Scalp psoriasis and Dandruff are two of the most irritating scalp problems that you could experience. While both of them are treatable, the process takes a lot of time and patience and each of them is markedly different. Let’s find out more.
Scalp Psoriasis Vs. Dandruff
Scalp psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, itchy, and scaly patches on the scalp. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the skin cells to multiply rapidly, resulting in the build-up of thick, scaly patches on the scalp. These patches can be dry or moist and may bleed if scratched. In severe cases, scalp psoriasis can lead to hair loss.
Dandruff is a common scalp condition that causes flaky, itchy, and oily or dry skin on the scalp. It is caused by a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia that thrives on the oils secreted by the hair follicles. Dandruff can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, hormonal changes, poor diet, and certain hair products. While it is not a serious condition, severe dandruff can be embarrassing and difficult to manage.
Causes of Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis is an anomaly of the immune system that causes skin cells to regenerate at abnormally fast rates. This results in red patches and scaling. It is believed that both environmental and genetic factors are responsible for scalp psoriasis. It has been found that if you have at least one member of your family suffering from scalp psoriasis then you have a greater possibility of developing the same condition.
People susceptible to scalp psoriasis may not show any symptoms for years until it is triggered by an external agency. The most common reasons for scalp psoriasis include:
- Throat or skin infections
- High-stress levels can weaken your immune system and the possibility of developing psoriasis
- Cold, dry conditions
- A skin injury brought about by cut, bite or sunburn
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Certain strong medicines for conditions such as malaria and high blood pressure
- Withdrawal symptoms after stoppage of corticosteroids.
Causes of Dandruff
The skin cells on our scalp are in a process of constant regeneration and old skin is constantly flaked out and replaced with new skin. When this process of flaking is expedited and more white flakes are visible, people are said to be suffering from dandruff problems.
Dandruff is not directly connected to your hair or its hygiene, but it has more to do with the condition of your scalp skin. Dandruff can happen because of a variety of causes including:
- Oily skin
- Dry skin
- If you do not shampoo regularly and excess skin cells develop
- The Malassezia fungus that feeds on scalp oil
- Contact dermatitis, wherein the person has an unfavourable reaction to certain hair products.
- It could also be the result of hormonal issues.
- Could be due to pitta dosha
Dandruff related problems give you an itchy scalp as a result of the accumulation of skin flakes which could worsen in cold and dry weather. Severe stress leads to more dandruff issues and could cause extensive hair loss. Dandruff can cause irritation, itchiness, flakiness, dryness and inflammation and can get aggravated by stress and weather.
Scalp Psoriasis Vs. Dandruff: A detailed Comparison
Appearance on the scalp
Red, itchy, and scaly patches that can be dry or moist
White or yellow flakes of dead skin that are oily or dry
Duration on the scalp
Can last for weeks or months
Can come and go, or last for long periods
Thick, scaly patches
Flaky, dry, or oily scalp
Fungal infection caused by Malassezia
Topical steroids, coal tar, salicylic acid, etc.
Anti-fungal shampoos, medicated shampoos, etc.
Can be severe, with bleeding and hair loss in some cases
Usually mild, with no hair loss or bleeding
What Are The Complications of Scalp Psoriasis?
Scalp psoriasis can lead to several complications, including:
- Hair loss: Severe cases of scalp psoriasis can lead to hair loss, which may be temporary or permanent.
- Infection: Scratching the affected scalp can cause open sores, which can become infected.
- Secondary infections: Continuous scratching of the scalp can lead to open sores, which can become infected with bacteria or fungi.
- Psoriatic arthritis: Some people with scalp psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis that causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
- Cardiovascular disease: Studies have shown that people with psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis, are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
- Depression and anxiety: The symptoms of scalp psoriasis, such as itching, flaking, and bleeding, can cause emotional distress, leading to depression and anxiety.
- Social isolation: Scalp psoriasis can be embarrassing and lead to social isolation and decreased quality of life.
- Decreased self-esteem: Scalp psoriasis can lead to decreased self-esteem and confidence due to its impact on appearance.
What Are The Complications of Dandruff?
Dandruff is generally not a serious condition, but it can lead to several complications, including:
- Skin infections: Scratching the scalp due to itching caused by dandruff can cause open sores, which can become infected with bacteria or fungi.
- Acne: Dandruff can worsen acne on the face and chest, as the flakes from the scalp can clog pores and cause inflammation.
