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Whether you first discover the flakes on your bare shoulders or your black clothing, your first thought is typical “Dandruff.” Unwanted scalp flaking is among the most common skin conditions in the globe. But on occasion, another condition, scalp psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disorder, is to blame for the flaking and itching. Patients may have trouble telling them apart because it might be difficult to examine one’s scalp in such a setting. Additionally, they both have the symptoms of flaking and itching. The distinctions between ordinary dandruff and scalp psoriasis, including their causes, symptoms, hair treatments, and when you should see a doctor who specializes in hair, are explained in this straightforward comparison.

Describe Dandruff.

Dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes dry patches of the scalp to flake off. An excess of yeast often results in an inflammatory response that causes dandruff. Another probable reason for dandruff is an intolerance to a hair care product. Leaving shampoo or styling products on your scalp without washing might cause itchy flakes and irritation. Allergies can result from some shampoos, conditioners, and other products that come in contact with the scalp. Everyone experiences dandruff at some point in their lives, thus it has recently become a prevalent concern.

Read more: What is alopecia, its several varieties, what causes it, and how can it be treated?

Scalp psoriasis: What is it?

Contrary to common dandruff-related flakiness, scalp psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that overproliferates epidural cells. Due to the rapid proliferation of skin cells, the scalp develops an accumulation of cells. It is what results in psoriasis patches all over the scalp. The dysregulation of the immune system is unknown. According to estimations, 50% of people who have plaque psoriasis also have the condition on their scalps.

The signs of dandruff

When it comes to dandruff symptoms, an itchy scalp and noticeable white skin flakes on the hair or shoulders are commonly identified as the condition’s initial warning indications.

Dandruff symptoms could be:

  • Mild redness in the affected area of the scalp
  • Slimy Scalp
  • itchiness on the scalp
  • There are whitish-to-yellowish flakes on the scalp.
  • Dry, flaky skin that exacerbates in cold, dry regions
  • A baby’s scalp has a cradle cap, which is scaly and crusty.
  • a skin infection caused by repeated scratching

Psoriasis of the scalp symptoms

Here are some signs of scalp psoriasis:

  • Red scaly bumps that start out little and grow in size
  • Lesions and flakes on the scalp that mimic dandruff
  • hefty white or red slabs covered in silvery scales
  • constant scratching and peeling off of the scales due to itching
  • (In cases of severe scalp psoriasis) Significant hair loss

The Origins of Dandruff

Even though the exact cause of dandruff is uncertain, many experts concur that an oversupply of sebum (the oil on the scalp) and a fungus called Malassezia yeast are to blame. This claim is supported by the observation that dandruff is more common during specific times when hormone levels are known to be high, such as infancy (when cradle cap is common) and adolescence (when dandruff is frequently observed). The following elements may impact how dandruff flakes look:

  • Cold and dry weather (which dries out the scalp)
  • using harsh makeup and hair products
  • Too little or too often shampooing the hair
  • a dandruff inheritance (because it is well-known that dandruff runs in families)

Scalp psoriasis causes

Any race can be afflicted by psoriasis. But the majority of sufferers have light skin. According to studies, psoriasis affects 1.6% of Hispanics, 2.2% of Blacks, and 3.6% of White people. Despite the fact that psoriasis typically runs in families, certain instances are not thought to be genetic. If a person has a grandparent, father, brother, or sister who has the disease, their chances of developing psoriasis increase. Despite the fact that specialists are aware psoriasis is not communicable, they are unaware of its precise etiology. They do have some understanding of the factors that affect its development, such as:

  • The body’s skin cells are attacked by white blood cells from the immune system.
  • The body makes an excessive amount of new skin cells as a result of the immune system’s onslaught.
  • Extra dead cells that are lost after each cell’s life cycle are what make up the visible symptoms of psoriasis, such as plaques.

Getting rid of dandruff

How to treat dandruff depends on how serious the issue is. For illustration:

  • To treat moderate dandruff at home, use a gentle shampoo devoid of harsh ingredients or other components that dry out the scalp.
  • Selenium sulfide, tar, and zinc pyrithione are ingredients used in over-the-counter dandruff shampoos that cure moderate dandruff. Some of these shampoos are said to have antifungal properties and help in follicle removal.
  • For severe dandruff, a particular brand of prescription shampoo or topical medications, such as the antifungal shampoo ketoconazole, may be required. Without a prescription, ketoconazole is offered in a shampoo-like solution that is less strong.
  • If dandruff persists despite using home remedies, consult a doctor who specializes in hair care so they may examine your scalp.

Cure for Scalp Psoriasis

Treatment for scalp psoriasis is more challenging than for dandruff.

  • For the treatment of mild cases of scalp psoriasis, over-the-counter medicated shampoos are also an option. An over-the-counter shampoo with corticosteroids, like Clobex, may lessen the inflammation caused by scalp psoriasis. Corticosteroids will also help to lessen inflammation.
  • Systemic hair treatments, such as oral (taken by mouth) medications like methotrexate, will probably be utilized in the treatment of hair loss when a person has severe psoriasis. Methotrexate reduces the symptoms brought on by a hyperactive immune system in extremely severe psoriasis instances.
  • A person may even have surgery, such as a hair transplant, if the condition is severe.
  • Another aspect of psoriasis treatment involves avoiding triggers like infections, stress, alcohol, tobacco, and extreme temperatures.

When Should You Call a Hair Specialist Physician?

A doctor who specializes in hair should be consulted if:

  • After using a dandruff shampoo for a few weeks, the symptoms are still there.
  • The skin on your scalp is very swollen, excessively red, or starts to exude pus or fluid.
  • If the symptoms have spread to areas of your body where you don’t have hair, they are no longer restricted to your scalp.
  • Your symptoms also include hair loss.
  • Every time you experience psoriasis symptoms, you should consult a doctor who specializes in hair.
  • Your symptoms are growing worse or your ailment begins to flare up.
  • Both prescription drugs and at-home hair regrowth treatments are ineffectual.


Even though scalp psoriasis and dandruff appear to have similar symptoms and treatments, these two conditions are different. Your condition can be recognized and the best course of action is advised by a doctor who specializes in hair care. If you believe you may have one of the two conditions, schedule a consultation with a Bergen County Hair Loss specialist so they may examine you and treat you. It is advised that you speak with a specialist and get emergency medical attention if the problem worsens.



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