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Do You Have Seborrheic Dermatitis, Eczema, or Psoriasis?: Comparing 10 Common Skin Conditions

Do You Have Seborrheic Dermatitis, Eczema, or Psoriasis?: Comparing 10 Common Skin Conditions

Are you always dealing with rashes on your skin that come and go? Perhaps you have an itch on your skin that won't go away.

Telling one skin condition apart from the other can sometimes be tricky, but it's an important step.

Being able to identify the real culprit behind your symptoms will help to guide your management and treatment plan. That's because different skin conditions respond better to different types of medications and remedies.

In this article, we'll explore various skin conditions and learn about the following:

  • Symptoms

  • Causes

  • Treatment

  • Natural Remedies

  • Lifestyle changes

This can help you make better-informed decisions based on your symptoms.

Let's dive right in!

Table of Contents: 

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is often called eczema. This is a very common skin condition that usually begins in childhood but can affect people of any age.

atopic dermatitis/eczema symptoms and treatment


Atopic dermatitis can lead to dry skin and itchy skin. The affected areas of the body may be red, crusty, or flaky. The severity of symptoms may vary as well. Some may only notice small, itchy patches of skin, while others may experience widespread inflammation and itching.


Scientists are still trying to figure out the exact mechanism behind this condition. However, they've found that a mix of both environmental and genetic factors can disrupt the skin's barrier function and immune system, leading to eczema symptoms.

Eczema is not contagious, but this skin condition can be passed down from parents to their children. Atopic dermatitis is part of the "atopic triad," which also includes hay fever and asthma. If one parent is atopic, there's a 50% chance for their children to develop atopic symptoms. If both parents are atopic, this likelihood goes up to 80% [1].

Risk factors of adult eczema flares include:

  • Environmental triggers, such as cold or dry weather

  • Environmental allergens, including pollen, dust, and dust mites

  • Common irritants like dish soap and detergent

  • Certain types of clothing, like those made of wool


Medications that are commonly used to treat atopic dermatitis include:

  • Topical steroids to help control flare-ups and combat inflammation.

  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors for more sensitive parts of the body (e.g., face and groin area)

  • Antihistamines to relieve itching

Natural Remedies:

The following natural remedies may help reduce symptoms and manage an eczema flare-up:

  • Colloidal oatmeal, which is usually found in creams, shampoos, moisturizing creams, and shaving gel [2]

  • Tea tree oil to calm and soothe itchy and inflamed skin [3]

  • Manuka honey for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties

Lifestyle Changes:

Certain lifestyle changes can help provide relief and reduce flare-ups. These include the following:

  • Apply an emollient twice daily within three minutes of coming out of a bath or shower to prevent the skin from drying out.

  • You can look out for triggers that might be responsible for flare-ups, such as wool clothing or being in contact with dust and pollen. Identifying these triggers will make them easier to avoid later on.

  • If needed, try to reduce habitual scratching. Wear light clothing over the affected areas of the body, and keeping your nails short and trimmed can help reduce damage from scratching.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is another prevalent inflammatory skin condition affecting infants and adults. Infants who develop seborrheic dermatitis, also commonly called cradle cap, are unlikely to experience any distress or discomfort.

On the other hand, seborrheic dermatitis can often relapse in adults and is ranked third after atopic and contact dermatitis for its potential to reduce a person's quality of life.

cradle cap vs adult seborrheic dermatitis


Seborrheic dermatitis can cause dry, itchy skin. It can also cause redness and flakiness.

It most often affects areas of the body rich in sebaceous glands, which secrete an oily substance known as sebum. The most commonly affected sites include the face, scalp, and chest.


While the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis isn't known yet, scientists believe that a fungus known as Malassezia plays a significant role. This fungus normally resides on your skin without causing harm, but an overgrowth of Malassezia may lead to symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis [4].


Topical antifungal agents, such as ketoconazole, are usually included in the treatment plan. These come in the form of an ointment or cream that will be applied to the skin.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend corticosteroid creams to help soothe the inflammation and itch.

Natural Remedies:

The following natural remedies for seborrheic dermatitis may help reduce symptoms and alleviate flare-ups:

  • Sea salt, which can help relieve itchy, flaky, and inflamed skin

  • Manuka honey to soothe and nourish the skin

  • Tea tree oil to reduce symptoms such as scaling, itching, greasy crusts, and redness [5]

  • MCT oil, which helps to combat the overgrowth of Malassezia

  • Apple cider vinegar due to its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties

  • Aloe vera to calm and hydrate the skin

If you're looking for a holistic, all-in-one solution, the Calming Seborrheic Serum may fit the bill. It contains some of the ingredients listed above. These ingredients work together to reduce symptoms, clear the fungus, and nourish your skin, thus providing relief from seborrheic dermatitis.

