Concern For Sexual Health Or Activities
When psoriasis affects the penis, it does not mean that if you have sex will pass it on to your partner.
However, penis psoriasis can interfere with your sexual life. Besides the likely emotional stress and lowered self-esteem, having sex with penile psoriasis can worsen symptoms or be the risk for flare-ups especially if you have mild presentations.
With or without protection, if you have been diagnosed with penile psoriasis, sexual intercourse can be the least if you want to increase your chances of living a better life without many frustrations.
What Treatments Might Your Doctor Recommend For Scalp Psoriasis
You should definitely consult your doctor or dermatologist to find the right treatment â and there are plenty they might suggest:
1. Medicines applied to the skin
These treatments aim to soothe and reduce irritation and inhibit the skin cell turnover. Corticosteroids are prescribed most commonly.
2. UV light therapy
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. They’ll also ask whether someone else in the family has psoriasis and if the child recently had an illness or started taking a new medicine.
Rarely, doctors might take a skin sample to check more closely. A biopsy can tell the doctor whether it’s psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
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Ultraviolet Light Therapy Can Treat Psoriasis Plaques
Best for: Mild to moderate psoriasis
Why it works: When sunlight penetrates the top layers of the skin, the ultraviolet radiation bombards the DNA inside skin cells and injures it. This can cause wrinkles, aging skin, and skin cancers. However, these same damaging effects can destroy the skin cells that form psoriasis plaques
Light therapy involves exposing the skin to an artificial light source, either at a medical office or at home. Consistency is key to this form of treatment, which is often suggested for cases that arent responding to topical creams. For best results, you must expose the skin to the UV light or lamp for a set amount of time on a regular schedule usually three times a week for a period of six to twelve weeks.
Phototherapy works by reducing the inflammation, says Daveluy, but he cautions that its less effective with scalp psoriasis than with psoriasis elsewhere on your body. Thats because the scalp doesnt respond the same way. Hair blocks some or all of the light, but you may achieve better results if you part your hair in many rows.
Medicine You Apply To The Scalp
This is the most commonly prescribed treatment. Your plan may include one or more of the following medicines.
Corticosteroids: This is the #1-prescribed treatment for scalp psoriasis in children and adults. Corticosteroids work quickly to reduce redness, swelling, itch, and scale. This makes it more effective than any other treatment that you apply to the scalp.
When used as directed, this medicine is safe. Because side effects can occur with long-term use, your dermatologist may recommend another treatment to use with the corticosteroid. This reduces possible side effects.
Medicated shampoos: This is often part of a treatment plan.
If you have stubborn scalp psoriasis, your dermatologist may prescribe a shampoo that contains clobetasol propionate. This can be quite effective when used in a shampoo. Studies show that patients can safely use this shampoo every day for up to four weeks. Its also safe to use it once or twice a week to maintain results.
Rubbing, scrubbing, and scratching your scalp can worsen existing psoriasis.
Scale softeners: If the psoriasis on your scalp is thick, it can be hard for the treatment you apply to work. A product that contains salicylic acid can soften thick, stubborn patches. Other ingredients can also help.
Tip for applying medicine
Lift your hair up and away when applying medicine to your scalp.
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Tips For Treating Scalp Psoriasis
In addition to finding a specially formulated shampoo, here are a few other things you can do to keep scalp psoriasis symptoms in check:
- Shampoo your hair as often as you can. This will help alleviate buildup and itchiness of the scalp. However, keep in mind that shampooing every day isnt suitable for all hair types.
- Limit stress, alcohol, and smoking. Along with irritants in your hair products, scalp psoriasis flare-ups can also be triggered by stress, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Limiting stress and intake of these substances may help keep things under control.
- Try aloe vera.Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties and may be soothing. You can try applying it to your scalp, or look for it as an ingredient in your shampoo.
- Use baking soda.Baking soda is great for an itchy scalp. One tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water should do the trick. Apply the mixture to your scalp to relieve itching and irritation.
- Apply natural oils. These will help keep your scalp moisturized and are filled with fats to keep the scalp healthy. Coconut oil is a great oil to start with.
