Psoriasis vs Dandruff: How to Tell the Difference

Psoriasis vs Dandruff: How To Tell The Difference

Dandruff can be annoying, but scalp psoriasis is a whole other issue, which can become quite serious if not properly treated. It can be hard to tell the difference between ordinary dandruff and an outbreak of psoriasis, since both can leave you with an itchy and flaky scalp. However, the treatments for each can be quite different, so it’s important to learn how to tell one from the other.

The Symptoms of Dandruff

The symptoms of dandruff include flakes of skin that can range from small and white in color, to large, greasy and yellow flakes. Itchiness and flaking appears mainly on the scalp.   

The Symptoms of Psoriasis

The symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the severity and type of outbreak. The most common signs you have psoriasis are patches of reddened, inflamed skin, often covered with flaky silver colored scales. These scales, or plaques as they are sometimes called, may be itchy and painful, and can crack and bleed when scratched. In more severe cases of psoriasis, these plaques will join together and spread, covering large areas of the scalp. Psoriasis is not limited to the scalp and can appear on other areas of the body.

Treating Psoriasis

The way psoriasis is treated depends on the seriousness of the symptoms. Particularly severe outbreaks require medications that treat the whole body. Other types of treatments may be more localized. It is always important to consult a dermatologist before seeking treatment on your own. 

When applied to the skin, topical treatments slow down the excessive cell production (hyper-proliferation) and reduce inflammation. This works to stem the appearance of plaques and reduce itching. Some topical ointments are only available with a prescription and contain anti-inflammatory agents that reduce the redness and swelling on cracked areas of the skin.

If you think you might have psoriasis, we recommend consulting a dermatologist to understand your condition and seek recommendation for suitable treatment. 

Treating Dandruff

Getting rid of dandruff symptoms is much easier than taking care of psoriasis. All you need to do is use a good anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner such as CLEARTM Complete Scalp Care. It works to treat dandruff at the source by stopping the excess growth of Malassezia, a fungus associated with dandruff, thus helping to eliminate the signs of dandruff.

Learning how to tell the difference between psoriasis and dandruff is an important part of taking care of your scalp, hair and skin as a whole. Although visible flakes of dandruff are likely to stop after regular use of an anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner, for psoriasis more specialized treatment is necessary. In any case, if your dandruff or psoriasis symptoms persist, it’s important to consult a dermatologist before any further complications arise.