What is Psoriasis?
Commonly Mistaken For Eczema,
Look For The Differences

The answer to what is psoriasis is that it is a chronic, reoccurring skin complaint. It can be mistaken for eczema and vice versa.

Both conditions cause skin inflammation, making the skin red and sore.

The difference is that the symptoms of psoriasis are red patches of skin. They are scaly and have a silvery look about them.

These patches are called psoriatic plaques.

The reason why the most common type of the condition is known as plaque psoriasis.

These patches are caused in sufferers of psoriasis because their body creates new skin cells too quickly.

Normally our skin regenerates every 3-4 weeks. In psoriasis sufferers, it is every 3-4 days.

The excess skin cells reach the surface. They build up and the plaques are formed.

These plaques can affect any area of the body.

Including the scalp, torso and palms.

It is most common on the elbows and knees, like eczema is.

The difference is that psoriasis is found on the outer sides of them.

So front of the knees, and the backs of the elbows. This is opposite to typical eczema.

Another difference is that eczema normally first appears in childhood.

Psoriasis often initially occurs when someone is between 15-25 years old.

What Is Psoriasis Caused By?

There a few reasons why it is thought that certain people suffer

  • It could be genetic. Around a third of people with the condition have a family member who has it
  • An over-active immune system reacts adversely when something happens to the skin. Like an injury or an infection. The immune system, like with eczema, causes skin inflammation. It also causes the body to create skin cells too quickly
  • Some medicines can trigger it. The main ones that do this are lithium salts and beta-blockers

These are some of the reasons, but in some people it is not altogether clear what the cause is.

There are certain things that aggravate the condition. Stress, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and obesity are some examples. They can also make it harder to manage.

It is not caused by poor hygiene, which is something wrongly believed.

It is also not infectious. And is totally harmless to anyone else.

Psoriasis Treatments

There are several treatments that can be used to help

  • Topical treatments. Special moisturisers and bath lotions can be used. They help with the dryness of the skin. There are special shampoos for the scalp. Medicated ointments and creams help minimize skin inflammation. As well as slow down the development of skin cells and help clear infection
  • UV Light Therapy. Can be used several times a week for a few weeks. This can provide a rest from the condition. It may have to be continued once a week to keep it at bay
  • Advanced Treatment. If the psoriasis is being stubborn it can be treated by a pill or an injection. This medication has a high toxic level. Regular tests have to be done to check it is having no adverse effects. It is also usual for the psoriasis to return after the treatment has stopped

There is no cure for psoriasis but it can be managed. It can vary in severity from one patch to whole body coverage. Whatever the severity of the condition it can, with help from a doctor, be controlled.

It can be a distressing condition to live with, but controlling it makes all the difference

For more information about the types, treatments and symptoms of psoriasis you can visit

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