Psoriasis or Eczema or Dermatitis – What are the Differences?

Similar Symptoms

The skin conditions psoriasis and eczema can both have similar, very irritating symptoms, but there are distinct differences. To clarify terminology, eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It is important to recognize the primary differences between psoriasis or eczema in order to go about your daily life with minimal impact of either skin condition. While both conditions come with an itching sensation the differences are in the appearance of the skin and some areas of the body that can become irritated. It is important to understand the nature of your skin condition as you seek the best relief for occasional flare-ups.

Skin Appearance


The skin appearance for those suffering from eczema will have outbreaks of very noticeable patches of red inflamed skin. With this condition the skin can become what is often described as “rough scaly” patches. With an eczema condition, there may be several layers of irritated skin layers that can include areas of oozing skin cells. Eczema comes with symptoms that can include very intense itching at times. There is often some minor bleeding involved with eczema symptoms, but this is generally a result of a person’s scratching in response to the itching.


The skin appearance for those suffering from psoriasis will include outbreaks of an itching condition with patches of dry skin that are white in appearance. With this condition the skin can become what is often described as “very dry flaking”, in patches of white, dry skin versus the dark red patch of scaly skin that comes with eczema.  Both conditions can bring on symptoms that can include very intense itching. With psoriasis, there is often a burning sensation below the dry skin layers in addition to the itchiness.

Areas of the Body

The skin conditions described above will also have very slight differences in the areas of the body that become afflicted.  Eczema is most often found in and around the joints; meaning a person’s elbows and/or knees. Eczema in adults can break out in the wrists, ankles and neck area, as well. In babies, eczema can appear in various areas of the body to possibly include scalp and chin.

Psoriasis can appear anyplace where there is a build up of dead skin cells on a person’s body. In addition to the same places described with eczema, psoriasis can appear on an adult’s scalp and face. It is possible to have dry skin patches on hands and feet as a result of psoriasis.


Psoriasis is caused by the body’s autoimmune response that in effect, over produces skin cells. Eczema is a response to skin irritants. A person’s skin is highly sensitive to man-made dyes, soaps, or possibly as a result of contact with animals.  Eczema is common in babies as their skin adjusts to the environment around them, and the condition goes away over time. Psoriasis can develop in adults later in life, and while the itch symptoms can be severe at times, psoriasis is not contagious.

Get the Best Treatment

For any severe symptoms, follow the treatment program your health provider outlines for you. For occasional out breaks, both conditions are most commonly treated with over-the counter products that are available today.

The best scalp treatments include natural peat and argan oils, such as those found in the Sphagnum line of shampoos and other skin treatment products. This line of natural shampoo products will bring scalp relief to those suffering from either condition.

The Sphagnum shampoo is to compliment the well-known Sphagnum body wash product with natural pH balancing acids. These products have a track record of bringing outstanding relief to those suffering with the skin conditions described above.


Eczema & Psoriasis Shampoo

Get relief from itchy, dry and irritated skin caused by eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis with this rich, creamy shampoo.

Eczema & Psoriasis Shower Cream

Reveal calm, hydrated skin with this 2-in-1 body wash and moisturizing shower cream. 

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