What Is The Difference Between Dandruff And Scalp Psoriasis
Dandruff is a common problem among adults, but its not actually an illness.
The main symptoms include itching and flaking on the scalp, which usually appear as white or yellowish flakes on top of ones head in areas where hair has been lost due to stress or hormonal changes .
On the other hand, people with psoriasis often experience redness around these patches in addition to scaling that may be accompanied by pain when scratching occurs.
How To Diagnose Psoriasis Of The Scalp In 3 Minutes
Psoriasis of the scalp is a skin condition affecting more than 3 million Americans that produces itchy, raised, scaly patches on the scalp. It can manifest itself as one single patch or affect the entire scalp. It can even spread to the forehead and neck or behind your ears.
While scalp psoriasis is not contagious, it tends to run in families. It is believed to be caused by an overactive immune system and the condition can get worse due to stress and eating certain foods. The overactive immune system causes skin cells to divide too quickly . This results in the scaly patches. Psoriasis of the scalp often appears powdery with a silvery sheen.
While psoriasis of the scalp can be mild to severe, with the mild cases resembling dandruff, the more severe cases often involve thick, crusted sores that can be extremely itchy. The intense itching can interfere with sleep and everyday life, while the frequent scratching of the scalp can result in hair loss and skin infections.
Mild cases of scalp psoriasis are generally treated well with certain topical treatments. Products containing tar and salicylic acid usually work well. Reducing stress and limiting the consumption of foods high in histamine can also make a difference.
More severe cases need to be treated systemically under the care of a doctor.
The following video shows the symptoms of scalp psoriasis very well and that the condition can affect all age groups and people from all backgrounds:
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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.
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What Are The Symptoms
Scalp psoriasis causes redness and scaliness, which may also involve the hairline, the forehead, behind the ears and the back of the neck. It can range from very mild with slight fine scaling to very severe, crusted thick scaling covering the entire scalp. Hair loss during the flare-up can occur in some cases, but the hair will normally grow back. Psoriasis can be itchy, make the scalp feel tight and occasionally cause soreness, especially if there are cracks in the skin.
Is It Bad To Pick At Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can be itchy and very unpleasant, but trying to pick or itch the affected area will only make things worse. Scratching off flaky skin may cause bleeding, which could lead to infection or scarring.
Its important not to scratch your scalp if you have psoriasis because this can increase inflammation and damage healthy tissue around the lesion site. If necessary, try using a comb instead of your fingers when removing flakes from dry areas on top of the head use gentle strokes so as not to irritate them further than they already are due to scratching!
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Scalp Psoriasis Treatment For Black People
Often, to treat scalp psoriasis, doctors prescribe daily use of a prescription shampoo. However this may not be ideal for Black people. Your hair may have a tighter curl pattern, and you may wash your hair less frequently than people with straighter hair to keep it moisturized, as curly hair produces fewer oils and is more prone to dryness and breakage. Thats why it is important to choose a dermatologist who has experience treating scalp psoriasis on Black hair.
Treating scalp psoriasis may cause anxiety about hair loss, especially for Black women. You can rest assured that you dont have to cut or damage your hair to treat scalp psoriasis. There are many treatment options available, including injections, lotions, ointments, foams, and more. Be upfront about your concerns and discuss the pros and cons of each treatment option with your doctor. You may prefer injections if you dont want to leave a lotion on your scalp for a few days before washing. Alternatively, the lighter weight of a foam may be more appealing than an ointment. There are even oral medications you can take if you dislike needles and dont wish to apply medicine to your scalp. You can also try a medicated shampoo once or twice per week instead of daily if you find that it doesnt dry out your hair.
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.
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How To Tell If You Have Scalp Psoriasis Vs Dandruff
If your scalp itches and you have annoying flakes, chances are you think you have dandruff. Perhaps you’ve tried all sorts of dandruff shampoos and conditioners to help get rid of the situation, and maybe you’ve even experienced varying degrees of success. However, if nothing seems to work on those pesky flakes, you could have scalp psoriasis. According to Web MD, only a doctor can diagnose you correctly, but getting the correct diagnosis is the only way to treat the issue effectively.
