Saturday, April 13, 2024

How Do You Get Psoriasis On The Scalp

What Are The Most Common Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms

How to Get Rid of Scalp Psoriasis

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

Unwind With Lavender And Calendula

Not many antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents are known for helping you relax, but thats the magic of lavender essential oil. You can also add calendula oil to the mix , along with a carrier oil, and apply directly to the scalp.

Just remember to only add a few drops of essential oil to each tablespoon of carrier oil you use, and do a patch test first to make sure you dont have a sensitivity to those particular oils.

Some potential carrier oils:

  • avocado oil
  • jojoba oil

Sadly the science here is still a little lacking, so make sure to do your homework and chat with a derm before oiling up.

Another option that doesnt involve topical application: Since stress makes psoriasis flares worse, you can sit in a quiet room with dim lighting, some lavender oil in the diffuser, and just chilllll. This may not affect your psoriasis in the short term, but it could help the flare go away faster. And, bonus points for caring for your mental health.

What Type Of Psoriasis Treatment Will I Need

Several treatment options can relieve psoriasis. Creams or ointments may be enough to improve the rash in small areas of skin. If the rash affects larger areas, or you also have joint pain, you may need other treatments. Joint pain may be a sign that you have arthritis.

Your provider will decide on a treatment plan based on:

  • Severity of the rash.
  • Vitamin A or retinoid creams.

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Treatment For Scalp Psoriasis

Your dermatologist can treat mild scalp psoriasis with topical medications. For more stubborn cases, oral or injectable treatments are also effective but may have side effects including increased infections.

At UCLA Dermatology, our specialists may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Topical medications applied to the scalp, such as tar shampoos and steroid sprays, creams and solutions
  • Medicated shampoos

How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose Scalp Psoriasis

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The fact that the scalp is a hair-bearing area in most people produces challenges in diagnosis as well as treatment. If scaling plaques are present on portions of the body in a distribution characteristic of psoriasis, then the diagnosis of the scalp disease is much easier to make.

The most important consideration in treating scalp psoriasis is getting an effective medication into the skin. Both the hair and any scale covering the disease act as an impediment to treatment. Removal of the scale in a nontraumatic fashion is very important. This can be accomplished by shampooing frequently. Using tar, selenium, or salicylic acid-containing shampoos can be helpful. This may have to be done at least twice a day initially if the scale is sufficiently thick. Gently rubbing off the scale with the fingertips and not the nails is important.

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Get Hair Health And Science News Delivered Right To Your Inbox

Does anybody actually like dealing with scalp infections? Well, actually we do. Yes, we know scalp fungus causes hair lossâand can be uncomfortable and itchy. But weâve done our scalp infection research and have solutions for you. Not only will we tell you the difference between scalp fungus and plain old dry skin, but weâll also share how and why scalp infections happen. Plus, weâve got scalp fungus treatment options. Hereâs what we know.

What Are Causes And Risk Factors Of Scalp Psoriasis

It is generally accepted that scalp psoriasis, like all psoriasis, is related to genetic defects that affect certain parts of the immune system. There are undoubtedly environmental risk factors that trigger its initial development in genetically predisposed individuals. The notion that “emotional stress” plays a causal role or at least exacerbates psoriasis has been difficult to prove. There is no question, however, that psoriasis of the scalp can be an extremely stressful experience.

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How To Properly Remove Psoriasis Scales

The scalp is a tricky place to treat psoriasis, since many people want to balance maintaining their hair health with treatment.

Its important to be patient and gentle throughout this process to ensure youre protecting your hair and healthy skin.

The following steps will help to remove scales and aid in the overall treatment of your psoriasis. But you should see a doctor before getting started.

What Are The Symptoms Of Scalp Psoriasis

How to Get Rid of Scalp Psoriasis (Part 2)

Symptoms of psoriasis on the scalp might include:

  • Fine scaling that looks like dandruff, or appears as thick, crusted plaques on the scalp
  • Red, itchy areas on the scalp
  • Scaling that covers parts of the scalp or the entire scalp
  • Scaling that may extend beyond the hairline onto the neck

“It can be itchy and painful and all that together can make psoriasis that affects a small body area disabling,” says Dr. Friedman.

