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It may be characterized by flakes, but scalp psoriasis couldn’t be any more different from dandruff. Find out why with our guide to this rarer genetic condition.

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:

  • dandruff

  • 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 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 for 2-3 weeks, then visit your doctor or dermatologist who can prescribe a solution for your psoriasis.

More about scalp psoriasis