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Difference Between Psoriasis and Dermatitis

Difference between Eczema and Psoriasis

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) and psoriasis, while both chronic skin conditions, show some significant differences. Eczema is characterized by red, inflamed skin, intense itching, and fluid-filled blisters, commonly seen in flexural areas and often developing in childhood. Its cause is multifactorial, involving genetic and environmental factors.

On the other hand, psoriasis is known to have patches covered with silvery scales that can happen anywhere on the body, including the scalp and joints. This autoimmune condition accelerates skin cell turnover, leading to the rapid accumulation of cells.

While eczema often begins in childhood and is linked with allergens, irritants, and stress, psoriasis can onset at any age and involves genetic predisposition alongside immune system dysfunction.

Similarities between Eczema and Psoriasis

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) and psoriasis share some common features as chronic skin conditions. Both conditions can lead to discomfort, itching, and impact the quality of life for affected individuals.

They may both have periods of exacerbation and remission, with symptoms flaring up in response to triggers such as stress or certain environmental factors.

Both eczema and psoriasis have different causes – eczema involves genetic, environmental, and immune factors, and psoriasis caused by an autoimmune condition – they underscore the importance of proper skincare, moisturization, and, in some cases, the use of topical or systemic treatments for effective management.


Eczema, also termed as atopic dermatitis is the general inflammation of the skin in which skin also becomes dry, bumpy, itchy and red. Eczema is common in infants and children. The itching is more intense and persistent. It is more related to irritation from substances and allergies. There is even bleeding due to too much scratching. Affects hand, face and bending body parts like the elbows and knees.


Psoriasis is an immune-mediated skin disease in which skin cells build up causing raised, silvery and scaly patches on very inflamed skin. It is most common between the ages of 15-35. There is more stinging and burning sensation. It is believed to be caused by genetics, emotional stress, infections, skin sensitivity due to wounds and effects of medications. It shows up in skin folds, palms, feet, scalp, low back and nail beds.

Difference between Eczema & Psoriasis

1.      Definition


Eczema, also termed as atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition and is defined as an itchy inflammation of the skin where the skin becomes red, patchy, dry, and bumpy. The symptoms usually appear on the arms and behind the knees


It is an autoimmune disease in which the skin cells build up and result in itchy, scaly, and dry patches. It is triggered by immune system problem and the most common symptom is rash on the skin. Basically, the skin cells are replaced more quickly than usual.

2.       Symptoms


  • Extreme dryness and itchiness
  • Less inflammation than psoriasis
  • Skin darkening around the eyes
  • Oozing and crusting
  • Rough, leathery, or scaly skin, that appears as scaly patches


  • Painful and stinging inspiration
  • Mild dryness and itchiness
  • Skin appears thick


  1. Types


  • Atopic eczema
  • Discoid Eczema
  • Xerotic Eczema
  • Venous Eczema
  • Papular Eczema
  • Dyshidrotic Eczema or pompholyx Eczema


  • Guttate Psoriasis
  • Inverse Psoriasis
  • Pustular Psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis
  • Nail Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Plaque Psoriasis
  1. Triggers


Eczema could be triggered by:

  • Soaps
  • Dust
  • Mould
  • Disinfectants
  • Juices from meats and produce
  • Detergents
  • Pets
  • Pollen
  • Dandruff
  • Some foods


Psoriasis could get triggered by:

  • Vaccination
  • Sunburn
  • Stress
  • Infection
  • Scratches

Summary of Psoriasis vs Ezcema

The points of difference between Eczema & Psoriasis have been summarized as below:

Characteristics Eczema Psoriasis
Appearance on skin Red or pink patches on light skin, darker patches, on darker skin tones Red to brown inflamed patches
Common in Common in infants and children Common in adults
Itchiness Eczema causes intense itch Psoriasis also causes itchiness but in addition it also can cause stingy and burning skin and gives a feeling as if people are being bitten by far-ants
Flare-ups Flare-ups are borderless and found in folds of skin Flare-ups are obvious and distinctive
Treatments Topical corticosteroids, or steroids Topical treatments, phototherapy (use of ultraviolet light), systemic medications (prescription drugs that work throughout your body)

 Summary of Psoriasis vs Ezcema:

Eczema, or Atopic Dermatitis, and Psoriasis are both chronic skin conditions, but they differ in their causes, symptoms, and appearance.

