What Causes Dandruff Vs Psoriasis Of The Scalp
There’s disagreement among dermatologists about what causes dandruff. Some believe it’s simply a buildup of the stratum corneumthe top layer of skinthat can occur if people don’t wash their hair very frequently. “Seborrheic dermatitis might be a bigger issue for African Americans because of some hair care practices,” explains Steve Feldman, MD, professor of dermatology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. “Because their hair would get dry if they shampooed very frequently, many African Americans use oils on their scalp and may only shampoo once a week or even less.”
Another possible cause of dandruff may be overgrowth of a fungusa type of yeast called Malassezia. “We all have various types of yeast on our scalp. It may be that some people’s bodies have a reaction to that,” says Dr. Feldman, who sits on the medical board of the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Or maybe you’re having a reaction to a hair care product. “An itchy, dry, and flaky scalp could be telling you that you need to do a better job of rinsing the shampoo from your hair,” says the American Academy of Dermatology . Leaving styling products on your scalp for too long without washing can also be irritating and lead to itching and flakes. AAD adds that some people may have an allergy to a shampoo, conditioner, or other product that touches the scalp.
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.
Common Scalp Conditions And How To Treat Them
Its not only your hair health you need to think about. Strong, beautiful hair can only grow from a healthy scalp. Some of the most common scalp conditions cause itchiness, rashes and hair loss. So watch out for the symptoms and find out how to treat them!
Seborrheic Dermatitis is one of the most common scalp conditions that is defined by dandruff and patches of grease. In a worst case scenario, it can even lead to hair loss! Its not contagious but is an obvious inconvenience. Seborrheic Dermatitis is associated with stress and seasonal changes in your body, such as weakened immune system or seasonal depression, so tends to worsen in winter and early spring. Besides these causes, this disease can also be triggered by Parkinsons, diabetes, obesity or caused by fungus. To fight this condition, youll need a prescription-strength ketoconazole shampoo that should be applied directly to your scalp for 5-10 minutes prior to wetting your hair and followed by a moisturising shampoo and conditioner to prevent excessive dryness.
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How We Chose The Best Shampoos For Scalp Psoriasis
To create this list, we looked mainly for products that contain salicylic acid and coal tar to target scalp psoriasis. These are two ingredients recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology Association .
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid thats often used as an exfoliant. It helps soften and break down plaques and scales for easier removal. Removing the plaques should help ease symptoms, like itching, burning, and irritation.
Coal tar is derived from black coal, and, according to the AAD, has been used to treat psoriasis for over 100 years. It helps pump the brakes to make sure the skin cells on your scalp arent growing too fast and building up. Still, coal tar can be drying and can stain.
We also included shampoos with other research-backed ingredients, like selenium sulfide.
Finally, we looked at reviews from customers with scalp psoriasis to determine the effectiveness of each one.
How To Treat Scalp Psoriasis
While scalp psoriasis is a chronic condition, you can help ease uncomfortable symptoms with the right plan. Its important to see a dermatologist as soon as you suspect you may have the condition, though, as scalp psoriasis treatment is highly individualized and requires some persistence.
It depends on things like hair type, what treatments people have tried in the past, whether people have open sores, their stress level, even how long their hair is, Dr. Bhutani says. Please see your dermatologist. Even if what youre dealing with turns out to be just really bad dandruff, you shouldnt have to live with it.
The most common scalp psoriasis treatments include11:
I usually recommend treating scalp psoriasis from the outside first, Dr. Bhutani says, explaining that she often prescribes topical corticosteroids first. Although topical treatments are very effective for short-term management of scalp psoriasis flare-ups, if the symptoms are severe or if the plaques spread to other areas of the body, additional treatment may be needed.
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What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, noncontagious, easy-to-manage skin condition. This type of dermatitis causes itchy red patches and greasy scales on your skin along with white or yellow crusty or powdery flakes on your scalp.
Seborrheic refers to the sebaceous glands while derm means skin. Its called dandruff when its on a teenagers or adults scalp, and cradle cap when its on a babys.
Seborrheic dermatitis can occur in other areas of your body. These are areas with the most sebaceous gland activity: your upper back and chest, face/forehead, the creases at the base of your nose, behind your ears, navel , eyebrows, under your breasts and in the creases/bends of your arms, legs and groin.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a lifelong condition that appears, disappears with treatment, and flares up from time to time.
