When it comes to identifying skin conditions, the answers aren’t always obvious. Is the red, itchy rash on your elbow psoriasis? Or is it eczema?
While the two conditions can mimic each another, there are key differences, says Dr. Kimberley Drayton, a board-certified family medicine physician at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Pawleys Island.
“Psoriasis can be more plaque-like. It’s thicker and has a raised silvery scale formed over the top,” she says. “With eczema, you’ll have more of flat, red patch but it won’t have scales.”
A key differentiator is where the rashes occur on the body.
“Eczema is more frequently seen in the folds of the body — the groin, behind the knee, the inner elbow and the armpit. It can also be in the hairline,” she says. “Psoriasis is common on the outer knee, elbow, lower back or even in the nail beds. Some patients may have divots or pitted nails due to psoriasis.”
Neither condition is contagious.