If you've noticed excess flakiness around your scalp, your first thought might be dandruff. However, other conditions, like scalp psoriasis, cause similar flakes and symptoms. If you're struggling to identify which is affecting you, this article can help you distinguish some of the key differences between scalp psoriasis and dandruff.
Dandruff is a common scalp condition that's characterised by small, white flakes of skin. These flakes might fall out and appear on other parts of the hair and even clothing. While it can be embarrassing and difficult to manage, dandruff is relatively harmless. It's not contagious, and it's not caused by poor hygiene.
Scalp psoriasis is when itchy, silvery scales or plaques form on the scalp. These scales can be red or flaky and white and may be sore and sensitive. Further, these psoriasis patches are often very dry, leading to lots of flakiness around the scalp and hair. Let's take a look at some of the main differences between these two scalp conditions so you can identify what's affecting you.
In addition to flaking, dandruff may also cause itchiness and redness. However, these symptoms are usually mild and don't cause pain or major discomfort.
Scalp psoriasis, on the other hand, often causes intense scalp itchiness. The flakes can also be large and oily, and they may be stuck to the scalp. In some cases, scalp psoriasis may also cause hair loss due to inflammation and itching.
Scalp psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes the skin on your scalp to produce too many cells. This overproduction leads to the formation of thick, scaly patches known as plaques. Like other forms of this skin condition, scalp psoriasis can be mild, moderate, or severe. In contrast, dandruff isn't caused by problems with the immune system or inflammation. Rather, it's thought to be related to an overgrowth of a type of fungus or dehydrated, dry skin.
Even though it's very difficult to tell, there are some differences in the appearance of dandruff and scalp psoriasis flakes. Dandruff flakes are usually smaller and less oily than those from scalp psoriasis. They might also be lighter in colour. Scalp psoriasis, on the other hand, often causes thick scales that are yellowish or white. These scales might also be oily and crusty, and they can sometimes be very large.
Dealing with scalp psoriasis or dandruff can be challenging and frustrating. But don't be discouraged - there are natural things you can do to lessen the flakiness and soothe your scalp. Scalp oils can help to moisturise the scalp and reduce flakiness. Look for products that contain natural ingredients like jojoba oil, argan oil, or coconut oil. You can also make your own natural scalp oil by mixing together a carrier oil and adding in some essential oils for extra benefits.
Gentle scalp exfoliation can help to remove built-up skin cells and improve circulation. You can exfoliate your scalp weekly or as needed to help reduce flakiness and get rid of product build-up. This can also help moisturisers or scalp oils to penetrate the scalp better.
It's always important to feed and nourish the skin, whether you have psoriasis or not. Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and taking supplements can help to improve the health of your skin from the inside out. Specifically, probiotics like our multi-strain biotic supplement can help with immune system function and maintain gut health, providing the skin with the foundation it needs to heal.
When you have scalp psoriasis, it's important to use gentle hair products that won't irritate your skin. Look for sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners, as well as products that are specifically designed for sensitive scalps. You might also want to avoid hairstyling products like hairspray or gel, as these can sometimes worsen scalp psoriasis. Our soothing, gentle shampoo and conditioner are designed to hydrate and calm the skin without aggravating sensitive spots or drying out your scalp. Instead, our shampoo uses natural ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile to help to soothe your psoriasis and fortify your hair follicles.
If you still can't identify what's causing your itchy scalp and flakes, then it's best to contact a medical professional for further help. Once you know the cause of your flakes, you can take the right approach to reduce them and support your skin health.