Dandruff Vs Dry scalp: Difference you should know [2022]

Dandruff Vs Dry scalp: Are you feeling severe itching in your scalp? Do you often scratch your scalp? Are there flakes running down from your scalp? If yes, it does not necessarily mean dandruff. Psoriasis is another severe scalp disease that you might be encountering.

It is essential to diagnose the problem right to get the right treatment. In this article today, we will discuss the difference between Dandruff Vs Dry scalp. Dandruff can be due to dry scalp, but both these conditions are entirely different.

The scalp flake causes due to dandruff which is visible in your hair and on clothing. But it could be due to scalp infection as well. Hence dandruff could be the result of any fungal scalp infection or dryness.

But dryness of the scalp occurs when your scalp does not produce enough moisture.

Both dryness and dandruff are treated differently and hence should be diagnosed correctly to eradicate the problem from its root cause.

What is a Dry Scalp?

When the skin does not get/produce enough oil to get it lubricated, the problem of Dry Scalp arises. Like all over the skin on your body, even your scalp itches and cause irritation and flaking. It has an impact on your hair as well. Your hair tends to look dry, and the absence of oil does not condition your hair.

What Are The Causes of Dry Scalp?

If you have dry skin, you are prone to dry scalp. Some of the factors which account for dry scalp are:

  • Excessive washing
  • Dry air or weather conditions
  • Skin problems such as eczema
  • What is the treatment for Dry Scalp?

Keep your skin moisturized and avoid long as well as frequent hot-water showers to avoid Dry scalp naturally. If you have mild dry scalp issues, these two remedies can offer a reliable solution. However, for severe dry scalp issues, your doctor may refer to specific over-the-counter prescriptions containing lactic acid.

For severe skin disease which leads to dryness in your scalp, there are certain medicated creams available to treat them and gradually relieve the itching and dryness. Skin diseases such as ichthyosis, dermatitis, and psoriasis also cause scalp dryness.

It needs prescribed ointments and creams to be applied to relieve the dryness.

Hydrocortisone-containing lotions are useful for dry skin due to dermatitis. To prevent infection from open skin cracks, wet dressings are generally prescribed.

Suggested Home Remedies For Dry Skin

Some of the suggested home remedies for dry skin at home to keep it healthy and moist:

1. Avoid harsh Soaps: Prefer gentle skin cleansers and shower gels to avoid dryness to your skin. There are several soaps and gels available, which come with moisturizers, added fats, and oils that keep your skin moist and supple.

Soaps with fragrances and alcohol are generally harsh on the skin and should be avoided.

2. Moisturize: Moisturizing your skin is very important as it prevents water from escaping from your skin. Especially if you have dry skin, thick moisturizers are a great rescue. Cosmetics are also available with moisturizers to keep your skin moist. Oil is better than moisturizers to prevent water evaporation from your skin and prevent dryness by creating a layer over your skin. Ointments such as Vaseline and Aquaphor are also helpful if you have excessive dry skin.

3. Humidifier: A humidifier helps keep the atmosphere moist and prevents dryness in the air. It prevents the irritation and itching caused due to dryness in the surrounding air. If you have sensitive and dry skin, it can be of great help.

4. Avoid excessively hot water: Hot water is efficient in removing the oil from the skin. Hence long hot showers can leave your skin dry. Instead of hot water, use warm water and limit your bath sessions to 10 minutes to prevent dryness.

5. Choose soft fabrics: fabrics such as cotton allow your skin to breathe. Synthetic materials are harsh to the surface and cause itching. Hence, use soft and natural tissues to avoid any skin irritation and itching. You should also choose your detergent wisely. Most of the fragrant and strong soaps contain dyes that are not suitable for sensitive skin.

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. It is a common condition that leads to scalp flaking. It is not severe but embarrassing and causes irritation and itching as well. There are gentle shampoos available that can treat dandruff with consistent usage. For severe dandruff conditions, several medicated shampoo is also available.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dandruff?

If you are experiencing some of the below symptoms, it indicates that you have dandruff:

  • Itchy scalp
  • Skin flakes on hair, eyebrow, shoulder, beard, and scalp.

What Are The Causes Of Dandruff?

Some of the common causes of dandruff are as follows:

  • Sensitive to hair care products
  • Oily or irritated skin
  • Dry Skin
  • The presence of yeastlike fungus causes due to the presence of oils
  • Skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis
  • Stress
  • Unhygienic conditions
  • Diet

What Are The Various Home Remedies For Dandruff?

If you are experiencing mild dandruff conditions, here are some suggested home remedies for it:

1 – Green Tea

It is loaded with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties which condition your hair and promote scalp health. Brew a cup of green tea and add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil, a teaspoon of white vinegar. Now wet your hair and pour green tea. Massage it on your scalp and leave for 5 minutes. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

2 – Neem Leaves

By curbing the over-growth of fungus causing dandruff, Neem leaves relieve itching. Take 1 liter of water and add a few Neem leaves to it. Boil it to turn it to 1/5th. Apply it overnight to your scalp. You can also make the paste from the neem leaves. You can apply the paste for half an hour and wash it off with gentle shampoo.

3 – Aspirin

Salicylates present in aspirin treat dandruff well. Crush two tablets of aspirin and add a little amount of shampoo to it. Apply this mix over your head and leave it for 15 minutes. Now rinse off like a regular shampoo.

4 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Take apple cider vinegar and water in equal portions and use it as a shampoo. It is an excellent remedy to kill fungal infections and provide instant relief from itchiness. You will see the visible difference after a few applications.

5 – Shampoo Well

The main reason for dandruff is the presence of oil over the scalp, which blocks the pores. Regular shampooing helps in unblocking the clogged pores and prevents the causes of dandruff. Instead of using a harsh shampoo that can leave your scalp dry, use mild shampoos that are free from chemicals.

What is the difference between dry scalp and dandruff?

It is difficult to spot the difference between Dandruff Vs Dry scalp. In many instances, even both conditions prevail together. If you are experiencing skin flakes due to:

  • Your scalp is oily
  • Your hair looks greasy
  • Intense itching and irritation in the scalp

These are the symptoms of dandruff. On the other hand, if you are experiencing scalp flaking due to dryness, it is scalp dryness.

Should I Refer a Doctor For The Treatment?

Most Dandruff Vs Dry scalp conditions can be treated efficiently with the suggested home remedies. However, there are certain scalp conditions such as psoriasis which is an autoimmune disease and appears like dandruff. You will experience redness, itching, and flakes. It is essential to refer to a doctor.

Hence, if you are experiencing some or all the symptoms below, you should see a doctor:

  • Suppose home treatment is not working for you
  • If you are noticing sores and redness on the scalp
  • If there are wounds on the face or head


Dandruff and dry scalp are common issues that can be dealt with home remedies. To deal with dandruff, you should shampoo your hair regularly with an anti-dandruff shampoo.

The common underlying reason for dandruff is the fungal infection which can be treated with regular anti-dandruff or medicated shampoo.

Scalp drying can be prevented by keeping your scalp moist. Various over-the-counter creams and moisturizers are available. It is important to apply conditioner after every shampoo to avoid drying the scalp. Also, instead of using hot water, use warm water to retain the moisture in your scalp.

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