How To Tell The Difference Between Scalp Psoriasis and Dandruff



It’s quite often difficult to tell the difference between the symptoms of scalp psoriasis and dandruff. Both share similar symptoms including white flakes of dead of skin and itchy scalp. However, there is a difference and it’s important to know the difference between the two in order to seek the correct treatment.

The first thing to note is that psoriasis may be the underlying cause of dandruff. Psoriasis is thought to be caused by immune system and a genetic predisposition to psoriasis. You have a strong chance of inherting the genetic predisposition towards psoriasis if a member of your family has the disease. Thankfully not everyone who has a genetic tendency towards psoriasis goes on to develop the disease. Psoriasis knows no bounds, people of any age can get psoriasis. Psoriasis tends to affect males and females equally.

Remember, both scalp psoriasis and dandruff have similar symptoms. Scalp psoriasis symptoms are often triggered off from seemingly innocent cuts, abrasions, scratches and even sunburn. Quite often a flare up of psoriasis will happen during the winter months because of lack of natural sunlight. Scalp psoriasis commonly affect the back of the head, but it is no unusual for the patches to occur on other areas or even cover the entire scalp. Psoriasis may not be confined just to the scalp. Scaly, silvery patches can appear on your elbows, knees, lower back, groin and other body folds.

On the other hand, dandruff is mainly caused by naturally occuring fungus, the Malassezia yeast, that feeds on the natural oils of the skin. Dut to this the skin starts to shed too quickly and begins to itch. Other causes of dandruff are not shampooing the hair enough, not brushing the hair regularly, poor diet and too much stress. Mild dandruff tends to affect more men than women and occurs usually between the ages of 20-30.

The treatment options for both scalp psoriasis and dandruff are very similar. Treatments include using shampoos that contain coal tar and salicyclic acid or topical steroid creams to reduce inflammation. Using an anti-fungal shampoo will normally sort your dandruff out since the main cause of dandruff is fungus.

Even though scalp psoriasis and dandruff are similar, scalp psoriasis can be more difficult to treat. If specific shampoos or steroid creams do not work, then your physician may recommend exposure to ultraviolet light to help the skin repair itself. If these treatments don’t work then as a last resort oral retinoids may be prescribed.

Now you know that even though scalp psoriasis and dandruff look similar in appearance, there are different causes which may require slightly different treatments.

It’s not the end of the world having either scalp psoriasis or dandruff as there are so many effective products available. If you think you have scalp psoriasis or any other form of psoriasis, study the psoriasis symptoms and consult your doctor to confirm the diagnosis. You should be aware that as well as conventional treatments, there are also natural psoriasis treatments.

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1 Response to “How To Tell The Difference Between Scalp Psoriasis and Dandruff”


  1. the sad thing is there is no permament cure for Psoriasis. we can only manage the itchiness by using corticosteroids.

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