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Difference Between Rosacea And Eczema

Differences Between Rosacea And Eczema

How to Differentiate between Rosacea and Eczema

Posted March 7, 2010 by homesteadcompany in Skin Care.Tagged: different skin conditions, dry skin, eczema, eczema oil, moistruizers, rosacea, Skin Care, skin conditions.

Two skin conditions that share some of the same symptoms are rosacea and eczema. The conditions can cause irritation, low self esteem, and embarrassment at times. However, if you have either one you shouldnt feel embarrassed and you should remain confident. To determine if you have rosacea or eczema, there are differences that will let you determine which condition you may or may not have. Here is a look at some of the similarities and differences between the two conditions and some ways in which to treat them.

One difference between the two conditions is where the rash or flare up is occurring. Eczema can flare up on all parts of the body ranging from the hands, feet, face, and other locations. Rosacea on the other hand only appears on the face near the nose, forehead, cheeks, and eyes. If you are experiencing dry skin and irritating flare ups on other parts of your body and not on your face, you most likely have eczema and not rosacea.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit .

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What Is The Difference Between Rosacea And Psoriasis

Psoriasis and rosacea can both be caused by genetic and age-related factors, but they’re different conditions. Psoriasis can affect your entire body and result in red, scaly plaques on your skin, among other symptoms. Rosacea is usually contained to the face, especially your nose or cheeks, and causes flushing.

Seborrheic Dermatitis / Eczema

Seborrheic dermatitis and eczema are two skin conditions most commonly confused with rosacea.

Seborrheic dermatitis occurs at roughly the same age/time as rosacea and includes several of the same triggers. Its chronic and confined to areas of the skin where sebaceous oil glands are most prominent. Irritation includes scaling and redness along with a burning sensation. Eczema is a form of dermatitis similar to seborrheic dermatitis that is caused by inflammation and makes skin dry, itchy, red and cracked. It is also a chronic condition, but unlike seborrheic dermatitis it can occur at any time, even infancy.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

  • What type of dermatitis do I have?
  • How can you tell that its that type of dermatitis?
  • If I dont have dermatitis, what other skin condition might I have?
  • Is there a specific brand of moisturizer that you recommend?
  • Is there a prescription shampoo, cream or lotion that you can prescribe?
  • How often should I see a dermatologist regarding this condition?
  • What soaps, lotions, makeup, etc. should I avoid?
  • What medications do you recommend?
  • What at-home treatments do you recommend?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

See your healthcare provider as soon as you start to see symptoms of dermatitis. Feeling itchy and/or in pain all the time affects your quality of life. Its distracting, uncomfortable and can even keep you from having a good nights sleep.

Dermatitis is very normal, but it may make you feel self-conscious in public. It can affect your self-esteem and your social life or relationships. But remember that as many as 15% to 20% of people experience some form of dermatitis at some point in time, so know that youre not alone!

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/29/2020.


How Is Dermatitis Treated What Medications Are Used

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The type of treatment depends on the type of dermatitis and its location. Step number one is to avoid whatever triggers the dermatitis. That may be stress, a chemical, tobacco smoke and/or a number of other irritants that cause or worsen your dermatitis. Step number two is to try remedies on your own. Step number three is medication prescribed by your healthcare provider.

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Rosacea Vs Eczema Symptoms


The first symptoms of rosacea usually are flushing and blushing. With time, affected areas will redden and feel hot. Papules and sometimes pustules may appear depending on treatment. Since rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition, affected areas will swell.

  • Swollen Lymph Nodes in Neck, Groin, Armpit, Throat, under the Jaw, Chin.
  • What soap is best for Eczema on body: liquid and natural solutions

The main identifiable characteristic of rosacea flares is appearance of spider-like blood vessels. If left untreated, the blood vessels will enlarge and become easily visible.


Itchiness is usually the first and most persistent symptom of eczema. Burning sensation may also be felt on the itchy skin regions. A day or two after the onset of the itch, red and dry skin patches will appear. Depending on treatment administered, the patches may:

  • Dry more
  • Form blisters
  • Ooze fluid

If infected, yellow crusts will appear. Other signs of bacterial infection include red streaks, pus, tenderness, pain, fever and fatigue.

Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Rosacea

Rosacea can cause red skin that looks like dermatitis. However, rosacea can also cause pimples, and the redness is typically found on your forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. Have your healthcare provider take a look at your skin to determine if your condition is dermatitis, rosacea, or something else.

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Natural Way To Treat Either Of The Skin Conditions

Forrosacea, you can use an all-natural mask like an oatmeal mask to reduce theredness temporarily. You can also apply a small amount of essential oil fromlavender that has an anti-inflammatory property and cooling benefits to soothethe flair ups temporarily.

Forseborrheic dermatitis, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer that can reducethe excess oil, fungus, and yeast, especially in the scalp.

