Tips for Managing Symptoms of Psoriasis and Eczema

Psoriasis and eczema are two common skin conditions that can cause discomfort and frustration. Although they share some similarities, they are distinct conditions with different causes and characteristics.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, causing the skin to rapidly produce new cells. This excessive cell turnover leads to the formation of thick, scaly patches on top of the skin.

What is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by inflamed, itchy, and often red or dry skin. Eczema is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and it typically presents in childhood. Although eczema can affect individuals of all ages, it can improve as children grow older.

Recognizing the Difference

While both conditions can be associated with itchy and inflamed skin, there are key distinctions between the two:

  • Appearance: Psoriasis is known for its silvery-white scales, whereas eczema is usually marked by red or brownish patches with a rough texture.
  • Age of Onset: Psoriasis typically appears in adulthood, while eczema often begins in childhood.
  • Root Cause: Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, whereas eczema is linked to a combination of genetics and environmental triggers.

Managing Psoriasis and Eczema Symptoms

Effective management of these conditions involves a multifaceted approach that includes medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments. Here are some strategies to help you manage psoriasis and eczema symptoms:

  • Topical Treatments: Both conditions can often be managed with topical treatments like corticosteroids, moisturizers, and medicated creams. Consult a dermatologist for guidance on the most suitable options for the specific condition.
  • Avoid Triggers: Identify and avoid triggers that worsen symptoms. Common triggers include stress, certain foods, allergens, and harsh skincare products.
  • Moisturize Regularly: Keeping the skin well-hydrated is crucial for managing symptoms. Using a fragrance-free moisturizer may help to prevent dryness and itching.
  • Prescription Medications: For more severe cases, a healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications or biologics to manage symptoms.
  • Stress Management: Reducing stress through relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can be beneficial for both conditions.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as these factors can have a positive impact on skin's overall health.
  • Regular Check-ups: Regularly consult with a dermatologist to monitor the condition and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

Seek Professional Guidance

It is important to seek professional advice from a healthcare professional for both eczema and psoriasis. A dermatologist can provide an accurate diagnosis and tailor a treatment plan to an individual’s needs.

Living with psoriasis or eczema can be challenging, but with the right strategies, management of symptoms can be possible. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance on managing these skin conditions.

*This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice. For medical questions and advice, it is always best to consult with your trained physician.

Sources: 

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2023, May 9). Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353279 

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, October 8). Psoriasis. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355845 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, October 19). Psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis/diagnosis-treatment-and-steps-to-take 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Eczema (atopic dermatitis). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/eczema-atopic-dermatitis