What Is Scalp Psoriasis?
Confused if flakes on your head mean scalp psoriasis or is it just dandruff? Find out what scalp psoriasis is from the expert
If you’re experiencing flakes, itching and redness around the scalp, it could be – in order of most to least common – one of the following:
- seborrheic dermatitis
- scalp psoriasis
If you’ve ruled out the first two by using an anti-dandruff shampoo or a seborrheic dermatitis shampoo, then it could be psoriasis.
Scalp psoriasis is a somewhat rare genetic condition and a severe scalp condition that affects around 3% of the world’s population.
Some symptoms are similar to dandruff – as the body’s skin cells increase the rate of shedding, a build-up of flakes may be confused with dandruff.
But there are some important differences to remember:
Redness beyond the hairline – you might notice it at the top of your forehead or around your sideburns too
Flakes tend to be silver in color – they can also be more oily than dandruff flakes
Scaly areas – the red patches associated with scalp psoriasis are often covered by scale-like areas of dead skin
Other parts of the body can be affected – unlike dandruff, you may experience psoriasis in other areas, such as your hands and face
What to do about scalp psoriasis
If you’ve already ruled out dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis by using dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders for 2-3 weeks, then visit your doctor or dermatologist who can prescribe a solution for your psoriasis.