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Psoriasis Vs. Eczema: How To Know Which One You're Dealing With

Updated on June 13, 2024
psoriasis_vs - Mustela USA - 1

Psoriasis vs. eczema — what’s the difference? These two skin conditions seem to have a lot in common, so how can you tell them apart?

Whether you’ve noticed signs of psoriasis or eczema in yourself or your little one, our experts at Mustela can help you determine which skin condition is at hand and how to treat it.

In this guide, we’ll cover the symptoms of psoriasis vs. eczema, how each condition affects the skin, and the best course of action to take when it comes to treating and managing both.

Let’s get started by learning more about these skin conditions and how to tell the difference between the two.

Psoriasis Vs. Eczema: What’s The Difference?

While psoriasis and eczema can cause some similar symptoms, there are a few key differences between them that can help you determine which one you’re dealing with.

What Is Psoriasis?

Woman with psoriasis on her hair line

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by red and silver scaly patches on the skin. These patches can be itchy and tend to shed in flakes. Psoriasis is not contagious, but it can be very frustrating for those experiencing it.

This common condition occurs when a person’s skin cells build up at a much faster rate than normal. Whereas healthy skin cells build up and shed over a month, psoriasis causes this process to happen within just a few days.

While psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, it’s most commonly seen on the scalp, in the creases of the knees and elbows, and on the hands and feet. It can also cause joint pain and tenderness and often begins during the teenage years or young adulthood.

There are multiple types of psoriasis, ranging from pustular psoriasis to plaque psoriasis, which is the most common. A dermatologist can help you determine which exact type you may be experiencing.

It’s also important to identify and avoid triggers that can cause flare-ups. These can differ between individuals, but the most common triggers for psoriasis include allergens, sunburn, certain medications, and cool, dry weather.

So what causes psoriasis to begin with? Unfortunately, researchers are still trying to figure that one out. However, if your parents, grandparents, or siblings have psoriasis, you’re more likely to experience it yourself.

What Is Eczema?

Woman with eczema on her legs

Like psoriasis, eczema is a non-contagious inflammatory skin condition. It can affect babies, children, and adults of all ages.

Eczema causes the top layer of skin (the hydrolipidic layer) to become thin and break down, allowing vital moisture to escape and allergens and irritants to get inside. This leads to symptoms like itching, flaking, and dryness.

Unlike psoriasis, eczema doesn’t cause the scaly appearance of the skin. However, it may still become red and inflamed.

In babies and young children, eczema is common on the scalp, hands, feet, and face. In older children and adults, it’s usually found in the bends of the knees and elbows, on the neck, and on the wrists, hands, and ankles.

Like psoriasis, researchers have found that eczema is genetically inherited, although they don’t know its exact cause. As a result, there is no true cure.

However, flare-ups can be prevented and managed by incorporating natural skincare products into your routine and reducing environmental stressors.

Keep reading to learn about the simple lifestyle changes you can make to better manage and treat psoriasis vs. eczema.

How To Treat Psoriasis And Eczema

Woman trying to figure out how to treat psoriasis vs. eczema

When it comes to treating psoriasis vs. eczema, there are many similarities. Both skin conditions can benefit from lifestyle changes, but psoriasis may need to be treated with prescription medications, such as strong topical creams.

We recommend consulting a dermatologist to discuss additional treatment options if you don’t notice an improvement after implementing the simple suggestions we’ve outlined below.

Let’s take a look at some easy, all-natural lifestyle and product changes you can try today to take control of both psoriasis and eczema!

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

One of the simplest ways to reduce environmental stressors is by ensuring every product you use is natural and free of harmful chemicals.

Harsh ingredients to keep an eye out for include parabens, phthalates, oxybenzone, formaldehyde, and phenoxyethanol. These ingredients can cause a variety of issues, including hormone disruptions and further skin irritation, so it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.

Instead, opt for products that use clean, natural ingredients, such as shea butter, aloe vera, olive oil, sunflower oil, and avocado oil.

At Mustela, we’re incredibly strict about which ingredients are included in — and left out of — our skincare products. This eliminates the stress many parents experience when trying to find the right products for their families.

You can rest assured that each and every Mustela product is rigorously tested to ensure that it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin. You won’t find any nasty chemicals here!

Create A Consistent Skincare Routine

Daughter applying face cream to mom's face

Maintaining a consistent skincare routine is one of the most important things you can do to gain control of your or your baby’s psoriasis or eczema. Adding moisture back into your little one’s skin is the best way to combat the symptoms of these skin conditions.

Start by choosing a gentle cleanser that’s suitable for dry, sensitive skin. Our Stelatopia Cleansing Gel is perfect for everyday use thanks to its hydrating formula and natural ingredients!

Our fragrance-free blend of avocado oil and shea butter gently cleans and soothes your baby’s skin without stripping it of its natural oils. This helps restore balance and protect your little one’s skin barrier. Simply lather up wet skin at bath time, rinse, and pat dry.

To add even more moisture to bath time, try dropping some of our Stelatopia Cleansing Oil right into your baby’s bathwater.

While it might be tempting to run a hot bath or shower for yourself or your little one, when psoriasis and eczema are involved, it’s best to stick to cool or lukewarm baths. If the water is too hot, it can strip skin of moisture and hydration, making skin problems worse!

Finally, remember to pat skin dry after the bath or shower instead of rubbing it to avoid irritation.

Utilize Emollients

What exactly are emollients? Simply put, emollients are your new best friend when it comes to treating and managing psoriasis or eczema!

Emollients are moisturizers that help keep skin hydrated by creating a protective barrier on the skin and preventing moisture loss. They contain occlusives, humectants, and lubricants — like natural butters and oils — to keep your or your little one’s skin happy and healthy.

Our Stelatopia Emollient Cream and Stelatopia Intense Eczema Relief provide easy ways to incorporate emollients into your baby’s skincare routine. Sunflower oil and avocado oil work together in our fragrance-free blend to soothe and hydrate your baby’s skin.

For best results, we recommend massaging into the skin twice daily.

Increase Sun Protection

Two kids at the beach protected by Mustela Sun Products

Sun protection is a crucial part of any skincare routine, so a plan to combat psoriasis or eczema wouldn’t be complete without the addition of sunscreen.

Sunburn can irritate already dry, itchy skin, so it’s important to lather up all year round to help prevent your little one’s skin from becoming inflamed further. Just be sure to choose a mineral sunscreen to keep those harmful chemicals away!

Our SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Spray makes sunscreen application a breeze. With aloe vera, calendula, chamomile flower extract, and our natural active ingredient zinc oxide, our water-resistant formula protects as it hydrates.

Better yet, it can be used on the whole family, so you can avoid stocking up on multiple products for those with sensitive skin.

All Mustela suncare products are NEA (National Eczema Association) Certified, meaning they’re fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.

Psoriasis Vs. Eczema: Our Final Thoughts

Little boy with Mustela Skin care products

While psoriasis and eczema are frustrating conditions, thankfully, they can be easily managed with some simple additions to your everyday routine.

By knowing if you’re dealing with psoriasis vs. eczema, you can implement the right products to reduce the irritation they cause. Opt for gentle cleansers, like our Stelatopia Cleansing Gel, and hydrating emollients, like our Stelatopia Emollient Cream, to lock in moisture.

And, of course, don’t forget the sun protection. Choose mineral sunscreen that’s suitable for sensitive skin, such as our suncare range available in all formats for your or your little one’s skin. Keep sensitive skin protected all year round with Mustela!

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