This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
Psoriasis is a chronic immune mediated condition that speeds up the growth of skin cells and causes dry, itchy, and sometimes painful lesions or bumps on your body. It may sometimes be mistaken for eczema, dermatitis or other skin conditions. In this article I hope to explain the differences between some of the common conditions that are often confused with psoriasis.
In reference to this article I want to state I am not a doctor, not training to be a doctor and have no professional medical experience. What you read in this post is a personal experience because I myself have experienced all of the mentioned skin conditions. I have therefore done a lot of research and fact finding on the internet. If you are not sure if you have any of the conditions mentioned, please consult a doctor to get the correct diagnosis and corresponding treatment for you.
Plaque Psoriasis and Eczema
Both Psoriasis and Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, are skin conditions with similar symptoms, but there are ways to tell them apart . Whereas there is only one eczema type, there are serveral different types of psoriasis. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis (this is the one I have), which most resembles eczema.
Psoriasis is a condition that occurs when your immune system triggers skin cells to grow faster than usual. Instead of the dead skin cells coming off the skin, they build up on the skin leaving patches of red, raised and irritated skin. Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease which cannot be cured but can be managed with the correct medication.
Eczema, on the other hand, can be caused by a number of factors including environment, allergies and family history. Eczema is also chronic but can improve significantly as someone gets older or become manageable using the correct medication. Both conditions can cause red, itchy skin but have different causes and different treatments.
It is rare that a person would have both eczema and psoriasis but is completely possible! As a teenager, I had small patches of eczema which would appear on my knuckles and in the cracks of my fingers when the weather was cold but my eczema has appeared to clear up as I got older. At the age of 20, I got my first patch of psoriasis which now thanks to medication is under control.
It can be really difficult for doctors to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema. So, if you don’t get the right treatment or answer the first time, keep going back. Don’t give up! It’s the only way your skin will get better. I know it’s really annoying but persistence is key with skin conditions!
Guttate Psoriasis and Adult Acne
Having adult acne and psoriasis can be extremely uncommon, however it is possible to have both (I was diagnosed with both officially at 21, not the best 21st birthday present to receive!).
Psoriasis and adult acne are two separate, unrelated skin conditions that need to be treated separately. It is possible to treat and control adult acne, meaning that you can get this under control with some lifestyle changes or medication if necessary. As we know psoriasis is not curable but can also be treated and kept under control with the correct medication.
I have found that some adult acne treatments are not an option for me due to the psoriasis medication I am on at certain times. It is always important to talk through medication options with your doctor or dermatologist and ensure that the medications you take work well together!
Psoriasis and Urticaria
Psoriasis and Urticaria (more commonly known as hives) are conditions that can be confused with one another. Though they both have different causes, both conditions can cause itchy patches of red skin which can spread to multiple areas or be confined to one area.
Hives are a sudden-onset skin reaction resulting in red or white welts of varying sizes. As the reaction progresses, the welts appear and diminish. The welts are also known as wheals. Hives can happen as a one-off occurrence for some or can be a chronic condition for others. Chronic hives are defined as welts that last more than six weeks and can be caused by stress, infections, medications or a reaction to certain foods. Some people can also have an outbreak of hives for no apparent reason. Hives can be treated by using antihistamines or if really bad anti-inflammatory steroids. Lifestyle remedies are also recommended when experiencing hives.
Hives and psoriasis can have similar symptoms, but the similarities end when it comes to treatment. If you have any doubts about whether or not you have hives or psoriasis, consult your doctor.
UK/IE MAT-14791 Date of Preparation: January 2018
Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.