Lifestyle Changes:

Your lifestyle also plays a role in determining how frequent and severe your flare-ups are.

These lifestyle modifications are effective for many people in reducing the frequency and severity of seborrheic dermatitis flares:

  • Building an effective stress management routine

  • Practicing good sleep hygiene and getting enough quality sleep

  • Maintaining a balanced diet and scheduling exercise into your routine

  • Avoiding harsh hair products or chemicals on the affected area (e.g., styling gels and creams)

Contact Dermatitis

When your skin reacts to an allergen or irritant, you may develop symptoms of contact dermatitis. While this skin condition is not life-threatening or serious, its symptoms can be somewhat bothersome.

contact dermatitis symptoms


Contact dermatitis can lead to symptoms such as dry, cracked, flaky, or scaly skin. It can also cause rashes, hives, blisters, and ulceration of the skin.


There are two main types of contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis happens when your skin comes into contact with an allergen, such as gold or nickel jewelry or certain chemicals in skin care products. This leads to an allergic reaction.

Irritant contact dermatitis can occur when your skin is exposed to a toxic chemical or substance. This includes bleach, detergents, cleaners, and acid.


Some common medications used to reduce symptoms of contact dermatitis include: [6]

  • Topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation

  • Antihistamines to reduce itching

Natural Remedies:

Remedies that may help with contact dermatitis include:

  • Calamine lotion to reduce itching

  • Oatmeal to soothe dry and irritated skin

  • Honey for its anti-inflammatory properties

  • Aloe vera to help soothe irritated and inflamed skin

Lifestyle Changes:

You can make the following lifestyle changes to manage symptoms and prevent recurrences of contact dermatitis:

  • Try to avoid any known triggers. If necessary, opt for vinyl gloves when handling potential irritants.

  • Apply cool and wet compresses to the affected region.

  • Soak the affected region in water that's been mixed with an oatmeal-based product.


Dandruff can be thought of as the cousin of seborrheic dermatitis. Their symptoms are pretty similar, though dandruff is milder and does not involve any inflammation of the skin.

dandruff and flaky skin on scalp


Dandruff usually causes skin flakes on the scalp, hair, eyebrows, or beard. It can also lead to an itchy scalp.


The Malassezia fungus is also thought to play a role in the development of dandruff.

The scalp contains a high density of sebaceous glands that secrete sebum, which serves as food for the fungus. This is why dandruff most commonly affects the scalp.


Anti-dandruff shampoos containing selenium sulfide or salicylic acid are most commonly used to manage dandruff.

Natural Remedies:

Some natural remedies that may help to manage and reduce dandruff include:

  • Apple cider vinegar, which has antifungal properties

  • Aloe vera to reduce dryness and irritation of the skin

  • Tea tree oil, which can help to combat Malassezia growth

  • Baking soda, which might act as a gentle exfoliant that can get rid of dead skin cells

Lifestyle Changes:

These are some changes you can make to reduce dandruff:

  • Make sure you wash off any hair styling products on the scalp to prevent buildup.

  • Try to build a stress management routine since stress is thought to aggravate dandruff.

  • Avoid scratching your scalp, as this might introduce more dirt and oil into the mix, possibly worsening dandruff symptoms.


symptoms of psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your skin cells multiply too quickly.

There are several types of psoriasis, such as plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Each type of psoriasis comes with its own set of symptoms.


The most prevalent type of psoriasis, which is plaque psoriasis, can cause itchy, dry, and scaly patches that typically appear on the elbow, knees, scalp, and lower back.


When there's a mistake in the immune system, the immune cells will attack the body's skin cells, leading to symptoms of psoriasis [7]. The reason why this happens isn't fully understood.

Certain triggers can cause psoriasis to appear for the first time or recur. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, these common triggers include the following: [8]

  • Exposure to stress

  • Skin injuries like sunburn

  • Tobacco

  • Heavy drinking

  • Certain medications

  • Cold and dry weather


There is no cure for psoriasis. However, there are medications to help relieve symptoms.

Common topical medications and remedies include emollients, corticosteroids, and vitamin D creams [7].

Oral medications may be prescribed if you need a stronger medication that works throughout the body, as psoriasis may also affect the joints. In this case, your doctor may recommend a medication like a retinoid, methotrexate, or cyclosporine [7].

Light therapy is another treatment to consider for psoriasis.

Natural Remedies:

Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and aloe vera are topical remedies that are said to be beneficial for managing psoriasis. The National Psoriasis Foundation also notes that supplements such as vitamin D, fish oil, glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) may help in the management of this skin condition [9].