Articles On Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that makes raised, reddish, often scaly patches. It can pop up as a single patch or several, and can even affect your entire scalp. It can also spread to your forehead, the back of your neck, or behind and inside your ears.
You canât catch scalp psoriasis from another person. As with other types, we donât know what causes it. Doctors believe it comes from something wrong with your immune system that causes skin cells to grow too quickly and build up into patches. You may be more likely to get scalp psoriasis if it runs in your family.
About half of the estimated 7.5 million Americans with psoriasis – which can affect any skin surface – have it on their scalp. Sometimes the scalp is the only place they have it, but thatâs uncommon.
Scalp psoriasis can be mild and almost unnoticeable. But it can also be severe, last a long time, and cause thick, crusted sores. Intense itching can affect your sleep and everyday life, and scratching a lot can lead to skin infections and hair loss.
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What Causes Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp and other forms of psoriasis occur when the immune system doesnt work properly. Skin cells grow too quickly, growing within days rather than weeks. The body cant shed these skin cells quickly enough to match the new growth. They pile up on the skins surface, causing psoriasis.
People with family members who have scalp psoriasis are more likely to have the condition themselves. Those with HIV, stress, obesity, and those who smoke are also more likely than others to have this condition.
Common triggers that set off or worsen flare-ups of scalp psoriasis include:
- infections, including strep throat or skin infections
- skin injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, insect bites, or severe sunburn
Scalp Psoriasis Vs Dermatitis
Dermatitis is a term used to describe various types of skin inflammation. This includes contact dermatitis as well as seborrheic dermatitis .
Like psoriasis, dermatitis can also affect the scalp. While some of the treatments for these conditions may overlap, the conditions themselves have different causes.
Scalp psoriasis is likely caused by immune dysfunction. Dermatitis is caused by various skin irritants, such as allergens.
With scalp psoriasis, youll notice silvery-red scales that may extend beyond the hairline. Theyll cause itching, flaking, and redness. In dermatitis, scales are white or yellowish and accompanied by dandruff.
A doctor can usually tell the difference between scalp psoriasis and dermatitis by taking a look at the affected area. In other cases, it might be trickier to tell the difference.
They might perform a skin scrape or take a biopsy. An overgrowth of skin cells will be present in cases of scalp psoriasis. In dermatitis cases, there will be irritated skin and sometimes bacteria or fungi.
Dermatitis can cause dandruff. Scalp psoriasis and dandruff share many of the same symptoms, such as:
- white or yellow skin flakes on the scalp
- mild redness
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The Nitty Gritty Of Scalp Psoriasis
Its easy to think that patches of dry, itchy skin on the scalp are caused by some kind of lack of hygiene. But cleanliness has nothing to do with scalp psoriasis.
Psoriasis is actually a chronic inflammatory disorder caused when the immune system doesnt work quite right. Doctors arent sure why, but some people have an immune system that churns out too many skin cells. Since the body cant get rid of these excess cells fast enough, they pile on top of each other, forming flakey, silvery scales.
Psoriasis can pop up anywhere on the body, but when it shows up on your head, dry skin patches can appear under the hair, on the back of the neck, and behind the ears.
Its easy to confuse psoriasis with dandruff, and sometimes dermatologists arent so sure themselves. When it looks like a blend between psoriasis and dandruff, they call it sebopsoriasis a cute couples name for seborrheic dermatitis, aka dandruff, and psoriasis.
However, some clues that your scalp irritation might be psoriasis include more defined or patterned pink scale-like plaques.
Dandruff looks more like generalized greasy flaking with pink patches. Over-the-counter shampoos can typically knock out dandruff, but scalp psoriasis is a little harder to treat.
Scalp Psoriasis Natural Treatment
The Best Natural Treatment Options for Scalp Psoriasis
Some people with scalp psoriasis seem to benefit from natural treatment. You can make a mask for your scalp yourself and let it soak in for desired effects. For example:
- Yogurt and banana: hydration of the scalp, restore pH of the skin, less itching and burning, and fewer flakes.
