skip to Main Content
Woman with psoriasis or eczema itching her arm. Treatment for psoriasis and eczema at Cumberland Skin would help her find relief!

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: What’s the Difference Between These Two Common Conditions?

Have you recently noticed dry, itchy patches of skin or red, irritated blotches on your body and think it might be psoriasis or eczema? These two common conditions are diagnosed on a daily basis throughout the United States, and while they show similar symptoms, psoriasis and eczema are quite different from one another. 

At Cumberland Skin, our dermatologists frequently see eczema and psoriasis in our clinics and are experts in distinguishing between the two, which is essential for finding the right treatment plan. 

To help you get a better understanding of how psoriasis and eczema are different, read our guide below. We cover what causes psoriasis and eczema, the various ways these two conditions can show up on your skin, and their most common symptoms. 


Psoriasis vs. Eczema — What’s the Difference? 

The Cause Behind Each Condition

The main difference between
psoriasis and eczema is the cause behind each condition. 

Psoriasis – An autoimmune disease caused by an overactive immune system, which causes the skin cells to grow too fast. This results in the raised, irritated patches of skin psoriasis is typically characterized by. 

Eczema – The exact cause of eczema is more complicated but is thought to be a combination of genetics and environmental triggers. For instance, someone with eczema might be triggered by an outside substance, which stimulates inflammation and causes the red, dry, itchy patches and uncomfortable skin symptoms of eczema. 


Common Signs and Symptoms 

It’s true that both psoriasis and eczema are somewhat similar in that they both can cause patches of raised, red, itchy skin. However, there are a few key differences between psoriasis and eczema that may help you distinguish between the two. 



The signs and
symptoms of psoriasis can vary from person to person but usually include one or more of the following:

      • Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
      • Raised patches of irritated skin
      • Small, scaly spots (commonly seen in children)
      • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
      • Itching, burning or soreness
      • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
      • Swollen and stiff joints



The most common and well-known symptom of eczema is itchiness. However, it can also show up as: 

      • Dry, sensitive skin
      • Inflamed, discolored skin
      • Rough, leathery or scaly patches of skin
      • Oozing or crusting (especially when scratched)
      • Areas of swollen skin 


Psoriasis vs. Eczema — Key Differences 

When trying to determine if you have eczema or psoriasis, use these key differences. 

      1. Compared to eczema, psoriasis patches often look more silvery and scaly, as well as more inflamed than eczema patches. Additionally, patches of psoriasis may be raised, as this condition occurs when the skin cells grow too fast.
      2. Psoriasis patches may be itchy but nowhere near as intense as eczema. In many cases, eczema causes intense itchiness that can interfere with daily activities, such as concentrating at work or even sleeping.


Psoriasis vs. Eczema — Visit a Board-Certified Dermatologist for a Professional Diagnosis 

Ultimately, the best way to determine whether you have psoriasis or eczema is to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a professional skin evaluation and diagnosis. Additionally, he or she will put together a personalized treatment plan to help you find must-needed relief from these troublesome skin conditions. 

At Cumberland Skin, our team of board-certified dermatologists are experienced in evaluating, diagnosing and treating both psoriasis and eczema. Schedule an appointment by calling us at (615) 449-5771 or request an appointment online


Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides comprehensive general dermatology, skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic dermatology solutions for patients throughout the Southeast. We have offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood, and Hendersonville, Tennessee. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (615) 449-5771.

Back To Top