Seborrheic Dermatitis vs. Psoriasis: How to Spot the Difference

seborrheic dermatitis vs. psoriasis, psoriasis seborrheic vs. dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis vs. psoriasis scalp

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By Laura Dolgy (see bio below)

Do you suffer from a greasy or flaky scalp but cannot determine whether it might be seborrheic dermatitis vs. psoriasis?

Although both conditions can look strikingly similar, there are a few symptoms that differentiate the two.

Discover the difference of seborrheic dermatitis vs. psoriasis scalp below!

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is almost like a hybrid dandruff. All dandruff is a result of a fungus that builds up on the scalp. Overtime, this fungus can grow and spread into what is known as seborrhoea. This seborrhoea can also grow on other oil-producing glands like the face or chest.

Unlike more normal forms of dandruff, seborrhoea can cause extreme itching, discomfort, redness and inflammation. It is usually characterized by an oily type of flake that falls off the scalp and spreads into hair.

What is Psoriasis?

On the other hand, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes itching, scaling and inflammation. White blood cells in the immune system trigger skin cells to surface and shed at 10 times their normal rate.

Unlike seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis is often characterized by lifted red or flaky silver patches.

Other psoriasis symptoms include:

  • Red rashes
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Nail abnormalities
  • White lesions

Psoriasis is also quite different than eczema. Learn how eczema and psoriasis are different from one another in our blog post: Eczema and Psoriasis: What’s the Difference?

Seborrheic Dermatitis vs. Psoriasis Scalp

As previously mentioned, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that can be triggered by certain health issues (like rashes from rheumatoid arthritis), medications or even stress. Normally this condition tends to develop between 15 and 35 years old. Sebborheic dermatitis can develop much earlier.

Ever heard of baby cradle cap? Cradle cap is actually a form of infant seborrheic dermatitis. Although this type of dermatitis usually does not bother babies, there are variety treatments that can be used to diminish its appearance.

Unfortunately, there is no known cause for seborrheic dermatitis. Although many believe the condition might be linked to an abnormality of oil glands or hair follicles, others believe it can be caused by hormones, yeast fungus, heavy drinking, stress and much more.

Seborrheic dermatitis can also appear in the form of waxy, greasy hair that is not itchy, but like cradle cap can be seen as unsightly and embarrassing.

Natural Scalp Treatments

To learn whether you might be suffering from seborrheic dermatitis vs. psoriasis, we recommend seeing a doctor to receive a formal diagnosis. Although there are natural treatments that can treat both, these conditions are entirely different from one another and should be treated as such.

Various seborrheic dermatitis natural treatments can be used to reduce irritation and inflammation caused by oil. For example, this SD Freedom Scalp Oil for Dry Skin was specifically designed for treating dry forms of seborrheic dermatitis. The 100% sunflower oil and Chinese herbs blend provides needed moisture to skin that helps reduce dryness caused by glands.

For greasy scalps, this SD Freedom Scalp Tincture works to relieve damp scalp symptoms such as crusting, blistering or oozing with yellow and golden coloring.

Psoriasis natural treatments can be used to diminish symptoms like rough, itchy skin. This Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a wonderful treatment to use on the ears, forehead and neck (where psoriasis might appear) due to its thick, nourishing consistency. Not only will this treatment restore much needed moisture, but its manuka oil and manuka honey contents offer both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well.

This new psoriasis remedy, PsorXma, is also a wonderful anti-itch alternative. Similarly to the cream above, it contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties due to its bitter melon root and aloe ingredients. Its spray bottle also makes easy application on the scalp, forehead, ears and more.

Healing from Within

Because psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis both cause inflammation, perhaps it might be time to control it through nutrition.

Similarly to eczema, certain food allergens can trigger psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. An elimination diet can provide much needed answers to what might be triggering your flare-ups.

This process works by removing certain foods from your diet (such as soy, gluten, dairy, nuts and more) and reintroducing them over a period of time to pinpoint triggers. Many who have suffered from eczema and psoriasis have found improvements with their symptoms after carrying out this process.

Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

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