How To Minimize Psoriasis Irritation
Though you’ll want to read through the instructions of the shampoo you choose, Dr. Kennedy says that, generally, medicated shampoos should only be used two to three times each week. “Too much of these helpful ingredients can dry out the scalp or cause irritation,” Dr. Kennedy cautions. “Different hair types may be on different hair wash schedules, and it’s important to take this into consideration when treating scalp psoriasis,” she adds.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your hair dye could actually be making your psoriasis symptoms worse. “Hair dye should not trigger psoriasis, but it can worsen irritation in affected skin,” Dr. Kennedy says. “The affected skin is already compromised,” she explains. “Alcohols or other harsh chemicals can cause stinging, burning, and irritation. In addition, some people can be allergic to paraphenylenediamine , a chemical used in hair dye.”
If your over-the-counter attempts to address scalp psoriasis aren’t working, don’t panic. Instead, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, who can better determine a treatment plan. “Dermatologists have many prescription options that can greatly help scalp psoriasis,” shares Dr. Kennedy. “We are able to prescribe other medicated shampoos and higher potency steroids.”
The Best Part: You Can Get Them At Any Drugstore
Lambeth Hochwald is a believer that everyone has a story to tell. As a New York City-based journalist, she has been busily covering COVID-19 and its effects on everyone from college students and their parents to restaurant workers and ER doctors. Over the last few decades, she’s written for the New York Post, CNN, Parade, WebMD, Millie, Reside, the Food Network, Delish, and Architectural Digest, always with the same mandate to be compassionate, hence the hashtag #compassionatejournalism that she includes in her email auto-signature. When she’s not juggling assignments, she’s helping to teach the next generation of journalists in her role as an adjunct professor of journalism at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
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If you suffer from scalp psoriasiswhich affects nearly 80 percent of patients with psoriasisreaching for a garden-variety drugstore shampoo to wash your hair won’t help improve the itching, scaling, and crusting on your scalp.
Because there’s no cure for psoriasis, “management is key,” says Dr. Englemanwhich is why it’s so important to look for the right product to keep your symptoms at bay. Here, dermatologists weigh in on the best shampoos for psoriasisand why they’re essential to your routine.
Finding The Right Shampoo For Scalp Psoriasis
Your shampoo should contain salicylic acid, which loosens up the scales and makes it easier to manage flaking and dry and irritated skin. Also, look for coal tarthis will slow the overgrowth of your cells that causes psoriasis buildup up and the thick plaques on the skin and scalp. Lastly, locate a shampoo that also offers lactic acidit helps maintain a balanced pH level in your scalp and keeps moisture locked in.
Once you find a shampoo that works for you, use it a few times a week so that your scalp adjusts to the medication or unique ingredients. Within a week, you will know if the shampoo is too harsh or just right based on how your flare-ups respond to it. You can also opt for shampoos that offer gentle cleansing and natural ingredients like honeya soothing properly.
Editors tip: Use a comb while washing your hair to help loosen up the scales and flaking in your scalp. This will remove more and give a deeper cleanse.
Also Check: Plaque Psoriasis What Causes It
Suave Essentials Scalp Control Mint Deep Clean & Detox Shampoo
Scalp psoriasis is tricky in the sense that you dont want to over-cleanse. But cleansing your hair and scalp actually benefits your condition. If your hair is washed and doesnt have buildup and excess products, it will stay less irritated. The Suave Essentials Scalp Control Mint Deep Clean & Detox Shampoo provides a gentle wash while the formula removes flakes and any residue left from a dry scalp.
Best For Thin Hair: Nioxin Scalp Recovery Anti
Nioxin is known for its products designed for thinning hair, but the brand also makes scalp treatments to help with dandruff. In addition to the pyrithione zinc as its active ingredient, Dr. Jaliman loves that Nioxin’s dandruff shampoo has green tea in it, which she says is “a powerful antioxidant soothes the scalp and helps with inflammation.”
Can Coal Tar Shampoos Cause Cancer
Theres been a number of controversies over coal tar in recent decades.
Coal tar contains as many as 10,000 different chemicals, but only about half of these have actually been identified. Many people have expressed concern over the unknown components that could be potential carcinogens or cancer-causing substances.
In the 1990s, studies appeared apparently linking coal tar exposure to cancer in animals . A number of countries including the EU, China and Taiwan banned the use of coal tar in cosmetics as a result of these findings.
This prompted the EU to overturn its own ruling. The FDA maintains that there is no scientific evidence that the tar in OTC products is carcinogenic.
Despite its 75-year history of documented use without any clear evidence of increased cancer risk in low doses, some skepticism remains. Formulations containing more than five percent crude coal tar are listed as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. California still insists that coal tars treatments are labeled, Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.
