Difference between Skin Cancer and Psoriasis

Many researchers suggest that people having psoriasis having an increased risk of developing certain cancers, mainly site-specific cancers like lymphoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and lung cancer. However, this link between skin cancer and psoriasis hasn’t been completely established. Thus, have their own differences.

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is known to be the abnormal growth of skin cells that usually develops on skin that is exposed to the sun’s bright UV radiation. This common type of cancer can also occur on areas of your skin that are not usually exposed to the sunlight.

The three major types of skin cancers are − basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

The risk of skin cancer can be reduced by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV). And by checking your skin for any suspicious changes, this helps detect skin cancer at earlier stages. This early detection of skin cancer gives a greater chance for successful skin cancer treatment.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is known as a skin disease that causes a rash with itchy patches that are scaly, they are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp and trunk. It is a common long term chronic disease that has no cure. It is said to be painful, interferes with sleep and makes it hard to concentrate. This skin condition tends to go through cycles where it flares for a few weeks or months and subsides later. Some of the common triggers in people with a genetic predisposition to psoriasis are cuts or burns, certain medications and infections.

There are many treatments that are available to help one manage the symptoms and you can also try lifestyle habits and coping strategies to help live a better life with psoriasis.

Different types of psoriasis include −

  • Plaque psoriasis – Causes dry, itchy, raised skin patches (plaques) covered in scales.

  • Guttate psoriasis – It generally affects the young and adult children causing small drop-shaped scaling spots on the trunk, legs or arms.

  • Pustular psoriasis – This is a very rare type of psoriasis it causes pus-filled blisters.

  • Nail psoriasis – It affects the finger nails, toe nails, causing abnormal discolouration, nail growth and pitting.

  • Erythrodermic psoriasis It is the least common type of psoriasis it covers the entire body causing a peeling rash that can itch or burn very intensely.

  • Inverse psoriasis – It mainly affects the skin folds of the groins, breast,s and buttocks caused smooth patches of inflamed skin that worsens due to friction or sweat.

Differences between Skin Cancer and Psoriasis

The following table highlights the major differences between Skin Cancer and Psoriasis −


Skin Cancer



  • Swelling

  • Pain

  • Ulceration

  • Hemorrhage

  • Loss of weight

  • Fever

  • A patchy rash that varies widely in how it looks.

  • Rashes that vary in colours.

  • Small scaly spots.

  • Itching, soreness and burning.

  • Cyclic rashes that flare for a few weeks or months and then subside.

  • Dry, cracked skin that might bleed.


Can be treated by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

The different kinds of treatments that can be used here are cognitive behaviour therapy, UV photo therapy, systemic treatment, biological agents, photo chemotherapy, A/D derivatives, methotrexate, tropical vitamins , tropical treatments and coal tars.


It can be cured in the early stages of the disease.

It is a life-long condition there is no permanent cure.


It is diagnosed by examination of the biopsy specimen.

It is diagnosed by the appearance of the skin and sometimes a skin biopsy is carried out.


In conclusion, psoriasis causes one's body to make skin cells rapidly, here the cells tend to like up and form bumps, spots and thick, scaly patches. And in the case of skin cancer, like all cancers skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of a few faulty cells, although they might start as tiny spots on your skin they might grow into clumps or "tumor".

Updated on: 31-Jan-2023


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