Differentiating between psoriasis and rosacea

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Skin conditions can be painful. Considering that the skin is our largest organ, conditions like psoriasis and rosacea can indicate severe problems. These are two very different conditions but may appear similar. Both result in painful rashes. Here is how you can differentiate between them.


This condition occurs due to an imbalance in the rate of skin cell renewal. Usually, skin cells die and are replaced at a similar rate. Psoriasis develops when cells begin to replenish faster than they are shed. This appears as dry and flaky skin, which can get caught in hairy places like eyebrows. These are known as plaques. They can cause itching, which can aggravate the condition.

It occurs more frequently in people with diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and depression. You can notice flaky, scaly, or red skin near joints, hands, feet, face, palms, and the soles of the feet. The cracked skin can begin to bleed if not treated. Swollen and stiff joints are also a symptom of psoriasis.


While the cause has not been determined yet, genetic and environmental factors have both been found to play a role.


Your dermatologist might recommend you use corticosteroid cream for topical treatment on affected regions. Vitamin D and light therapy are slower but more organic solutions. You can also take oral retinoids and injections for faster results or in severe cases.


Rosacea is an inflammatory skin disorder. You might notice more intense blushing, which eventually becomes lasting redness that comes with a tingling if not burning, sensation. Facial swelling might also occur with pimples and thickened skin. This redness can become permanent in the middle of the face. It can also affect the eyes, causing red eyes, and can cause pustules that resemble acne.

It can develop during hormonal changes or infections. People with allergies, high blood pressure and respiratory diseases are also more likely to develop rosacea.


Evidence links rosacea to neurovascular dysfunction. In fact, in areas of lighter and thinner skin, capillaries can become visible. Drinking hot beverages, and eating spicy food, citrus, and alcohol consumption can aggravate the condition.


There are many types of rosacea and treatment is specific to the symptoms. However, there are prescription creams that can relieve redness and tenderness for up to 12 hours. These are symptomatic management techniques, however, and do not treat the condition’s causes. Sensitive areas like the eyes and nose require different treatments.


Both skin conditions can be prevented. Some basic steps are to avoid smoking and drinking. You must take care of your skin in extreme weather conditions, avoid stress, and be mindful of the cosmetic products you use. Some medications can also cause either of the two. Check with your doctors before you start any medication. And of course, wear sunscreen.

Living with a skin condition can influence our activities of daily living, as well as our mood and motivation. The sooner you get diagnosed, the easier treatment is, and the lower the chances of a relapse.

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