What is difference between scalp psoriasis and dandruff?

scalp psoriasis - skindiseasehospital

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Your scalp itches to the point of distraction, let alone the flakes that fall like snow whenever you succumb to the temptation to scratch.

Itching of your scalp is due to a variety of causes, including dandruff and scalp psoriasis.

Understanding what is causing the itching and flaking is critical for effectively addressing your symptoms.

Everything you need to know about psoriasis on the scalp vs. dandruff, including symptoms, treatment for scalp psoriasis and dandruff, and preventative strategies.

What is psoriasis on the scalp known as?

Scalp psoriasis develops when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive and accelerates the synthesis of skin cells.

Rather than a shed, these cells accumulate on the surface of the skin, forming raised, reddish plaques that itch and burn. These plaques may be covered in flaky silvery scales.

Psoriasis can manifest itself in any area of the body, including the scalp. Over half of psoriasis patients develop plaques on their scalp.

How do scalp psoriasis appear?

Areas of thick, bloated, crimson patches with well-defined borders are all that is visible. Silvery-white scales can be seen on top of these places. Be cautious when combing your hair, shampooing, or putting on and taking off headwear because it’s easy to knock them off and cause bleeding.

What is dandruff defined as?

Dandruff is a relatively common scalp condition that causes dry skin flakes to accumulate in a person’s hair or on their clothing. While it normally does not require medical treatment, it can be irritating and uncomfortable for people who are affected and unsightly.

The symptoms of scalp psoriasis and dandruff can be compared:

Dandruff symptoms may include the following

  • Mild redness in the afflicted scalp area
  • Scalp that is greasy
  • Itchy scalp with whitish to yellowish flakes
  • Skin that is dry and flaky, which is exacerbated in a cold, dry climate
  • An infant’s scalp is scaly and crusty (called cradle cap)
  • Infection of the skin caused by excessive scratching

The comparison of symptoms of scalp psoriasis and dandruff:

  • Small red lumps that grow in size and shape into scales
  • On the scalp, lesions and dandruff-like flakes
  • Prominent red or white plaques with silvery-colored scales
  • Itching that frequently leads to the scales being torn off by scratching
  • Hair loss on a large scale (in severe scalp psoriasis)

Here are a few reasons for psoriasis on the scalp:

It cannot be contracted from another individual. As is the case with other varieties, we have no idea what causes it. Doctors believe it is caused by a problem with your immune system, which causes skin cells to develop abnormally rapidly and accumulate into patches. If psoriasis runs in your family, you may be more prone to develop it.

What does scalp psoriasis appear like?

It can be quite moderate and virtually undetectable. However, it can be severe, persist for an extended period of time, and result in thick, crusted sores. Intense itching can disrupt sleep and daily life, and excessive scratching can result in skin infections and hair loss.

When should you visit a dermatologist?

If you’ve been using over-the-counter medications as advised for several weeks and your condition hasn’t improved, it’s probably time to consult a doctor.

While normal dandruff is typically treated with specific shampoos, scalp psoriasis may require stronger medications. Doctors may prescribe an oral drug or biologics in addition to the topical prescription medications described above, “particularly if the patient has severe psoriasis elsewhere on the body or wakes up stiff in the morning, which is a symptom of psoriatic arthritis.”

There are various types of scalp psoriasis that might affect the human body. There are various ways to treat the condition.


Various medications can be used to treat the condition. At certain times combination medications can also be recommended to treat the condition.


Injectable biologics are drugs derived from natural sources. They suppress the immune system, which can help alleviate the inflammation and redness associated with psoriasis.

Ultraviolet light therapy:

Phototherapy involves exposing the afflicted skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Psoriasis can be effectively treated with ultraviolet B (UVB). Laser treatments are very useful for psoriasis.

Broadband UVA and UVB light are emitted by natural sunshine. The most often used type of artificial light in phototherapy is narrowband UVB.

However, there are a few distinctions: It is persistent: Psoriasis is a chronic condition, whereas dandruff is transient. It has a scaly texture rather than a flaky one. When scalp psoriasis is mild, it appears as scaly, silvery, or powdery patches that may flake off in minute pieces. Reach out to the best dermatology hospital in Coimbatore to get advanced treatment for scalp related concerns.

Psoriasis, which is a far more severe condition, can also generate dry, dandruff-like flakes. While dandruff is a disease, not a symptom, dandruff-like flakes are frequently seen in psoriasis on the scalp and some other types of scalp diseases.

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