Skip to Main Content

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: How You Can Tell the Difference

Posted in: Blogs , English

Many conditions can leave your skin itchy and red, so how can you tell what’s causing your troubles? Psoriasis and eczema are two of many skin conditions commonly confused with each other due to similar symptoms. Whether you’re itching for knowledge or just itching in general, we’re breaking down what you need to know about psoriasis and eczema.

The Conditions

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes an overproduction of skin cells. When these cells die, they build up into scaly, white patches. Eczema is a reaction between your skin and an irritant that causes dry, cracked, and inflamed skin.

The Similarities

Both psoriasis and eczema can lead to itchy, aggravated skin. Neither is contagious nor curable. It’s human nature to want to scratch at something that itches, but you should avoid doing so regardless of which condition you have. Scratching the skin can introduce bacteria and germs to the broken skin and lead to infection.

The Differences

The immune system is responsible for both conditions. With psoriasis, the immune system produces too many skin cells that build up. With eczema, the immune system has an extreme reaction to certain irritants (soap, chemicals, allergens, etc.) that come into contact with your skin.

Eczema often comes with pus-filled blisters and inflamed, peeling, or cracked skin, while psoriasis typically results in patches of scaly skin. However, psoriasis can sometimes cause red, inflamed patches of skin that aren’t scaly, which is why it’s often confused for other conditions. Eczema usually becomes milder with age, but that’s not the case with psoriasis. For an accurate diagnosis, share your symptoms with your doctor.

The Treatments

You can manage either condition through a combination of medication and a healthy lifestyle. After diagnosis, a doctor will typically prescribe a topical corticosteroid that can decrease the pain and help your skin heal faster. You should combine this medication regimen with healthy habits to get the best results. Smoking, excessive drinking, and an unhealthy diet can cause flare-ups for both conditions. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink, eat a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals, and drink plenty of water. Stress can also exacerbate both conditions, so learning how to deal with stress productively can reduce flare-ups as well.

If you or your child is in need of treatment, visit a primary care physician or pediatrician at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group. Our team of experienced doctors can provide a diagnosis and treatment plan to stop the itch.


Healthline | Psoriasis vs Eczema: What Is the Difference?
Healthline | Does Psoriasis Spread? Learn the Facts
National Psoriasis Foundation | Psoriasis Causes & Triggers
Healthline | Eczema: Definition, Causes, Treatments, and Pictures

Recent Updates

Start the mental health conversation with your PCP

DEC 08, 2022

Mental health is central to our health and well-being. In fact, mental health problems are very common and represent a significant proportion of primary care visits.

Read More Additional information about Start the mental health conversation with your PCP | St. Luke's Health

Factors that can increase your risk of liver cancer

DEC 08, 2022

The liver is the second largest and hardest working organ. The liver is relentless. It works nonstop behind the scenes to keep us healthy. It removes waste and produces bile, which helps turn fat into energy.

Read More Additional information about Factors that can increase your risk of liver cancer | St. Luke's Health

The truth about diet products that promise quick results

DEC 08, 2022

In general, diet trends that promise fast, unrealistic results are never a good idea. But when it comes to losing weight, what's the best approach? Here's what you should know before you follow the next nutrition trend.

Read More Additional information about The Truth About Diet Products | St. Luke's Health

Find a Doctor

Looking for a doctor? Perform a quick search by name or browse by specialty.