What About Perms And Other Hair Treatments
Scalp psoriasis does not necessarily mean you cant have hair treatments, but you do need to be careful. Certain things that do not touch the scalp such as highlights should be fine, and treatments that do touch the scalp usually require a patch test to be done in advance, to make sure you do not have a reaction. If there is broken skin on the scalp then it is not advisable to have dyes or perms applied. It is always a good idea to discuss your scalp psoriasis with your hairdresser, who should have up to date information about possible options, and if in doubt always consult your doctor.
Hair Care Can Trigger An Outbreak
Any hair care that causes pain can trigger a new outbreak of psoriasis on the scalp. Maybe the hair is combed a little too vigorously. Perhaps the water for the shampoo is too hot. Or there is an allergic reaction to a dye or a hair care product. When this happens, the nerves in the scalp generate a neurotransmitter called substance P, the pain chemical, and the skin gets a signal to start an incredibly rapid repair process. Skin can produce 10,000 times as many new skin cells as are needed to repair microscopic damage, and redness, flaking, drying, and cracking start all over again.
Soften Scales With A Salicylic Acid
In mild to moderate scalp psoriasis, silvery scales can develop on the scalp. Some people might also experience thicker plaque-like scales. To treat, you can try using salicylic acid. Salicylic acid acts as a keratolytic to help soften the scales and decrease the thickness of the plaques. Salicylic acid-based products, also known as scale softeners, are generally best to help soften and eliminate the scales. Daily washing of the hair can help to eliminate some of the dead skin.
You can also leave the salicylic based product on to let it penetrate deep in areas where thicker plaques persist. Let it sit for up to 10 minutes before rinsing.
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What Causes Scalp Psoriasis Anyways
One study showed that researchers dont know the exact cause of scalp psoriasis. But, it appears to develop when your immune system sends particular signals to your skin cells. This makes your cells multiply too fast, leading to those scaly patches.
According to a research review, other factors that lead to psoriasis include:
- body weight
Some folks also claim that allergies are to blame, but theres not enough proof to back this up.
Scalp psoriasis symptoms can range from mild to severe. Common side effects include:
Psoriasis can indirectly cause hair loss. Giving in to scratch attacks on the reg or harsh treatments can make you lose some of your luscious locks. Thankfully, your hair should grow back after your skin clears up.
The AADA suggests trying these techniques to prevent hair loss:
- Avoid blow dryers or other hot tools.
- Use hair products that have menthol.
- Dont use products that contain irritants.
- Keep your scalp moisturized with a top-notch conditioner.
- Press an ice pack or cool towel on the inflamed parts of your scalp.
While theres currently no cure for psoriasis, there are a ton of over-the-counter treatments, medications, or home remedies that can help. The exact type of treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms.
During A Flare Should I Refrain From Sexual Intercourse
Not necessarily. However, the friction from sexual contact can make the symptoms worse and more painful. Before engaging in sex, consult your doctor on whether you can use condoms or lubricants, and ask them to recommend which ones are the best for your condition.
After you have sex, make sure to cleanse and pat dry the area gently. Also, remember to reapply any medication that your doctor may have prescribed to help with the recovery process.
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What Is Scalp Psoriasis The Causes And Symptoms
Scalp psoriasis is a completely different animal from dandruff, says Dr. Gohara. Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body, she points out, and according to the National Psoriasis Foundation , 45 to 56% of people who have psoriasis have it on their scalp. It can feel very itchy, and at times burning or painful. Here, more information on the cause of scalp psoriasis:
Psoriasis is the result of an over-proliferation of epidermis, the top layer of our skin, resulting in thick, scaly plaques, says Dr. Gohara.
The cause of that over-proliferation is an immune dysregulation around skin cells, Dr. Gohara explains. According to the Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, psoriasis is what is called an immune-mediated disease meaning that an unknown cause brings about a dysregulation of the immune system that causes inflammation. The overactive immune system revs up the growth of skin cells, which pile up rather than shedding, creating the plaques.
Generally, in scalp psoriasis, the plaques are usually very dry, not oily or greasy. And theres redness or pinkness or with dark skin, a dark red or purplish color,” says Dr. Gohara.
Scalp psoriasis can be very disruptive to ones lifestyle, says Dr. Gohara. Its very obvious everyone knows if you have it. If you have, say, a heart issue, people dont see it, but they see the flaking from scalp psoriasis.
Natural Or Home Remedies
These DIY treatments might help reduce symptoms on your scalp and your body:
Aloe vera. Gels and creams made with aloe can be super soothing.
