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May 24, 2021

Eczema vs Psoriasis: What's the difference?


We’ve all experienced the occasional itch here and there — but what happens when it becomes a regular occurrence? With an unbearable itch, you may scratch the area till it becomes red, inflamed or bloody. Certain skin conditions may even cause the affected area to spread and could cause discomfort and negatively affect your quality of life. When treating skin conditions, it’s important to first identify the skin condition you have in order to find an effective treatment solution.

What’s the difference between Eczema and Psoriasis? 

Both eczema and psoriasis can appear as red, rash-like patches on the skin. Both these skin conditions are not contagious, but they also have no known cure. Fortunately, there are ways to manage them and keep the symptoms in check. It may also be good to note that these skin conditions are not the same and have their own triggers.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can cause swelling, dryness, rashes and itching. Sometimes, the itching may be so severe that you can scratch enough to cause skin bleeding, which could lead to infections if not treated properly. [1] Researchers surveyed 681 people in Singapore and found that 21% of children and 11% of adults have eczema. [2]

Psoriasis, on the other hand, happens when a person’s immune system triggers skin cells to grow faster than they usually should. As such, dead skin cells then build up on the skin instead of coming off. This skin condition may also cause itching, but you may also feel a sting or burn. [3]


Eczema can result from irritation of the skin from soaps or detergents. However, it can also be triggered by dust, animal dander, pollen and certain foods. Stress and weather may also play a part.

Psoriasis can also be triggered by stress and weather. Flare-ups can occur with certain medication or sunburns.

Signs and symptoms

Eczema appears as red, dry patches of skin that can be unbearably itchy. You may scratch the affected area a lot, which can lead to bleeding and thick, leathery skin. 

It can affect any part of the skin, but some areas are more common. For example, it usually happens on the cheeks, elbows and knees in infants. For adults and older children, it usually affected the insides of their elbows, behind the knees, hands and wrists. Eczema is often associated with asthma and allergic rhinitis (or hay fever).

The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. It appears as thick, raised, red patches on the skin that are covered with white scales made of old, dead skin cells due to the buildup. It can be itchy, painful and can crack and bleed. [4]

It can affect any part of the skin as well, but it usually appears on the knees, elbows, scalp and lower back. Other less common types of this skin condition can occur on the genitals or skin folds like your armpits, known as inverse psoriasis. It can also involve just your hands and feet, known as palmoplantar psoriasis.

When suffering from psoriasis, it can lead to nail changes for some individuals that include:

  • Small pits or holes in the nail
  • Yellow or brown nail colour
  • Thickening of the nail
  • Changes to nail shape
Treatment options 

As mentioned earlier, none of these conditions can be cured indefinitely. They can, however, be managed to prevent flare-ups and minimise symptoms. Some of these treatments are:

  • Topical relief: There are many products like steroids like hydrocortisone that can help relieve symptoms and prevent further infection. Other options can be products that contain menthol or calamine to help soothe itchy skin.
  • Traditional oral treatments: The physician can help treat your condition with immunosuppressants or antihistamines to help lower the body’s immune activity and reduce inflammation.
  • Light therapy or phototherapy:  This old treatment uses UV light for both skin conditions.
  • Biologics: A newer form of treatment, it targets a specific molecule involved in each disease and is often given as shots to treat the skin condition. 

On top of these options, it’s important to avoid triggers that can worsen the skin condition. For example, avoiding harsh soaps and highly fragranced products and avoiding long, hot baths. You can help your skin condition by moisturising regularly and even investing in a humidifier if your environment is very dry. 

More than one solution to treatment

A treatment from Germany, LDM Tech Skin Rejuvenation is a non-invasive technology that treats skin problems in the dermis and epidermis using ultrasonic energy at significantly higher frequencies to create a micro-massage effect on tissue structures. 

This activates fibroblasts that improve skin structure, increases tissue elasticity, as well as tightens connective skin tissues. Most importantly, it enhances collagen cross-linking and improves pH changes in the skin. It also helps strengthen the skin and build skin immunity using Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs), which help the skin combat stressful conditions like UV exposure. The skin’s immunity barrier is further reinforced by increasing its moisture content and accelerating its metabolism. 

This allows LDM Tech to effectively treat dermatological conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, among others, without causing further irritation to the skin, and promoting quicker healing. 

Usually, depending on the severity of your skin condition, you may see visible improvements within the first session. LDM treatment can be done twice a week for 4-6 weeks for the best results. 

Although eczema and psoriasis are skin conditions that come off and on, and do not have a definite cure, they can be properly managed to minimise symptoms. Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the differences between psoriasis and eczema. If in doubt, always consult your doctor to properly diagnose your condition and to get appropriate treatment.

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/14417
  2. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/half-of-eczema-sufferers-in-singapore-have-condition-for-life-survey-finds
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840
  4. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/plaque-psoriasis-facts


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