Eczema and psoriasis are often mistaken for each other because they tend to share similar symptoms. However, both possess symptoms unique to themselves, which make diagnosis not quite as difficult as one would assume. What follows is an outline of what eczema and psoriasis look like, so you can easily tell them apart.
Eczema Favors Sensitive Skin
Eczema shows up on sensitive and tender areas much more often than psoriasis does. It favors the backs of the knees and the inside of the elbows and arms. Armpits and the groin area are also prime targets. While eczema can show up anywhere, psoriasis, is unlikely to show up on these more sensitive areas.
Psoriasis Favors Tougher Skin
Psoriasis tends to show up on tougher skin, or areas where the skin is thicker like the knees and elbows. It may also appear on the back of the neck or the thighs. Psoriasis can appear just about anywhere on the body, but it is on the thicker-skinned areas you should keep a watchful eye.
Eczema Can Be Moist
Eczema causes dry, itchy and flaky skin, to be certain, but it can also cause lesions that are filled with liquid or that can become infected with pus. These lesions often look like blisters and may ooze. Hands and feet are particularly subject to this moist version of eczema. In contrast, psoriasis cannot produce moist lesions.
Psoriasis Can Be Silver
Psoriasis has a unique ability to cause the skin to appear silver. These silver scales will be very dry and itchy and are really just dead skin cells that are stuck to inflamed skin. After a while, these silver scales will slough off, however it is often a repetitive cycle. Eczema does not look silver in any way, and will instead tend to appear red.
Psoriasis Causes Nail Pitting
Psoriasis and eczema can both appear on the hands. However, only psoriasis can cause a condition known as nail pitting. When psoriasis is present on the skin around the nails, it may also affect the nails themselves, leaving them pitted. Nail changes do occur with eczema and fungal outbreaks, but they will not look the same as nail pitting.