Dead Sea salts. Soak the itchiness away with high-quality Dead Sea salts. Pro tip: Slather on the lotion afterwards since salt can dry out your skin a bit.
Capsaicin. This ointment can help reduce itching by numbing nerve endings. But TBH, more research is needed to prove its efficacy.
Apple cider vinegar. Apply some organic apple cider vinegar directly to your scalp to reduce itching. To avoid irritation, dilute it in equal parts water and dont use it on open wounds.
Oregon grape . This product contains herbal oils, emulsifiers, and a coal-tar solution that might ease symptoms, according to a study. But theres limited research to prove its efficacy, and it doesnt have FDA approval.
Turmeric. According to a research review, topical turmeric is known to reduce itch, lesion size, and pain. Some folks also dig it as a supplement. Its generally considered safe by the Office of Dietary Supplements , but you should still check with your doc before adding a supplement to your diet.
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Systemic Treatments And Uv Light
If you have moderate to severe psoriasis elsewhere on your body, one of these medications may help:
- Methotrexateslows an enzyme involved in the rapid growth of skin cells.
- Oral retinoids help control the growth of cells.
- Cyclosporinelowers the immune system function, and therefore helps to reduce the inflammation of psoriasis.
- Biologics target specific parts of the immune system that are overactive in psoriasis.
Talk with your doctor about the potential side effects of these treatments.
Ultraviolet light is another treatment option. Hair can block the light from reaching your scalp, so if you have thick hair, it may help to part it in rows. Hand-held devices can directly deliver light to your scalp.
What To Do For Infection
If your scalp psoriasis becomes infected, you may have crusting, redness, warmth, tenderness, and sometimes swelling of your lymph nodes. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic treatment for this problem.
National Psoriasis Foundation: “Specific locations: scalp,” “Scalp Psoriasis,” and “Over-the-Counter Topicals,” “Traditional systemic medications,” “Moderate to severe psoriasis: Biologic drugs.”
Handa, S. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 2010.
Skin Therapy Letter: “Treatments for Scalp Psoriasis with Emphasis on Calcipotriol Plus Betamethasone Dipropionate Gel .”
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What Else Should I Know
Making healthy choices can help with psoriasis. Here are some things you can do:
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking can trigger outbreaks of psoriasis in some people.
- Avoid alcohol. It can make psoriasis treatments less effective.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can help fend off diseases that might trigger psoriasis.
- Stay at a healthy weight. This decreases the risk of inverse psoriasis.
- Keep skin clean and well moisturized. Bathing daily with bath salts or oils and then applying moisturizer can help ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
People who have psoriasis may feel self-conscious about how it looks. That’s one reason why some people turn to a therapist or join a support group of people who understand what they might be going through.
The key to psoriasis treatment is keeping up on whatever your doctor prescribes. If that means applying an ointment twice a day, then find a way to remind yourself to do it so you don’t forget. Psoriasis is one of those things that you need to stay focused on treating, even when you’re feeling OK.
Whether your psoriasis is mild or severe, learn all you can about it. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:
What Should You Not Put On Psoriasis
Here are seven things to consider not putting on your skin if you have psoriasis.
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How Does Psoriasis Lead To Hair Loss
As well as being visibly noticeable, psoriasis can be unbearably itchy. The itching can get so bad it can interfere with sleep and your everyday interactions. And that’s not all. Too much scratching can cause temporary hair loss over time as the hair follicles become damaged. The aim is to avoid scratching even though it’s really difficult. “When the scale is shed, it tends to pull the hair out with it,” said Bard. “While the inflammation doesn’t specifically affect the hair follicle, inflammation of the scalp can have a detrimental effect on hair growth and can lead to shedding.”
Though psoriasis scales are upsetting to live with, you might also suffer from hair loss if you try to forcibly remove scales. The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests avoiding scratching and picking at the scales to lessen the chance of aggravating the skin. They also recommended keeping fingernails short and filed down to reduce hair loss and limit the damage caused when scratching is the only option.
It’s important to note that psoriatic alopecia also known as hair loss due to psoriasis can affect the entire scalp, and some data suggests that those living with psoriasis are also potentially at risk of developing alopecia areata over time. This is why, if you’re living with severe psoriasis, you must check in with a dermatologist or health care professional to arrange an educated treatment plan.
Systemic And Biologic Treatments
These treatments work to slow down the growth of skin cells or to reduce inflammation.