In termsof over the counter products available for seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea, the latter has no cure but canbe controlled with topical antibiotic gels. For seborrheic dermatitis, ketoconazoleshampoo is useful for the scalp, while for the body go with Clobetasol.

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How Is Rosacea Treated

Differences Between Rosacea and Eczema

There are some topical treatments that may be suggested by your doctor to manage your rosacea symptoms. There are also medications that work to reduce the redness by constricting the blood vessels, antibiotics may also be used to help fight the inflammation by reducing the bacteria. Laser therapy or electrodesiccation are other options as well.1,2

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What Causes Dermatitis

Dermatitis is caused by a combination of immune system activation, genetics and environmental triggers.

  • Immune system. Sometimes your immune system overreacts. If you have atopic dermatitis, your immune system reacts to seemingly small irritants or allergens. This causes inflammation.
  • Genetics. Researchers have observed that if others in your family have dermatitis, youre more likely to have it. Additionally, experts have identified changes to genes that control a protein that helps your body maintain healthy skin. Your skin cannot remain healthy without normal levels of that protein.
  • Environment. Your environment may make your immune system change the protective barrier of your skin. That causes more moisture to escape, and that can lead to dermatitis. Possible environmental factors include exposure to tobacco smoke and some types of air pollutants. Fragrances in some skin products and soap are also possible.
  • Exposure. Some types of dermatitis are caused by exposure to chemicals and other irritants. Perioral dermatitis, for example, may be caused by exposure to fluoride in water or toothpaste.

If you have dermatitis, you might also have another condition that doesnt cause it, but is often found alongside it:

  • Sleep loss.
  • When scratched, the rashes may ooze fluid or bleed.

Here are examples of signs and symptoms of common types of dermatitis:

Does stress cause dermatitis?

Mental/emotional signs:

  • Talk to friends and family, and to a therapist.

How Is Eczema Treated

Treatment for atopic eczema will typically require a combination of good skin care, use of medications, and lifestyle changes including avoiding known triggers. Medications may be used to help with controlling the intense itch, reducing inflammation, and helping to prevent future flares. Medicines for atopic eczema include topical corticosteroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, immunomodulators, antibiotics, and antihistamines. Proper skin care and lifestyle changes can help prevent flare-ups. In addition, some people with atopic eczema benefit from .

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Rosacea Vs Psoriasis Vs Eczema

Rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis can sometimes look and feel alike. They can include itching, rashes, and redness, which are common symptoms of chronic inflammatory skin conditions.

Its not always clear what causes them and there is no cure for any of themalthough they can go into remission, meaning symptoms disappear for a while but may come back. So, how do you know which one you have?

The differences between each condition go more than skin deepin terms of specific symptoms, treatment, triggers, and how they impact the overall health of the body.

Heres a guide to help you identify the differences between rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.

Learning The Differences Between Eczema And Psoriasis

Difference Between Rosacea And Eczema 042908
  • Psoriasis causes well-defined, thick, red, scaly patches, commonly in areas like the elbows and knees. It is common to see psoriasis on the face, buttocks, and scalp of a child. Youll also commonly see thick patches of skin with overlying redness.

  • Eczema tends to appear in the crooks of the knees and the elbows.

  • Children who have psoriasis tend to have mild itching. In eczema, the itching can be intense.

  • There are many ways for a dermatologist to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis, including what one sees on the skin, the amount of itch, and where the disease appears on the skin.

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What Is Atopic Dermatitis Or Eczema

Atopic eczema is a common skin condition that is characterized by dry, itchy, and scaly patches. Atopic eczema is known for the intense itching that it causes. Atopic eczema most often occurs in children, with 90% of all cases being diagnosed before the age of 5.4,5 As a chronic condition, atopic eczema may have periods of remission and periods of flares. Atopic eczema may also appear differently depending on the age of the person affected. A primary care doctor or dermatologist will inspect the skin and asks about symptoms that you are experiencing such as itch. Sometimes, a provider may conduct a patch test to determine if you have skin allergies.

What Is Dermatitis And What Does It Look Like

Dermatitis is a word used to describe a number of skin irritations and rashes caused by genetics, an overactive immune system, infections, allergies, irritating substances and more. Common symptoms include dry skin, redness and itchiness.

In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. The rashes range from mild to severe and can cause a variety of problems, depending on their cause.

Dermatitis causes no serious harm to your body. It is not contagious, and it does not mean that your skin is unclean or infected. There are treatment methods and medications that can manage your symptoms.

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How Skin Conditions May Impact Mental Health

Whether its the unrelenting itching or how you feel about the appearance of your skinor just being mentally exhausted from managing your symptomsrosacea, psoriasis, and eczema can really impact your mental health.

A 2015 study in Nature Reviews Immunology suggests that when theres skin inflammation, neuro-connections let the brain know. As a result, you could feel depressed, anxious, tired, and have foggy thinking.

