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Commonly Confused Skin Conditions

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Commonly Confused Skin Conditions

You wake up with itchy red bumps on your arm and think back to what you got into the day before. There must have been more than just clover in the weeds you pulled in the backyard and now you look online for what you are suffering from, but there are so many that look like what you have. By examining the location closely and researching symptoms of common skin conditions, you can clear up the confusion and give your medical provider good information about your situation. Here are some commonly confused skin conditions and the differences between them.

  1. Ringworm

Understanding that ringworm is a contagious fungal infection is key to knowing how to treat the affected area of your body. A common question is can psoriasis look like ringworm and the answer is yes, they have similar appearances. One main difference is that psoriasis doesn’t have to have a ring formation and can be present in patches. Poison oak can also look like ringworm because of the bumps, but it also doesn’t always present the ring shape.

  1. Eczema

Itchy rashes on the face, legs, scalp, wrists or other parts of the body could be eczema. This skin disease has medications to help lessen the symptoms but there is no known cure. It can be confused with other conditions because the rashes may change color, intensity and location. Affected areas may be discolored darker or lighter even after the other symptoms have cleared.

  1. Acne

Because of the varying degrees of acne, it is commonly confused with rosacea. Acne can appear as small pimples or larger cysts that can be pink, red or darker colors. It can be treated with medication and can be cured. Although it is not contagious, anyone can develop acne and there are various treatments that can be tried for the best results. It is a temporary condition that can appear at any age and can be treated either by a dermatologist or with over-the-counter options.

  1. Rosacea

Rosacea is a long-lasting condition for which there is treatment but no cure and appears as red patches on the face. Because of bumps, swelling or red patches, it is commonly confused with acne, eczema and psoriasis. As with the other skin conditions, rosacea can present itself in varying degrees and thicknesses but it only appears on the face, which is one way to differentiate it from other conditions.

  1. Lupus

The skin symptoms of lupus include rings and red patches, which makes it a look-alike for ringworm. Lupus is much more complex than skin symptoms because it is an autoimmune disorder and can affect any part of the body. The inflammation and rashes can look like eczema or ringworm but it doesn’t have the itchiness. The pain caused by lupus sets it apart from other skin conditions and is long-lasting. It affects every person differently and occurs in women nine times more than in men.

  1. Psoriasis

Psoriasis presents with itchy patches of skin that can be white or red and can be confused with ringworm, rosacea or burned skin, in some cases. It is an autoimmune disorder that can be treated with medication, creams and ointments. It can be widespread with thick patches of scales. There are a variety of types of this disorder so the severity is dependent on the person.

  1. Poison Ivy

The itchy red bumps of poison ivy can be confused with poison oak or poison sumac because they all are caused by the same toxic oil. These are skin conditions that are temporary and although they cannot be cured, they can be treated until the rashes have run their course. The rashes are red bumps that spread and are contagious to others who are reactive to the oil. This skin condition is not a disorder and will not be contracted unless contact is made with the toxic substance. It is confused with other conditions because of the itchy red patches that spread anywhere on the body.

Any new skin condition should be looked at by a doctor or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. Keeping track of when symptoms first occurred and what you have been exposed to recently will help your medical professional.

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