Biologic medications block proteins in the immune system that are related to psoriasis, such as:
- tumor necrosis factor-alpha
is continually being done to see how these biologics can help reduce symptoms, and to develop newer medications.
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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.
Don’t Ignore Redness And Skin Irritation
We already discussed that dandruff is often the result of some form of skin irritation, but psoriasis takes it a bit further. Skin irritation will often be accompanied by patches of red, dry skin on the scalp. It can be easy to dismiss this at first, especially when hair is covering your head, but the sooner you get it looked at, the sooner you can determine if you need psoriasis treatment or not. If you notice skin flaking off on your hair and clothing, make sure to examine your scalp for any patches of red, dry skin.
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Generalised Pustular Psoriasis Or Von Zumbusch Psoriasis
This causes pustules that develop very quickly on a wide area of skin. The pus consists of white blood cells and is not a sign of infection.
The pustules may reappear every few days or weeks in cycles. During the start of these cycles, von Zumbusch psoriasis can cause fever, chills, weight loss and fatigue.
What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
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What Is Dandruff The Causes And Symptoms
Dandruff is a very common condition of the scalp that results in dry skin flakes, which end up caught in a persons hair or on their clothes. According to the American Academy of Dermatology , it generally doesnt require medical treatment, but it can be itchy and uncomfortable, as well as embarrassing to those having to deal with it. Here are the causes:
A yeast imbalance.Theres a type of yeast in all of our bodies called malassezia, part of our bodys normal microbiome, says Dr. Gohara. Dandruff, or seborrhea, is caused by an overgrowth of that.
An oily scalp. Dandruff can also be associated with increased oil production of the scalp, says Dr. Gohara, evidenced by greasy hair or an oily scalp.
A scalp thats overly dry. Dandruff can also be the result of a too-dry scalp, says Dr. Gohara. Also, flaking can be caused by using too many products in the hair, or not washing products out properly but this isnt the same thing as dandruff.
Switch Your Shampoo & Conditioner
For daily help in relieving your scalp psoriasis, get rid of the commercial bought hair care products and go the natural route. Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis shampoo and conditioner was specifically formulated for these skin diseases to help manage and soothe your scales, itchiness, and bring back that much needed nourishment to your hair!
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Safety And Side Effects
Keep in mind that these products wont cure scalp psoriasis, but they may help manage flare-ups.
If your condition worsens, its best that you check in with your doctor. Some cases of scalp psoriasis are more severe and may require prescription shampoos.
As with any new product, be sure to do a patch test before using a scalp psoriasis shampoo over your whole head. To do a patch test, put some product on the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours. Keep an eye out for any signs of irritation.
Coal tar might not be safe to use during pregnancy or on infants, so its always best to talk with your doctor first.
Using some of these shampoos alone can be drying to your hair because coal tar and salicylic acid strip away oils. Find a good conditioner and make sure that youre keeping your hair and scalp moisturized.
Kenkoderm, Head & Shoulders, and Vanicream have conditioners that pair with their respective shampoos. As for other shampoos, you can pair them with moisturizing or intensive care conditioners.
What You Can Do
Salicylic shampoos and other solutions can help with scales. Doctors can also prescribe high-potency steroids in the form of creams, gels, solutions, and foams. Creams can be greasy, so you may want to try the others on your scalp. It might help to put clobetasol foam, a corticosteroid, directly on damp skin. This is available in a prescription spray, too.
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Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms And Signs
Psoriasis can appear anywhere on your skin, but it is most prone to show up on your elbows, knees, and your scalp. About half of all people with psoriasis will experience at least one flare-up in the scalp area.
Symptoms of scalp psoriasis can vary in severity. More mild forms are noted by slight scaling, while more severe forms are characterized by thicker, more crusted plaques that cover the entire scalp, potentially extending to the forehead, the back of the neck, and around the ears. Other common symptoms of scalp psoriasis include:
- Red patches on the scalp
- Flaking that appears like dandruff
- A generally dry scalp that may crack and bleed
- Itching that may be mild or so intense that it can interfere with everyday activities or sleep
- Bleeding from excessive scratching
- Soreness or burning sensation
Although scalp psoriasis cannot actually cause hair loss, scratching or attempting to remove the scales can result in temporary hair loss. Hair should grow back once the psoriasis has cleared and your scalp has healed.
As with all forms of psoriasis, these symptoms come and go in cycles of flare-ups lasting weeks or months and then subsiding or even going into remission. What scalp psoriasis looks like also varies from person to person.