What's The Difference Between Psoriasis And Ringworm?

Psoriasis and ringworm are both skin disorders that can cause itchy, scaly rashes. While the two conditions have some similarities, there are also some important differences between the two. According to Verywell Health, psoriasis is usually found on the knees, elbows, scalp, and back. This chronic, inflammatory skin disorder typically causes raised, red patches of skin, known as plaques, to form on the body. These plaques are often covered with white or silver scales or flakes, which are actually dead skin cells (via Mayo Clinic). Psoriasis can also cause nail changes such as pitting, thickening or separation from the nail bed, and joint pain.

There is currently no cure for psoriasis. People with this condition tend to go through periods of time with a lot of flare-ups and other periods of time where they are in remission. Psoriasis is typically treated with a combination of topical and systemic treatments. Topical treatments are applied directly to the skin and include creams, ointments, gels, and shampoos. Systemic treatments are taken orally or injected and work throughout the entire body to help control the symptoms of psoriasis.

What to know about ringworm

Ringworm is caused by a type of fungus called a dermatophyte that can infect the skin, hair, and nails. Symptoms of ringworm include itchy or scaly red patches on the skin and broken hairs on the scalp (via Healthline). While ringworm can look similar to psoriasis, some or all of the rash spots will resemble a ring shape, which is how this condition got its name. Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can affect anyone at any age. It is most commonly seen in children and young adults. Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or animal, or by touching contaminated surfaces like bedding, clothing, or towels. The fungus that causes ringworm thrives in warm, moist environments, so locker rooms and swimming pools are often a source of transmission.

Treatment for ringworm typically involves anti-fungal creams or oral medications. In some cases, the infection may resolve on its own without treatment. However, if ringworm spreads to other parts of the body or does not respond to treatment, it can lead to serious complications like secondary bacterial infections, skin scarring, and hair loss. If you are unsure whether you have psoriasis, ringworm, or another skin condition, visit a dermatologist for a consultation.