How Can You Combat Scalp Psoriasis And Thinning Hair
Once you’ve had a formal scalp psoriasis diagnosis, you can start your treatment plan and get to work clearing up the irritating issue. It is worth remembering that there is currently no cure for the condition, so it’s all about managing flare-ups when they happen.
Depending on the severity of your scalp psoriasis, to help slow skin cell growth, your dermatologist could recommend topical steroids, topical therapies or even steroid injections if the legions just won’t disappear. Always seek professional help from a dermatologist for you scalp psoriasis. They can help make recommendations and you can ask them about any products you’d like to use.
Are There Any Home Remedies For Scalp Psoriasis
While home remedies are safe for most people, its a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before trying some of the following options. You may be at risk of developing an allergic reaction.
- Aloe vera. Aloe vera is a wound care gel. It can keep your skin hydrated while treating itchiness and irritation. Gently apply aloe vera to your plaques two to three times per day.
- Baking soda. Mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda with a small amount of warm water to make a paste. Gently apply the paste to your plaques and leave it on for up to 10 minutes to treat itchiness and irritation. Baking sodas gritty texture also helps remove dead skin cells . Gently rub it on your affected areas to soften your plaques.
- Coconut oil. Coconut oil moisturizes your skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help reduce inflammation.
- Olive oil. Olive oil helps moisturize your dry skin and minimize irritation and itching.
Can Psoriatic Arthritis Attack Other Organs Of The Body
Apart from the skin, nails and joints, increased cardiovascular morbidity is considered part of psoriatic disease, as is the association with inflammatory bowel disease. An itchy, red eye due to conjunctivitis is more common in people with psoriatic arthritis and some people occasionally develop a painful, red eye caused by inflammation around the pupil of the eye, which is called iritis or uveitis. Anaemia may also be found but this is the result of long-term inflammation and is not a specific feature of psoriatic arthritis.
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Treatment For Psoriatic Alopecia
There is no cure for psoriasis, so treatment for psoriatic alopecia focuses on reducing plaques on the scalp and preventing others from forming. For people with scalp psoriasis, this may stop hair loss.
Keeping psoriasis symptoms under control can involve a combination of lifestyle changes, topical treatments, therapies, and medications. Treatment may include:
- medicated shampoos, foams, and mousses that contain salicylic acid, coal tar, or wood tar
- oral or injectable steroids to reduce inflammation
- non-immunosuppressive treatments to reduce inflammation, such as
- medications to slow down the disease by reducing the activity of the immune system
If the hair loss results from medications, people can approach it in various ways.
For some, the benefits of the medication on their symptoms and quality of life outweigh the side effects. People who want to continue with their medications but want to conceal their hair loss could consider using head wraps or wigs instead.
If the impact of hair loss outweighs the benefits of the medication, a person can speak with their doctor about changing their treatment plan. Do not change the medication without speaking to a medical professional first.
In addition to medical treatment, there are ways people can reduce psoriasis-related hair loss at home. The AAD recommends:
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the United Kingdom also recommends taking steps to reduce exacerbations by:
- stopping smoking, if relevant
The Impact Of Scalp Psoriasis And Hair Loss
Its not really known why the scalp is so susceptible to psoriasis. One possible reason its such a prime area is that the high follicular density of the scalp reduces natural light exposure. Ultraviolet rays from light exposure can help clear or prevent psoriasis.
Although scalp psoriasis alone involves a small percentage of the body, it can have a profoundly negative affect on a persons quality of life and self-esteem. But when it leads to hair loss psoriatic alopecia in doctor-speak it can be particularly distressing.
The decrease in hair density is typically mild and difficult for the doctor to see, but of course, we take it very seriously, says Vinicius Domingues, MD, a rheumatologist in Daytona Beach, Florida, and medical advisor for CreakyJoints.
Rest assured, once scalp psoriasis is under control, most people with hair loss experience complete regrowth of their hair.
The key is to seek medical help promptly, since scarring that results from psoriasis common in longstanding scalp psoriasis can cause permanent hair loss.
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Common Psoriasis Triggers & Causes
Cold and/or Dry Weather
Unfortunately, a psoriasis flare is stressful itself so that can prolong an outbreak as well.
Both types of weather can lead to dry skin, which exacerbates and triggers psoriasis. Sufferers tend to find that hot and sunny weather often helps to control their symptoms.
Some prescription drugs such as beta-blockers for high blood pressure and heart disease, lithium for bipolar disorder, anti-malaria medications, etc. can trigger psoriasis symptoms.
Differing studies argue whether smoking triggers psoriasis or just makes it worse and last longer but its definitely a factor.
A variety of medical conditions like tonsillitis, strep throat, HIV, etc. may trigger psoriasis flares.
For some people, something as simple as a bruise can trigger a psoriasis outbreak known as a Koebner phenomenon. Other flare-causing skin issues can be cuts, burns, bumps, vaccinations, tattoos, scrapes, severe sunburns, etc.