What Causes Psoriasis Of The Scalp
People often confuse scalp psoriasis and dandruff because both conditions cause dry, flaky skin. Although uncomfortable, dandruff is preventable and usually easily treatable with a simple dandruff shampoo. Unlike dandruff, however, scalp psoriasis is a chronic condition thats not preventable, has no cure, and can be very uncomfortable.
Patricia Farris, MD, a clinical associate professor with the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, explains a notable key difference between the two.
Scalp psoriasis is red scaling patches that are usually found on the back of the neck and behind the ears, she says. Dandruff is more diffuse and doesnt have the reddish plaque-type lesions you see in psoriasis. Psoriasis can be more extensive with plaques found around the front of the hairline and scattered throughout the scalp.
The key to recognizing it is a shiny silvery scale on top of the red plaque.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology , an estimated 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis. The scalp, elbows, and knees are common places to get psoriasis, but the patches can show up anywhere on the body.
Patients with scalp psoriasis can find some relief with topical lotions, medications, and shampoos that are specially formulated to alleviate discomfort.
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Nourish Your Irritated Scalp With The 13 Best Shampoos For Psoriasis In 2022
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This Neutrogena psoriasis shampoo is recommended by dermatologists to curb hair and scalp issues like dandruff. Containing a double dose of the T/Gel Original Formula, the 1% coal tar in the formula helps tame down a flaky, red, and itchy scalp for hours after its cleaned. For gentle cleansing, the rich amber solution in this T/Gel shampoo for psoriasis works its magic and your hair is left soft and manageable owing to the added conditioners. To care for scalp conditions, lather up with Neutrogenas over-the-counter psoriasis shampoo. Check out the detailed review of the product in this video.
When you have color-treated hair and your scalp is always irritated, the struggle is all too real. One of the best shampoos for scalp psoriasis, Nizorals formula is medicated with 3% salicylic acid for relief from symptoms. For your healthiest scalp yet, Nizorals best shampoo and conditioner for psoriasis contain ingredients like green tea extracts, vitamins E, C, and B5 along with tea tree oil to gently clean and condition hair. The fast-acting solution will have you bidding farewell to a red, itchy, and irritated scalp in no time! We think this is definitely one of the best shampoos for psoriasis and color-treated hair.
Now that weve looked at the best shampoos for psoriasis on the market, lets dive into how you can choose the right one for yourself.
Mg217 Psoriasis Medicated Conditioning 3% Coal Tar Shampoo
Dr. Skotnicki agrees that psoriasis products that are tar-based and contain salicylic acid are tops when looking for important ingredients. Less important? Shampoos containing zinc or antifungal ingredients do not help, she says. MG217 contains 3% coal tar, which is on the higher end for over-the-counter medicated shampoos. Dr. Skotnicki says the following symptoms are common for those suffering from scalp psoriasis: dry scalp, itching, and sometimes burning and soreness. Some hair loss can be expected as the itching is severe, but this hair loss is not permanent, she adds.
Also Check: Skin Conditions Like Eczema And Psoriasis
What To Look For In A Psoriasis Shampoo
There are two main things a psoriasis shampoo should feature:
Neutrogena T/gel Therapeutic Shampoo
Best Shampoo For Psoriasis Overall
Make scalp psoriasis symptoms a thing of the past with Neutrogenas T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo.
Featuring an original therapeutic formula designed to help control scalp flaking and itching, Neutrogenas T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo can be used to treat various scalp conditions including chronic scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff.
Neutrogenas T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is formulated with Neutar, Neutrogenas patented coal tar extract.
Neutar works by normalizing the scalp, effectively slowing down the overproduction of skin cells on the scalp with the added benefit of reducing potential inflammation.
More importantly, it helps relieve scalp psoriasis symptoms including itching, flaking, and even thick psoriatic plaque buildup.
Neutar starts working on contact and has been scientifically proven to deliver potent scalp therapy for hours even after the shampoo has been rinsed off.
While it is highly-regarded as an effective shampoo for psoriasis treatment, some people may be put off by the smell as coal tar is known for its weird odor.
This, however, doesnt change that fact that Neutrogenas T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo delivers on its promises of fast-acting and long-lasting relief from scalp psoriasis symptoms.
This therapeutic shampoo from the #1 dermatologist-recommended brand is also recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation, so you can rest assured that your scalp is in good hands.
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Types Of Shampoos For Psoriasis And Supporting Treatments
There are plenty of over the counter choices available for psoriasis shampoo. Let us start first with coconut oil, which isnt shampoo but many people and experts see it as a potential treatment for psoriasis.
You may use this coconut oil and different other suitable ointments and creams along with your desirable medicated shampoo for psoriasis to speed up the process. The different range of shampoos for the subject issue is given below:
Salicylic Acid Thick layer of psoriasis over the scalp might not be easily treated with medicated shampoos. Salicylic acid can do wonders in softening the thick layer. Salicylic acid is a special agent for enhancing the outermost layer of the scalp to shed. Further, it would allow other medication and required shampoo to penetrate the scalp with ease.
