Before looking at the differences between eczema and psoriasis, it is handy to know the similarities. These are persistent patches of red, dry, itchy and scaly skin that seemingly don’t seem to go away. They both cause rashes and can appear in various areas of the body.
Neither eczema nor psoriasis are contagious, but both can lead to infections if neither of these chronic skin conditions are not treated. Basically, to the untrained eye, it can be easy to confuse eczema for psoriasis and vice versa.
There are some differences however, which a doctor or dermatologist should be able to recognise for a correct diagnosis.
Firstly, psoriasis is a condition caused by a dysfunction in a person’s immune system, whereby skin cells grow quicker than normal. Dead skin cells will then accumulate on the skin instead of falling off as they usually would. The common symptoms of psoriasis will be white/silvery scaly, red-coloured patches on the skin or scalp.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis, responsible for 80% to 90% of psoriasis cases. ‘Patches’ of psoriasis typically appear on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but may show up on other areas of the body.
Eczema, an inflammation of the skin, is very common in children, although anyone of any age can have it. There are different kinds of eczema, but the most prevalent type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. The condition can be brought on by certain triggers and is often found in those with a personal or family history of asthma and allergies such as hay fever.
Eczema can start at any age. It is usually caused as a result of overly dry skin or chemicals that touch the skin and trigger irritation or allergic reactions.
Psoriasis often leads to ‘mild’ itching and, in less common types of psoriasis, a severe burn-like effect/feeling. In comparison, eczema often causes the need for more extreme itching. With severe episodes of eczema, people can itch so harshly that the skin bleeds.
The itching and discomfort associated with eczema and psoriasis can prove too much to cope with, and it is for this reason why so many people seek treatments for these two similar skin conditions.
Medical Specialists® provide a wide range of very effective prescription and non-prescription treatments for eczema and psoriasis. You can buy online today via our safe and secure service from the comfort of your own home.
We have creams and ointments, depending on your preference, as well as corticosteroid treatments, which are some of the most effective treatments for eczema and psoriasis. These work to quickly reduce the inflammation and redness. For corticosteroids, weaker preparations are usually recommended for mild cases of your condition or more sensitive areas of the body, whilst stronger corticosteroids are generally suited for knuckles, palms of the hands, soles of the feet and other areas where the skin may be thicker. Stronger corticosteroids are usually prescribed on a short-term basis only.
If you are unsure which treatment is right for you, always speak to your doctor or dermatologist first. Some medicines for example should only be used if other weaker preparations have failed to successfully treat your symptoms.
Emollients are moisturising products applied directly to the skin to soothe and hydrate it, leaving it supple and moist. They can often be bought over-the-counter without a prescription, but stronger products may require one. They work to cover the skin with a protective film to trap in moisture. Emollients help to manage dry, itchy or scaly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis on a day-to-day basis.
Emollients can come in a variety of forms, such as creams, lotions, ointments or even bath/shower gels that can seamlessly slot into your daily hygiene routine. Oilatum Shower Gel and Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo are just two examples of popular emollients that you can buy without a prescription from Medical Specialists®.
Regular, daily use of emollients is one of the most imperative things for those with eczema or psoriasis. If your skin feels dry, you can re-apply the emollient, although you should of course always read the manufacturer's Information Leaflet or product packaging itself, which will detail proper directions of use for any eczema and psoriasis product, as some can vary.
Using an emollient is particularly important after washing, showering or bathing, as the water itself, in addition to any detergents (soap, shower gel or shampoo) will dry your skin.
When your eczema or psoriasis flares-up, a topical corticosteroid (a cream or ointment formulation applied to the skin) is usually prescribed to relieve the inflammation and redness. Popular topical eczema and psoriasis steroid treatments include Betnovate, Dermovate and Eumovate. These eczema and psoriasis treatments are all available to buy online without a prescription from Medical Specialists® UK Online Pharmacy.
If your symptoms have become infected, combination treatments containing an antibiotic in addition to a steroid may be suitable. These products kill the bacteria causing the infection and also treat the inflammation and redness. Fucidin H Cream and Fucibet are examples of combination treatments.
Your symptoms should dramatically improve more quickly with the use of emollients in conjunction with steroid medicines. There are no set rules on which order to apply an emollient or topical steroid. Some people may choose to use an emollient first so they can prepare their skin, and use the steroid after this. Regardless of the order you use these products, it is important to make sure there's a gap of at least 10 minutes (although 20 to 30 minutes would be better). This means there is far less risk of the strength of the steroid preparation becoming diluted/weaker, as well as preventing the steroid being spread to areas of the body not affected with eczema or psoriasis symptoms.
Topical corticosteroids are any creams or ointments that contain steroids in them. Usually used as directed by your own GP, they are undoubtedly one of the most effective ways at treating your condition.
They are usually prescribed if the skin has become red and very inflamed, and work very fast to reduce inflammation. Most often, they are applied anywhere between 1 to 4 times daily using only a thin layer of the medication.
- Creams are preferred by many people suffering with eczema or psoriasis. They contain a mixture of water and oils and usually a preservative too. They're particularly good for hairy and wet areas. Creams are both easily applied to and absored into the skin and don't leave a greasy feel.
- Ointments are comprised of oils and little to no water and don't usually contain a preservative in them. They're best used at night due to being quite thick. They have great moisturising qualities and are ideal for dry, scaly skin or areas that have thicker skin such as the palms of your hands or soles of your feet.
Topical steroids are classified according to their potency level. Some examples of topical corticosteroids for eczema and psoriasis you can buy online without prescription from us include:
- Moderate e.g. Clobetasone Butyrate (Eumovate)
- Strong e.g. Betamethasone 17-valerate (Betnovate), Mometasone Furoate (Elocon)
- Very strong e.g. Clobetasol Propionate (Dermovate)
Some dual-action medicines such as Fucidin H Cream and Fucibet Cream (available to order without prescription from Medical Specialists®) include both an antibiotic and steroid. These are ideal where your symptoms are infected. The antibiotic prevents your infection from growing, whilst the steroid will treat the inflammation and swelling.
Fucidin H Cream is similar to Fucibet Cream, with the main difference being the steroid contained in Fucibet Cream (Betamethasone) is much more potent/powerful. Fucidin H Cream contains Fusidic Acid and each product can be used in cases where the skin has become infected.