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Scalp psoriasis vs. seborrheic dermatitis: What's the difference?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/scalp-psoriasis/AN01177
- With Mayo Clinic dermatologist
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence Gibson likens bad health information on the Internet to food poisoning.
Consumers, he says, need to be aware and will find reliable information at MayoClinic.com.
Dr. Gibson, a Covington, Ky., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1986 and is board certified in dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology. He is a professor of dermatology at Mayo Medical School and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Gibson has served as the fellowship director for dermatopathology and as chair of the Laboratory Division in the Department of Dermatology. He is especially interested in inflammatory disorders of the skin, including vasculitis, and in lymphoma affecting the skin.
"Electronic information has become a staple in the diet of a health conscious society," he says. "It's important to avoid misinformation and provide a credible source for health information. Using this analogy, it's critical to avoid 'indigestion' or, worse yet, 'food poisoning' by the ingestion of tainted information."
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Scalp psoriasis vs. seborrheic dermatitis: What's the difference?
How does a doctor tell the difference between scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp?
from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp can be difficult to differentiate. Both are common conditions that affect the scalp. In addition, they share some similar signs and symptoms, such as itchy, red, scaly skin.
Most often, the scales of psoriasis are thicker and somewhat drier in appearance than are the scales of seborrheic dermatitis. In addition, psoriasis usually affects more than one area of the body. If you have scalp psoriasis, you may also have mild psoriasis on your elbows, knees, hands or feet or may notice subtle nail changes, such as pitting.
|Compare signs and symptoms|
|Scalp psoriasis||Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp|
No single test confirms a diagnosis of psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. Your doctor usually makes a diagnosis with a visual examination of the affected skin. Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp share some similar treatments, including medicated shampoos and topical corticosteroid or antifungal solutions.
Scalp psoriasis is often persistent and more difficult to treat than is seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. For stubborn cases of scalp psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe oral medications, such as methotrexate (Trexall) or cyclosporine, or combine stronger medications with medicated creams and ointments.Next question
White patch on skin: A cause for concern?
- Habif TP. Psoriasis and other papulosquamous diseases. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2004. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00017-1&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&sid=1187521466&uniqId=270706451-10#4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00017-1. Accessed Aug. 1, 2011.
- Guistozzi A. Seborrheic dermatitis (SD). In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00028-8--sc0055&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=270706451-11#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00028-8--sc0055. Accessed Aug. 1, 2011.
- Schmidt JA. Seborrheic dermatitis: A clinical practice snapshot. The Nurse Practitioner. 2011;36:32.