Eczema and psoriasis

Eczema and psoriasis look very much alike and can be very difficult to differentiate from one another. There are even times when the doctor is unable to give a definitive diagnosis of the rash that you are experiencing, especially when it appears on the hands.

Both eczema and psoriasis produce a red and scaly rash on particular areas of the body. There are differences between the two conditions, even though they are very similar. Psoriasis will produce red and scaly skin while eczema is usually moist and produces oozing bumps. Both of these conditions can be quite itchy and they will appear on the hands, feet, neck, and other areas of the body. The area that you develop the rash can also help to determine whether you are suffering from eczema or psoriasis.

Psoriasis will usually appear on the front of the knees or the back of the elbows. Eczema is usually on the opposite side on the back of the knee and the inside of the arm

When eczema and psoriasis is found on the hands it can be very difficult to determine which skin condition is present. When the conditions are present on the hands and feet there may also be the presence of a fungus as well. Doctors can determine by pitting on the nails of patients who have psoriasis. There may be some change in the nail with eczema as well, but it will not be pitted.

Treatment for eczema and psoriasis can involve the use of topical creams that relieve the inflammation, control the itching, remove the scales, and reduce the amount of new lesions. For eczema treatment, the doctor will prescribe lifestyle changes and avoidance of the triggers that may lead to an outbreak. Stress is a trigger for eczema outbreaks which means that stress reduction can help to reduce the number of breakouts. Antihistamines can relieve the itching that is associated with eczema. There has also been some success with the use of light therapy in its treatment. And for severe cases of eczema a systemic medication, or one that is taken in the body, may be prescribed as well.

One of the difficulties that are found in the treatment of eczema is sensitivity to the treatment that is prescribed. Many patients find that a treatment that has worked in the past may stop working during the next outbreak. The doctor will prescribe a different treatment or medication to work with your changing needs.

Many of the same treatments that are prescribed for eczema are also prescribed for psoriasis. The use of topical steroid creams is a helpful treatment that is prescribed for both eczema and psoriasis. Light therapy is also helpful in the treatment of psoriasis as well as eczema. Sun and water therapies are sometimes used with psoriasis, but they may exacerbate eczema.

Diet is thought to be a trigger for both conditions. Caffeine and foods that are high in nickel may be the cause of your eczema outbreaks. There is some disagreement on whether a patient should eat a diet that restricts nickel but often jewelry and other items that your hands come into contact with contain nickel.

Eczema and psoriasis can be irritating and quite painful for those who are suffering from it. There is a certain degree of embarrassment over the unsightly rash that comes with eczema and psoriasis that often causes the problem to become worse. Anxiety and stress over the rash is often the cause of more outbreaks and a never ending cycle. Lifestyle changes should include stress management as well as the medications and creams that are prescribed.

Last updated on Aug 6th, 2009 and filed under Skin Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Eczema and psoriasis”

  1. Elaine Neetz says:

    I manufacture bath body products in Alaska that are formulated for sensitive skin. My customers with eczema and psoriasis swear by the lotion and tell me that it aids in easing the irritation of these skin conditions.

    My products were developedin 1996, for my son with sensitive skin. Well, he inherited it from his mother–what can I say?

    I’m interested in finding patients with eczema and psoriasis who would like to try my lotions. As a new business owner, I’m still trying to find my niche in the big world of e-commerce.

    Contact me at, if you’re interested. You should also visit my website at

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