What is the Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis

What is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis? There is always confusion in the minds of many about whether these two are the same or if they are different, especially if they are prone to skin diseases like rashes, chronic skin conditions, and inflammation.

Before we go into finding out what is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis,1 let us look at what exactly eczema or atopic dermatitis is and what can trigger it. Likewise, what Psoriasis is and what can trigger psoriasis will be helpful because patients often mistake Psoriasis conditions for Eczema.

what is the difference between eczema and psoriasis
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Itch is one of the most common symptoms related to skin conditions2, and it is the itch-scratch cycle in Eczema that makes it different from other common skin conditions. How do you know your itchy rash is Eczema or Psoriasis? With the correct diagnosis, it will be easy to know if you have atopic dermatitis or Psoriasis and what is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis.


As per the National Eczema Association, Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a condition you have dry, scaly skin. You get informed about what is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis once you read the causes and symptoms of Eczema. This inflammatory skin condition3 is one of the most common forms of Eczema, and there can be thick patches on the skin that might cause a lot of itching.

The National Eczema Association lists seven different types of Eczema, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.

There are many reasons for eczema flare-up, and it can begin during childhood and go on to adolescence and adulthood. Listed below are a few things that can trigger Eczema.

what is the difference between eczema and psoriasis
By Sharon Mccutcheon / unsplash
Copyrights 2020

The most common flare-ups for Eczema are:

  • Chemical Additives in certain fabric softeners and laundry detergents
  • Certain types of soaps, shampoos, shower gels, and facial cleansers
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine that thickens shampoos and lotions
  • Dry weather
  • Disinfectants and surface cleaners
  • Emotional Stress
  • Exposure to extreme heat or cold
  • Formaldehyde in certain adhesives, glues, household disinfectants, and vaccines
  • Isothiazolinone, an antibacterial found in baby wipes and other personal care products
  • Natural liquids like fruit juice and juices from the vegetables and meat
  • Paraphenylene-Diamine4 in temporary tattoos and leather dyes
  • Scented Candles
  • Using fabrics like wool or polyester


What is Psoriasis and the Best Psoriasis Treatment at Mayo Clinic

To know what is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis, you have to know what exactly Psoriasis is. It is a chronic skin condition where there will be itchy, scaly red patches, and these scaly patches have no lasting cure. It mainly occurs in the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk, and if you have a family history of Psoriasis, the likelihood of getting it is higher. Skin cells pile under the skin, and the itchy, scaly red rash cause this medical condition known as Psoriasis.

Skin cell growth is expected, but it happens quickly in the case of patients with Psoriasis. This autoimmune disease can be painful, and Plaque Psoriasis is the most common type of Psoriasis. They say this occurs when the immune system does not react appropriately to the bacteria on the skin. What is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis will be clear once you read about the symptoms and what triggers them.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 10 percent of those with Psoriasis develop Guttate Psoriasis, a type where you get small dot-like lesions. This type of Psoriasis, like Eczema, can start in childhood or young adulthood. The other types of Psoriasis are Pustular Psoriasis and Inverse Psoriasis.

Psoriasis can be a risk factor for heart disease. Some of the reasons for Psoriasis flare-ups are:

  • Food allergies. Certain types of food like gluten, refined sugar, fatty foods, processed foods, citrus fruits, etc. can trigger Psoriasis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Hormones
  • Infections like thrush or yeast infections, or infections of the throat like Streptococcal Pharyngitis
  • Stress
  • Skin injuries like sunburns, tattoos, bug bites, scratches, etc.
  • Smoking
  • Weather

What is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis

Anyone can get Psoriasis and Eczema, and Psoriasis symptoms 5and Eczema symptoms6 can be similar if you are not aware of either of them. Since skin rashes and itchy skins are the standards and similar symptoms of Eczema and Psoriasis, you can get confused quickly between Eczema and Psoriasis.

Eczema vs. Psoriasis- What Your Skin May Be Telling You About Your Health

What is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis becomes easier to understand once you get to read about the differences in the causes and symptoms given below.

  1. Eczema is a skin inflammation disease where you get red, itchy skin, while Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease where the red patches on the skin cause itching.

    The skin has rough, leathery patches; sometimes, there can be swelling. In Psoriasis, the silvery, scaly patches can be raised, and the skin has more inflamed areas.

  2. The reason for Eczema flare-up can be genetic or environmental influences that can trigger allergies. At the same time, Psoriasis happens because your immune system does not function properly and the growth of skin cells is rapid.

  3. Eczema can be diagnosed easily on your own, but Psoriasis will require the help of a dermatologist. If you are looking for what is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis, then this is one of them to keep in mind.

