When it comes to itchy, red skin, it’s possible that psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, could be the cause.
“Psoriasis and eczema are both skin reactions to the inflammation or immune system coming to the skin and causing a reaction,” says Dr. Dawn Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist.
Psoriasis is thought to be an immune system problem that causes the skin to regenerate at faster-than-normal rates. This rapid turnover of cells results in scales and red patches.
Eczema results from irritants or allergens. It’s common in children, but can occur at any age. And people with eczema often have other sensitivities, including asthma, hay fever or food allergies.
Both are long-term chronic conditions that don’t have a cure but can be treated. It is important for people with psoriasis or eczema to seek care to control flares-ups and improve their quality of life.
“Anticipate a lifelong relationship with your dermatologist or primary care provider so that we can take care of your skin over time and keep track of the treatment and management of your condition,” explains Dr. Davis.
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Davis helps explain the similarities, differences and treatments for psoriasis and eczema.
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Dawn Davis, M.D.
Dr. Dawn Davis is a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.