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The Difference between Scalp Psoriasis and Dandruff

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There are some people who mistake a breakout of thick flakes on their scalps as a dandruff problem, and they will sometimes try to treat this with the use of normal, everyday dandruff solutions like shampoos, conditioners, creams and other such items that are used to help get rid of these white flakes. What they do not know is that the dandruff they are treating may not be actually dandruff but rather scalp psoriasis.

Scalp psoriasis is a kind of skin ailment that manifests itself in symptoms like red patches on your scalp that is often covered or accompanied by white or silvery flakes, skin or scalp that may bleed due to dryness and cracking, and a burning or itching feeling. On the other hand, dandruff is a skin problem that bears some similarities to scalp psoriasis, but to a lesser extent. Dandruff can also be called seborrheic dermatitis or seborrheic eczema, depending on how severe the case may be. Symptoms of dandruff or seborrheic eczema may also include the usual flaking of the skin, itchiness and sometimes yellowish scales that are found near the hair shaft.

While it may seem like these two are rather different, and they do have certain notable differences, they can actually be treated with the same treatments, depending on the severity of the person's scalp psoriasis or the dandruff problem. The most notable difference between the two problems is probably the thickness of the scales that the skin condition produces. Scalp psoriasis tends to produce thicker scales than dandruff. This means that while they can both be treated with the usual dandruff shampoos that contain ketoconazole or selenium sulfide, sufferers of scalp psoriasis may need to use more than just shampoos to help keep the scaling, the skin cracking and bleeding down.

Another distinct difference between dandruff and scalp psoriasis is the fact that while a person suffering from dandruff may have an itchy scalp that has a layer of flakes on it, a person with scalp psoriasis will often have more than just his scalp to worry about since this condition usually has other manifestations on the person's body in the form of psoriasis scales. These can usually be found on a person's elbows, fingers and even on his knees, and they may require treatments with the use of ointments or creams that are formulated for such problems.

Diagnosing whether a person is suffering from seborrheic eczema or from psoriasis can be done with a little scrutiny of the other parts of the person's body for other flaky regions. Should these be absent, the person need not worry too much since there are treatments that are pretty effective on any of these two scalp problems.


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