Heavy drinking can trigger a psoriasis flare.
Vitamin D Deficiency
A 2011 study indicates that Vitamin D can help immune system regulation concerning psoriasis so its believed that a deficiency can also trigger a flare-up.
Who Is Affected By Guttate Psoriasis
- Usually young people get guttate psoriasis, in their teens or twenties. Men and women are affected equally.
- It seems to occur all over the world.
- No one really quite knows how common it is. In general, a GP in the UK would have heard of it and probably know how to diagnose it, but they may not have seen a case themselves for many years.
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Clinical Features Of Psoriatic Alopecia
Since the first report of psoriatic alopecia was published in 1972, other authors have expanded the original clinical and histological descriptions. Shuster described hair loss affecting both the scalp and psoriatic plaques on the trunk and limbs, noting three types of scalp alopecia: alopecia confined to lesional skin, generalized telogen effluvium and rarely scarring alopecia.,
Lesional skin contains a higher proportion of telogen and catagen hairs compared with uninvolved patient skin or normal control skin, which provides further evidence for a localized telogen effluvium confined to the psoriatic plaque. Another study of hair root pattern found that patients with scalp psoriasis had a lower percentage of anagen hairs, a higher percentage of telogen hairs and a higher number of vellus-like hairs, compared with healthy controls . Trichograms in 29 patients revealed an increased telogen rate of up to 63% in patients with acute hair loss and 36% in those with chronic hair loss.
Patients with psoriasis have more dystrophic hairs in both affected and unaffected skin, compared with HCs. Hair shaft diameter is narrower in psoriatic plaques compared with unaffected skin in patients and HCs, but there is no difference between the skin of unaffected patients and that of HCs.
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Is Scalp Psoriasis Contagious Who Is At Risk
This condition is not contagious. You do not run the risk of acquiring the disease because of someone around you. It is inherited. If anyone in your family has this disease, you may also be at risk. Considering the patients, it is seen that the majority of them have people with the disease in their families.
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Avoid Drinking And Stress
Different people have different triggers for psoriasis, and unfortunately, these arent things you can always completely avoid, says Dr. Warren. Since heavy drinking and high stress levels can be common triggers that cause psoriasis to flare up, its important to avoid these triggers when possible and practice relaxation techniques when you start feeling stressed.
Psoriasis And Hair Loss: Is It Connected
In our latest blog, Psoriasis Treatments: What Can Cause it and Can you Prevent It, we talked about the multiple forms of psoriasis including plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic atopic dermatitis and how they can affect the elbows, knees, scalp and genitals.
We are frequently asked about the connection between psoriasis and hair loss, especially by patients suffering from scalp psoriasis.
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How Does Scalp Psoriasis Affect My Body
Scalp psoriasis causes thick, rough, scaly, dry, discolored plaques to develop on your scalp and the skin around your scalp. The plaques can be itchy or painful. Scalp psoriasis can cause hair loss , and scratching your plaques may worsen that hair loss.
Scalp psoriasis can make you worry about how others look at you. It can also affect your behavior and how you think about yourself. You may become self-conscious or experience stress, anxiety and depression.
Youre Planning To Get Vaccinated
Traveling to certain places in the world often requires getting certain vaccinations, and then there are more routine shots such as the annual flu shot and, more recently, the COVID-19 vaccine. Before you finalize your plans and schedule your shot, its worth talking to the dermatologist treating your psoriasis.
Many drugs we use specifically state that you shouldnt use live vaccines because of the concern that they might either reduce the response to the medication or might even make you get sick when you get vaccinated, notes Lebwohl.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended by the NPF for all people with psoriasis, including those on systemic treatments, you should also check in with your psoriasis care provider before getting vaccinated, he says.
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How To Beat The Psoriasis
Stress can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, and stress management should be part of any treatment plan.
If you have psoriasis, youll want to do everything you can to manage your condition. Medication can help you minimize flare-ups, and so can finding healthy ways to cope with known triggers including psychological stress.
Psoriasis and stress are intricately linked. Although psoriasis is a genetic condition, environmental factors, such as traumatic life events, can make symptoms worse, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Thats why its crucial to make stress management a key component of your psoriasis treatment plan.
Doctors and researchers do not yet fully understand what causes psoriasis, but the disease is thought to occur when the immune system turns on the body, causing skin cells to grow abnormally and rapidly. Because stress can have an impact on the immune system, doctors have long suspected it may impact psoriasis, and recent research supports this theory.
Psoriasis is very stress dependent. It flares very easily when patients are under stress, and it tends to improve when theyre relaxed, says Vesna Petronic-Rosic, MD, a dermatologist in Chicago. Many people with psoriasis even recall their first flare happening during a difficult time in their lives, she says.
Brush And Comb Hair Gently
Psoriasis scale can adhere to the hair, which gets pulled out when the scale is removed, says Dr Bank. Instead of forcefully removing the scale by picking at it, aim to first loosen it by gently brushing or combing and then remove it by washing with a salicylic acid or coal tar shampoo.
