If you have a problem with the skin on your face, your legs, your arms, or your hands, your first thought would probably be to see a dermatologist. But for some reason, people do not always think of seeing a dermatologist for problems related to their scalp. Your scalp is skin, too, and as such, a dermatologist is trained to diagnose and treat problems related to that skin. Here are some more specific scalp problems your dermatologist can help you with.
Dry, Itchy Scalp
If your scalp is often dry and itchy, you might find yourself scratching your head a lot. You might even start losing some of your hair due to dryness. You can't exactly rub moisture on your scalp to solve the problem, either! A dermatologist will help you figure out what's behind the dryness. It could be anything from eczema, to an allergic reaction to a shampoo you're using, to a fungal infection. Your dermatologist may recommend a special shampoo and conditioner for you to use, and they might recommend taking certain supplements.
Red, Flaky Scalp
Are parts of your scalp red? Do they have big, white flakes of skin forming on their surface? These are classic symptoms of scalp psoriasis. It often appears along the forehead and the sides of the head by the eyes, but it can happen anywhere on the scalp. Psoriasis can lead to arthritis and other problems if not managed, so it's important to see a doctor about this problem as soon as possible. Your dermatologist can recommend a cream or gel to treat psoriasis topically, and they may also want you to take steroid medications.
Dandruff can be embarrassing to live with. The flakes of scalp skin can fall on your shirt, making it impossible to wear black. You may worry about the flakes on your scalp attracting negative attention. Dandruff is often a sign of an underlying scalp problem. For some, it is just dryness. For others, it may be caused by mites or fungus. Your dermatologist will likely want to examine a sample of your dandruff under the microscope to see what's going on. They can then prescribe medicated shampoo to help ease your symptoms.
Dermatology specialists diagnose and treat skin problems, including skin problems that affect your scalp. If you're struggling with a scalp problem that is not included here, you should still seek care from a dermatologist.