What Are The Most Common Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
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
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Listerine Wasnt Always A Mouthwash
Listerine was invented in 1879 by a St. Louis man named Joseph Lawrence. Lawrence was working to develop a surgical antiseptic and came up with a solution that consisted of alcohol, eucalyptus oil, menthol, and thymol, among other things.
But more than just a surgical antiseptic, Lawrence said his new creation could clean wounds, cure athletes foot, and treat dandruff. It wasnt until 1895 that Listerine was recognized as a product for oral health, and even then it was still being prescribed for sore throats and colds.
Does Scalp Eczema Cause Hair Loss
Healthy hair grows from a healthy scalp. When you have scalp eczema, the inflammation associated with the condition in your scalp tissue does not provide a viable environment for healthy hair growth. Moreover, scratching and picking the affected eczema patches can lead to further inflammation and hair follicle damage, which results in bald patches or hair loss.
As per a study conducted by the Center of Dermatology and Hair Diseases of the University of Zurich, scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis increase the oxidative stress on the scalp, which in turn contribute to hair loss significantly. Also, as per a case study conducted by the Department of Dermatology, Niigata Central Hospital in Japan, contact dermatitis caused by hair dyes resulted in severe hair loss.
However, scalp eczema related hair loss is likely to be temporary and your hair restarts growing once the condition is treated.
The Last Word
Scalp eczema or cradle cap can affect infants under the age of 3 months, which clears up usually after the baby reaches 6 months of age. However, it can return during late adolescence or between the ages of 30-60 years.
Different treatments help to manage the symptoms efficiently but they may not help to cure the scalp eczema completely. While in most cases, scalp eczema can last for years, mild infection can clear up without treatment.
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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.
Aloe Vera Use For Scalp Psoriasis
Aloe vera is specially known for its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. It also helps to reduce the skin irritation. The antiseptic properties present in aloe vera gel make it very beneficial in the home treatment of scalp psoriasis. Its use reduces burning and itching of scalp. If you dont know that how to get rid of psoriasis scalp with aloe vera then You can use aloe vera as below:
Take out the pulp of a fresh aloe vera leaf now use mixer to make aloe vera gel from the pulp. Add some drops of lavender oil in aloe vera gel and apply this mixture on affected scalp. After doing gentle massage wash the hairs with good shampoo.
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How Do The Signs And Symptoms Of Dandruff And Scalp Psoriasis Differ
Per Mayo Clinic and AAD, dandruff may feel itchy, and the scalp may look red and be covered with white or yellowish scales that may look greasy. Dandruff often affects only the scalp and ears, though it can also affect the eyebrows, eyelids, and other oily parts of the body such as the forehead and the crease of the nose. It can also affect any part of the body with hair.
Scalp Care For Dandruff
If a person has dandruff, they should be careful when using a dandruff shampoo that contains coal tar. This is because these sorts of shampoo can discolor light-colored hair.
The AAD recommend that white people or those of Asian descent should use regular shampoo daily and dandruff shampoo twice a week only.
The AAD suggest that black people shampoo just once a week with a dandruff shampoo.
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Treatment For Scalp Psoriasis
A person with moderate-to-severe scalp psoriasis may wish to talk to a dermatologist. This is a doctor who specializes in skin conditions and can recommend appropriate treatments.
When psoriasis has involvement with the scalp, symptoms can be challenging to treat. A person with lesions on the scalp may need to try several treatments or combinations before they see significant results.
Treatments may include the following.
Pretreat Your Hair Before Applying Any Rx
When it comes to scalp psoriasis, priorities count. Apply scale-softening agents or oils to psoriasis patches first, before you dab on medication. Any treatment you use afterward will penetrate the skin more easily, upping the benefits. Next, choose a peeling agent that includes salicylic acid in the ingredients list, which softens scales, making them easier to remove.
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How To Get Rid Of Scalp Psoriasis
To date, scalp psoriasis, like other forms of psoriasis, has no known cure. However, many treatment options can prove helpful in alleviating the symptoms and reducing flare-ups.