Coal Tar Shampoo You might find this thing disgusting to be used over your scalp but it is a highly suitable over the counter shampoo treatment for the purpose. One reason for its disliking is probably its strong smell but that is not bigger than your primary concern of using the shampoo. It is also approved by the FDA in the USA to fight psoriasis. You may also use it for treating dandruff issue. On top of that, you may use it on a long term basis with no sort of side effects to your scalp or hair growth at all. This shampoo can treat plaque and itching quite swiftly.
The Value For Money Is:
One of the sayings goes, you get what you pay for.. Buying something for the lowest price is almost never a good idea. Therefore, buying an expensive product with no real value isnt a good choice at all. The key to evaluating the value of your shampoo for scalp psoriasis is to evaluate what youre getting for your money.
Also Check: What Is Good For Eczema And Psoriasis
Psoriatrax 5% Coal Tar Psoriasis Relief Shampoo
With a concentration of about 5% coal tar, PsoriaTrax refers to its formula as maximum-strength and certainly has among the highest concentrations of tar we found. Interestingly, though, the AAD says that though one product may contain more coal tar than another, it may not necessarily achieve better results. For this reason, they recommend speaking with a dermatologist for product recommendations, particularly if you find the one youve chosen isnt working for you. They also recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid using products containing coal tar.
Head And Shoulders Clinical Strength Shampoo
Best For Milder Psoriasis
Head and shoulders is a well-known brand that produces cleansers for dandruff.
But this clinical strength version of their regular shampoo is fantastic for milder scalp psoriasis.
The chief ingredient here is 1 percent of Selenium Sulfide. It helps with cleansing the scalp of crusty flakes and controlling inflammation.
You can also use this shampoo for color-treated hair.
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Best Overall: Nizoral Anti
Safe for color-treated and processed hair
May cause dryness
Formulated with 1% ketoconazole, the antifungal shampoo works to prevent fungus growth while relieving flaking, scaling, and itching caused by dandruff, which is why we chose it as the best overall pick. This shampoo lathers quickly, seeping into the scalp to relieve common symptoms caused by dandruff and leaving your hair smelling fresh.
To see the best results, its recommended to use this shampoo every three to four days for up to eight weeks and to leave it on for five to 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
Active Ingredients: Ketoconazole 1% | Uses: Flaking, scaling and itching of the scalp associated with dermatitis
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Potential To Use It On Other Parts Of Body
It is very often seen that people experience psoriasis spreading to other areas of their bodies as well. Therefore, your shampoo should be the one that could be applied to those specific body areas as well. You will eventually get relief from itching, in which such a condition could result in your skin.
It is critical to tell here as all of the shampoos for psoriasis are not suitable to be used on other body parts. Therefore, check for the required compatibility, or else, the incompatible shampoo could trigger other severe skin issues.
The 12 Best Shampoos For Scalp Psoriasis Recommended By Dermatologists
DHS Sal Shampoo
One shampoo recommended by Adam Friedman, a board-certified dermatologist based in Washington, D.C., is DHS Sal Shampoo, which contains salicylic acid to effectively break down the scales so they’re easier to remove without damaging the hair or further irritating the scalp. It’s also especially good for people who suffer from crusty scales, which can often be very tough to treat.
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Extra Strength
Neutrogena’s tried-and-true T-Gel has over 1,000 and is often recommended by dermatologists. “This shampoo contains 1 percent coal tar and is formulated with conditioners to reduce scale and symptoms while leaving hair manageable,” explains Shah. It’s no wonder people swear by the stuff.
Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo
Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo is a powerhouse option recommended by New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joyce Park. “This shampoo contains 1 percent of selenium sulfide, which helps to control skin flaking through its anti-fungal and oil-controlling properties,” she explains. Additionally, it works to combat excess oil production, which can make flaking and itchiness worse.
MG217 3% Coal Tar Formula ShampooDove Derma Care Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti Dandruff ShampooDermarest Psoriasis Medicated Shampoo Plus Conditioner
$7 for one 8-ounce bottle or $13 for two 8-ounce bottles
Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo
Recommended Scalp Psoriasis Shampoos
Yadav’s #1 recommendation is this option from Nizoral. It’s formulated with three percent salicylic acid to help fight psoriasis plaques, as well as tea tree oil to help soothe.
Coppola recommends this option from Neutrogena, as it bares the National Psoriasis Foundation seal of recognition.
Studies have shown that coal tar can help treat and relieve symptoms of psoriasis . This shampoo, formulated with coal tar and salicylic acid, is another one on Coppola’s list of products recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation.