Difference Between Scalp Psoriasis vs Eczema

HK Vitals

Dry skin disorders that affect the scalp include scalp eczema and scalp psoriasis.

The distinctions between scalp eczema and psoriasis will be obvious to a professional dermatologist. With a professional assessment, your dermatologist can distinguish between the two disorders. 

The appearance of the rash, the itching it causes, and the source of the rash, if known, are some of the significant distinctions between scalp eczema and psoriasis on head. In addition to comparing and contrasting scalp psoriasis and eczema, this article will review their causes, scalp psoriasis symptoms, and treatments.

Scalp Eczema Causes

According to studies, a gene mutation that makes the skin more prone to dryness, irritants, and allergens may be present in those with scalp eczema. Some of the other causes include:

  • Medical problems like Parkinson’s illness and HIV
  • Hormone alterations
  • Weather variations, family history, and genetics, as well as fragrances, detergents, and skin care products
  • Food allergies or hay fever,
  • Stress-related causes
  • Substances, including nickel and latex, as well as several drugs
  • Harsh chemicals, pollution, tobacco smoke, the cold, and other environmental conditions

Scalp Psoriasis Causes

The most common cause of scalp psoriasis is aberrant immune system cell behavior, which leads to an overproduction of skin cells. These surplus cells accumulate on the scalp’s surface because the body is unable to eliminate them. Some of the causes are:

  • HIV infections and infections caused by streptococcal bacteria 
  • certain medicines
  • Stress
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Chain smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Genetics

Scalp Eczema Symptoms

One of the signs of scalp eczema is the dry, flaky, itchy scalp of the patient. Additionally, a person may feel pain, itchiness, and greasiness on their scalp. The symptoms of the various kinds of eczema that can affect the scalp vary. These consist of the following:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis: A scalp that is scaly, red, or gray with potential dandruff is a symptom of seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Atopic eczema: This condition results in an inflamed, dry, itchy scalp.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis: The first sign of allergic contact dermatitis is a scratchy, crusting, or scaly scalp that may also have lesions and blisters.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis: This irritation, itch and redness of the scalp.

Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis 

Coarse scaling that simulates flakes or thick, crust-like plaque that covers the entire scalp is two signs of scalp psoriasis. The characteristic appearance and texture of psoriasis is that of a powder with a silvery sheen.

Difference Between Scalp Psoriasis and Eczema

There are several points where the differences between scalp eczema and scalp psoriasis on head lies, including:

  • Prevalence: Compared to scalp psoriasis, scalp eczema is around four times more prevalent.
  • Age of onset: While psoriasis on head normally develops between the ages of 15 and 35, scalp eczema typically manifests in newborns and young children.
  • How it looks: Scalp eczema often manifests as dry, scaly skin with red or gray areas on darker or lighter skin. Unlike eczema scalp psoriasis often manifests as thick layers with clearer margins. Psoriasis patients may have scaly patches that are red, white, or silvery in color. Psoriasis may cause more inflammation in a person than scalp eczema.
  • Itching sensation: In contrast to psoriasis, which frequently exhibits an occasional itch coupled with a stinging or burning feeling, scalp eczema typically acts out with a strong itch.

Similarities Between Scalp Psoriasis vs Eczema

Eczema on head and scalp psoriasis are two distinct diseases. However, they are comparable in a number of ways, such as:

  • Both are not contagious.
  • Both conditions may be triggered by stress, the environment, certain medical problems, some drugs, and skin irritants.
  • A dry, itchy skin rash is the most common symptom of either scalp eczema on head or scalp psoriasis.
  • Both are immune system-related but not purely autoimmune illnesses.


Though psoriasis is a chronic disorder, don’t despair. With the right medical intervention, the disorder can be easily managed. Seek a doctor’s help whenever you see the tell-tale signs of psoriasis and adhere to the instructions given to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I do scalp psoriasis treatment at home?

Ans. Using topical steroids, medicated shampoos, keeping the scalp well moisturized, following a healthy diet and managing weight, along with managing stress at home and at work, can help you deal with scalp psoriasis.

Q2. What is the treatment for scalp eczema on head?

Ans. You can use soothing or medicated shampoos, coconut oil, and emollient O-T-C creams, accompanied by a healthy lifestyle of no smoking, drinking or unhealthy eating habits.

Q3. How will the doctor diagnose my scalp psoriasis?

Ans. Your dermatologist may examine your scalp while asking you a few routine questions about the condition. He/she may also perform a skin sample test for further diagnosis.

HK Vitals


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