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Eczema vs. Psoriasis

Monday, 18 February 2008

Eczema and psoriasis are two of the skin diseases most commonly encountered by dermatologists. Unfortunately, there are good reasons why these two conditions are so often confused. The good news is that there are some key characteristics to each that make it easier to understand the differences between the two and get the most accurate diagnosis and treatment for each one.

Skin conditions can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, no matter what they are and how they began. However, the key to effective treatment is in understanding the difference between the different skin conditions so that they can be properly and effectively treated.

The Basic Differences between Eczema and Psoriasis

Who is suffering from these conditions often is a good indicator of whether the affliction is eczema or psoriasis. As a general rule, psoriasis tends to strike most often in the adult years, while eczema is usually considered a childhood condition. Although it often presents in children however, it can continue well into adulthood for some people. Eczema is generally a response to environmental factors like exposure to products containing harsh chemicals. Psoriasis, on the other hand, usually has a genetic link and is the response to factors inside of the body. Eczema can also be triggered by certain types of foods, which makes avoidance of those foods and effective way of controlling the condition. While diet may also play a part in reducing the severity of psoriasis outbreaks, it cannot affect whether they occur.

What are the Characteristics of Eczema and Psoriasis?

Eczema and psoriasis can appear to look alike. Both will appear in patchy areas that can become very itchy. However, psoriasis tends to be characterized by raised red spots that are rough, and tend to flake as they itch. While eczema may resemble dry skin that also itches, it does not usually include this flaking quality.

Although neither of these conditions has a known cure, by accurately diagnosing whether you are suffering from eczema or psoriasis, you can find a number of potential treatment options that can help to keep your symptoms at bay. Many of these treatments will include topical ointments and medications that will contain the outbreaks once they begin.

Both eczema and psoriasis are maddening, inconvenient and embarrassing skin diseases that many adults and children are forced to cope with. The good news is that once your doctor diagnoses your condition as either eczema or psoriasis, you can begin trying the many treatment options that are available for your particular skin ailment.

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