- Emotional distress: The symptoms of dandruff, such as persistent itching and flaking, can cause emotional distress and lead to anxiety and depression.
- Social isolation: Severe dandruff can be embarrassing and lead to social isolation and decreased quality of life.
- Itchy and inflamed skin: Dandruff can cause redness, inflammation, and itching on the scalp, which can be uncomfortable and distracting.
Treating Scalp Psoriasis
Though there is no cure for scalp psoriasis it is possible to get it under control with the help of several treatment processes. The treatment will depend on
- The severity of the problem
- How your body has responded before (if this is a relapse)
- The presence of psoriasis in other parts of your body
- The density of your hair.
The medicines are generally administered directly onto the scalp whether orally or with the help of injections. Phototherapy or light treatment techniques have also become very popular nowadays. If the medication does not prove to be effective the doctor may suggest a combination. The first step is to remove the scales which will make it convenient for the other medicines to work their magic.
- Several OTC products contain salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulphide and lactic acid which are extremely effective in loosening the scales.
- You can then further loosen the scales with a brush
- Shampoo to remove the scales with a product containing any of the above-mentioned ingredients
- After removal of the scales apply the creams in those places while they are still damp to hold in the moisture.
Treatment for Dandruff
- Traya’s Anti-Dandruff Combo: Traya's medicated anti-dandruff shampoo and hair dandruff solution with natural extracts helps prevent occurrence of dandruff-causing bacteria. This powerful combo relieves itchy scalp and irritation. Its components are made with safe antifungal, natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Anti-dandruff solution, ichthammol and aloe vera reduces flaking and helps soothe dry scalp and nourishes and encourages healthy hair growth. This kit includes Traya's Anti-Dandruff Night Lotion, Traya's Anti Dandruff Shampoo & Traya’s Scalp Oil With Dandruff Therapy Booster Oil
- Anti-dandruff shampoos: These shampoos contain active ingredients like zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, or selenium sulfide, which can help reduce dandruff by slowing down the growth of the yeast-like fungus that causes it.
- Topical treatments: Creams, lotions, and oils containing active ingredients like coal tar, salicylic acid, or sulphur can be applied directly to the scalp to reduce dandruff.
- Lifestyle changes: Maintaining good scalp hygiene, avoiding stress, and eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help reduce dandruff.
- Prescription medications: In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe oral medications like antibiotics, antifungal drugs, or immunosuppressants to treat dandruff.
- Corticosteroids: They are available in various forms such as lotions, gels, sprays and shampoos and are used for treating inflammation in bigger patches. The effect of corticosteroids diminishes if used for a long period.
- Coal tar products: They are very useful in reducing itchiness, inflammation and scaling. They also help in decreasing the speed of growth. You can apply a coal tar shampoo on your scalp and rinse it off after 10 minutes.
- Steroid injections: Intralesional steroid injections are administered to reduce inflammation and are injected directly into the affected area.
- Light therapy: In the process, the infected skin is exposed to natural or artificial light. It could involve exposure to sunlight daily as well as UVB broadband light from a controlled source.
- Creams: Creams such as anthralin, calcipotriene (vitamin D) and Tazarotene (vitamin A) could also be suggested.
Home Remedies To Control Scalp Psoriasis and Dandruff
It is always advisable to act on the recommendations of your health care provider but many home remedies could provide a soothing touch and also cure your dandruff and psoriasis scalp issues. Let’s find out more about how to treat scalp psoriasis naturally.
- Aloe vera: Use fresh aloe vera gel extracted from the plant and apply it over your hair and scalp. It is very effective in reducing scaling.
- Apple cider vinegar: Use a 1:1 solution of aloe vera with water. Dilute it further if it produces a burning sensation. Use this remedy 3 times a week for best results. Avoid using it if you have a cracked or bleeding scalp.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is very effective in reducing the inflammation associated with psoriasis. It is also a very good antioxidant. You can also add the extra dose of turmeric to your cooking to derive its benefits. This is how to treat scalp psoriasis at home
- Baking soda: This is a very useful solution for an itchy scalp. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Use cotton wool to apply it over the affected regions of your scalp to get relief from itching and inflammation.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is considered to be a highly potent remedy as it has a lot of healthy fats that augment scalp health. Massage some mildly heated oil onto your scalp and cover it up with a shower cap. Wash it off with a mild shampoo after 20 minutes.
How To Care For Your Scalp To Prevent Psoriasis And Dandruff?
