Difference Between Seborrheic Dermatitis and Rosacea

When a foreign intruder is recognized by the body then a response is sent out by the immune system to drive out pathogens. A response to promote healing around the area of damaged tissue is also sent by it.  


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Among the inflammatory skin disorders, seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea are two of them which generally cause lesions, itching, and redness. In this article, the main focus is on highlighting the differences between seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea. 

Seborrheic Dermatitis vs Rosacea

The difference between seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea is that seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition mainly on the scalp that causes scaly patches and red skin. On the other hand, rosacea is a condition on the face that causes often red, small, pus-filled bumps and redness. 

Seborrheic Dermatitis vs Rosacea

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Seborrheic dermatitis appears on the scalp and the body’s other parts as flaky, red, itchy, and dry skin and is common but non-contagious. Its presence does not refer that the skin is infected or unclean. 

Rosacea is a skin condition that usually and causes flushing or blushing and visible blood vessels on the face. It might also produce pus-filled and small bumps.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSeborrheic DermatitisRosacea 
InterpretationIt is a skin condition mainly on the scalp that causes scaly patches and red skin.It is a condition on the face that causes often red, small, pus-filled bumps and redness. 
Also calledSebborhoeic eczemaAcne rosacea
MedicationsAntifungal and keratolyticDoxycycline
Nutritional causesLack of vitamins like B6, A, and B12Lack of zinc
Steriods treatmentRecommendedNot recommended

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?  

Seborrheic dermatitis is an easy to manage, non-contagious, and common skin condition. It is a kind of dermatitis which causes greasy scales and itchy red patches generally on skin with yellow or white crusty or powdery flakes on the scalp.

The area can be with the most sebaceous or simply oil gland activity such as the chest, upper back, creases present at the base of the nose, navel or belly button, forehead, under the breasts, behind ears, and in the creases of legs, arms, and groin.  

‚ÄúSeborrheic‚ÄĚ generally refers to the glands of the sebaceous, whereas ‚Äúderm‚ÄĚ stands for the skin. It is called pityriasis capitis or simply dandruff when it is on the scalp of an adult or teenager.

Psoriasis history in the family makes them vulnerable as well. The person living in a cold or dry region does not cause this kind of dermatitis, whereas it does make this worse. 

What is Rosacea? 

Among chronic inflammatory skin conditions, rosacea is one of them which generally affects the face.The chief symptoms of rosacea are irritated skin, pimples, and facial flushing. Other symptoms consist of easily blushing and eye problems.  

Around 1-20% of the population is commonly affected by rosacea. When people have rosacea they frequently receive the diagnosis in the wrong way, so the true incidence might be a lot higher.

Some beverages and foods can also worsen the symptoms of rosacea, like spicy foods, alcohol, dairy products, and caffeine. Compared to males, rosacea is more frequently common in females.  

From person to person, the signs of rosacea can vary considerably. People with lighter skin are more common to suffer from rosacea. 

Main Differences Between Seborrheic Dermatitis and Rosacea 

  1. The body’s oily area is mainly affected by seborrheic dermatitis-like back, upper chest, and face. On the contrary, fair skin women with middle-aged are generally affected by rosacea.  
  2. In terms of categorization, seborrheic dermatitis cannot be categorized. On the flip side, rosacea can be categorized into phymatous, erythematotelangietatic ocular, and papulopustular rosacea. 
Difference Between Seborrheic Dermatitis and Rosacea
  1. http://www.rma.gov.au/assets/Other/5cea066608/085-3-Reference-list-seborrhoeic-dermatitis-085-3-as-at-13-2-13.pdf
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmcp042829
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