Scalp psoriasis can be mistaken for some other conditions, but it is usually seborrheic dermatitis. Both scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis cause itching, scaling on the scalp, but they are entirely different diseases.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes a rapid growth and buildup of new skin cells due to a defective immune system response. Although the scalp, elbows, hands, knees, and feet are the most commonly affected areas, psoriasis can affect any part of the skin.
Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) is, whereas, a skin condition that results in itching and flaking on the face and scalp.
Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis typically forms on the scalp and causes irritation and itching on the skin, as well as flaking. In form, these flakes are greasy and yellowish-white. Scratching worsens seborrheic dermatitis and should be avoided.
Psoriasis on the Scalp
Psoriasis causes the formation of red, silver, and flaky patches, and psoriasis scales are more defined, drier, and thicker than dandruff. People with psoriasis rarely develop lesions and spots only on the scalp because psoriasis can have a far-reaching effect.
Most people with psoriasis who exhibit symptoms on their scalp typically have patches on the back of their as well. Doctors can usually diagnose psoriasis by checking the patient’s elbows, knees, hands, and feet, in addition to their scalp.
Psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis have treatments in common as well such as coal tar shampoo and ointments.
Coal tar shampoos slow down new skin cell growth, lessen inflammation, and relieve itching. Salicylic acid shampoos are also used to reduce flaking and promote the shedding of dead skin cells. Both options reduce symptoms of psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
Shampoos that contain ketoconazole, selenium sulfide and zinc pyrithione are primarily used to improve seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. In more severe cases, antifungal drugs, corticosteroid lotions, or prescription-strength shampoos may be required.
Though, it is essential to note that psoriasis is not just a skin condition and attacks the immune system, so the treatment of is more complicated and can be harder than seborrheic dermatitis. Some individuals may need prescription-strength ointments or steroid injections in addition to making lifestyle modifications.
If quick remedies like choosing the right shampoo and over-the-counter treatments do not improve your symptoms right away, you should consult a doctor with your concerns right away.
Featured Image: depositphotos/DmytroKozak