Managing these skin conditions can be grueling and exhausting on your body and your emotional well-being, so dont put off asking for help.

S Of Rosacea And Eczema

Psoriasis, Eczema, Rosacea? You Need GLA | Lorna Vanderhaeghe
Eczema Pictures Rosacea Pictures

You can compare eczema vs rosacea in these pictures. Notice the differences as well as the similarities. While both causes reddened skin and may cause acne-like bumps, rosacea isnt patchy or scaly the way eczema is and eczema doesnt cause thickened skin, especially around the nose, the way rosacea can. Of course, you might have eczema or rosacea and not look exactly like the people pictured here. Your skin tone, where on your body the condition appears, and other factors can affect the way the conditions look on your body. Keep in mind the fact that some other skin conditions may look similar to these, as well. Talk to your doctor or see a dermatologist, a doctor that specializes in skin disorders, if you have questions about your diagnosis.

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What Causes Rosacea

The cause of rosacea isn’t known, but it is thought to be due to a combination of factors including environmental and hereditary factors. There is no medical test to diagnose rosacea if your doctor suspects you have rosacea they will conduct a physical examination as well as a symptoms history. Your doctor may want to rule out other medical conditions before making a treatment plan. 1,2

Where They Show Up

Eczema often appears on parts of your body that bend, like your inner elbow or behind your knees. You can have it on your neck, wrists, and ankles. Babies sometimes get it on their chin, cheeks, scalp, chest, back, arms, and legs.

Psoriasis often shows up on places like your:

  • Elbows
  • Dandruff
  • Some foods

Infections can start up eczema, and so can stress, sweating, heat, humidity, and changes in your hormones.

Psoriasis shares some of these triggers, like stress and infection. But you can also get flare-ups when your skin is injured, for example by:

  • Vaccination
  • Sunburn
  • Scratches

Some medications can also bring on a psoriasis flare, like lithium, which treats bipolar disorder, or drugs for malaria.

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Rosacea Vs Eczema Complications


  • Ocular rosacea â patients experience a stinging and burning effect in or around eyes. The eyes may also feel gritty. Vision impairment may occur without proper treatment.
  • Rhinophyma â occurs in men with chronic rosacea. It causes swelling on the nose and cheeks. Severe cases require surgery for treatment.


  • Infection â staphylococcus aureus bacteria often infects eczema and leads to complications in treatment. Contact with herpes simplex virus may also lead to eczema herpeticum, a serious eczema type that requires antiviral medications. Small pox vaccines may also cause complications especially in children with atopic eczema.
  • Recurrence and skin damage â eczema is chronic. This means that even after treatment, it will likely come back when triggered. Some types such as nummular and discoid eczema may cause skin damage and scarring if left untreated.

Does Rosacea Go Away With Age

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Does rosacea get worse with age? Yes. Although rosacea has a variable course and is not predictable in everyone, it gradually worsens with age, especially if untreated. In small studies, many rosacea sufferers have reported that without treatment their condition had advanced from early to middle stage within a year.

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Poison Ivy Rashes And Hives

These rashes are usually temporary in nature, wherein the allergic reaction induces a short-lived rash that resolves once the allergen is removed from the environment. The most common example is this regard is that of the Poison Ivy rash. Another common example of allergic rash is hives. This rash can be very itchy, and it has a typical pattern. Usually referred to as Urticaria, hives appear in the form of reddened disc-like patches that can appear anywhere on the body, but are more common in the upper half of the body.

Red Skin & Rashes Are Not Always The Result Of Rosacea

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Rosacea is sometimes confused with other conditions because its signs and symptoms can appear so similar, and a professional diagnosis is essential. To make matters worse, patients often suffer from more than one skin disorder at once, and an NRS survey found that 77 percent of rosacea patients had been diagnosed with other skin conditions as well. Here are some of the most common disorders mistaken for rosacea.


Some of the most common signs of rosacea — bumps and pimples — are also the most common cause of confusion about the skin condition. Acne covers a broad range of symptoms that occur when pores on the skin become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne may appear as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, small red bumps, and painful cysts. The bumps and pimples of Subtype 2 rosacea are often mistaken for acne, and the historical term acne rosacea reflects an early but now-disproven belief that the two conditions are related. The blackheads of acne do not occur with rosacea. The two conditions further differ in that acne is most common in teens, while rosacea generally occurs later in life. Also, acne can appear on the shoulders, neck, back and chest in addition to the face, but rosacea usually only affects the face.




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Seborrheic Dermatitis And Rosacea

Seborrheic dermatitis may be the most common skin condition to occur at the same time as rosacea. Although the two disorders are unrelated, a clinical study found that 26 percent of patients with rosacea also had facial seborrheic dermatitis and 28 percent had seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. Additionally, a survey by the National Rosacea Society of 1,099 rosacea patients found that 25 percent had also been diagnosed with this condition.


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