What’s the difference between eczema and psoriasis?

25d263f9a93780aeaba61bb1b3b7fbb049ea0ebd What’s the difference between eczema and psoriasis? Houston Dermatologist

In psoriasis, an individual’s immune system triggers skin cells to grow more rapidly than they normally should. The dead skin cells build up on the skin rather than being shed off.

Eczema can develop due to multiple reasons, including bacteria exposure, environmental factors, family history, and allergens.

In both these conditions, the patient experiences red, itchy skin. But both occur due to different reasons and involve different treatments. Consequently, it is vital to understand these differences.

Texas Surgical Dermatology, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen, provides advanced skin care treatments to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding communities.




Eczema usually occurs in the “bends” of the skin, such as the backs of the knee and crooks of elbows. Psoriasis can also develop on the knees and elbows as well.

Both these conditions may also develop on the butt, face, or scalp, most often in children.



Itching is a significant difference between these two conditions. While psoriasis usually causes mild itching, eczema leads to intense itching.

In case an individual scratches the skin, it may result in inflamed, sensitive, and raw skin. Eczema itching often worsens at night.


Age of Occurrence

Eczema tends to occur in children at a greater rate than in adults. The Nemours Foundation reports that eczema tends to subside at around age five or six. But some young people may experience flare-ups during puberty.

The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that psoriasis usually occurs between the ages of 15 and 35 years, and it rarely occurs in babies.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, around one percent of children have psoriasis. On the other hand, the Nemours Foundation states that ten percent of children will have eczema.


Additional Symptoms

In some patients, psoriasis can also lead to joint stiffness and inflammation. Additionally, this condition can also impact nails. Eczema does not usually involve these sites, especially in regard to joint inflammation.



Eczema often results from skin irritants such as:

  • Detergents
  • Soaps
  • Juices from produce or meats
  • Disinfectants

Allergens can also trigger eczema, such as:

  • Pets
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Certain foods

Eczema can flare-up due to infections, sweating, stress, heat, hormonal fluctuations, and humidity.

Some of these triggers, such as infection and stress, also apply to psoriasis. However, a person can also experience flare-ups if their skin is injured, for instance by:

  • Sunburn
  • Vaccination
  • Scratches

Certain medications can also cause a psoriasis flare-up.


Conditions That They are Linked To

Eczema often accompanies dry, sensitive skin. Psoriasis is linked to other serious medical conditions. People who have psoriasis may also suffer from heart disease, diabetes, or depression. For either condition, an experienced doctor can recommend ways to get relief.

There can also be an overlap between eczema and psoriasis. In some children, it may be challenging to differentiate between the two conditions.

In such instances, a dermatologist may diagnose the child with “psoriasiform dermatitis.” At times, a child may have eczema as well as psoriasis. Therefore, there can be some overlap.

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen receives patients from Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and nearby areas for innovative and advanced dermatology treatments.
For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of Texas.

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Spring, TX 77379

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