The difference between psoriasis and eczema

Both psoriasis and eczema are skin conditions that are linked to your immune system and can cause red, itchy patches of dry skin. However, there are some key differences between psoriasis and eczema that your doctor at the Harley Street skin clinic will be able to explain in more detail.

Psoriasis v eczema symptoms

It is usually possible for a doctor to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis just from looking, but sometimes additional testing may be needed at the Harley Street skin clinic to confirm the diagnosis. The effects of these skin conditions can vary, so sometimes they are difficult to tell apart.

  • Eczema is usually very itchy. Psoriasis can itch a little, but you could also feel a stinging or burning sensation instead.
  • Eczema usually look like rough, red patches, which can become crusty and infected. Psoriasis can cause similar red patches too, but it can also cause silvery, scaly patches and areas of thickened and severely inflamed skin.
  • Eczema tends to appear in creases of skin around your joints. Psoriasis is more likely to affect your scalp, face, back, palms, and the soles of your feet. It can also appear in other places, including in your mouth or on your nails.

The symptoms of eczema often appear earlier than those of psoriasis. Most people develop eczema as babies or children, and sometimes grow out of it later in life. Psoriasis usually appears between the ages of about 15 and 35, and it is a lifelong condition.

Psoriasis v Eczema Triggers

The symptoms of both psoriasis and eczema can flare up sometimes in response to specific triggers. Eczema can be triggered by:

  • Toiletries, laundry detergents or other things that come in contact with and irritate your skin
  • Allergens such as certain foods, pet hair, pollen or other allergens.
  • Extremes of temperature or humidity
  • Stress
  • Having an infection

Psoriasis can also be triggered by stress or an infection. It can also get worse if your skin is injured, even if it is just by sunburn or a small scratch. It’s important to work with your dermatologist at the Harley Street skin clinic to identify what your triggers are so that you can avoid them, whether you have psoriasis or eczema.

Find a Harley Street specialist...