Dandruff vs Psoriasis: Top 7 Ways To Treat Psoriasis & dandruff?

This is the most comprehensive guide to treating scalp problems. 

The best part?

I am going to show you How Is Scalp Psoriasis Different From Dandruff? & both Symptoms, causes, treatment, and tips, that are helpful for you.

In short: If you want to get rid of dandruff or psoriasis and regrow your healthy hair, you’ll love this guide.

Let’s get started.


How Is Scalp Psoriasis Different From Dandruff? (Dandruff vs Psoriasis)

How Is Scalp Psoriasis Different From Dandruff (Dandruff vs Psoriasis)
Image Credit: istockphoto.com
  • Psoriasis: 

It mostly occurs on the scalp and also it can occur in other body partsPsoriasis is known as an autoimmune disease and also Psoriasis can directly affect your skin. 

If you have psoriasis on your skin or scalp then you may see flaky skin and also it can appear as raised patches of scalyPsoriasis is most common in adults and also sometimes it can occur in children

In black skin, psoriasis can appear like violet patches and purple patches that form on the skin. In white skin, psoriasis can appear like red patches, dry, plaques that form on the skin. It is an inflammatory condition. 


  • Dandruff:

The first sign of dandruff is itching. Dandruff can appear on the scalp and it is a common scalp condition that can cause flakes of skin to appear.  

If you don’t brush or wash your hair regularly then dandruff may be more visible on your scalp. It is the most common condition and also it isn’t serious 

Dandruff can cause oily and irritated skin, and dry skin, and also it can cause contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.


The main differences between dandruff and psoriasis 


  1. 1. Dandruff can cause back acne and forehead acne. But it doesn’t spread. On the other hand, If you have psoriasis then you may experience that psoriasis can spread to other parts of your body like the back of your neck, forehead, and skin around the ears. 
  2. 2. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorderBut Dandruff is not an autoimmune disorder. 
  3. 3. Dandruff occurs for a while and then goes back and occurs againOn the other hand, Psoriasis usually occurs or lasts for a long period or is chronic. 
  4. 4. Dandruff is flaky. But psoriasis is flakier, and also if you have mild psoriasis then you may see it fall off as scaly and white powdery patches and silvery. 
  5. 5. Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. But dandruff is not an inflammatory condition. 


Signs & Symptoms Of Dandruff & Psoriasis



  1. 1. It can make your skin itchy. 
  2. 2. It can make painful skin that can bleed or crack due to dry skin. 
  3. 3. If you have psoriasis then you may experience bleeding when you scratch the small area of skin(where psoriasis occurs).
  4. 4.  If you have psoriasis then you may experience scaly plaques on your scalp.
  5. 5. In some cases, it can be speared and it can cover large areas of your skin.
  6. 6. It can occur as patches of red, inflamed patches of skin, or rashes.
  7. 7. It occurs when your skin becomes inflamed. 
  8. 8. Soreness around patches.
  9. 9. Burning sensations.
  10. 10. Painful, swollen joints.



  1. 1. Itchy scalp  
  2. 2. Skin flakes on your scalp, beard or mustache, eyebrows, shoulders, and hair. 
  3. 3. scaly 
  4. 4. Oily scalp


Causes Of Dandruff & Psoriasis



  • 1. Brushing your hair irregularly: 

Try to brush your hair regularlyIf you don’t brush your hair regularly then it can cause dandruff on your scalp due to the build-up of dead skin.  


  • 2. Air pollution:  

Air pollution is also can cause dandruffDue to air pollution, you may face allergic reactions or irritation which can lead to dandruff on your scalp. 


  • 3. Not shampooing enough:  

If you don’t shampoo your hair for long then it can cause dandruff on your scalp due to skin cells and oils buildup on your scalp. 

 So, if you have a dry scalp then wash your hair with shampoo twice a week or if you have an oily scalp then wash your hair three times a week.


  • 4. Seborrheic dermatitis, Contact dermatitis, and Fungus which are also can cause dandruff.


  • 5. Stress can cause hair loss. Try to manage your stress with stress management techniques.


  • 6. People with a compromised immune system (those with HIV ) are likely to have dandruff.


  • 7. Alkaline shampoos: If you use hair products that are not suitable for your hair you may experience flaky and itchy scalp which can lead to dandruff on your scalp.

So, before choosing any hair product for your hair, first of all, you need to know about your hair texture, hair porosity, and hair density which helps you to choose the right hair product for your hair that is suitable for your hair. 


  • 8. Certain male hormones cause dandruff in men.


  • 9. Dry skin may leave small flakes on the scalp.


