Is Seborrheic Dermatitis Eczema?
Seborrheic dermatitis and eczema are both skin conditions that can cause red, itchy, and scaly skin.
But although these two conditions may have similar symptoms, they are actually quite different. Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation that occurs when the oil-producing glands in your skin are overactive. Eczema, on the other hand, is a general term for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed.
So, while seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema, not all types of eczema are seborrheic dermatitis.
Many people often confuse seborrheic dermatitis with eczema, but they are actually two different skin conditions. Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disorder that usually appears as scaly, itchy patches on the scalp, face, upper chest, and back. Although it can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen in adults. Eczema is also a common skin condition, but it typically presents as dry, red, itchy patches on the arms or legs. It is most commonly seen in children and infants.
If you have either of these conditions, it's important to see a board-certified dermatologist so they can make an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that's right for you.
While seborrheic dermatitis and eczema may have similar symptoms, they are actually caused by different things. Seborrheic dermatitis is thought to be caused by an overgrowth of a type of yeast that naturally lives on the skin. Eczema, on the other hand, is thought to be caused by either an allergic reaction or an overactive immune system.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of eczema that most often appears on the scalp. It can also occur on the face, chest, and back. Seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious. It's thought to be caused by overgrowth of a yeast that's normally on the skin.
Treatment for seborrheic dermatitis typically involves using medicated shampoos or creams to help reduce the yea growth and soothe the skin. Eczema treatment usually involves using moisturizers and corticosteroid creams to help relieve dryness and inflammation. If you think you may have either seborrheic dermatitis or eczema, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
Seborrheic dermatitis may get worse in cold weather or when you are stressed. It may improve with treatment. However, it is a chronic (long-term) condition that can come and go.
What Are the Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis?
The main symptom of seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff. Dandruff is characterized by flaking of the skin on your scalp. The flakes may be greasy or dry and can vary in size. They may be white or yellowish and can be accompanied by redness of the skin.
Other symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include:
- Itchy scalp
- Oily skin
- Cracked skin
- Scaling of the skin
When Should I See a Doctor?
Seborrheic dermatitis is usually not a serious condition and can be managed at home. However, you should see a doctor if you have symptoms that are severe or that do not improve with home treatment.
You should also see a doctor if you develop signs of secondary infection, such as pus-filled bumps on your skin or fever. A doctor can prescribe oral or topical (applied to the skin) antifungal medications to treat seborrheic dermatitis.