What’s the Difference Between Psoriasis and Eczema?

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Eczema and psoriasis are two of the most common skin complaints. Both cause dry and scaly skin to appear, but they are two separate conditions caused by a variety of factors. In this article, we’ll attempt to address the key differences between eczema and psoriasis.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis occurs when your immune system produces skin cells more quickly than it should. The dead cells start to build up on the skin, resulting in red, itchy skin and scaliness.

What is eczema?

Eczema also manifests itself as red, itchy skin but it is usually caused by allergens, environmental factors or exposure to bacteria. You could also be genetically predisposed, eczema studies have found.

Symptoms and appearance

Psoriasis has a distinctive raised appearance, whereas eczema often appears as smaller, red bumps on the skin. Eczema can usually be found in places prone to sweating, for example the crooks of the elbow or backs of the knee. Psoriasis can also appear here, but it is most common on the face or scalp.

While psoriasis is mildly itchy, eczema can cause intense itching and is particularly bad at night. Scratching at the skin can worsen the problem.

Who suffers from psoriasis and eczema?

Eczema is more common in children, but teenagers can experience it during puberty. Psoriasis tends to develop in people between the ages of 15 and 35 and is rarer in children.


Psoriasis can be worsened by infections, cold weather, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and stress. Clinical trials have discovered that eczema can also be affected by similar lifestyle choices or environmental factors.


As clinical studies have shown, psoriasis can be treated with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and stop skin cells from growing too fast. Stronger medications are also available, but for mild cases, moisturizers can help to reduce dryness and itching.

For eczema, there is no treatment as such. Children tend to ‘grow out of it’, but flare-ups can happen at any time. To reduce the symptoms, you can use a moisturizer or avoid any triggers likely to worsen your eczema.

Can you have both eczema and psoriasis?

It’s rare, but yes, it’s possible to have both psoriasis and eczema.

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