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Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Here's How You Can Spot The Difference

Psoriasis vs eczema: These two skin conditions can be mistaken easily. Read here to know difference between psoriasis and eczema as explained by expert.

Psoriasis Vs Eczema: Heres How You Can Spot The Difference

Psoriasis vs eczema: These two skin conditions may show similar symptoms


  1. Psoriasis and eczema may look similar
  2. These conditions are different from each other in several ways
  3. These are two different conditions with different causes

Eczema and psoriasis are two skin conditions which may look very similar but are technically different. Both of these conditions are chronic which can get worse if not treated properly. Psoriasis is a chronic condition autoimmune condition which can leads to deposition of dead cells. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis is also a long-term condition which can be a result of hypersensitivity reaction. These conditions can cause discomforts which can affect one's quality of life. To understand the difference between these two skin conditions, we spoke to Dr. Deepa Krishnamurthy who is a Dermatologist at Columbia Asia Hospital.

Psoriasis vs eczema: Here's how you can differentiate

"Eczema and psoriasis look very similar with red, itchy, scaly rashes but they are fundamentally different. A dermatologist can point out the differences," says Dr. Krishnamurthy.

Understanding psoriasis and eczema

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune skin condition. It is a disease of epidermal hyperproliferation and decreased epidermal turnover. It makes skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal leading to build up of bumpy red patches covered with white scales.

Eczema means 'boil out'. The term denotes skin condition where skin turns red with eruptions containing liquid that oozes out. Genetic and environmental factors play an important role here.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which can lead to red patches
Photo Credit: iStock


Psoriasis: Most common in 15-35 years

Eczema: Most common in children where they present as atopic eczema which is a type of endogenous eczema. Among adults, exogenous eczema is commonly present as allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, photodermatitis and infective dermatitis.

Also read: Eczema Management: 7 Tips That Can Help You Prevent Flare-Ups


For psoriasis: Pressure sites, seasonal variation- worsen in winter, stress, infections (URTI), certain medicine, alcohol and smoking

For eczema: Irritants (soap, detergents, and disinfectants), allergens (dust, pets, pollen, and dandruff), infections, stress, sweating, heat and humidity

Also read: Natural And Simple Home Remedy For Psoriasis And Eczema: You Cannot Miss This One

Clinical features


  • Present with symmetrical, red, well defined, scaly patches
  • With silvery white scales
  • Itching present but mild
  • Sites- Elbows/ knees/ scalp, face, palms, soles, nails
  • Different types- Guttate psoriasis, chronic plaque psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, exfoliative psoriasis, mucous membrane psoriasis, nail psoriasis and Psoriatic arthritis


  • Itching is a predominant symptom
  • Acute stage- red papulovesicles, oozing patches with edema
  • Subacute stage- Crusting and scaling
  • Chronic - dry, rough and thickened
  • Sites- Folds (inner elbow, behind knees, neck, wrists and ankles)
  • Subacute stage patches are very similar to psoriatic patches

Also read: Psoriasis: Know Causes, Symptoms And Treatment For This Skin Condition

Proper history into chronology of events, site of involvement and triggers help in diagnosis.

(Dr. Deepa Krishnamurthy, Consultant, Dermatologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Sarjapur Road)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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