Can measles look like eczema vs psoriasis?

When it comes to the root causes of rashes, they tend to fall into two main categories: outside-in and inside-out, explains Dr. Zeichner. A few distinct features make their identification and treatment unique.

Acne often starts as clogged pores. Breakouts involving blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples usually happen on the face and sometimes the back and chest.

Eczema can look like psoriasis because of the redness and dry patches it creates. But it doesn’t have the thick silver scales of psoriasis. Skin is more likely to be dry and leathery. It can get cracks that ooze or bleed.

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Psoriasis is a tricky condition. It’s an autoimmune disease, meaning it happens because your immune system isn’t working the way it should. It sends out messages speeding up skin growth. New cells pile up in patches covered by thick scales.

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The scales are different from those of psoriasis. They’re often white or yellow rather than silvery, and they feel greasy. Psoriasis scales tend to be dry. Seborrheic dermatitis scales also are not as thick or as well-defined as psoriasis plaques. But it can be hard to tell the conditions apart, especially when only the scalp is involved.

Psoriasis and rosacea share some triggers, including certain changes in the weather and stress. But rosacea has unique ones, too: hot drinks, spicy food, red wine, and the sun.

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A psoriasis skin rash tends to itch, burn, and feel sore. Patches of psoriasis commonly occur on your knees and elbows. Many people also have scalp psoriasis. The common skin rash seborrheic dermatitis (pictured) also causes scaly, itchy skin patches. It can occur on your scalp, where it may be called dandruff, or on your face and chest. While doctors don’t know the exact cause of seborrhea, it occurs across the age spectrum, in babies as well as in adults, and is usually treated with creams and lotions.

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These are two other common kinds of eczema. They cause the same type of itchy, red, inflamed rash as atopic dermatitis. But the cause is an irritant or an allergen that comes in contact with your skin, often your hands or legs.

One hallmark of rosacea is that it can get worse over time, in some cases thickening the skin of the nose and making it look larger. It’s unclear why some people get rosacea and others don’t. But it tends to run in families.

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“A rash is essentially inflammation in the skin that can be caused by either an external exposure or an internal factor,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Basically, a rash is your skin’s way of telling you something is up, whether you’ve been exposed to an irritant or you have an underlying medical condition.

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Treatment is very different. Hives can often be helped by antihistamines, which stop the chemicals that cause the reaction.

Eczema is a group of skin conditions that cause redness, inflammation, and itching. The most common one is called atopic dermatitis, and it’s often what people are talking about when they say “eczema.”

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The unifying feature of all rashes is inflammation, Dr. Zeichner explains. That inflammation could be minor or could greatly impact the color, texture, or feeling of your skin—it all depends on the type and severity of your rash. (Note: Some of the chronic skin conditions listed below, like acne and rosacea, might not be considered rashes by all dermatologists, but their symptoms and treatments are similar enough to other rashes to include them in this list.)

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You might think of hives as swollen bumps, but they can also be big red patches. That’s why some people confuse hives with psoriasis. Both can be long-term conditions and take an emotional toll.

As with psoriasis, experts think eczema comes from faulty genes that affect your immune system, but it’s not an autoimmune disease. The gene can keep your body from making enough filaggrin, a protein that protects the top layer of skin.

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