Many people have to deal with an itchy, flaky scalp in their everyday lives, and most just chalk it up to dandruff. Sometimes, though, a flaky scalp can be concerning, especially if hair loss, redness, or shedding accompanies it. This article will discuss scalp psoriasis vs dandruff due to the similarities between the two conditions.
We’ll let you know how to differentiate the two, what treatment is appropriate, and how a qualified dermatologist can help you.
Scalp Psoriasis vs Dandruff: What’s The Difference?
While dandruff and psoriasis may have common flaking symptoms, that’s where the similarities end.
Dandruff is a common condition that can occur due to several skin conditions. It involves noticeable flakes of dead skin shedding off of your scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis is one cause involving excess production of sebum (oil) on your scalp. This can cause irritated, itchy skin and excessive flaking and affect the groin, chest, armpits, or eyebrows. A yeast called Malassezia, which feeds on this oil, can also aggravate the flaking, and some people have more of it on their scalp than others. Men are more likely to get seborrheic dermatitis than women due to the role of male hormones in the condition.
Contact dermatitis is another cause of dandruff, and it happens when a substance or material irritates the skin. This could be certain hair products, dyes, shampoos, or exposure to certain chemicals or types of clothing.
Fortunately, you can treat and manage dandruff at home using medicated shampoos and treatments available over the counter.
Diagnosing Scalp Psoriasis vs Dandruff
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease where white blood cells attack your skin cells. This causes scaly, red patches on the scalp, and the scales can sometimes break off. Psoriasis can also spread to other parts of the body and is a long-lasting, chronic condition.
A doctor diagnosis scalp psoriasis vs dandruff by examining a small section of skin under a microscope. This lets them determine what is causing your condition. They may send the sample off to a lab for analysis.
Treatment differs for psoriasis and dermatitis. Mild dandruff is easily treated by shampooing a little more often. However, if that doesn’t help, special shampoos contain ingredients that lower oil production and fight the Malassezia fungus that feeds on it. Look for shampoos containing pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide, coal tar, salicylic acid, or ketoconazole. A dermatologist can help you determine which one is best for your skin type and condition.
Psoriasis, on the other hand, requires careful treatment by a dermatologist. They can prescribe medication or steroids to reduce inflammation in areas where your psoriasis is strongest. You may also use topical foams or creams in areas to reduce the buildup of itchy scales.
Conclusion: See A Dermatologist For The Best Advice
If you’re having trouble telling the difference between dermatitis and psoriasis, you should visit a qualified dermatologist. They’ll be able to examine your condition and prescribe the best treatment for your needs.
This post is brought to you by Care Dermatology. We’re proud to offer the best dermatology in Florida, and our experts are always here to help you with your skin concerns. If you have any questions, please call one of our offices, and we’ll be happy to help.