Last blog I talked about dandruff and how Mane ‘n Tail’s Daily Control Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner can help control it. Dandruff is a common problem and easily treatable, but if you’ve been using our Shampoo and Conditioner and the problem isn’t getting better, you might have a slighter more serious skin condition, either psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. Dr. Lawrence Gibson, a Dermatologist with the Mayo Clinic, tells us that all three conditions have effects on the scalp and have similar symptoms. “Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp and dandruff can be difficult to differentiate,” he says. “All are common conditions that affect the scalp. In addition, they share some similar signs and symptoms, such as itchy, red, scaly skin.”
Which do you have?
There’s no one test that can conclusively diagnosis one condition over the other. If you’re unsure, visit your doctor, who should be able to confirm your condition with a visual examination. For now, with the help and advice of the Mayo Clinic, let’s take a look at the definition, symptoms and treatments of dandruff, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
Dandruff: Also called pityriasis capitis, is very similar to seborrheic dermatitis, but without the inflammation. Dandruff confides itself to the scalp, especially hair lines.
Seborrheic Dermatitis: Also known as scalp dermatitis, this skin condition is an inflammatory reaction to a possible increase of yeast on the skin. It causes the skin cells to flake off at an unusually high rate. These skin cells are what make dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis so recognizable.
Psoriasis: A common skin condition that also causes the scalp to be red, itchy and flaky, but usually, it can also be found on other parts of the body, like elbows and knees. It is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to speed up the growth of skin cells.
Most of us know dandruff when we see, and feel, it – flakes of dead skin throughout your hair and often on your shoulders. Your scalp itches and the dry conditions associated with indoor heating may worsen your condition in the winter and you might have some relief in the summer.
Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp
Seborrheic dermatitis is very similar to dandruff and you may find it hard to determine which category your symptoms fall into. You’re finding the same dry patches of dead skin in your hair, but your scalp may feel hotter or look redder. You might find thicker scales or more dense patches of scales near your hairline and even in your armpits, and eyebrows. The itching may be worse with seborrheic dermatitis than with dandruff. If you are unsure, ask your doctor.
Symptoms of psoriasis may also closely resemble those of dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, a main difference being that psoriasis usually effects other areas of the body as well. The scales of the dead skin may be thicker, they may be drier. The patches go beyond the hairline and the itching can even lead to soreness. The patches of skin may have a more silvery appearance than the yellow patches associated with seborrheic dermatitis.
Dandruff is usually easily treatable. Products, like Mane ‘n Tail’s Daily Control Antidandruff Shampoo and Conditioner, that contain zinc pyrithione can usually keep your dandruff in check. Be patient and give your hair treatments time to work. Our antidandruff products are safe to use daily and it may take some time for you to notice a difference.
Seborrheic is often chronic, meaning it may last a long time or it may resurface even after treatment seemed to eliminate it. Over-the-counter shampoos and conditioners, like Mane ‘n Tail’s anti-dandruff products, may work, as may anti-fungal creams for areas other than your scalp. Your doctor might prescribe a medicated shampoo to help combat the symptoms.
Psoriasis might require stronger treatments — it’s best to talk to your doctor to determine the right regime for you. While there is no “cure” for psoriasis, certain topical and oral medications can help, as can sunlight therapy (heliotherapy) or artificial sunlight therapy (phototherapy). Your doctor can explain the different treatments and help you decide which would be benefit you.
Mane ‘n Tail’s Daily Control Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Daily Control Anti-Dandruff Conditioner will help relieve scalp itching, dryness and irritation. Our Anti-Dandruff products will also prevent flakes and improve the health of your scalp. However, be sure to check with your doctor if your problem persists or gets worse.