What can be mistaken for Psoriasis? What can be mistaken for Psoriasis?
Atopic dermatitis & Psoriasis

What can be mistaken for Psoriasis?

It can be difficult to see for yourself if you have psoriasis or if there is any other type of rash or eczema. Below we have explained the most common types of eczema that can be mixed with psoriasis. It is always best to have a dermatologist examine what type of rash you have so you can get the right treatment.

Seborrheic eczema

Seborrheic eczemaor dandruff dermatitis is similar to psoriasis. The symptoms are red and scaly rashes that itch, it can sit on the scalp, around the eyes, on the chest or in the kneecap, armpits or groin. Sometimes you do not need any special treatment but it can go away by itself. The difference between psoriasis and dandruff is that the psoriasis rash is more marked and sharply delimited to the skin, while the spleen is more diffuse.

Lichen planus

Both Lichen planus and psoriasis have red rashes that can flake and itch. Lichen planus is not as common as psoriasis and is not chronic, ie it will not last forever, Lichen planus often disappears by itself after about a year. Lichen planus is usually found in places other than psoriasis as well, such as inside the mouth and around the lips. The easiest way to find out if you have psoriasis or Lichen planus is to have a doctor examine you.


Ringworm can also be mistaken for psoriasis, as ringworm also appears with red and scaly rashes. But there is a big difference in skin diseases, ringworm is caused by skin fungus and psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. In most cases, ringworm comes from animals, either pets such as guinea pigs, but you can also get it from cows or other types of fur animals. Ringworm is usually recognizable by the fact that the rash is usually in an oval or round ring, which is why it is called ringworm. If you find out that it is ringworm then you usually get a cream that causes the ailment to disappear after about two weeks.

Pityriasis rosea

Pityriasis rosea can also be called mountain rose or medallion sickness. Psoriasis can also be mistaken for red and scaly rashes. It is believed that the disease is caused by a virus, possibly in the herpes family. The disease is most common in spring and autumn, and it is most young people who get the disease. You do not usually get relapses from Pityriasis rosea and usually it goes away by itself after approx. six weeks. If you suspect it is Pityriasis rosea that you have, you should still talk to a doctor to determine it.

Numular eczema

Numular eczema or coin eczema as it is also called can also be easily confused with psoriasis. Both give sharply delimited rashes, which are red and mountainous, but there are some differences. The rash is usually thicker when it comes to psoriasis, nummular eczema usually starts on one arm or leg, while psoriasis usually sits in the scalp, elbows and skin folds. Numular eczema is often itchy and it can get fluid from the rash. You usually have very dry skin in general if you have numbular eczema.

Read more about defining you skin condition here: https://itsitchy.com/do-i-have-psoriasis-eczema-or-is-it-something-else/

Written by Zac Hyde M.D.