The Link Between Scalp Psoriasis And Hair Loss
Does scalp psoriasis cause hair loss? Its one of the questions asked most frequently about the condition. Psoriasis itself doesnt directly cause hair loss, by which we mean that just having the condition alone wont make your hair fall out. There are, however, a number of reasons why people with scalp psoriasis may experience hair loss.
What Is The Treatment
There are many treatment options that can help scalp psoriasis and often a combination approach using a number of different treatments may be required until the symptoms have settled. It is important to remember to continue to treat the scalp even if hair falls out. Hair usually grows back once the inflammation and scale has cleared.
Treatments can be time-consuming and you may find them easier if you ask someone to help you. It is important to choose one that suits your lifestyle carrying out intensive treatments over the weekend, for example, when you have more free time. Psoriasis is not curable, but the signs and symptoms can be well controlled.
It can take at least eight weeks until you gain adequate control of the plaques, whichever treatment you use. Remember to try to treat psoriasis daily when it is active.
If, however, you have seen no improvement after 4 weeks continuous treatment, you should return to your doctor or nurse for further assessment.
Once you have achieved clearance, it is important to maintain the improvement. This can usually be done with regular use of a tar shampoo and or by moisturising the scalp occasionally with an oil or emollient. Some people find daily treatment of the scalp an advantage in keeping the scales from returning, but this would be a personal reference depending on your circumstances. If you have no success in controlling your scalp psoriasis, ask your GP to refer you to a specialist.
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Cause Of Hair Fall And Breakage
Hair fall and hair breakage are common hair concerns faced by many of us. Losing about 100 strands a day is normal. Hair loss is a cause of concern when it takes the form of alopecia, with visible bald patches on your scalp. Hair breakage can make your hair look frizzy and unhealthy. Dryness and damage on the scalp area, can make your hair shaft break, resulting in split ends and your hair strands becoming shorter. Hair loss and hair breakage can be caused by various reasons including poor hair diet, genetics, mishandling of your hair, excessive usage of styling products, chemicals and even using the wrong hairbrush. Often, we also make many haircare mistakes that end up damaging our hair. Celebrity dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shettyra points out top 3 hair care mistakes that can cause hair fall and breakage.
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What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic Dermatitis is a common skin condition that usually affects the scalp, but can be found on other parts of the body: the ears, creases around the nose, even the chest and groin. Seborrheic dermatitis causes red, flaky skin, sometimes mistaken for dandruff, but its more severe and should be treated. It can appear similar to psoriasis, eczema or an allergic reaction, all of which can also occur on the scalp and face.
Seborrheic dermatitis is NOT an infection, so its not contagious. It is NOT caused by allergies or by being unclean. While it can be uncomfortable, and embarrassing, thankfully it does not lead to serious health problems.
If you do believe that youre suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis, and it gets to the point where its uncomfortable or becomes too embarrassing or is causing anxiety, you should seek advice from your doctor. While it is not a serious issue, unless your skin becomes infected, it can cause mental anguish which your doctor may be able to help with.
Youre Hard On Your Hair
Sometimes itâs your styling routine thatâs to blame when your hair starts to break or fall out. Using too much shampoo, brushing or combing your hair when itâs wet, rubbing hair dry with a towel, or brushing too hard or too often can all strain your strands and make them break. Two big cause of breakage include braids that are too tight and weaves that weight down the hair.
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Symptoms Of Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can cover the entire scalp. Symptoms of scalp psoriasis are less noticeable for patients who have thick hair.
Symptoms, which can be intermittent, include:
- Reddish patches: These patches are sometimes barely noticeable, especially if a patients hair is thicker or the patches are not too severe.
- Dandruff flaking: Psoriasis can mimic dandruff however, there is a key difference. In addition to being dry and flaky, psoriasis will cause the scalp to appear silver in color.
- Dry scalp, itching and bleeding: You may feel itchy because of the dryness scalp psoriasis can cause. Scratching will cause bleeding, and worsen the psoriasis patches by resulting in larger, thicker growth.
Treatments To Clear Scalp Psoriasis And Stop Hair Loss
The good news is that there are many effective ways to treat scalp psoriasis. Once your skin clears, your hair will usually grow back.
