What’s the Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis?

By Kerry Weiss
June 09, 2021

Psoriasis and eczema are both conditions in which the skin develops red, dry, itchy skin patches—so, how can you tell them apart? “To tell the truth, sometimes, it is really challenging to tell the difference,” says David Rosmarin, M.D., dermatologist and vice chair of education and research for the department of dermatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

So much so that a primary care doctor may not be able to make the official call. It’s likely they’ll refer you to a dermatologist to diagnose you. “A lot of doctors will send their patients to a dermatologist with a guess, but that guess is often wrong,” says Neil Korman, M.D., Ph.D., clinical director of the Murdough Family Center for Psoriasis at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

So, if you aren’t sure if your symptoms are indicative of psoriasis or eczema—or what the difference is anyhow—you’re not alone. However, there are a few things to look for that can help you distinguish between the two. This is important so you can get the best treatment for your condition and care for your skin effectively.

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