If your itchy scalp is due to dandruff, there are several reasons why you might experience flakes. A fungus called Malassezia, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, a weakened immune system, and infrequent shampooing are all potential causes of dandruff . However, if you’ve ruled out these things, and dandruff shampoo or changing your habits isn’t helping, then it’s possible you don’t have dandruff.
Read on to find out more about scalp psoriasis.
Herbal And Natural Remedies
The National Psoriasis Foundation suggest that the following alternative preparations may help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis:
Apple cider vinegar: Applying organic apple cider vinegar directly to the scalp may help reduce itching. However, it can also cause irritation. To avoid this, dilute it in equal parts with water or rinse the scalp after the vinegar dries. Do not use it on open wounds.
Aloe vera: Applying gel or creams containing 0.5 percent aloe vera may help reduce redness and scaling.
Oatmeal: Adding oatmeal to a bath or applying an oatmeal paste to areas with psoriasis helps reduce symptoms in some people, although there is no research evidence to support this.
Tea tree oil shampoo: This may help relieve symptoms, although there is no scientific evidence to prove it. Try a little first, because some people have an allergic reaction to tea tree oil.
Turmeric: Consuming as a spice in food, as a supplement, or in a topical gel may help reduce symptoms or psoriatic activity.
The Office of Dietary Supplements note that turmeric is generally considered safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. However, people should check with a doctor before using any complementary therapies or supplements.
Capsaicin ointment: This may help reduce itching by numbing the nerve endings, but it may also cause a burning sensation. More research is needed to guarantee its safety and effectiveness.
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How Can You Mask Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
While your scalp is clearing up, talk with your hairstylist about alternative hairstyles that can help conceal affected areas.
Psoriasis itself does not cause hair loss, but your hair can enter a resting stage known as telogen when you are under stress. When too much of your hair goes into telogen at once, fewer hair follicles are available to grow new hair.
Consider wearing light-colored tops or shirts to help to disguise the falling silvery plaque scales that are easily mistaken for dandruff.
While the symptoms of scalp psoriasis may seem to come and go, psoriasis is a chronic condition that will need to be treated and managed over time.
And, according to Strachan, treating your psoriasis promptly is the best way to reduce its impact on your appearance. Its also important to leave it alone: Psoriasis can develop in unaffected surrounding areas that have been scratched and traumatized.
If youre not sure whether you actually have scalp psoriasis, consult your doctor as soon as you can for an accurate diagnosis and to develop a psoriasis treatment strategy that works for you.
Additional reporting by George Vernadakis
Can Scalp Psoriasis Be Caused By Stress
Stress can be a trigger for flare-ups of scalp psoriasis. Stress levels are closely linked to the immune system and high stress could have an effect on the development of an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis.
Its possible that people with psoriasis may develop symptoms due to stress or certain lifestyle factors, but more research needs to be done in this area.
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What Are Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms And Signs Can Scalp Psoriasis Cause Hair Loss
Psoriasis appears as a small bump, a papule, surmounted by scale. When these papules coalesce, a plaque is formed that is often covered by thick layers of horny scale. When this scale is shed, it appears as dandruff, which can be quite unsightly. Scratching these plaques, either because of itching or because of the impulse to remove it, is a very poor idea because of what is called the Koebner phenomenon . This may cause psoriasis to develop in areas of inflammation and trauma. Scratching off the scale will only make things worse. Although most patients do not note hair loss, there can be extensive alopeciahair loss in severe cases.
What Are Some Dos And Donts If You Have Scalp Psoriasis
If you have scalp psoriasis, proper skin care is important. It can improve the symptoms and help you avoid making things worse.
Shampoo with something that softens the scale like a salicylic-acid-based shampoo.
Brush scale away gently without traumatizing the scalp.
Use medication when you need to.
Use a conditioner every time you wash your hair.
Use a humidifier in cold temperatures.
Dont pick picking can cause psoriasis to intensify and create scarring.
Avoid blow drying.
Minimize coloring, perms, and relaxer.