It is essential to see a dermatologist who will make a proper diagnosis and offer the best treatment plan for you. This is because scalp psoriasis is often difficult to treat, and individuals respond differently to each treatment. Some people even become resistant to some treatment after repeated use.
Four medical treatment options, as well as herbal remedies that have proved helpful, will be considered as follows:
Scalp Psoriasis: Symptoms And Treatment
Dealing with an itchy, flaky scalp? It could be dandruff or it could be a sign that youre dealing with a common condition known as scalp psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis isnt just the result of a dry scalp, its an autoimmune disorder. Of course, its important to be able to pinpoint the warning signs of scalp psoriasis so that you can turn to a qualified dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.
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Risk Factors To Consider
Always research the specific oil you intend to use before you incorporate it into your treatment plan. Each oil comes with its own cautions and interactions.
Although theyre all natural, essential oils can be particularly potent ingredients. For this reason, they should be treated like medicine and used with care.
Essential oils are generally not recommended for infants, children, or pregnant or breastfeeding women. Some oils may interact with certain medications or health issues. You should speak with your doctor about the oils youd like to use to complement your current psoriasis care.
How To Diagnose Scalp Eczema
There is no specific test that helps in decisively diagnosing scalp eczema as the fungus and yeast that are naturally present on everyone’s scalp play a role in the development of scalp eczema.
Usually, doctors can diagnose seborrheic dermatitis from a physical examination.
Also, doctors may collect a small sample by skin scraping to determine the presence of fungal infection and to rule out any other similar scalp conditions such as allergic reactions, psoriasis, etc.
As per a study conducted by the Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine of Pusan National University, and Kyungpook National University, Korea, Dermoscopy helps to a great extent in differentiating seborrhoeic dermatitis from scalp psoriasis clinically.
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How Do You Stop Picking At Scabs On Your Scalp
Picking at a scalp scab can increase your risk of scarring or infection. Try to distract yourself by taking a walk, drawing, or engaging in an activity you enjoyespecially if it will keep your hands busy.
If you are picking at the scabs in your sleep, you might want to wear gloves at night to prevent yourself from scratching and give the scabs a chance to heal.
Biological Agents For Psoriasis
Also known as biologics, these are injections introduced either through the vein or directly into the deep layer of the affected scalp. They are natural derivatives that help in reducing the bodyâs immune response. They work by targeting specific cells responsible for the rapid proliferation of the skin cells. This results in the reduction of inflammation and the formation of patches associated with scalp psoriasis.
However, these drugs come with their side effects. There is also an increased rate of infections because of their immunosuppressive properties. Therefore, it should be administered under a doctorâs supervision and regular laboratory workups to monitor toxicity.
The following are examples of biological agents used in the treatment of scalp psoriasis:
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Coconut Oil For Psoriasis
Coconut oil isnt considered an essential oil. But it has anti-inflammatory properties that may help ease psoriasis pain. Its widely regarded as a gentle ingredient. Because of this, its often recommended as a treatment for scalp psoriasis. The oil moisturizes the skin and scales.
When used alone, coconut oil doesnt typically cause any side effects. The oil is routinely used as a cooking ingredient and is safe for consumption. It can be taken internally or applied externally with few, if any, interactions. Coconut oil is often used as a carrier oil for essential oils. Do not consume coconut oil if there are any essential oils added.
You can use coconut oil in several ways. Try ingesting up to two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily. The lauric acid substance inside may block bacteria and viruses from entering your body. You can also apply virgin coconut oil liberally to the affected areas. It may be more effective if you put it on your skin directly after bathing.
If you have pain, itching, or other unusual symptoms after using coconut oil, stop using it and speak with your doctor. Learn more about coconut oil and psoriasis.
Peppermint Oil For Psoriasis
Peppermint oil may help most with any itching and pain you get in and around psoriasis patches. There are some 25 different species of peppermint with over 600 varieties. No matter what plant you use, the menthol in the oil is what gives peppermint its punch. This oil also tackles itching caused by anything from herpes blisters to scabies infestations.
In small doses, peppermint doesnt usually cause any side effects. Theres a slight chance of allergic reaction, so be on the lookout for any unusual signs and symptoms after application.
A popular home remedy involves combining one cup of distilled water with five to seven drops of peppermint essential oils in a spray bottle. You can spritz this mixture onto painful, itchy skin for soothing relief.
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