- Aloe Vera and olive oil: fewer crusts, dryness, and irritation.
- Garlic and Coconut Oil: anti-inflammatory, cleansing the scalp, hydration, better circulation.
- Oats and Honey: hydrates the scalp, removes dead skin cells, less irritation and itching, and fewer flakes.
- Apple cider vinegar improves circulation, restores the pH balance of the skin, and softens the flakes.
To find out which one works best, try them all.
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Treatment: Where To Start
The most common treatments for mild cases are medications that you put directly on your scalp. If you have a more severe case or have psoriasis elsewhere on your body, you may need a medication that treats your whole body. You can take these medications by mouth or injection.
If your psoriasis doesn’t respond well after repeated use of one medication, your doctor may replace or combine it with another type of treatment.
One of the first steps is to soften and remove scales. This makes it easier for medications to do their job.
- Apply over-the-counter products to your scalp to help soften scales and make them easier to peel off. Look for products with the active ingredients salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea, zinc pyrithione, or selenium sulfide.
- Gently loosen the scales with a brush or fine-toothed comb.
- Shampoo your scalp to remove the scales, using a salicylic acid shampoo or soap.
- Apply thick creams to your scalp while it’s still damp to hold in the moisture.
To apply medication:
Apple Cider Vinegar + Baking Soda
img source: mysimpleremedies.com
Though infections are rarely expected with mild penis psoriasis, diluted apple cider vinegar is safer to use on the genitals.
Prepare some warm water if you have undiluted cider vinegar.
- Add 1 -2 tablespoonsful fresh cider vinegar to 1 tsp. baking soda
- Use a small cotton ball and apply gently
- Leave it on for a few moments
You can make use of this remedy after you wake up or before going to bed. If you use this in the morning or when there is cold, ensure you warm your mixture.
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How Common Is Scalp Psoriasis
It is common and approximately half of all people with psoriasis also have it on their scalp. The reason it deserves special mention is that it can be more difficult to treat and usually requires specifically formulated treatments.
Psoriasis on the scalp forms in the same way as on other parts of the body but the hair traps the scale and so it does not rub away as it would, for instance, on the elbow. The result is that the scale can quickly build up, causing a thicker plaque which becomes more difficult to treat . This difficulty is compounded by the hair, which acts as a physical barrier obstructing the easy application of creams and ointments to the affected skin. Children can get scalp psoriasis too. Treatments will be much the same as those used for adults. On rare occasions, scalp psoriasis has been known to disappear spontaneously, but it can remain on the scalp for lengthy periods of time too.
Treatment Of Psoriasis: An Algorithm
ASHA G. PARDASANI, M.D., STEVEN R. FELDMAN, M.D., PH.D., and ADELE R. CLARK, P.A.-C., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Feb 1 61:725-733.
See related patient information handout on psoriasis, written by the authors of this article.
Psoriasis is characterized by red, thickened plaques with a silvery scale. The lesions vary in size and degree of inflammation. Psoriasis is categorized as localized or generalized, based on the severity of the disease and its overall impact on the patient’s quality of life and well-being. Patient education about the disease and the treatment options is important. Medical treatment for localized psoriasis begins with a combination of topical corticosteroids and coal tar or calcipotriene. For lesions that are difficult to control with initial therapy, anthralin or tazarotene may be tried. The primary goal of therapy is to maintain control of the lesions. Cure is seldom achieved. If control becomes difficult or if psoriasis is generalized, the patient may benefit from phototherapy, systemic therapy and referral to a physician who specializes in the treatment of psoriasis.
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Treatment You Receive At A Dermatologists Office Or Clinic
If the psoriasis fails to clear with treatment applied to the scalp or you have thick psoriasis on your scalp, your dermatologist may recommend the following.
Injections of corticosteroids: Your dermatologist can inject a corticosteroid directly into the scalp psoriasis. While this can be effective, its use is limited to a few times.
