Does Psoriasis of the Scalp Cause Dandruff?

Can I treat it the same way as one would treat dry scalp?

Doctor Answers 3

Scalp Psoriasis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Scalp psoriasis can often look to the untrained eye to be dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, but it is typically more red, thicker more silver scale, and similarly itchy. Shampoos containing salicylic acid, tar or steroids are particularly helpful; these can also help dandruff and seborrhoea, and anti-fungal shampoos are helpful for dandruff but not psoriasis. Typically scalp psoriasis is more stubborn and difficult to treat and should be assessed by a dermatologist.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Psoriasis in the Scalp Can Cause Dandruff

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dandruff basically refers to the condition where the skin of the scalp is flaky (scaling).  There are different skin conditions that can cause flaking (dandruff) of the scalp including psoriasis, but more commonly, a condition called seborrheic dermatitis.  Typically these conditions are all inflammatory (but benign) in nature and can be treated with different types of shampoos, oils, foams, ointments and so forth. I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist for evaluation (and confirmation of the diagnosis) and treatment.  



Psoriasis and dandruff

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dandruff is a general term for scalp scaling. Psoriasis is one major cause of scalp scaling. The most common cause of scalp scaling is seborrheic dermatitis. Dry scalp, atopic dermatitis, fungal infections, among other conditions can also cause scalp scaling. If your condition is very bothersome, you ought to consider consultation with a dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis to help guide treatment.

If you are in search of a good dermatologist, try logging on to the American Academy of Dermatology's website:

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.