Is It Eczema or Psoriasis?

I have had psoriasis for over 55 years. Three of my grandkids developed eczema as little ones. They were all tested and confirmed it was eczema. How did the doctors diagnose this?

The doctors examined their skin and reviewed their medical history. One must be very careful because the wrong treatment can only make symptoms worse. I would have bet anything that they had psoriasis.

Comparing psoriasis and eczema

Eczema and psoriasis are extremely itchy. Psoriasis is most often accompanied by burning that feels like something was biting. Itching can be one of the significant differences between eczema and psoriasis. Psoriasis tends to cause intense itching while eczema causes mild itching. Cold temperatures accompanied by dry winds and indoor heating are the worst combination for the skin. This causes inflammation and irritation. Psoriasis and eczema can be very similar at first glance.

Psoriasis and eczema can occur anywhere on the body. They even have their favorite parts on the body. Psoriasis usually occurs in the joints and can potentially become psoriatic arthritis. It shows up on the elbows, knees, scalp, and neck. Eczema usually chooses the feet, hands, wrists, face, and skin around the eyes and lips.

What is psoriasis and how does it form?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. The immune system is our body's army. Just as we have different forms of defense in the military; such as infantry, artillery, and cavalry so does our immune system.

The body attacks its aggressors with different weapons. T-cells are a special battalion of the armed forces of immunity. They get misunderstood in the battle rows and start attacking skin cells. They should be attacking bacterial and virus type aggressors. That is why the skin starts to rapidly reject dead cells. They show up on the surface and create plaques.

The buildup of dead cells that create whitish plaques on the skin is a sign of psoriasis. The skin is red, inflamed and itchy. Remember not to remove these plaques by force as you can damage the skin. It's best to use a gentle moisturizer to remove plaques. If psoriasis occurs on the nails, you will notice bumps or pits on the surface.

What is eczema and how does it form?

Eczema is more common in younger children. A lot of people outgrow eczema by early adulthood. Eczema works on a slightly different principle. The immune system is the main culprit only with a slightly different scenario. The immune system becomes hypersensitive to some environmental aggressors. It reacts to them as if a real, straight attack had begun.

If you do start scratching your skin it might become swollen, sensitive and raw. Eczema itching is usually worse at night. It manifests in the form of large dry seals on the skin that are itchy. They can burst if they are on the joints. The cracking of the skin can lead to wounds that need to be carefully treated to prevent infection.

Understanding the differences between psoriasis and eczema

As with psoriasis, eczema can occur anywhere on the body and cause itching. Most eczema can be cleared with topical treatments. I have noticed that just like psoriasis; my grandkids often experience off and on symptoms for many years. There are times where the symptoms were so bad that it would restrict their activity. There were other times that they hardly notice their condition.

I was glad that I understood and saw the differences between psoriasis and eczema. We quickly recognize and appropriately diagnosed their condition. We are very happy that we did.

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