What’s the Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis?

eczema and psoriasis doctor in bethlehem pa

If you’ve been experiencing patches of red, dry, itchy skin that comes and goes, you’re probably wondering what’s causing it. Two common possibilities are eczema and psoriasis. While the two conditions share common symptoms, they’re actually two distinct dermatological issues. 

In this article, we’ll be explaining the difference between eczema and psoriasis, as well as how the conditions are treated. Let’s start by defining each condition. 

What is eczema? 

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed, discolored, or have a scaly appearance. These itchy patches most commonly occur on parts of the body that bend, such as the inner elbows or the back of the knees.

Research suggests that eczema is caused by a combination of environmental triggers and a genetic variation that affects the way a person’s skin retains moisture and protects itself from irritants. 

Common triggers of eczema flare-ups include cold weather, food allergies, soaps, detergents, fragrances, stress, and dry skin. 

What is psoriasis? 

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system causes skin cells to multiply ten times faster than normal. This causes skin cells to start to pile up on the skin’s surface, forming bumpy, red patches covered with white scales. These patches commonly occur on the scalp, elbows, knees, buttocks, and face. 

At what age do these conditions start? 

Eczema usually starts in babies or young children and often improves when the child becomes an adult. Adults can get eczema too, but it’s less common. When that happens, it’s typically the result of another condition like thyroid disease, hormone changes, or stress.

Psoriasis, on the other hand, usually first appears between the ages of 15 and 35. It’s rare for a baby to experience this condition.

How is each condition treated? 

Eczema treatment will vary case to case, depending on the severity. For mild to moderate cases, treatment generally includes avoiding known irritants and applying a topical corticosteroid cream to control inflammation. It can also be helpful to use an emollient on your skin, which is a type of moisturizer that has an oil or cream base (not a water base). More severe cases of eczema may require a medicine that affects your immune system. 

Like eczema treatment, psoriasis treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Mild cases may be able to be controlled with topical corticosteroids and emollients, while more severe cases may require immune system drugs or a biologic drug. 

Eczema and psoriasis doctor in Bethlehem, PA

Despite being common conditions, many people don’t understand the root cause of these skin conditions or seek treatment. But you don’t have to suffer in silence! If you’re seeking an eczema and psoriasis doctor in Bethlehem, PA, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kothari today. Using allergy tests, Dr. Kothari can better understand what’s causing your eczema or psoriasis and develop the best treatment plan to reduce flare-ups.

If you’re not in the Lehigh Valley area, simply Google “psoriasis doctor near me” or “eczema doctor near me” to find a practitioner closer to you. 

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