How to Tell the Difference Between Psoriasis and Dandruff

If you are wondering what is causing your scalp to itch or flake, you could have psoriasis or dandruff. Psoriasis is a skin condition affecting the scalp and body. Dandruff is a scalp condition caused by irritants, such as soap. Although these are just two of several conditions that can cause your scalp to feel uncomfortable, it's essential to understand how they differ. Understanding the differences also helps you get an expert's support and treatment.

What is Dandruff?

Over 50 million Americans experience dandruff at some stage in their lives, so you are not alone — typically, dry, flaky skin forms, which drops from your scalp onto your head and shoulders. Maybe you have seen people with a white dust-like appearance on their clothes, especially around the shoulder line. Dandruff is caused by the overproduction of yeast in the body. Inflammation leads to more skin cells than usual being produced, causing flaking. Sometimes other parts of the body have dry flaking skin. Dandruff is usually caused by harsh soaps and shampoos and can usually be prevented. It can also be hereditary, running in the family.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is very different from dandruff, although some appearances may be similar. The condition is caused by an autoimmune response where antibodies damage healthy tissue. When healthy tissues are attacked, skin production speeds up. It creates a new skin growth that emerges in dry, flaky patches all over the body. In healthy skin, dead cells are dispersed from the outer skin layers, usually without anyone noticing. However, in psoriasis, the skin-shedding process speeds up so that the cells cannot disperse normally and collect on the body in scaly patches.

How Does Treatment for Dandruff and Psoriasis Differ

Dandruff usually disperses with a change in shampoo or soap and using much gentler products. Psoriasis can be treated with various products, including topical, oral medication, and injections. Ultraviolet light treatments are an example of effective psoriasis treatments. Increasingly, Biologic drugs are being used in the treatment of psoriasis — these new style drugs work by blocking the inflammatory proteins causing the build-up of skin cells. Unlike dandruff, psoriasis cannot be prevented. However, treatments can keep the condition under control with a management program. Lifestyle changes such as spending time outdoors, cutting down on alcohol, and losing weight if you are obese can all help with managing psoriasis.

Dandruff and psoriasis are just two of many skin conditions, so it is essential to determine what is causing the problem by speaking to your doctor about your symptoms. If you have flaking skin and are unsure whether you have psoriasis or dandruff, call your doctor or speak to a skin care specialist. New-U can advise you on hair restoration and ensure you get the right treatment to manage hair loss. To schedule a free consultation, click here.

Photo Credit: 10634669 Via Pixabay

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