The bad news is that scalp psoriasis can sometimes be difficult to treat. Hair makes the scalp inaccessible for topical therapies, which are thick and gooey and hard to get in and out of your hair.
The practicality of applying a cream, ointment, or foam into the scalp makes it difficult for topical treatment of psoriasis of the scalp, says Dr. Gohara. If you dont wash your hair every day, who the heck wants to slather creams and ointments on their scalp?
This is especially problematic for Black and brown-skinned people, she says, who tend to wash their hair more infrequently.
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition.
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Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment Options
Thankfully treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is a pretty simple process involving the use of medicated shampoos to help reduce the amount of yeast and decrease inflammation on the scalp.
Over-the-counter shampoos like Head and Shoulders, T-Sal, Nizoral and Selsun Blue can be great options.
The key is not to scrub too hard but to gently massage the suds into your scalp and let it sit up to 10 minutes before rinsing it out. You have to give the medication time to penetrate the scalp. If over-the-counter remedies are not enough, you may require prescription strength shampoo or topical medications for the scalp.
If you are concerned about hair loss due to seborrheic dermatitis you should consult with a Board Certified Dermatologist to determine the best course of treatment. Your doctor will be able to recommend a proper treatment regimen to ensure that your fears of hair loss are addressed.
When it comes to the loss of your hair, prevention is the best action. In this case, when treated properly, clearing your scalp of seborrheic dermatitis will allow your hair to grow at its best. We at the Limmer Hair Transplant Center are here to provide you with all the information you need regarding hair loss and hair transplants, and we would love to discuss more options with you. Please contact us today to setup a consultation.
What Can Be Done About Scalp Fungus
To deal with scalp fungus, you can use a topical scalp fungus treatment like shampoo. But if you have a stubborn case of the infection, or you want to get rid of it as fast as possible, you might need to take medication for it. There are also natural home remedies for scalp fungus treatment.
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Is Dandruff A Fungus
Dandruff is a common concern for many people. Dandruff itself is not fungus, however, it can form as a result of fungus such as yeast on the scalp. Sickness, stress, and cold weather can also cause dandruff to form or worsen. When you have dandruff, dead skin cells and oils build up on your scalp and cause the skin to itch and flake.
Can Eczema Cause Hair Loss
Seborrheic eczema which is also known as seborrheic dermatitis is a mild, chronic form of dermatitis. The skin condition can affect men, women and children of all ages. Seborrheic eczema usually appears in patches of inflamed skin which tend to be red and covered with white or yellow greasy scales. The patches most commonly occur on areas of the body that can become sweaty or greasy, such as the scalp, face, ears and chest.
It is not yet known what actually causes Seborrheic eczema, it is thought that a yeast known as malassezia plays a role. Although the yeast appears on everyone skin, the immune system of those who suffer with the condition are sensitive to it, causing stress and inflammation of the skin.
If left untreated, seborrheic eczema can lead to hair loss. This is because the follicles can find it difficult to grow in an unhealthy and inflamed environment. Those who have the condition tend to also pick and scratch the scalp which can again, lead to hair loss.
At current, there is no cure for seborrheic eczema, prevention is the best course of action and taking care of your skin can help to minimise symptoms. You should avoid picking or scratching inflamed patches on the scalp as this is what can lead to the hair thinning. If you think you have symptoms of seborrheic eczema you should visit your GP who may be able to assist you further.
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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.
Tips For Avoiding Hair Loss
Hair loss linked to scalp psoriasis can make a distressing condition feel even worse, but there are things you can do that may help minimise the risk of hair falling out. The American Academy of Dermatology has the following advice among its top tips to try.
Be gentle: Weve heard how frequent scratching and using harsh products can lead to hair loss, so its really important to treat your scalp kindly. Be careful to comb gently when removing scaly skin, and resist the temptation to pick at it.
Trim your nails: There are bound to be times when you just cannot help but scratch your scalp, so make sure your fingernails are short and smooth when you do. This reduces the risk of loosening clumps of hair.
