The key difference between vitiligo and psoriasis is that vitiligo causes the destruction of pigments, creating white patches of the skin, while psoriasis causes the building up of dead cells, leading to discolored patches with silvery scales.
Both vitiligo and psoriasis are autoimmune skin diseases. They sometimes occur together. The reasons for their occurrence aren’t fully understood. However, researchers believe genetic differences point to a common underlying problem with the immune system.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin disease that causes the destruction of pigment, creating white patches of skin. It is a disease that causes loss of skin color in patches. The discolored patches normally get bigger with time. Vitiligo can affect the skin on any part of the body. Moreover, it can also affect the hair and the inside of the mouth. Usually, the color of the skin and hair is determined by melanin. Vitiligo occurs when these melanin-producing cells die or stop functioning. Vitiligo affects people of all skin types. But it is more noticeable in people with brown or black skin. The signs and symptoms of vitiligo include patchy loss of skin color that first appears on the hands, face, and areas around body openings and genitals, premature whitening or graying of the hair on the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or beard, and loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of the mouth and nose.
Vitiligo can be diagnosed through medical history, physical examination, skin biopsy, and blood test. Furthermore, vitiligo treatments include medications such as drugs that control inflammation (corticosteroids), drugs that affect the immune system (calcineurin inhibitors like tacrolimus), light therapy, combining psoralen and light therapy, removing the remaining color (depigmentation), surgery (skin grafting, blister grafting, cellular suspension transplant).
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that causes a rash with itchy, scaly patches commonly on knees, elbows, and scalp. It can be painful and interfere with sleep. It also makes it hard to concentrate. This skin disease tends to go through cycles such as faring for a few weeks or months and then subsiding for a while. The common signs and symptoms of psoriasis include a patchy rash that varies widely in how it looks from person to person (ranging from spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions over much of the body), rashes that vary in color (shades of purple with grayscale on brown or black skin and pink-red or red with a silver scale on white skin), small scaling spots (specifically in children), itching, burning or soreness, cyclic rashes that flare for a few weeks or months and then subside.
Moreover, psoriasis can be diagnosed through physical examination and skin biopsy. Furthermore, treatment for psoriasis includes topical therapies (corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors, salicylic acid, coal tar, anthralin), light therapy, and oral or injected medications (steroids, retinoids, biologics, methotrexate, cyclosporine, and other medications such as thioguanine and hydroxyurea).
What are the Similarities Between Vitiligo and Psoriasis?
- Vitiligo and psoriasis are both autoimmune skin diseases.
- They sometimes occur together.
- The reasons for their occurrence aren’t fully understood by researchers.
- Both conditions can be caused due to genetics and environmental triggers.
- They are treated through topical treatments and oral medicines.
What is the Difference Between Vitiligo and Psoriasis?
Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin disease that causes the destruction of pigment and creates white patches of skin, while psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that causes the build-up of dead cells and leads to discolored patches with silvery scales. This is the key difference between vitiligo and psoriasis. Furthermore, vitiligo is triggered by stress, severe sunburn, or skin trauma such as contact with a chemical. Psoriasis is triggered by infections, weather (cold or dry), injury to the skin (cut or scrape, bug bite, severe sunburn), smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, heavy alcohol consumption, certain medications (lithium, high blood pressure drugs, and antimalarial drugs), rapid withdrawal of oral or injected corticosteroids.
The following table summarizes the difference between vitiligo and psoriasis.
Summary – Vitiligo vs Psoriasis
Vitiligo and psoriasis are two types of autoimmune skin diseases that can be caused due to genetics and environmental factors. Vitiligo causes the destruction of pigment and creates white patches of skin. In contrast, psoriasis causes the build-up of dead cells and leads to discolored patches with silvery scales. This summarizes the difference between vitiligo and psoriasis.