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How to Tell Whether That Itchy Rash Is Eczema or Psoriasis

Even though you know that scratching a rash can make your condition worse — it’s almost impossible to ignore an itch. Knowing whether that rash is eczema or psoriasis can help you manage your condition and prevent it from recurring. 

So, how can you tell if your rash is eczema or psoriasis? The most effective way to diagnose a rash is with a visit to your dermatologist. In the meantime, Dr. Yvonne Hines at Hines Dermatology Associates has put together this guide to help you figure out the difference between these two common skin conditions.

Appearance

Psoriasis causes thick, red, scaly patches. The patches can be raised and silvery, too. Eczema leaves your skin red and inflamed, and you may also have rough leathery patches that are oozing or crusty.

Itchiness

Both rashes are itchy! Eczema, however, is itchier, and it can cause people to scratch so hard that their skin bleeds. Psoriasis can cause milder itching, but it may also cause a burning sensation. 

Location

If your rash is on your scalp, elbows, knees, palms and soles, or face, it’s most likely psoriasis. Psoriasis can also affect your navel and nail beds. You can often find eczema on the back of your knees or the inside of your elbows.

Cause 

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. This means you have a dysfunctional immune system. In the case of psoriasis, your immune system causes your skin cells to grow too fast, which forms those scaly, itchy patches.

Eczema is more complicated. It could be triggered by things your skin comes in contact with, such as soaps, detergents, or household products. It can also be triggered the same way as an allergy by dust, pets, pollen, or certain foods. 

Population

Both types of rashes can affect men and women of any age. However, eczema is more common in children. Psoriasis usually starts around age 15-35. Neither condition is contagious, but they may run in families.

Treatment

We can recommend a variety of treatment options for both types of rashes. In the case of eczema, taking the correct medication can be as crucial as avoiding things such as certain soaps and detergents.  

It’s best to see your dermatologist for a targeted treatment plan so you can find relief from chronic itching as fast as possible. Some treatment options include: 

If you have a rash or an itch that won’t go away, call Hines Dermatology Associates Inc. in Attleboro, Massachusetts, for treatment to help you stop scratching. You can also make an appointment online through this website.

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