Add moisture: Scalp psoriasis causes your scalp to be extremely dry. Using a conditioner and letting your hair air dry as opposed to blow drying it will keep more moisture in the scalp, which may reduce the risk of hair loss.
Test all products: Before using any product for your hair, do a patch test first to gauge whether or not it is going to be gentle enough for your scalp. If irritation persists after a few hours, swap to something gentler.
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Six Autoimmune Diseases That Cause Hair Loss
Learn about these conditions, including lupus and Hashimoto’s.
Hair loss is one of the most dreaded conditions, and it affects a whopping 25 percent of women and 50 percent of men over the age of 50. But it isn’t merely age-related. In fact, hair loss can be the result of several different factors, including genetics, hormones, medications, and general lifestyle choices. Most life stressors, including illness, emotional trauma, protein deprivation , and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may cause hair loss, according to Sapna Palep, M.D., a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City.
One of the most common culprits behind hair loss, especially when it happens before age 50, is autoimmune disease, which affects somewhere between 14.7 and 23.5 million Americans to date, according to The Autoimmune Registry. With these types of conditions, one’s immune system mistakenly attacks the bodyand one of the most common side effects, along with a slew of others, is hair loss. “Similar to the situation in extreme dieting and stress, the body shuts down hair growth to preserve energy,” explains Dominic Burg, hair trichologist and Chief Scientist for Evolis Professional. Here, a look at some of the most common autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss, explained by the experts who treat them.
How To Avoid Hair Loss
So, how do you get around these issues?
The first step is to do what you can to ease the symptoms of your scalp psoriasis. When you soothe dryness and itch, youre less likely to scratch and pick at your scalp.
Take a close look at your day-to-day lifestyle. Try making adjustments such as:
- Alternate medicated and regular shampoos from wash to wash.
- Always use a conditioner to lock in moisture.
- Air dry your hair instead of using a blow dryer. Blow drying can dry out your skin and promote flares.
- Avoid scalp psoriasis triggers to keep flare-ups at bay.
- Talk to your dermatologist about effective methods for moisturizing your scalp.
- Use a gentle combing or brushing technique to loosen and remove scale. Picking and pulling at plaque removes hair as well as scale.
- Keep your fingernails short to avoid damage from absent-minded scratching.
If these measures dont help with your hair loss problem, it might be time to take a closer look at your solution methods.
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Scalp Psoriasis Itches A Lot
Itching is one of the most commonand vexingsymptoms of scalp psoriasis, Dr. Farber says, adding that psoriasis on the scalp is the itchiest kind. But resist that urge to itch it! When you scratch the itch it leads to inflammation, which can make the scalp psoriasis spread, he says. Making matters even more difficult, stress tends to travel with psoriasis and many of us cope with stress by scratching. You can use an over-the-counter anti-itch product to help curb the itch, but be careful when you apply these products to inflamed scales, as they can burn or sting, he explains. Other anti-itch treatment options can include topical steroids and oral antihistamines.
Some Additional Self Help Tips
- Urge for scratching is obvious. Hence, keep the fingernails short so that during plucking of scales, no damage to hairs take place.
- Try to keep your hairs short. With short hairs, hair fall will be less.
- Use natural/herbal alternatives against steroids based shampoos, hair oils and hair conditioners. Herbal products would be more gentle on your skin and can be used for long time without any side effects.
- Join a psoriasis support group either a physical one in your home town or over the internet. Share your feelings with fellow persons having the same skin condition and reduce the psychological negative impact and stress associated with psoriasis.
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What Causes Scalp Psoriasis
While we know what causes psoriasis plaques to develop on the scalp , experts dont fully understand why someone develops the condition in the first place or what determines where those lesions will appear. Experts suspect there is a genetic component to psoriasis because people who have a family history of the condition are more likely to develop it, but the specific genes that could be linked to psoriasis are unknown8.
What experts do know, however, is that certain environmental factors can trigger psoriasis for the first time in people who are predisposed to having the condition. According to the Cleveland Clinic, common psoriasis triggers include9:
- Really stressful situations, such as a divorce or losing a loved one
- Having a skin injury, such as a cut, sunburn, or scratch
- Developing certain infections or illnesses, such as strep throat or bronchitis
- Being exposed to cold weather