Skin conditions of the scalp: symptoms, causes and treatment
The scalp is the outermost part of the head and is the area of skin that lines the cranium.
The skin on the scalp is particularly delicate, because it is full of sebaceous glands and hair follicles. The scalp is sensitive to various forms of skin conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.
Dandruff (pityriasis capitis or, pityriasis capillorum) is one of the most common conditions affecting the scalp. The skin sheds cells constantly, but this process is usually invisible because the individual plaques of skin from the stratum corneum are far too small to be seen. Dandruff, however, refers to those plaques which shed from the scalp in visible silver-white flakes.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disorder of the epidermis cells. The condition often alternates between periods of remission and of flare ups where symptoms become more severe. Psoriasis of the scalp is characterized by the formation of scaly, discolored plaques on the scalp and on the skin around it. The patches can cause uncomfortable itching on the head which can result in dandruff-like flaking.
Seborrheic dermatitis is the most common form of dermatitis on the scalp. This rash affects mainly adults, however, in some cases it can also occur in childhood.