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Rosacea versus Psoriasis: How are They Different?

Rosacea versus Psoriasis: How are They Different?

It’s easy to think that all skin conditions are the same — they're all itchy, embarrassing, and tough to eliminate. 

It's true that many skin conditions, including rosacea and psoriasis, share similar qualities (particularly their effect on your self-esteem); however, we at Dermatology Associates of Central New Jersey know that not all skin problems are the same. 

The only way to know exactly what you're up against is to understand what your symptoms mean. Here, we take a deep dive into rosacea and psoriasis, so you can get the help you need. 

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that primarily impacts your face. Its trademark symptoms include red cheeks, visible blood vessels, and pimples. Rosacea can also cause thickened skin (particularly around the nose) and eye irritation. 

Rosacea can make it look like you're flushed or blushing and usually flares up for a few weeks or months when triggered by diet, lifestyle, and even environmental factors. 

Researchers still don’t know the exact cause of rosacea, but many theories point to genetics, sun exposure, and specific triggers, such as alcohol, spicy foods, and stress.

You can do yourself a big favor by learning the risk factors and figuring out if you’re susceptible to rosacea. For example, your chances of developing rosacea are higher if you’re a woman, have fair skin that burns easily in the sun, are over 30, smoke, and/or have a family history of rosacea. And your chances climb if you claim more than one of those qualities.

Although we can’t cure rosacea, we can treat it with oral medications, topical solutions, phototherapy, and high-quality skincare products. 

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is another chronic skin disease with no cure. It stems from an autoimmune disease affecting the skin, causing skin cells to grow faster. The result is a rash with patches of red, scaly skin that can be itchy and painful and crop up just about anywhere on your body, but it favors the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. 

There’s more than one type of psoriasis, but the most common is plaque psoriasis. It starts with abnormally rapid cell turnover in your skin, leaving you with dry, scaly patches. 

Like rosacea, it tends to go through cycles of flaring up and subsiding. Rosacea and psoriasis also share common triggers, such as weather changes and alcohol consumption. Infections, injury, smoking, and certain medications can also set off a psoriasis flare-up. 

Treatment for psoriasis includes topical therapies, light therapy, and oral or injected medications. 

The bottom line

Both skin conditions cause redness, inflammation, and irritation (plus, they’re eyesores), but the underlying causes and additional symptoms are different. Neither can be cured outright, but they’re both treatable and manageable, especially when addressed in their earliest stages. 

If you suspect you have one of these skin conditions, stop guessing about what to do and come talk to an expert. We’d love to help you start your journey to clearer, healthier skin. Call our friendly staff or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at any of our three offices — in Old Bridge, Union, and Freehold, New Jersey. 

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