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Difference Between Psoriasis and Dermatitis

Psoriasis vs Dermatitis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that happens when the immune system sends out faulty signals that make the skin cells grow too fast. It is not contagious and has five types:

Guttate, which are small, scaly, red, and tear-drop shaped lesions. They usually appear on the body and the scalp.
Inverse, which are smooth patches of skin that appear on skin folds such as in the genital area.
Pustular, which appear as bumps that are filled with pus usually appearing on the hands and feet.
Erythrodermic, which are accompanied with itching, swelling, and pain. This happens when treatment of plaque psoriasis is suddenly stopped. This type of psoriasis can be fatal.
Plaque, which is the most common type of psoriasis, appears as red-and-white scaly patches on the first layer of the skin.

Psoriasis usually appears on elbows, knees, scalp, palms, soles, and the genitals. The fingernails and toenails can also be affected, and psoriasis can cause psoriatic arthritis. It is chronic and in severe cases can completely cover the body.

Dermatitis, on the other hand, is an inflammation or rash of the skin. It is synonymous to eczema which is also a chronic condition. There are several types of dermatitis, namely:

Contact dermatitis, which is caused by an allergen and is painful rather than itchy.
Atopic dermatitis, which can be caused by low humidity and is very common. It appears as dry, red, itchy skin.
Dermatitis herpetiformis, which is caused by celiac disease and has an itching, stinging, and burning sensation.
Seborrheic dermatitis, which is common in infants and in people with AIDS. It starts as scaling of the scalp leading to hair loss.
Nummular dermatitis, which is common in middle-aged people.
Stasis dermatitis, which is common to people with varicose veins and is caused by the buildup of blood and fluid in the lower legs.
Perioral dermatitis, which is common to women and appears on the mouth.

Dermatitis can appear as rashes or blisters with swelling, itching, and lesions. It can be caused by a variety of allergens and irritants. It can be treated with creams, medications, corticosteroids, wet compresses, and avoiding irritants and allergens.

While the cause of dermatitis is easy to identify, the cause of psoriasis has not been fully defined, but it is believed that heredity is a factor in acquiring the disease. It can be aggravated by stress, environmental factors, and the withdrawal from corticosteroid medication.

Severe cases of psoriasis can cause disability. The itching and pain can restrain a person from performing even basic tasks like caring for the family and self care. Creams, ointments, moisturizers, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly can help soothe its symptoms and reduce inflammation.

Phototherapy and medications that can be taken orally or injected are also being used for psoriasis treatment. It is a lifelong condition and can lead to skin cancer.


1.Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease while dermatitis is an inflammation or skin rash.
2.Dermatitis is caused by irritants or allergens while there is no definite known cause for psoriasis.
3.Both conditions can be treated with topical ointments and other medications, but psoriasis is harder to treat than dermatitis.

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