  • 10. A yeast-like fungus can cause dandruff



  1. 1. Smoking can cause psoriasis. 
  2. 2. Viral and bacterial infection can cause psoriasis 
  3. 3. Family history can cause psoriasis  
  4. 4. Stress can cause psoriasis 
  5. 5. Obesity can cause psoriasis 
  6. 6. Skin injuries can cause psoriasis 
  7. 7. Lack of vitamin D can cause psoriasis 
  8. 8. Infections, including strep throat or skin infection, can cause psoriasis 
  9. 9. Alcohol addiction can cause psoriasis 
  10. 10. Some medications like antimalarial drugs, lithium, iodides, and beta-blockers can cause psoriasis


Receding Hairline Treatment


Treatment for dandruff



If you have dandruff on your scalp then try using OTC shampoos that contain different active ingredients that can help you to treat your scalp dandruff.   

Here are many different active ingredients that you need to look at in shampoo before buying:

  • 1. Zinc pyrithione
  • 2. Ketoconazole
  • 3. Coal tar
  • 4. Salicylic acid
  • 5. Selenium sulfide


If your symptoms improve after using those shampoos then try to use them less often, but if you stop using those shampoos completely then your dandruff may come back.  

One important thing I want to tell you is If you use a shampoo that contains coal tar then you need to be aware that it can make your scalp more sensitive to sun exposure and also it can cause discoloration of your hair if your hair is not black. 


Treatment for scalp psoriasis 


1. Topical treatments 

  • ATazarotene (Tazorac): 

Try to apply tazarotene on your scalp psoriasis which can help you to get rid of psoriasis. Before using it try to mix Tazarotene with steroids. 

 Try to apply it to your scalp psoriasis at bedtime. Try to wash it in the morning when you wake up.

  • B. Medicated shampoos: 

 Try using medicated shampoos on your hair for treating your psoriasisIt is an effective treatment 

You need to use shampoos that contain clobetasol propionate. It is safeTry to use it daily for 4 weeks or maybe less.


  • C. Scale-softening agents: 

If you have scalp psoriasis then try using scale-softening agents 

Try to use creams, ointments, and lotions that contain urea, and salicylic acid which can help you to soften your scales(makes removing them easier), which can help you to get rid of psoriasis.  


  • D. Calcipotriene:  

Try to apply calcipotriene on your scalp psoriasis which can help you to get rid of psoriasis. It is a synthetic type of vitamin D-3. Also to increase, its effectiveness tries to mix calcipotriene with a steroid 

Try to use (apply) it on your scalp psoriasis at often bedtime.


  • E. Corticosteroids:  

These are anti-inflammatory drugs and also these are the most powerful and effective for treating scalp psoriasis. These are known as the best effective topical treatment for scalp psoriasis.  

If you want to get relief from psoriasis then you can try it. These can help you to lessen itching, swelling, allergic reactions, and redness. 


Medications for scalp psoriasis


Before going to take any supplements consult with your health care provider

  • A. Acitretin (Soriatane) 
  • B. Apremilast
  • C. Cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • E. Injected corticosteroids
  • F. Biologic medications
  • E. UV light


Iron Deficiency Hair Loss

Hard Water Hair Treatment


Who Develops These Conditions?


Scalp Psoriasis 

It is an autoimmune disorder, your genetics play a major role in causing psoriasisIt can occur due to infections, obesity, smoking, and stress.  

Anyone can experience dandruff at any period of lifeIt is common in ages between 15-35. 



Dandruff can occur due to several reasons like low humidity, Stress, and lack of sleep. Anyone can experience dandruff at any period of life.  

It is common and it isn’t a serious condition. It is most common in men compared to women.


Most Affected Areas In The Human Body


  • Back
  • Knees
  • elbows
  • Scalp Psoriasis
  • Scalp



  • Chest
  • Forehead
  • Sides of nose and ears (less common)
  • Can happen throughout the scalp
  • Back


Does seborrheic dermatitis cause psoriasis? 

No, Seborrheic dermatitis doesn’t cause psoriasis.  

Seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis are both skin conditions that can directly affect your scalp and also symptoms are also the same in both skin conditions.  

But both are different from each other.    


Should I wash my hair every day if I have psoriasis? 

Yes, you should wash your hair every day for 5 minutes with warm water not hot.  

Use a gentle, moisture-rich soap or cleanser made for sensitive skin. 



In this article, I discussed in detail How Is Scalp Psoriasis Different From Dandruff? & It’s Symptoms, causes, treatment, and tips.

I hope it’s helpful for you.

If you like this article please share it on social media and comment below if you have any queries related to this article.


Ijaj Seikh

Hi, I Am Ijaj Seikh & Founder and CEO of MRIJAJGUIDE & FLPIS.

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