Dandruff Vs Psoriasis: What's the difference?

Scalp Psoriasis and Dandruff

Scalp Psoriasis and Dandruff

Dandruff and psoriasis are two skin conditions with different causes, symptoms, and treatments. While they both cause scaly patches of skin, they have different characteristics and require different treatment approaches.

Dandruff and psoriasis are two very common skin conditions. Dandruff is manifested as dry flakes of the skin whereas psoriasis is more like a red rash. Both dandruff and psoriasis are caused by an overactive immune system which results in skin inflammation or irritation. However, there are certain differences between dandruff and psoriasis that can help in identifying the kind of condition you have.

The most noticeable difference between dandruff and psoriasis is their symptoms. People with dandruff tend to have an itchy scalp while those with psoriasis mostly feel some sort of redness or irritation on their scalp.

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp that is accompanied by a flaky white or yellowish substance on the scalp. It’s one of the most common problems faced by men and women all over the world. It’s an annoying yet tolerable condition, but if left untreated, it can cause more damage to your hair.

And as far as causes are concerned, dandruff can be triggered by a number of factors, including hair care products, stress, hormonal changes, diet, bad hygiene, genetic predisposition, and so on. 

So how do you know if you have dandruff? The first sign is a dry scalp that flakes off. Also, you may experience sensations of scalp itchiness or tenderness and skin redness.

The good news is you can get rid of dandruff by using anti-dandruff shampoos and other easy home remedies to help keep your scalp clean and flake-free.

Dandruff is a dry, flaky scalp caused by an overproduction of sebum. Sebum is a natural moisturiser present on the scalp. It helps keep the hair moist, soft and helps to prevent dryness. When the scalp produces excess sebum, it is released along with dead skin cells and forms dandruff.

Men are more susceptible to dandruff than women. Men are twice as likely to suffer from dandruff as compared to women. This is because men have both more testosterone and less estrogen than women. Both sebum production and testosterone levels are usually at their peak during puberty and decrease with age, while estrogen levels remain pretty much the same throughout adulthood.

Dandruff is a common scalp disorder or a condition characterized by the presence of white flakes on the scalp. Dandruff is not a serious disorder, but it may cause severe problems like itchiness, redness and irritation, as well as hair fall.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It most commonly appears on the knees, elbows, lower back and scalp. The main symptom of psoriasis is red, scaly patches. 

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form; it causes thick, silvery scales to appear on the skin. In this type of psoriasis, the affected skin will have raised, red patches. Plaque psoriasis may also be accompanied by nail changes. Psoriatic nails may appear pitted or ridged. The affected nails may appear thin and fragile. Psoriatic nails are more likely to crack and become damaged.

Guttate psoriasis is a less common form; it causes small, drop-shaped spots to appear on the skin.

The patches are usually found on the knees, elbows and scalp. It is a very common disease and occurs worldwide. 

The immune system mistakes the top layer of your skin cells for foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. As a result, it produces a large number of T cells that travel to the skin and cause inflammation and scaling.

Itching is one of the most common symptoms in people with psoriasis. The patch or plaque can appear anywhere on the body but usually develops on areas of the skin that are affected by friction such as the knees and elbows.

Psoriasis can be treated with topical medications or oral and injectable medications. But this only helps in reducing the mild symptoms. There is no actual cure. People with severe Psoriasis condition are treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Another treatment is light therapy which targets Psoriasis trouble spots with ultraviolet light.

Take Away

Dandruff is caused by a natural process in the scalp called the sebaceous glands that produce excess sebum (oil) and hair and scales. When they combine, it becomes dandruff. The dandruff is actually dead skin cells, so the dandruff is very common.

If your dandruff does not go away after a few weeks of using ketoconazole shampoo, you must visit a dermatologist. 

If you experience red patches on the skin, small scaling spots, inflamed skin, etc. then you might be suffering from Psoriasis. Visit a dermatologist to get a confirmation of your condition and they will prescribe the necessary medication to treat your issue.

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