If you’re someone who finds themselves describing patches of flakey, dry skin as “an eczema-ish, psoriasis-sy kinda thing”, then you’ve come to the right place.
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While you’ll need a dermatologist to diagnose and treat either condition, we are going to at least assist in helping you identify the differences between the two before you get to that stage.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition which will most commonly show up in the folds of your knees, elbows, eyelids and groin. It can arise from as early as one month after birth and can continue well into your adult years.
Presenting in the form of itchy, red, dry skin, eczema can be triggered by stress or allergies such as irritating chemicals, the weather and even your diet.
When treating eczema, look for ingredients which work to reduce inflammation and repair compromised skin barriers. Fragrance-free moisturisers or products containing ingredients such as oatmeal, avocado and chamomile will be beneficial in soothing irritated skin.
And… what is psoriasis?
While the cause of psoriasis is still relatively unknown, it’s thought to be a result of changes in the immune system. These changes are believed to trigger inflammation and an increased skin cell turnover occurring every 3-4 days (the regular being every 10-30).
Often occurring in two phases, between the ages of 15-35 and then again at 55-60, the condition leaves red bumps covered in thick, white, scaly patches, most commonly on the scalp, lower back, knees, feet and elbows. The raised skin irritations are the result of new skin cells sitting on top of the old ones due to the rapid regeneration.
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The more serious of the two, psoriasis has been linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, while eczema is just a surface level skin condition.
And, while neither condition has a magical tonic to cure all, eczema can be known to disappear whereas psoriasis is a chronic condition that requires more long-term care.
Working on a case by case basis, psoriasis is a condition that looks to be managed rather than treated. The most common treatments include prescription steroid creams, medications and light therapy.
Main image credit: Getty
Have you ever experienced either of these skin conditions? What treatment worked best for you?