncommon in psoriasis which exhibits scaly, dry patches which are not moist. In Psoriasis the appearance is more or less the same with red, silvery and scaly patches but the inflammation of the skin is more pronounced.
Site of Occurrence
Eczema usually occurs on your neck, back of wrist, knee. They occur on the chest, arms, back, cheeks, scalp, chin and legs of babies. On the other hand, common sites where psoriasis occurs are your lower back, knee, scalp and face, elbows, soles of your feet and palms of your hands. Apart from these, Psoriasis may also occur on your finger and toenails, mouth, eyelids, skin folds and ears.
The factors that trigger eczema are meat juice, detergents, soaps, disinfectants, pollen, dust, pets, fluctuating hormonal levels, certain foods, dandruff, infections and stress. Psoriasis also shares some same triggering factors like infections and stress. Whereas the other activating factors in case of psoriasis are sun burn, scratches, vaccination and side effects of certain drugs like lithium and those used in the treatment of malaria.
Age of Occurrence
Eczema usually occurs in babies which is unlikely in case of psoriasis. The common age of occurrence in psoriasis is 15-35 years. It is rarely present in babies. On the other hand, eczema usually does not show up in adults but when it occasionally does, it is generally associated with other diseases like Thyroid, stress and hormonal changes.
Other Diseases or Conditions Associated with
Eczema is associated with sensitive, dry skin and family predilection for asthma and hay fever. Psoriasis on the other hand is associated with more serious health problems like depression, diabetes and heart disease.
Exacerbation Due to Internal or External Factors
Eczema worsens due to external factor food, animal dander, harmful chemicals; whereas psoriasis aggravates due to internal health issues like diabetes.
The diagnosis of eczema is done clinically, but that of psoriasis is done by examining the appearance of the disease and by biopsy at times.
Thus trying to deal and eliminate a skin rash can be very annoying, distressing and bothersome. These two skin diseases, eczema and psoriasis are very difficult to diagnose as they have very similar characteristics. Your doctor can diagnose these diseases after taking your medical history and examining your symptoms.