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Do I Have Psoriasis or Eczema? What Is My Skin Condition?

Published on May 8, 2010

Remember the old commercials about hair coloring that said, “Only your hairdresser knows for sure?” Well, it’s the same when determining whether you have psoriasis or some other type of skin rash such as eczema – only your dermatologist knows for sure! The appearance of psoriasis and eczema can be quite similar, so examination of your skin by a board-certified dermatologist, like those at Manhattan Dermatology & Laser Center, is the only way to tell.

The differences between psoriasis and eczema

Oddly enough, although the appearance of psoriasis and eczema can sometimes look similar, the actual process that’s happening to the skin is the complete opposite. You know how outer skin cells die and slough off regularly? Well, psoriasis happens when something causes the outer skin cells to hang on after the new skin is ready to come through. On the other hand, eczema can be described as when the outer, old cells want to slough off before the new skin underneath is ready to emerge.

Types of psoriasis you should know about

The most common kind of psoriasis is known as psoriasis vulgaris – or plaque psoriasis – which manifests as patches of raised and inflamed skin, covered by silver or white colored scaly skin. These patches are known as plaques. Amazingly, psoriasis can even infect your finger or toenails, but at least it’s not contagious.

Treating these difficult skin conditions – help from a certified dermatologist

Another similarity that most people don’t realize is that both skin conditions can be difficult to treat, so sufferers continue to feel dread when they must go out in public. This fear can actually result in clinical depression, where the patient isolates his or herself from social contact. Many have reported feeling self-conscious and lacking in self-confidence because of psoriasis.

While sufferers of psoriasis can face multiple challenges from both the psychological aspects of the disease and the physical characteristics, the first thing anyone who suspects they might be suffering from psoriasis should do is get a professional opinion from a certified dermatologist.

That’s where Manhattan Dermatology & Laser Center come in. Contact us for more information. Our doctors are board-certified and our treatments state-of-the-art.

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