How to Tell the Difference Between Eczema & Psoriasis

How to Tell the Difference Between Eczema & Psoriasis

Eczema and psoriasis are common skin conditions that typically get confused with each other, especially since they both manifest as a rash and often appear in the same places. However, psoriasis and eczema affect your skin differently. In this blog, we’re here to give you the difference between these two skin conditions. 

What Is Eczema?

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a chronic skin condition characterised by itchy, dry, and inflamed skin. Though it’s common in infants and young children, it can appear in people of all ages. Eczema usually appears due to genetic and environmental causes and is not contagious. The most common places you get eczema are the face, neck, and hands. 

What Is Psoriasis

On the other hand, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that makes the skin cells grow too quickly. This is most commonly found in the scalp, elbow, lower back, and knees. This skin condition is not contagious, but it is often triggered by stress, infections, or medications.

How to Differentiate: Eczema vs Psoriasis

Though these two skin conditions appear similarly on your skin, there’s actually a way to tell them apart. Here are the differences between eczema and psoriasis:


Though both skin conditions can cause itchiness, there’s a difference in how the rash feels. Skin with eczema has rashes that can cause an intense itching sensation. If you scratch the rash hard enough, it can ultimately harm your skin. On the other hand, psoriasis has an itchiness that makes your skin sting or burn. The sensation is often described as similar to getting bitten by fire ants. 


You can determine the difference between the two conditions once you know the details of their appearance. Psoriasis appears as more well-defined, layered, scaly patches on red skin. The scaling can also look silvery or white. With this condition, the skin is thicker, raised and more inflamed because psoriasis symptoms can cause an excess buildup of skin cells that your body can’t shed quickly enough. 

Similar to psoriasis, eczema appears on your skin as red and inflamed. However, you may experience oozing or weeping of clear fluids from inflamed areas, along with crustiness. In children, eczema looks dry and scaly, with red patches on pale skin. For darker skin colours, it will appear as grey or ashen patches. 

Treatment Options: Eczema vs Psoriasis

Treatment for eczema and psoriasis will depend on the severity of the condition and is usually prescribed to manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. For eczema, you may be prescribed topical medication to reduce inflammation and itchiness. In some cases, you may also have to take oral medications. 

Similarly, psoriasis treatment involves topical creams and oral medication. However, the healthcare professional may also prescribe phototherapy, which uses UVB light to reduce itching and inflammation, as well as boost the skin’s ability to fight bacteria.

While it can be tricky to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis at first, there are still significant differences in the condition, which allows you to identify what you could be dealing with. If you’re experiencing symptoms of eczema or psoriasis, make sure to have it checked for a more accurate diagnosis. That way, you can live a more comfortable and confident life with proper management of your condition.

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