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How To Check For Scalp Psoriasis
Psoriasis can attack your confidence, your self-esteem and your peace of mind. This is especially true if you have scalp psoriasis, which affects one of the most prominent and public areas of your body. Here are some tips to help you check for scalp psoriasis so that you can seek proper treatment to regain a happy and healthy scalp.
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.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Scalp Psoriasis
The most common complaint is a dry, flaky, red scalp with occasional itchiness. Many people find that it worsens with stress and after some infections. Other common symptoms include:
- Reddish patches on the scalp, sometimes thick and inflamed
- Dandruff-like flaking and silvery-white scale that looks like dandruff
- Dry scalp that may crack and bleed
- Mild to intense itching
- Temporary hair loss
Coconut Or Avocado Oil
Coconuts and avocadoes are filled with healthy fats that boost skin health. Massage a few drops of either type of oil, cool or lightly heated, onto your scalp and put on a shower cap. Wait 20 minutes, remove the cap, then wash your hair as usual. This can reduce and remove some of the scaling associated with the condition.
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The Symptoms Of Scalp Psoriasis
The symptoms of scalp psoriasis can vary from person to person. Some people may only have a few patches of dry, red skin on their scalp.
Others may have a more widespread outbreak, with thick, scaling patches that can be quite embarrassing. In severe cases, the scaling can extend down the back of the neck and over the forehead.
Is There Any Home Remedy For Treating Scalp Psoriasis
There is no cure for scalp psoriasis, but many natural remedies and lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms. Some examples include Tea tree oil Jojoba oil Coconut Oil Aloe Vera Diet Changes Stress Management. Always consult your doctor before trying new or making any major changes to your treatment plan.
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What Treatments Are Available For Scalp Psoriasis
The condition does not have a cure but it can easily be managed if your dermatologist helps you to find the right treatment. Some treatments can be applied topically, but there are also medicines that can be swallowed, or injected, and even UV light therapy can help to alleviate the symptoms.
Corticosteroids are a particularly commonly prescribed treatment, and in many cases can clear up the symptoms of psoriasis quickly. Get more tips and advice from our experts on scalp psoriasis and how to treat scalp psoriasis.
Is Psoriasis The Same As Eczema
Psoriasis and eczema are two different skin conditions. They differ in where the disease appears on the body, how much it itches and how it looks. Eczema tends to appear more often behind the knees and inside the elbows. Eczema also causes more intense itching than psoriasis. Many people, especially children, can get both eczema and psoriasis.
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Can Scalp Psoriasis Cause Hair Loss
Some people with scalp psoriasis may experience hair loss. This is usually due to the inflammation and irritation caused by the condition, which can lead to hair follicles becoming damaged and stunted.
However, it’s important to note that not everyone who has scalp psoriasis will lose their hair. In fact, most people only have a mild form of the disease that doesn’t cause any noticeable hair loss.
If you are experiencing significant hair loss as a result of scalp psoriasis, speak to your doctor about possible treatment options. There are many different treatments available for both scalp psoriasis and hair loss, so there is no need to suffer in silence.
Use Gentle Chemical Exfoliants
The American Academy of Dermatology stresses the importance of using active ingredients to remove scales from your skin. This is important because they soften the attachment of the scale to the skin, making the scales easier to remove.
Locate the scales that you want to remove
Your approach will be different if the scales are hidden under hair, sitting right at your hairline, or behind your ears.
Choose a spot treatment or shampoo
If your scales are surrounded by hair, its best to use a medicated shampoo to soften them. Although shampoos have milder ingredients than topical spot treatments, they provide the added benefit of gentle physical exfoliation.
A spot treatment might have stronger ingredients and should be applied directly onto hairless skin.
Choose your ingredients
Look for the following ingredients, either in shampoos or topical creams:
- Salicylic acid is a powerful exfoliating ingredient that can be found in shampoos and creams. It helps lift and soften scaling and is best as a spot treatment. Shampoos with salicylic acid should be used sparingly, as they can dry your scalp and may lead to more flaking.
- Coal tar is one of the most common ingredients in psoriasis shampoos. It helps soften any scaling on the scalp.
- Lactic acid and urea work similarly to salicylic acid. Theyre scale lifters that soften and break down the thickness of your flakes. They can be found in shampoos or spot treatments.
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