Difference between psoriasis, eczema explained

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2014 06:47 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2014 02:47 AM

MANILA - Psoriasis and eczema are similar skin conditions but with different symptoms.

In an interview on radio DZMM, Dr. Maria Deanna Santos-Ramiscal, a dermatologist, explained the difference between the two skin conditions.

Both psoriasis and eczema are chronic inflammatory skin conditions that are genetic. However, eczema is more common than psoriasis, which only has a prevalence of 2% in people with no relatives with the same condition.

Ramiscal also explained that both psoriasis and eczema are not contagious nor infectious, and are not viral, bacterial or fungal in origin.

Symptoms of psoriasis, which include dark red patches of skin, with thick, silvery white scales, often appear later in life, between the ages of 20 to 30.

Unlike psoriasis, eczema manifests itself early in life, with infants sometimes suffering from flaky, scaly skin.

Psoriasis often involve parts of the skin that are prone to trauma, like the scalp, elbows, knees and buttocks, while symptoms of eczema often appear on flexural areas, or parts of the bodies with skin folds.

Both skin conditions make the skin itchy, but Ramiscal warned against scratching the affected skin, as it can worsen the condition.

"We have this thing called Koebner phenomenon. The more you scratch, kunyari you scratch the area, so na-traumatize mo 'yung area na yun 'di ba, the area that is traumatized, new lesions may come out in that area," she said.

This phenomenon is common with people suffering with psoriasis, wherein small lesions appear on the affected skin.

To avoid itchiness, Ramiscal advised patients to keep their skin moisturized. The doctor also warned against too much use of topical steroids, as well as self-medication, can cause the skin to be thinner.

"Ang local side effect, ninipis 'yung balat. 'Siguro you've seen some chronic users of topical steroids, nakikita na 'yung ugat, parang may corned beef sa face, or sa hands," the doctor said.

Aside from using too much ointment on the skin, Ramiscal also warned against using home remedies, as these may contain certain chemicals that can make the skin condition worse.