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The Difference Between Psoriasis and Eczema

Psoriasis and Eczema are itchy and often painful skin conditions that present visibly on the skin. Both conditions appear similarly with a rash and irritating dryness. Although they are found to be very common, these skin conditions are not contagious. The difference between psoriasis and eczema lie in how they appear, why they appear, and who they affect.



What is psoriasis?
Often hereditary, psoriasis is characterized by patches of scaly, flaky skin that are often red and rough. It may also create a “raised appearance” to the affected patch of skin. In severe cases, some patients may experience what is known as psoriatic arthritis, or inflammation in the joints. Presenting in about 10% of psoriasis patients, this painful condition is caused by the same inflammation that affects the skin.


Who does psoriasis affect?
Psoriasis generally affects adults. The condition tends to present on patients later in life. However, children and teens, especially those with a pre-disposition towards the condition, can be affected by psoriasis.


What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is caused by the overactive growth of skin cells – almost like rapid exfoliation. Flair-ups can be caused by high blood pressure, stress, smoking and certain medications.


What is the treatment for psoriasis?
Treatment for psoriasis generally include medications and skin phototherapy. Home treatments, such as deep moisturizing creams or lotions can help to control the condition and ease symptoms. There are also specialized moisturizers patients can buy, like Dermarest Psoriasis Medicated Moisturizer, that are specifically designed for psoriasis and its symptoms.



What is eczema? 
Eczema generally presents as raised, dry, blister-like patches of skin that are itchy, and often appear as a rash. Eczema tends to present in folds of the skin at joints, including the inner elbow, behind the knee, wrists and neck. It can also appear on the face, groin, and ankles.
Most cases of eczema are brought on by environmental allergens, but a genetic link has been suspected in many patients.


Who does eczema affect?
Eczema is most commonly found among infants and small children. However, adults can also have cases present throughout life, especially if they have had eczema as a child.


What causes eczema?
Sensitive skin plays a role in many cases of eczema. While it may be possible to have a genetic predisposition for eczema, the cause of breakouts is often environmental, as allergens and irritants account for a large part of cases. Anything from laundry detergent, to fabrics, or even air fresheners can cause an outbreak. Additionally, stress can bring about outbreaks too, as well as exacerbate one in progress.


What is the treatment for eczema?
Eczema is often treated with hydrocortisone creams and medications. Specially formulated skin lotions and creams are also available to soothe the skin, like Minerin Lotion. These creams are made with high moisturizing properties to help ease symptoms. Prevention is also key in combating eczema. To prevent possible outbreaks avoid known skin allergens, use hypoallergenic versions of your favorite products, and reduce everyday stresses.


While they share many commonalities, there is a difference between psoriasis and eczema. Both skin conditions affect many lives, and, depending on the severety, can be damaging to the self-esteem and general well-being of the patient.

Luckily, there are many great treatments available for both psoriasis and eczema. Visit the skin care section of our website to view a variety of lotions and medicated moisturizers that target psoriasis and eczema. Order online, or call 1-888-687-4334 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Medical Supply Specialists for assistance.