Dandruff VS Scalp Psoriasis: What is the difference between the two?

Dandruff and Scalp Psoriasis are two common scalp issues. Celebrity Dermatologist and Director of Cutis Skin Studio Dr. Apratim Goel has shared about these two scalp conditions.
Health & Fitness,Dandruff VS Scalp PsoriasisDandruff VS Scalp Psoriasis: What is the difference between the two?
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Scalp conditions are common among people and the chances of the issues increase or worsen during the monsoon season. During monsoons, the levels of humidity and regular drenching in the rain can make your hair prone to several bacteria and fungi. And hence, possibilities of hair issues like dandruff, and frizzy hair with itchy scalp during this rainy season increases.

Other major reasons for scalp conditions are hereditary, malnutrition and infection. The treatment and your outlook differ from one scalp issue to another. If you are experiencing an itchy, flaky scalp, then you should consult a dermatologist asap. Also, when we say scalp issues it is not just dandruff. For the unversed, there are several other scalp issues and dandruff is just one of them.

Celebrity Dermatologist and Director of Cutis Skin Studio Dr. Apratim Goel said, "It’s not always dandruff. There are several other conditions that may seem similar to dandruff but require prescription based medications from a dermatologist for its treatment. Conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, tinea capitis, allergic contact dermatitis, etc may also have similar symptoms on the scalp and can only be distinguished and diagnosed by an expert."

She helped us with a guide about two common scalp issues i.e.dandruff and scalp psoriasis: 

What is dandruff and should you go to a dermatologist if you have dandruff?

She said, "Dandruff is one of the commonest conditions of the scalp, in which you get itching and observe tiny white flakes. Although dandruff is not a serious condition, neither contagious, it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat. Mild cases of dandruff don’t require you to visit a doctor, just daily shampooing will help improve the condition, moderate to severe cases require medicated lotions and shampoos for treatment."

She added, "The problem here is that many assume that the flakes of dandruff are because your scalp is dry and apply oils on the scalp. In fact, the cause of dandruff is mostly due to increased sebum (oil) secretion on the scalp. Hence in milder cases, daily shampooing removes this build-up of sebum and cleanses the scalp."

"However, in moderate to severe cases, irritated, the oily scalp also called seborrheic dermatitis, may also extend on the ears, back of the neck, eyebrows, side of the nose, etc, areas which are rich in oil glands. Dandruff is basically when this excess inflammatory oil secreted from the scalp combines with a fungus called mallesezia and causing the skin to flake and fall off. Hence, your dermatologist will advice antifungal shampoos for dandruff."

What is scalp psoriasis?

Dr. Goel explained, "Psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition when you see red, scaly, thick patches (plaques) on scalp. In psoriasis also white flakes are visible which many confuse to be dandruff and realize while scratching the scalp that there is a thick patch assumed dandruff. The immune system triggers the skin cells to grow too quickly and accumulate and hence becomes a thick plaque. "

Some points to differentiate it from dandruff – 

Long-lasting chronic condition

Can be seasonal 

Can affect other body parts like elbows, knees or even full body 

Treatment for psoriasis is prescription based creams, lotions. In severe cases, oral medications may be advised."

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