Lifestyle Changes:

Reducing your alcohol intake, stopping smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet are all lifestyle modifications that can help control psoriasis.


Acne is also a common skin condition that involves the formation of pimples. Though it isn't life-threatening or dangerous, acne can lead to frustration and affect a person's confidence or self-esteem.

acne affecting the face and back


Acne most commonly appears on the face. That said, it can also affect the shoulders, chest, back, neck, arms, legs, and buttocks.

The following are the symptoms of acne:

  • Small red bumps, which may sometimes contain pus

  • Whiteheads and blackheads

  • Cysts

  • Redness of skin

  • Scarring


When the hair follicles on your skin become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum, an outbreak of acne can occur. This may lead to the development of whiteheads and blackheads. If bacteria become trapped in these clogged pores, you might also notice the formation of red bumps called pimples.

Genetic factors, stress, excessive sweating, and hormones also play a part in the development of acne [10].


There are many different types of medications that can be used to treat acne. Topical medications include retinoic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and antibiotic creams [10].

For moderate and severe cases, you may see a doctor to get a prescription for oral medications, such as oral antibiotics, retinoids, or birth control pills [10].

Natural Remedies:

Natural remedies for acne include the following:

  • Tea tree oil, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity

  • Witch hazel, which may help to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation

  • Aloe vera for skin inflammation and reducing acne spots

  • Apple cider vinegar for its antimicrobial properties

Lifestyle Changes:

Some lifestyle changes that can help include the following:

  • Wash your face with a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser.

  • Avoid picking at or popping your pimples.

  • Avoid touching your face with your hands or fingers.

  • Be sure to remove all your makeup before going to bed at night.

Fungal Acne

Despite its rather misleading name, fungal acne isn't actually a form of acne. It's also known as Malassezia folliculitis and involves a fungal infection of the hair follicles on your skin, which leads to the formation of tiny red bumps resembling acne.

fungal acne symptoms


The symptoms of fungal acne typically include:

  • Small pimples of the same size that appear in clusters

  • Very itchy skin

  • Burning or painful sensation in the affected region

These blemishes usually appear on the chin, forehead, sides of the face, chest, neck, arms, and back.

While fungal acne may resemble regular acne, it's important to differentiate them as they respond to varying types of treatment [11]. One of the biggest differences between both conditions is that fungal acne is often itchy, while regular acne is not.


Fungal acne happens when the Malassezia fungus gets trapped inside damaged or blocked hair follicles [11].

Sweating, wearing tight clothing, and shaving, plucking, or waxing your hair may cause these hair follicles to become blocked or damaged, increasing your risk of getting fungal acne.


Treatment of fungal acne often involves the use of antifungal medications to target Malassezia. There are both oral and topical antifungal agents available for treating fungal acne.

Natural Remedies: 

Some natural remedies that may be helpful in managing fungal acne include:

  • Tea tree oil to help clear away the fungus

  • Apple cider vinegar due to its antifungal properties

  • Honey for its antimicrobial and healing properties

  • Turmeric, which is rich in curcumin (a compound with strong antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties)

Lifestyle Changes: 

These lifestyle changes can help you control fungal acne and prevent recurrences:

  • Change out of sweaty clothing and take a shower as soon as you can.

  • Wear loose clothing made of comfortable and breathable materials, such as cotton or silk.

  • Practice caution when shaving, waxing, or plucking hair.


Tinea is one of the many contagious skin infections. It is also commonly called ringworm, though this name may be deceiving as no worm is involved in the infection.

Tinea can spread through skin-to-skin contact or through the sharing of personal belongings like towels and clothes.

tinea/ringworm affecting the hand and body


There are several different types of tinea, depending on the area of your body that's affected.

For example, tinea pedis, or athlete's foot, refers to tinea affecting the feet. Meanwhile, tinea affecting the body is known as tinea corporis, and tinea of the scalp is called tinea capitis.

You may notice the following symptoms in the affected region:

  • Formation of a red, scaly, and itchy rash

  • A stinging sensation

  • Blisters, scaling of the skin, and cracked skin


A range of different fungi is responsible for causing the various types of tinea. Tinea is very contagious, which means that it can spread easily.

Those at a higher risk of developing a tinea infection include people who live in a warm and humid climate. Individuals who play contact sports and often use shared locker rooms or communal baths may also develop tinea.


Antifungal creams are most commonly recommended for treating a tinea infection. At times, oral antifungal medications may also be prescribed [12].

Natural Remedies: 

Tea tree oil, sea salt solutions, and neem oil have impressive antifungal properties, making them a possible solution for managing tinea.

Lifestyle Changes: 

The following precautionary steps can help prevent the transmission of tinea:

  • Avoid sharing personal belongings, like your towels or clothes, with other people.