To care for your scalp and prevent psoriasis and dandruff, you can follow these tips:
- Maintain good scalp hygiene: Wash your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo and warm water to remove excess oil and dead skin cells from the scalp.
- Avoid harsh hair products: Products like hair sprays, gels, and mousses can make the scalp oily, which can trigger dandruff and psoriasis. Opt for gentle, fragrance-free products.
- Manage stress: Stress can trigger psoriasis and dandruff flare-ups. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to reduce stress.
- Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent psoriasis and dandruff. Include foods like leafy green vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds in your diet.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking: Alcohol and smoking can weaken the immune system and trigger psoriasis and dandruff flare-ups.
- Use a humidifier: Dry air can worsen psoriasis and dandruff symptoms. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
- Protect your scalp from the sun: Sun exposure can trigger psoriasis and dandruff flare-ups. Wear a hat or use a sunscreen specifically designed for the scalp.
Traya's Solution To Dandruff & Scalp Psoriasis
- For dandruff solutions, Traya provides medicated anti-dandruff shampoo and hair dandruff solution with natural extracts that helps prevent occurrence of dandruff-causing bacteria. Its components are made with safe antifungal, natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Anti-dandruff solution, ichthammol and aloe vera reduces flaking and helps soothe dry scalp and nourishes and encourages healthy hair growth. There is a Traya Anti-Dandruff Combo available. This kit includes Traya's Anti-Dandruff Night Lotion, Traya's Anti Dandruff Shampoo & Traya’s Scalp Oil With Dandruff Therapy Booster Oil.
- We cannot treat Scalp psoriasis completely but by improving our internal health, we can get relief from itching and soothe the scalp which will ultimately help to reduce the flare up. We also recommend using Traya's Hair Ras vitamin which helps in balancing internal health as it is one of the major triggers for psoriasis.
Scalp psoriasis and dandruff are two distinct scalp conditions with different causes and characteristics. Scalp psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that leads to red, itchy, and scaly patches on the scalp due to the rapid multiplication of skin cells. On the other hand, dandruff is a common scalp condition caused by a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, resulting in flaky, itchy, and oily or dry skin on the scalp. While scalp psoriasis may lead to severe complications such as hair loss and psoriatic arthritis, dandruff is generally less severe and may cause emotional distress and itching. Proper diagnosis is crucial, as treatment approaches vary between the two conditions.
For scalp psoriasis, medical treatment with topical steroids, coal tar, or salicylic acid is commonly prescribed, and phototherapy or light treatment techniques can be effective. Managing underlying triggers, such as stress and cold weather, can also help alleviate symptoms. Dandruff treatment options include anti-dandruff shampoos containing active ingredients like zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole, topical treatments with coal tar or salicylic acid, and lifestyle changes like maintaining good scalp hygiene and a healthy diet. Home remedies like aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, baking soda, and coconut oil can also provide relief. Proper scalp care and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent and manage both scalp psoriasis and dandruff effectively. Traya offers specific solutions for dandruff, and while scalp psoriasis cannot be fully cured, our Hair Ras vitamin aids in improving internal health, potentially providing relief from symptoms and reducing flare-ups.
Q1. How do I know if I have dandruff or psoriasis?Ans - Dandruff typically causes flaky, itchy, and oily or dry skin on the scalp, while scalp psoriasis leads to red, itchy, and scaly patches. Consulting a dermatologist is essential to differentiate between the two conditions and receive an accurate diagnosis.
Q2. Are scalp psoriasis and dandruff the same thing?Ans - No, scalp psoriasis and dandruff are different conditions. Scalp psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes rapid skin cell multiplication, while dandruff is caused by a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia and is not an autoimmune condition.
Q3. How do I know if I have scalp psoriasis?Ans - If you have red, itchy, and scaly patches on your scalp, it could be a sign of scalp psoriasis. However, a dermatologist's evaluation is necessary for a definitive diagnosis.
Q4. Can dandruff turn into psoriasis?Ans - Dandruff and psoriasis are separate conditions, but severe and persistent dandruff can sometimes be misdiagnosed as scalp psoriasis. It is essential to consult a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Q5. Can dandruff shampoo help psoriasis?Ans - While dandruff shampoo can help manage dandruff, it may not be sufficient for treating scalp psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis requires specific medical treatments, such as topical steroids or phototherapy, prescribed by a dermatologist for effective management.
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