Eczema, often appear in childhood, is characterized by red, inflamed skin, intense itching, and fluid-filled blisters. Commonly found in flexural areas, face, hands, and feet, it stems from a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune factors.

Psoriasis can occur at any age and is distinguished by well-defined, raised patches covered with silvery scales. It can affect various body parts, including the scalp and joints, and is driven by an autoimmune response leading to accelerated skin cell turnover.

Both conditions share some similarities, such as periods of exacerbation and remission, requiring proper skincare and moisturization.

Treatment approaches vary, with eczema often managed using topical steroids and antihistamines, while psoriasis may involve topical steroids, phototherapy, and systemic medications.

How do I know if it’s eczema or psoriasis?

Psoriasis usually caused itching that is milder in comparison to eczema. Also, in some fewer common types of psoriasis, a horrible burn. Itching in eczema is intense and sometimes it is so severe that people start to scratch their skin so that it bleeds. Eczema happens in the folds of the skin. Psoriasis happens on the other side of those creases.


Can eczema turn into psoriasis?

Though eczema and psoriasis both are skin conditions and have similar symptoms, these are two separate diseases. Eczema is a chronic skin disease and psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, So, it’s not possible for eczema to turn into psoriasis.

What is the difference between scalp eczema and psoriasis?

Though both psoriasis and eczema show common symptoms such as itching and red patches on the scalp, eczema does not appear as dry or thick scale on the scalp. Also, eczema scales that appear on the scalp possess yellowish or whitish hue and psoriasis scale appears silvery.

What is the difference between eczema seborrhea and psoriasis?


The scales of psoriasis in appearance are dry and thick in appearance in comparison to the scales of seborrheic dermatitis. Psoriasis has more of a tendency to extend beyond the hairline. In addition, psoriasis usually affects more than one area of the body.


Which is worse eczema or psoriasis?

Psoriasis is worse than eczema as it is typically more inflammatory than eczema.


What is the root cause of psoriasis?

Psoriasis happens when skin cells grow faster and are replaced more quickly than usual. The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, but scientific evidence suggest that the trigger is issues in the immune system and sometimes genetics. The body produces fresh and new skin cells in the skin’s deepest layers.


What cream helps psoriasis?

Retinoids, like tazarotene (Tazorac), Tapinarof (Vtama), Pimecrolimus (Elidel) and tacrolimus (Protopic) and Calcipotriol ointment/cream


What triggers eczema?

Some common triggers to cause eczema include irritants like detergents and soaps, dish washing bars, shampoos with synthetic ingredients, bubble bath bombs. Some environmental factors or allergens also could trigger eczema like moisture, wetness and dampness, moulds, mites, fur from pets, pollens, and cold and dry weather.


Is eczema an autoimmune disease?

There is some evidence that one type of eczema called as, atopic dermatitis, may be autoimmune in nature.

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References :

[0]Garzorz‐Stark, N., Krause, L., Lauffer, F., Atenhan, A., Thomas, J., Stark, S. P., ... & Eyerich, K. (2016). A novel molecular disease classifier for psoriasis and eczema. Experimental dermatology, 25(10), 767-774.

[1]Gudjonsson, J. E., Johnston, A., Sigmundsdottir, H., & Valdimarsson, H. (2004). Immunopathogenic mechanisms in psoriasis. Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 135(1), 1-8.

[2]Sohn, A., Frankel, A., Patel, R. V., & Goldenberg, G. (2011). Eczema. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine: A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine, 78(5), 730-739.

[3]Images from Canva

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