Excimer laser and other light treatments: This laser can treat psoriasis in difficult-to-treat areas like the scalp, feet, and hands. When used to treat the scalp, your dermatologist may use a device that looks like a blow dryer. A benefit of using this to treat scalp psoriasis is that this laser treats only the areas that need it.
The drawback to this treatment is that you will need to travel to your dermatologists office or a psoriasis clinic two or three times per week. Each treatment session takes about 10 minutes. Most patients need to continue these visits for several weeks. If your schedule wont permit this, be sure to tell your dermatologist.
While getting these treatments, you may also need to use another treatment at home.
Excimer laser treatment is usually painless, but possible side effects include redness and sunburn-like pain.
It Can Affect The Scalp Hairline Forehead Back Of The Neck And Skin Around The Ears
Did You Know?
Symptoms may include fine scaling that looks like dandruff, or appear as thick, crusted plaques that cover the entire scalp. Other skin disorders, such as seborrheic dermatitis, may resemble psoriasis. However, scalp psoriasis appears powdery with a silvery sheen, while seborrheic dermatitis looks yellowish and greasy. Scalp psoriasis is common in patients of color, but treating it can be particularly tough due to the hair type.
Scalp psoriasis may be an indicator of psoriatic arthritis , as many people have both. If you think you have scalp psoriasis, see a dermatologist to diagnose scalp psoriasis and visit a rheumatologist to screen for psoriatic arthritis.
No matter how severe your scalp psoriasis is, there are options for treating the itching and flakes â from over-the-counter shampoos and topicals to light therapy, oral treatments and biologics.
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What Are The Most Common Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
Youre probably wondering, What does scalp psoriasis looks like? Generally, you might notice flaking or scaly patches of raised skin on your scalp first, Dr. Bhutani says. These patches can also be inflamed, thick, and swollen6, and sometimes extend to the forehead, the back of the neck, or behind the ears. On light skin tones, psoriasis plaques on the scalp typically appear pink or red with silvery scales. For people with dark skin, these lesions may range in color and appear salmon-y pink, silvery white, violet, or brown, depending on your specific skin tone7.
But the signs of scalp psoriasis go far beyond the physical effects. Scalp psoriasis, honestly, causes some of the largest impact on quality of life, Dr. Bhutani says. Thats because severe symptoms can interrupt sleep, create feelings of anxiety, and hurt a persons self-esteem, especially if the scalp psoriasis plaques are clearly visible.
In addition to plaques, other scalp psoriasis symptoms include6:
- An extremely itchy scalp that can be distracting
- A burning sensation or soreness on your scalp
- Cracked and/or bleeding skin from scratching too much or from having a dry scalp
- Temporary hair loss if you excessively touch your scalp or attempt to pick off your scales, which can forcibly remove hair follicles
Following Your Treatment Plan Is Key To Getting Results
When working with a dermatologist, it is important to use the treatment exactly as prescribed and for as long as recommended. Many patients fail to see clearing because they stop following their treatment plan.
ImagesBefore and after treating scalp psoriasis: Photographs used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol 2008 58:614.
ReferencesAl-Mutairi N, Al-Haddad A. Targeted phototherapy using 308 nm Xecl monochromatic excimer laser for psoriasis at difficult to treat sites. Lasers Med Sci. 2013 28:1119-24.
Bagel J, Lynde C, et al. Moderate to severe plaque psoriasis with scalp involvement: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of etanercept. J Am Acad Dermatol 2012 67:86-92.
Chan CS, Van Voorhees AS, et al. Treatment of severe scalp psoriasis: from the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 60:962-71.
Guenther L. Current management of scalp psoriasis. Skin Therapy Lett. 2015 20:5-7.
Paghdal KV, Schwartz RA. Topical tar: Back to the future. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Aug 61:294-302.
Renton C. Diagnosis and treatment of adults with scalp psoriasis. Nurs Stand. 2014 Feb 26-Mar 4 28:35-9.
Wong, JW, Kamangar F, et al. Excimer Laser Therapy for Hairline Psoriasis: A Useful Addition to the Scalp Psoriasis Treatment Algorithm. Skin Therapy Letter. 2012 176-9.
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