Is It Seborrheic Dermatitis Or Psoriasis?

11 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If you have a skin condition that resembles psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, you might be having a hard time figuring out which one it is. Both of these skin conditions look quite similar to each other, but they're two distinct skin disorders. This guide will help you to understand which one you have, and it'll explain what you should do if you have either one.

Symptom Breakdown

Visually, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis have a lot of similarities to one another. Here are some of the things that they have in common:

  • Red, Irritated Skin - Both diseases cause skin inflammation that makes the skin appear reddish and inflamed.
  • Scales - Both diseases can cause skin scales, a form of skin buildup that may take the shape of rings or large patches.
  • Cracked Skin - If left untreated, both conditions can cause the skin to crack.

However, there are some distinct differences between the symptoms of these two skin conditions, too. Here are some psoriasis-only symptoms:

  • Ridged Fingernails - Psoriasis isn't limited to affecting the skin, while seborrheic dermatitis is. As a result, psoriasis can attack the fingernails, resulting in thicker or pitted fingernails.
  • Painful Joints - Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder, meaning that the immune system attacks healthy cells. Due to this, psoriasis can also have an effect on the inside of your body, making joints swollen and painful.

On the other hand, here are the exclusive symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis:

  • Patches In Oily Areas - Seborrheic dermatitis mostly occurs in the oily parts of the body or places you tend to sweat, like your scalp, around your nose, near your eyebrows, or in skin folds.
  • Improves With Exposure to Sunlight - Sunlight controls the growth of the yeast responsible for seborrheic dermatitis, so some people find relief after being out in the daylight.

Treatment Breakdown

While the symptoms of these two disorders are similar, the treatments are fairly different. In short, psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder that is harder to control, and generally requires immunosuppressants in the form of topical steroid creams or in oral medications. In either case, these medications usually have to be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist.

Seborrheic dermatitis sufferers often find relief with over the counter medications and treatments, like sulfur products and antifungal products.

See a Dermatologist

Chances are you now have a better idea of which of these skin disorders you have, but in either case, seeing a dermatologist, such as those at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists of Moreno Valley, is a good idea. They'll be able to come up with a precise treatment regimen for either skin disorder, and they can help to prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body.