I get asked a lot what the difference is between these two skin conditions. Eczema and Psoriasis have a lot of similar characteristics. Both are described as skin inflammation "flare ups" caused by allergic reactions, emotional stress, or trauma to the skin. Both are hereditary. However the way they look and where the flare ups occur is where these two skin conditions differ. Now I will go a little more into each condition and possible treatments. Eczema is caused by a defect in the skin's barrier function, possibly combined with an abnormal function of the immune system. Flare ups can be triggered from soaps, cosmetics, synthetic clothing, detergents, jewelery or sweat. Atopic Dermatitis is another word for Eczema.
Physical characteristics include dry, reddened skin that itches and/or burns, scaly, thick or crusty patches of skin, and sometimes blisters occurring on the hands, feet, inner arms, and the backs of the knees.
Psoriasis is the result of rapid proliferation of skin cells that is triggered by abnormal lymphocytes from the blood. The result produces dry, thickened skin. Weakened immune systems can play a factor in a Psoriasis flare up, as well as emotional stress, infections, reactions to a particular drug, or skin trauma.
Physical characteristics can go from mild (faint, dry patches) to severe (thick red scales). It can also look like small, flattened bumps and mostly occurs on the hands, feet, elbows, and knees.
Neither Psoriasis or Eczema have a cure, but there are ways to treat symptoms. Both can be helped with ointments such as hydrocortizone or steroid creams as well as topical medications prescribed by a physician. Hydrating with oil based body moisturizers on a regular basis will help either condition . People who suffer from Eczema can benefit from a humidifier. Natural ingredients to look for that are known to help ease the symptoms of Eczema are Aloe Vera, Tumeric, Manuka Honey, Apple Cidar Vinegar, Coconut Oil, colloidal Oatmeal, Chamomile, Witch Hazel, and Rosemary. Omega 3 & 6 Oils, Flaxseed Oil, Graperoot Extract, and Milk Thistle can all help Psoriasis. Bath salts and tanning beds are also said to help, though I personality do not condone the use of tanning beds.