Skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, jock itch and lupus can appear very similar to psoriasis. To get the right treatment, it is important to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. Here is what you need to know.


Psoriasis is a common, chronic autoimmune condition. It is caused by an overactive immune system and can affect the skin. Psoriasis can cause skin cells to build up and create thick patches of skin. Worldwide, psoriasis affects 100 million people. In the United States, about 7.5 million people are affected by this condition. Anyone can get psoriasis, but people between the ages of 15 and 35 years old are at the highest risk.

Common symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Itchy, bright red, raised patches of skin covered by silvery scales
  • Small, red spots that look like drops
  • Pus-filled bumps on the skin
  • Painful, dry and cracked skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Bleeding skin
  • Thickened nails with pitting, ridges in the nails
  • Stiff and swollen joints

Psoriasis can cause patches that appear almost anywhere on the body. But often, they show up on the elbows, knees, armpits, groin, under the breasts, and in the genitals or buttocks.

Psoriasis on elbow

Psoriasis on elbow

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes psoriasis. However, they do believe several factors can contribute to the development of psoriasis. These are:

  • Stress
  • Cold temperatures
  • Skin injuries
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Obesity
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Certain medications, such as antimalarial drugs
  • A family history of psoriasis

If you think you are at risks for psoriasis or you have symptoms, talk to your doctor. Psoriasis can be treated with topical treatment, light therapy or oral and injectable drugs.

8 Skin Conditions That Can Be Confused With Psoriasis


Eczema can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis and vice versa. This is because they look very similar in appearance, and doctors often check it with the naked eye.

Eczema results from exposure to the allergens, such as soaps, fabrics and dyers. It occurs anywhere on the body and cause intense itching. This often goes along with itchy, dry, thick patches of skin. But eczema patches are not covered with scaly dead skin.

Eczema can be treated with a topical corticosteroid cream. In some cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotic creams or oral medications.

Eczema can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis

Learn more: The Connection between Stress and Eczema  


Ringworm is caused by a fungus, not by a worm. It can be confused with psoriasis as both conditions can cause red, scaly patches of skin. But ringworm is characterized by a very itchy rash. It usually takes the shape of a ring and can grow larger or spread to other areas of the body. Psoriasis, on the other hand, is not contagious. It can cause change in color and texture of the skin and is characterized by a painful, tingling or burning sensation.

Ringworm can be treated with antifungal medications, like Fugacil cream. This cream can help to ease symptoms and prevent recurrence in the future.

Ringworm can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis

Learn more: How to Treat and Prevent Ringworm with Diet

Jock itch

Jock itch is a common form of fungal skin infections. It can affect the genitals, inner thighs and buttocks of the sufferers. Jock itch is most prevalent in teenage boys and adult men. But girls and women can also get the condition from sexual intercourse. People who sweat a lot, such as athlete can be more at risk of infections.

Jock itch is characterized by a red, itchy, circular rash on the affected area. It is well-defined with a scaly red border and elevated edges. This usually does not occur in psoriasis patients.

Jock itch can be treated with oral or topical antifungal medications. Fugacil is one of the most common creams for treating jock itch. It helps clear up the infection in just a few days and prevent recurrent outbreaks.

Jock itch can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis

Learn more: Are You Suffering from Jock Itch? Know How to Prevent It

Tinea versicolor

Tinea versicolor can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis and vice versa. This is a fungal infection that causes red, scaly, itchy spots on the skin. Both conditions can look similar, but they have different causes and risk factors. Tinea versicolor is more common in people who sweat a lot or have oily skin. If you have a weakened immune system, you can also be at risk of infection.

Tinea versicolor can be treated with Fugacil cream. You can also use a medicated cleanser to prevent recurrent infections.

Tinea versicolor can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis


Lupus and psoriasis are both chronic, autoimmune diseases. But lupus is less common and can affect nearly every parts of the body, including the:

  • Skin
  • Joints
  • Kidneys
  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels

Many people with lupus develop flaky, red spots and body rashes that look like psoriasis. The rashes are usually not painful or itchy, but they can get worse after being exposed to sunlight. Because both conditions cause stiff or swollen joints, misdiagnoses may occur.

There is no cure for lupus. But medication and lifestyle remedies can help relieve symptoms and prevent flare-ups. For example: NSAIDs, corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs and DHEA.

Lupus rash can be confused with psoriasis

Learn more: Similarities and Differences between Lupus and Psoriasis

Seborrheic dermatitis

This is a form of eczema that can cause rough, scaly skin on the face and scalp. People often confuse it with psoriasis because both conditions have similar symptoms, such as:

  • Redness or inflammation of the skin area
  • Itchy patches of the skin
  • Flaking skin on the scalp

Psoriasis causes thick, red skin patches with silvery scales. Seborrheic dermatitis, on the other hand, causes itchy, flaky patches of the skin that look a little greasy.

Visit a doctor if you are suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. A shampoo or medication can help soothe itching and improve flaking.

Image result for Seborrheic dermatitis

Pityriasis rubra pilaris

Pityriasis rubra pilaris is a rare skin condition that can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis. It can cause symptoms of inflammation and scaling. Pityriasis rubra pilaris can affect the soles of the feet, hands and scalp. Often, it causes the affected nails to become thickened and discolored.

Pityriasis rubra pilaris can look like psoriasis

Learn more: Important Things to Know about Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris

Skin cancer

Skin cancer can take in many forms, including:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

These sometimes can cause rough, scaly, itchy patches of the skin that look like psoriasis. To confirm the diagnosis, visit a doctor for important tests.

Skin cancer and psoriasis