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The Difference Between Psoriasis And Eczema

August 13, 2014, 6:19 PM by Brittany Larson

The Difference Between Psoriasis And Eczema
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Many people may not know the difference between psoriasis or eczema.

But, if you notice a patch of skin that is inflamed, red, itchy or is peeling you may want to get it checked out by your doctor.

"Usually I just break out from here to out here. It will be just like a big red itchy patch. And it can be kind of scabby sometimes," Derek Gravholt said

Derek Gravholt has been coping with a skin condition since he was born.

"I wouldn't say it's painful. It's just kind of annoying and just always itchy," Gravholt said.

In the next couple of weeks, Gravholt will head back to college. And with summer winding down, he's not looking forward to the cooler temps. 

"If my skin comes in contact with the cold, I can just feel it dry out and then it's really itchy," Gravholt said.

"It's more common for people to have flares in the winter just the chronic dryness exacerbates the skin condition," Family Medicine Physician for Avera Health, Dr. Kirsten Stotz said.

Dr. Kirsten Stotz says psoriasis and eczema create the urge to scratch, but there are ways you can ease the itch.

"Over the county hydro-cortisone is the right thing just because that's helping with the inflammation and cut that down and helping with the itch that they may have," Stotz said. 

While both conditions have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference.

"I have actually been told by two different doctors that I had psoriasis and eczema. I am not sure what the difference is but I've been told both," Graholt said.

"They do look very similar and often times it can be hard to tell them apart though psoriasis usually with that chronic build up usually has more of the white silvery base that's red and irritated and the eczema is just the dry skin and red base but it can become postural," Stotz said.

The causes of the conditions are also much different.

"Eczema is thought to be more of a hypersensitivity reaction so kind of like an allergic reaction that then manifests on the skin. And psoriasis is a chronic condition and an autoimmune disorder," Dr. Stotz said.

Patients can develop symptoms of psoriasis or eczema at any time but doctors commonly see people develop these symptoms starting at an early age.

It's definitely something that we see in our younger pediatric population where they have pretty bad eczema as a baby and as a toddler and usually it can get pretty better as they get older but psoriasis is a chronic condition so they will probably be dealing with flares the majority of their life," Dr. Stotz said.

Dr. Stotz also recommends lukewarm showers and if the itching is so severe people often take baking soda or oatmeal baths. 

 

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