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as shared bathrooms or locker rooms.

  • Avoid scratching or picking at the rash. If you happen to touch it, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

  • Keep the affected area clean and dry.

Pityriasis Versicolor

Pityriasis versicolor, or tinea versicolor, is a kind of superficial fungal skin infection.

tinea versicolor symptoms


Tinea versicolor can lead to the discoloration of the skin in the affected areas. This skin discoloration may appear as pink, red, or light brown patches for people with lighter skin tones. Individuals with darker skin tones may notice paler skin patches.

This skin condition may lead to itching and commonly appears on skin regions that are rich in sebaceous glands, which include the face and chest [13].


Tinea versicolor is caused by the Malassezia fungus. This explains why it typically appears in areas rich in sebum [13].

Tinea versicolor is not a contagious skin disease. Currently, scientists have yet to figure out why some people are more likely to have a Malassezia overgrowth compared to others.


Your health care provider might recommend a topical or oral antifungal agent.

Natural Remedies: 

Natural remedies for tinea versicolor include a turmeric powder paste or essential oil like tea tree oil due to their antifungal effects.

Lifestyle Changes: 

Some ways to prevent tinea versicolor include:

  • Wearing clothing that is loose and comfortable

  • Showering as soon as you can when you sweat a lot


rosacea symptoms

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that involves the inflammation of the skin. This skin condition is fairly common and is estimated to affect over 14 million people in the United States [16].


Symptoms of rosacea include:

  • Flushing and redness of the face

  • Tiny, red bumps on the face

  • Bumps filled with pus

  • Visible blood vessels

  • Irritated or bloodshot eyes

  • Swelling of the eyelids

  • Thickening of the skin on the nose, making it look enlarged

Symptoms can appear and last for weeks or even months and then subside for a while.


The exact cause of rosacea is not yet known. However, certain triggers may increase your risk of a symptom flare-up.

These triggers include spicy foods, hot and cold weather, hormonal changes, stress, and consumption of alcohol.


Antibiotics, azelaic acid, and retinoids are medications often used to treat rosacea [14].

Natural Remedies: 

Natural remedies for rosacea include:

  • Aloe vera to soothe the skin

  • Camomile for its anti-inflammatory activity

  • Oatmeal, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

  • Raw honey to relieve the redness and inflammation

Lifestyle Changes: 

Managing stress and using skincare products that are suitable for sensitive skin can help you better manage rosacea and prevent flare-ups. It's also important to protect your skin when going out in the sun by using sunblock or sunscreen.

The Dermazen Solution to Flaky, Irritated Skin

Tired of irritated skin?

The Dermazen Calming Seborrheic Serum is specially formulated for those with seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff by people with the same conditions.

This holistic blend of ingredients helps to clear away the Malassezia fungus, reduce symptoms, and nourish the skin.

While it is specially created for those with seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, there are plenty of success stories from people who have used this formulation for other skin conditions.

That's because the ingredients present are soothing and restorative in nature. They include the following:

  • 200X Concentrated Aloe: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [15]. It can help with acne, eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.

  • Xylitol: This ingredient helps to boost hydration, improve skin barrier function, and reduce fungal growth. It's suitable for managing inflammatory skin disorders, including dermatitis.

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract: Due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, this ingredient can help relieve eczema, psoriasis, and ringworm.

  • Tea Tree Essential Oil: This essential oil is a popular choice for managing different types of conditions affecting the skin, including acne, tinea, dermatitis, fungal acne, and psoriasis.

  • Dead Sea Salt: The antimicrobial activity of dead sea salt makes it a suitable natural remedy for psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

  • Rosemary Essential Oil: This essential oil helps to balance oil production and can be helpful for seborrheic dermatitis and acne.

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin moist and hydrated and can be used to soothe and relieve dry, itchy skin.

  • Colloidal Silver: Colloidal silver helps to deactivate Malassezia's protective shield, known as the biofilm, increasing the efficacy of antifungal agents. This can help with dermatitis and psoriasis.

  • Niacinamide: Dermatitis, acne, and rosacea are all conditions that may improve from the use of niacinamide.

  • MSM: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, MSM may help relieve acne, rosacea, and dermatitis.

  • Urea: This is useful for managing dry skin in conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

The combination of these ingredients allows the Calming Seborrheic Serum to soothe a wide range of skin problems, like dryness, flakiness, and itch. There are also no harsh chemicals or hard-to-pronounce ingredients present, so you can enjoy the serum's benefits with peace of mind.

Recommended Product

Calming Seborrheic Serum

This all-in-one serum clears away malassezia fungus while soothing irritated skin. Provides relief for the scalp, face, and body.

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