  4. The treatment plan for Eczema depends on how bad it is. In severe cases, ultraviolet light therapy can be tried using UVB light therapy. If you have mild Eczema, topical corticosteroids are prescribed to prevent flare-ups.

    If your Psoriasis is severe light therapy is good, or your doctor can prescribe you a drug to reduce inflammation. If your Psoriasis is mild, topical corticosteroids will help control it, or exposure to UVB light helps. This makes you understand the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis and many other differences that set apart these skin diseases.

  5. Eczema starts in babies and can improve when the child grows up. There are chances that it can go away after a while. On the hand, it is rare for babies to get Psoriasis. It usually happens between the ages of 15 and 35, and Psoriasis is lifelong.

6. Eczema offer occurs on parts of the body that bend, like the neck, wrist, ankles, behind the knees, and inner elbows. Psoriasis comes in areas like the face, elbows, knees, scalp, palms of your hand, soles of your feet, soles of your feet, skin folds, etc.

7. In Eczema, it is an intense itch, and in psoriasis, you get burning sensations in the scaly patches. It is less itchy than Eczema, but these two skin conditions affect a lot of people globally every year. Those who have dry skin can be prone to Eczema, and also if you have a family history of asthma and hay fever.

  1. In Psoriasis, you are prone to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, or depression. If you have a chronic condition, there is an increased risk of a heart attack. Your consulted doctor will be the best person to recommend proper treatment for both that gives you relief from Psoriasis and Eczema.

  2. Atopic eczema tends to run where there is a family history of allergies, and it can come and go. Psoriasis grows underneath the skin cells and is caused by things that aren’t allergies.

  3. Eczema goes away for most people after a while though it is more uncomfortable than Psoriasis, which can be lifelong. There is a treatment for Eczema though the same cannot be said for Psoriasis. You cannot be cured entirely of both skin conditions, but for some, Eczema goes away on its own after a while.

    While psoriasis can slowly develop into Psoriatic arthritis, it is not something that is associated with Eczema. The risk factors of getting rheumatoid arthritis are more if you have Eczema.

What is Eczema & How to Help Manage It

What is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis and how do Psoriasis treatments differ from that of an Eczema treatments?

You know by now what is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis and that Psoriasis and Eczema are two different skin conditions. Though they have similar symptoms like itchy skin, dry skin, and dry rashes, the treatment options are different.

Certain medications that work for Eczema tend not to work for Psoriasis. Health care workers still do not know why Eczema causes swelling, dryness, rashes, and itches. On the other hand, Psoriasis is lifelong, and the treatment depends on how severe it is.

A topical corticosteroid 7and a healthy lifestyle are good ways to reduce skin symptoms of both. Sometimes a combination of topical creams, injections, and oral medicines are given. You can opt for a suitable treatment plan after consulting your doctor. There are other medications to reduce the symptoms of both these skin conditions though it is not possible to get completely cured of them.

The treatments for both will help to ease the discomfort caused and help you live this lifelong journey with these skin conditions. 

In The End

Suppose you want to know what is the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis. In that case, these are skin diseases that have common symptoms but are different health conditions with different causes and symptoms.

Avoiding triggers, topical medications, a suitable treatment plan, and having a good skin care regimen will help reduce symptoms of Psoriasis and Eczema.

Read more from us here.


  1. Gudjonsson, J. E., et al. “Immunopathogenic mechanisms in psoriasis.” Clinical & Experimental Immunology 135.1 (2004): 1-8. ↩︎
  2. Sampogna, Francesca, et al. “Relationship between psychosocial burden of skin conditions and symptoms: measuring the attributable fraction.” Acta dermato-venereologica 96.1 (2016): 60-63. ↩︎
  3. Wagener, Frank ADTG, Carine E. Carels, and Ditte MS Lundvig. “Targeting the redox balance in inflammatory skin conditions.” International journal of molecular sciences 14.5 (2013): 9126-9167. ↩︎
  4. Kallel, Hatem, et al. “Clinical manifestations of systemic paraphenylene diamine intoxication.” Journal of Nephrology 18.3 (2005): 308. ↩︎
  5. Parrish, Liz. “Psoriasis: symptoms, treatments and its impact on quality of life.” British Journal of Community Nursing 17.11 (2012): 524-528. ↩︎
  6. Odhiambo, Joseph A., et al. “Global variations in prevalence of eczema symptoms in children from ISAAC Phase Three.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 124.6 (2009): 1251-1258. ↩︎
  7. Buchman, Alan L. “Side effects of corticosteroid therapy.” Journal of clinical gastroenterology 33.4 (2001): 289-294. ↩︎

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