Scalp psoriasis can have a social impact, too, he adds.

“If someone sees a person with a flaky, red scalp, they may assume the person is unkempt or has a fungal infection, so there is an added level of anxiety associated with that in terms of misunderstanding what scalp psoriasis is and punishing the patients,” Dr. Friedman says.

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Tips For Managing Scalp Psoriasis

The following tips can help people to manage scalp psoriasis:

Seek treatment: A health professional can provide a topical ointment or oral medication that will help manage symptoms and itchiness.

Treat the scalp gently: People with this condition should avoid washing and combing the hair vigorously, as this can lead to breakage, especially if the hair is fragile due to treatment.

Avoid scratching: Scratching can lead to bleeding and possibly an infection.

Moisturize: Keeping the scalp moist will not cure psoriasis, but it may help improve the appearance of the skin.

Avoid triggers: If possible, individuals should identify their triggers for scalp psoriasis and consider things ways to limit them.

It is important to seek treatment, as this can reduce the risk of further complications, such as hair loss or cracked and bleeding skin on the scalp.

It is difficult to prevent scalp psoriasis, because the exact cause remains unclear.

However, treating the condition as soon as symptoms appear may prevent it from becoming worse.

Scalp psoriasis affects individuals differently. Some people have an occasional flare-up while others deal with the condition frequently.

If a person knows what triggers symptoms for them, they can try to avoid these factors.

How Do You Get Rid Of Psoriasis On The Scalp Naturally

Thick scales on your forehead, hairline, behind your ears, or on the back of your neck can be softened with coconut, olive, or peanut oil. Massage a small amount into your scalp, then put on a shower cap overnight, and shampoo in the morning. Repeat for two or three nights. The dead skin should soften and wash away.

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What Are Other Types Of Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. About 80% to 90% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.

Other, less common types of psoriasis include:

  • Inverse psoriasis appears in skin folds. It may look like thin pink plaques without scale.
  • Guttate psoriasis may appear after a sore throat caused by a streptococcal infection. It looks like small, red, drop-shaped scaly spots in children and young adults.
  • Pustular psoriasis has small, pus-filled bumps on top of the red patches or plaques.
  • Sebopsoriasis typically appears on the face and scalp as red bumps and plaques with greasy yellow scale. This type is a cross between psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.

Whats The Difference Between Scalp Psoriasis And Dandruff

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Dr. Bhutani says it can be really tough to tell scalp psoriasis and dandruff aparteven for doctors! Although both conditions can cause those annoying flakes, which may be the only visible symptom at first for some people, they tend to pop up for different reasons. Unlike scalp psoriasis, dandruff isnt an autoimmune issue and can be spurred by various factors, like having very dry or oily skin, which can lead to an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus that thrives on a moist scalp10.

But you may be able to pick up on subtle differences if you look a bit closer. Dandruff flakes can be white or yellow, which is not common in scalp psoriasis. With scalp psoriasis, plaques have a dry scale with more clearly defined edges, and the scales themselves are often thicker with a silvery sheen.

If your scalp is extremely itchy or you have any other scalp psoriasis symptoms, then you may want to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, who can thoroughly assess whats going on. If youre only noticing some flaking and have tried an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo but havent noticed improvement, then you may want to see a dermatologist anyway theyll be able to take a closer look and prescribe something a bit stronger if you need it.

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How They Work Best

Shampoos and other topical treatments work best if the plaques are removed before treatment to better allow the medication to penetrate the skin. You should protect your ears when applying shampoos and topical treatments. Put a small amount of petroleum jelly on a cotton ball and insert in your ears to protect your ear canal.

When To See A Doctor

Anyone who has a new rash on the scalp or the body should seek medical help.

A doctor will carry out a physical exam and ask the person about their symptoms.

A dermatologist may be able to diagnose scalp psoriasis by examining the rash. Sometimes, they may recommend a skin biopsy to rule out other conditions.

