Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects many Americans. In most instances the disease shows up in clusters, appearing as a rash on the skin. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it’s believed to be connected to the immune system. Flare-ups of the disease are often linked to illness, infection and stress.
Often mistaken for one another, eczema is a skin condition that can mimic symptoms of psoriasis. Both can include scaly, itchy and inflamed rashes on the skin. Eczema usually presents itself at a younger age than psoriasis, but both can appear at any age.
There’s no cure for psoriasis or eczema, but treatments are available for both. The goal of treatment for eczema is to relieve irritation and heal the affected skin, while psoriasis treatments aim to clear up scales and stop the rapid growth of skin cells.
Psoriasis cannot be prevented but managing stress and focusing on your immune health may reduce flare-ups of symptoms.
If you’re experiencing patches of itchy, irritated skin, speaking with your primary care provider is the best way to find out if it’s psoriasis or eczema.