National Psoriasis Foundation

Difference between psoriasis and eczema

July 20, 2010


Question: What is the difference between psoriasis and eczema?


Answer: Psoriasis and eczema are both skin diseases in which the skin is inflamed. The lesions of psoriasis tend to be a deeper red and thicker, have sharper borders and a more silvery scale. The lesions of eczema tend to be thinner, more diffuse, and are related to either allergy or sensitivity of the skin. Sometimes it is difficult to tell psoriasis from eczema, especially on the hands. Many of the treatments for the two conditions are the same, however, because therapies that reduce inflammation in the skin will often treat both conditions.

Steve Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., is professor of dermatology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. He is a long-time volunteer with the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Dr. Feldman is the author of “Compartments: How the Brightest, Best Trained, and Most Caring People Can Make Judgments That are Completely and Utterly Wrong” available at Amazon.com and BN.com. He is also host of “Getting Better Health Care” on webtalkradio.net.


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