Is It Psoriasis Or Just A Rash? 3 Ways to Tell
If you have noticed unusual changes in your skin, it is always important to evaluate the condition to see if it requires medical attention. As psoriasis is a relatively common skin condition, if you notice red patches of skin throughout your body, you may be wondering if you are experiencing a flare up.
To identify psoriasis, you need to examine factors relating to everything from the physical appearance of the rash to your medical history and recent activity. Many skin issues that pass on their own look similar to psoriasis, as do conditions that may require medical attention. This is why it is very important to evaluate unusual changes to the skin closely.
Below, we will go over how to identify psoriasis and what to do if you believe you may be experiencing a flare-up.
Identify Psoriasis By Appearance
There are many different forms of psoriasis, so many different symptoms may be indicative of a psoriasis flareup.
Psoriasis is more than just an irritating rash or a few red bumps. People with psoriasis experience scaly patches of skin in areas like the arms, legs, scalp, and even fingernails. Common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Plaque psoriasis cause dry red bumps with a silver-colored, scaly coating
- Guttate psoriasis cause small round bumps clustered in a single area, often with some scaly coating
- Any rashes that burns, itches, or feels sore could potentially be the start of a psoriasis flare-up
However, other conditions can mimic these symptoms. Severe acne, for example, may be characterized by small round bumps.
Shingles is a viral infection caused by the same virus as chickenpox and often looks like psoriasis, but you often notice more blistering with shingles than you would with psoriasis.
Pityriasis rosea is a skin rash – particularly common in children and young adults – that causes red, itchy, oval-shaped patches throughout the skin that look similar to psoriasis. Rosea is usually preceded with cold-like symptoms, something not associated with psoriasis.
If your rash is accompanied by a fever and cough, you may be experiencing measles. Measles look very similar to psoriasis. While rare in the United States due to vaccines, it is still possible to contract measles, so you should see a doctor if you experience a fever.
As psoriasis can look similar to many other skin issues, a physical examination is only one way to identify psoriasis. You should also look at other signs and symptoms to be sure.
Take Your Recent Activities Into Account
Has it been very hot in your area lately? Heat rash looks very similar to numerous types of psoriasis.
Heat rash is defined by red, bumpy skin often round in skin folds of the groin, armpits, and breasts. Inverse psoriasis also form in these areas, and look similar. However, if you have been out in hot, humid weather – especially doing activities that cause excessive sweat – you are likely experiencing heat rash and not psoriasis.
Heat rash is not a serious condition and should usually clear up on its own over time.
Have you exposed your skin to any potential irritants? Contact dermatitis is a mild allergic reaction caused by exposing your skin to an irritant. If you have made any changes in your routine lately – like switching to a different laundry detergent or using a shampoo – this can cause a rash that may look similar to psoriasis.
Consider Your Risk Factors For Psoriasis
If this is your first suspected psoriasis flare-up, take your age into consideration. While psoriasis can start at any time, it usually first appears between the ages of 15 and 25. If you are within this age group, there may be a slightly higher chance your rash is a psoriasis flare-up.
Do you have a family history of psoriasis? Having one or more parents with psoriasis puts you at a heightened risk.
Do you smoke? Smoking tobacco increases your risk for psoriasis as well as other health conditions.
Having one or more of the above risk factors may mean the rash you are experiencing is related to psoriasis, especially if you can rule out recent activities and other skin conditions as a cause.
What To Do If You Identify Psoriasis
If you believe you’ve correctly identified your skin rash as psoriasis, make an appointment with a doctor. A doctor should be able to diagnose you by examining your skin and scalp and possibly doing a biopsy.
Treatment of psoriasis varies by severity, the area affected, your current health, and other factors. Medical treatment can include things like topical creams and ointments, light therapy, and oral or injected medication. However, not everyone diagnosed with psoriasis requires medical treatment.
Psoriasis can often be managed at home without prescription medications. Your doctor may recommend you opt for over-the-counter products to relieve symptoms and lessen the severity of flare ups.
The best tool to use to wash your face is your own hands. Scrubbers and washcloths can irritate the skin via friction. So, wash your hands in warm, soapy water before applying your cleanser. Work your cleanser in evenly using circular motions using a very light touch, especially around sensitive areas like near your eyes. When you are done, pat your face dry with a towel instead of rubbing.
The Bottom Line
While only a doctor can officially diagnose psoriasis, there are many preliminary steps you can take to identify psoriasis. As psoriasis symptoms are similar to a number of other common skin conditions, it can be difficult to assess whether you’re experiencing a benign rash or a psoriasis flare-up.
If you are ever uncertain, see a doctor for evaluation. Even if you are not experiencing psoriasis, you may have another chronic skin condition such as eczema that requires medical attention.
Psoriasis is often difficult to treat. We know how important it is to find relief. Delfina Dry Skin Oil is arguably the most effective method on the market for psoriasis and eczema.
If you have any questions about treating psoriasis, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Delfina team at any time!