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Your hair is not the only place you might experience flakes. If you suffer from psoriasis, you may see them on areas like your knees and lower back. It looks similar to dandruff and can affect the scalp too – here’s how to tell the difference.

Psoriasis doesn’t just affect the scalp. In fact, it can rear its head in a whole host of places including the head, knees, elbows and lower back – anywhere on the skin, really.


The symptoms are very similar to dandruff too, so when you get psoriasis on the scalp, it’s easy to think it might be dandruff. But there are some differences to look out for:

  • Redness beyond the hairline – you might notice it at the top of your forehead or around your sideburns too

  • More silvery flakes – these are similar to dandruff flakes as they appear on your hair and can fall onto the shoulders. But they tend to have a more silver appearance than the white flakes you experience with dandruff

  • Scaly areas – while dandruff flakes normally appear loose on the scalp and in your hair, the red patches associated with scalp psoriasis are often covered by scale-like areas of dead skin

These symptoms may be quite mild or they could be quite extreme – it varies from one person to the next. But it tends to go in cycles, so at sometimes they might subside and then erupt into a more severe outbreak later on. 

Psoriasis on other parts of the body

If you have psoriasis on other areas of the body, you may see other symptoms such as dry, cracked skin and swollen and stiff joints.

It can also affect the fingernails, in which case your nails may be thicker, pitted or ridged. Read more about scalp psoriasis.

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