What’s the Difference Between Dandruff and Psoriasis?

Flaky, dry skin on the scalp is usually attributed to dandruff. However, another condition can also cause very similar symptoms – psoriasis. This condition is considered far more serious than dandruff and can’t be dealt with that easily. But, how can you tell the difference between dandruff and psoriasis?

In this article, we will be going over some key differences between these two conditions, their symptoms and treatment options.

Dandruff – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

A condition caused by a dry scalp, dandruff is characterized by the flaking of skin on your scalp. The flaky white skin can be easily noticeable both in your hair and on your shoulders. In more advanced cases, dandruff can sometimes cause an itchy scalp.

Although it can sometimes be caused by yeast, dandruff is usually a result of poor hair hygiene. It can also be caused by using too much product on your hair or using a harsh shampoo with a lot of chemicals. This condition is easily treated with special antidandruff shampoo.

Psoriasis – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

An autoimmune disease that affects the life cycle of our skin cells, psoriasis is a much more serious medical condition than dandruff. It has a similar appearance as dandruff – dead, flaky skin on the scalp. However, psoriasis usually affects other parts of the body as well – knees, elbows, and back.

There is still no cure for this condition, although its symptoms can be treated with topical medications. More severe cases are treated with DMARDs – disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.


So, the key difference between dandruff and psoriasis is the severity of the condition. If you notice your dandruff isn’t going away after treating it with antidandruff shampoo, you might want to visit your dermatologist to exclude psoriasis as a possibility.

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