Scalp psoriasis may flare up periodically, but it is not usually a serious medical condition. Appropriate treatment can usually control symptoms.

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Psoriasis Triggers To Know

There are also other day-to-day triggers that dont necessarily cause psoriasis, but might make it worse or spark a flareup:

  • Infections
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol
  • Vitamin D deficiency

About half of patients with psoriasis experience a flare in their disease with stress. It can be mental stress or a physical stressor, says Dr. Reichenberg. Another common cause of flares is infections. We think that when a persons body starts to get the immune system ready to fight an infection, it also makes the part of the immune system responsible for psoriasis get over active.

Articles On Scalp Psoriasis

HOW TO: GET RID OF DRY 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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Look For Scaly Patches Of Skin

The best way to look for this particular psoriasis symptom is to feel around on your scalp. You’re looking for patches of skin — particularly in areas you might not see in the mirror — that feel raised, bumpy, or scaly in nature. These bumpy patches of skin are the result of overactive skin cell growth. It’s believed that an autoimmune issue is the cause of this skin buildup. When skin grows so quickly like that, your body can’t shed cells fast enough. If you feel small patches or large areas of scaly skin on your scalp, it’s likely psoriasis.

What Are The Types Of Psoriasis

In children, common types of psoriasis include:

Plaque psoriasis. This is the most common type of psoriasis. It causes plaques and silvery scales, usually on the knees, elbows, lower back, and scalp. They can be itchy and painful and may crack and bleed.

Guttate psoriasis. This type often shows up after an illness, especially strep throat. It causes small red spots, usually on the trunk, arms, and legs. Spots also can appear on the face, scalp, and ears.

Inverse psoriasis. This causes smooth, raw-looking patches of red skin that feel sore. The patches develop in places where skin touches skin, such as the armpits, buttocks, upper eyelids, groin and genitals, or under a woman’s breasts.

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What Causes Psoriasis Of The Scalp

You cant catch scalp psoriasis from another person. As with other types, we dont 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.

What Is Scalp Psoriasis When Can Scalp Psoriasis Begin

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Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin that is estimated to affect about 2.2% of the adult population. In children, the onset of psoriasis can be before the age of one year but peaks around 5-8 years. Psoriasis produces scaly, itchingbumps on the skin. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to psoriasis. The genes affected seem to be involved with control of the immune system. Psoriasis appears as red scaling, slightly raised bumps that merge to form plaques. Psoriasis classically appears on the elbows and knees, but it can affect any part of the skin. The scalp is also characteristically affected in many people. Like psoriasis anywhere on the body, scalp plaques produce excess scale and can itch. Severe disease can cause a loss of scalp hair, which usually will return if the disease can be controlled. Scalp psoriasis somewhat difficult to treat when the scalp is covered with hair sufficient to act a barrier to the application of topical medications.

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Rule Out Dandruff First

Scalp psoriasis can be a serious issue for those who have it. If you suspect you’re one of those people, it’s important to rule out dandruff first. Dandruff can be caused by a number of factors, but most commonly it’s the result of oily, itchy, or irritated skin. As a result of this irritation, dry skin flakes off and often lands on your hair or clothing. One key symptom to look out for here is dry skin flakes. Itchiness can also be a symptom of dandruff, but it shouldn’t be accompanied by any redness or scaly skin. If you think you see either of those things, it’s probably time to get checked out for psoriasis. In addition, dandruff often comes and goes. Keep track of how long you’re experiencing symptoms — if they’re ongoing for more than a week or so, you could be looking at scalp psoriasis.

Be Aware Of Itching Or Burning Sensations

Another common symptom of scalp psoriasis is an itching or burning sensation around the affected areas. This can be a result of skin cracking or flaking. Whatever you do, don’t scratch at your scalp if you feel these sensations. Doing so could irritate your condition further and lead to complications down the line. In addition, it could cause additional scalp soreness or pain.

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Caring For Scalp Psoriasis

by Health Writer

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by thickened patches of skin called plaques. When it affects the head, it is called scalp psoriasis. As with psoriasis on other parts of the body, it can worsen during the winter months due to cold dry air outside and warm dry air indoors.

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