Be sure to keep nails short to minimize hair breakage and gently blot and squeeze dont rub post-shampoo with a soft T-shirt or microfibre towel to remove excess water.
Scratching, scraping or irritating your scalp can trigger a psoriasis flare.
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Pay Attention To Dye Ingredients
The chemical paraphenylenediamine, or PPD, which is commonly found in permanent darker-toned hair dyes, is often the culprit behind allergic reactions that can occur from coloring your hair. PPD can also be irritating to some people with psoriasis. Hair lighteners contain peroxide and bleaches, which can also cause trouble, but the risk of a reaction is smaller with those ingredients.
If youve had a bad reaction with dyes in the past, you may want to look for a brand that does not contain PPD. There are a number of PPD-free hair dyes now available on the market. These range from temporary and semi-permanent hair coloring products to permanent dyes that contain alternative ingredients that achieve effects similar to PPD, minus the harsh reactions some users experience.
Frontal Border Of The Psoriatic Hair Line
A localized signalling milieu that is dominated by the secretion of hair growth- and psoriasis promoting mediators like IGF-1 and VEGF-A by the exceptionally large terminal anagen scalp HFs may contribute to the formation of the pathognomonic frontal scalp psoriasis plaque , with the outer margin of the lesion corresponding to a sharp drop in the gradient of IGF-1 and VEGF-A. HF-associated immunocyte populations such as resident memory T cells, memory regulatory T cells and Langerhans cells as well as their cytokine secretion pattern could contribute to the formation of a signalling gradient that maintains the peculiar frontal psoriasis plaque and its sharp demarcation just beyond the frontal hair line .
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Does Psoriasis Cause Hair Loss
Psoriasis doesnt directly cause hair loss like chemotherapy or certain medical conditions can. However, issues surrounding psoriasis can affect hair density and loss.
For example, psoriasis can cause severe itching. Scratching to relieve the itching can lead to further irritation that damages the scalp leading to hair loss the person can accidentally pull out hair while scratching. Excessive removing of the scales, also known as psoriasis plaques, can also damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
Treatments For Scalp Psoriasis
Its important to find a doctor who specializes in psoriasis and whos familiar with the latest treatments. This is because many new methods to treat scalp psoriasis are available, including different topical methods, light treatments, and other medications.
Your doctor may recommend using topical applications for your scalp psoriasis. These include:
- creams, such as topical steroids
- oils, such as mineral oils, which you apply to the scalp overnight
- sprays, such as clobetasol propionate
- foams, such as steroid foams
- medicated shampoos containing ingredients such as selenium or tar
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When And How Does Scalp Psoriasis Occur
Psoriasis, including that of scalp, can pop up at any age, but it predominantly occurs in those under 20 or over 60. In general, psoriasis tends to plague a person’s body in fits and starts. It runs a chronic course, and then with treatment and time, it can start to dissipate, which offers some relief.
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What Can I Do
If you feel tired all the time, tell your doctor, as it is important to rule out any other causes of fatigue. Sometimes you may need to have your medication changed or take tests so that your GP can fully understand what is happening.
With or without medical intervention, there are a number of lifestyle changes that may help you feel generally less exhausted.
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What Causes Hair Loss In Psoriasis
Temporary hair loss occurs as a result of scratching the scalp, because it loosens the plaques that cause the hair to fall out. When plaques flake-off, the hair can sometimes come out in tandem. Again, psoriasis does not cause hair loss, hair loss typically comes from aggressive brushing or scratching the scalp.
Special shampoos containing chemicals like salicylic acid are used to treat it and can also cause the hair to fall out. After treatment, when the skin clears, the hair grows back.
Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Consuming a balanced diet and exercising helps to maintain your overall health. Fresh green veggies, fruits, meat, and seafood help build immunity and keep your skin and hair healthy.
If you have scalp psoriasis, you have to be very careful about your hair care routine. Scroll down to find answers to a few doubts you may have.
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How Is It Diagnosed What Should I Do Who Should I See
If you feel you may have psoriatic arthritis you should firstly talk to your GP and explain to him your concerns and why you feel you may have psoriatic arthritis.
You may be lucky in that your GP spots all the early warning clues to your aches and pains, and diagnoses you correctly for prompt treatment options. However, there are still many people who are diagnosed much later due to lack of knowledge. This is not a criticism, but merely that GPs have to have such a wide knowledge of many conditions and with psoriatic arthritis, it is not always as simple or obvious to diagnose.
A review of your medical history by your GP, symptoms, and blood tests to rule out certain other conditions are needed. Absence of rheumatoid factor in the blood often helps to distinguish psoriatic arthritis from rheumatoid arthritis.
Pitting of the finger nails, discolouration of the nail due to abnormalities in the growth of the tissue in the nail bed are always a certain clue of psoriatic arthritis presence. People with psoriatic arthritis almost always have nail involvement.
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