Is it Scalp Psoriasis or Seborrheic Dermatitis?

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Two conditions can cause flaky, itchy scalp: psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes an immune response that results in a rapid growth and buildup of new skin cells.

Psoriasis may appear on any part of the body, though the lesions most commonly develop on the elbows, hands, feet, knees, and scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis, on the other hand, is a skin condition that causes scaling and itchiness on the scalp and face. Seborrheic dermatitis is also commonly known as dandruff.

Seborrheic Dermatitis (Dandruff) Symptoms

Seborrheic dermatitis usually occurs on the scalp, though any part of the body can become affected.

It causes patches of skin that to become irritated and itchy in addition to scaly. As usually associated with dandruff, the flakes are white or yellowish and greasy.  Scratching often makes the flaking worse.

Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis causes red patches on the scalp with silvery scales and flakes. The flakes may get stuck to the roots of your hair. Psoriasis flakes are often thicker, more defined, and drier than those of seborrheic dermatitis.

Psoriasis also rarely only targets the scalp and affects other parts of the body. If your psoriasis begins showing symptoms on the scalp, it might spread to your neck, for instance. The good news is that medical professionals often easily distinguish psoriasis from seborrheic dermatitis upon an examination of your scalp, elbows, knees, hands, and feet.

Treating Scalp Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis

Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis that affects the scalp also have some treatments in common, like coal tar and medicated shampoos, antifungal medicines, and corticosteroid ointments. However, psoriasis is not merely a skin condition and affects the immune system, the treatment of scalp psoriasis is much more taxing as it is a symptom of a chronic condition.

If your scalp is itchy with greasy flakes, trying natural remedies, lifestyles changes, and over-the-counter medications may alleviate your condition. However, if nothing seems to help, you should consult a doctor as early as possible.

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