What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?

What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis? And how is each one treated?


Skincare expert, Dr Maureen Allem from Skin & Body Renewal, responds:

“These conditions, eczema and psoriasis, both present in a similar fashion. Both appear as red, sore, itchy, scaly patches. What makes them different, is that eczema is often caused by a trigger, an allergy, something that the person has a sensitivity to, but it can be treated and managed.

Psoriasis on the other hand is an auto-immune disease and there is no cure for it. There can be flare-ups at any time and these flare-ups can be linked to low immunity or during high stress situations. They are also treated in similar ways.

Psoriasis is treated mainly with a combination of UV light treatments along with Steroid-based creams, Calcipotriene-containing topical ointments, Coal-tar ointments and shampoos. With eczema, obviously we try to manage all the triggers and it can be treated with various supplements and use of topicals such as cortizones etc.”

Wondering about your skin? Ask Dr Allem your skincare questions here.

Other articles you may be interested in:
How Kim Kardashian copes with psoriasis
Can dairy products make my skin flare up?
What your nails say about your health
Dry skin remedies
Emotional-skin saviours

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3 Responses

  1. I have suffered from Psoriasis of the scalp since i was about seven years old. It has been one of my biggest struggles. I felt too self-conscious wearing black at a stage (I love wearing black) and had low self-esteem. I tried everything to treat it, shampoos, creams, UV lighting in the hopes of clearing it up. Now at the age of 22 I’ve made peace with the fact that it is part of who i am and have been able to manage it, most of the time. I take ‘Zinplex’ tablets when I’m stressed out and have a flare up, which usually helps keep it at bay… For those who are experiencing the same, Hang in there.

  2. I have psoriasis just below my left elbow and its very embarrassing when I have a flare up – wearing a lovely sleeveless top or dress is no-no when that happens. I try and keep the area as moisturized as possible, because when my skin becomes dry it itches like crazy.

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