What Are The Treatments
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. 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 gained adequate control of your scalp psoriasis, 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 preference depending on your circumstances. If you have no success in controlling your scalp psoriasis, ask your GP to refer you to a specialist.
What Is The Relationship Between Psoriasis And Your Diet
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disorder. The body mistakenly attacks its own tissue, explains Wesdock. It starts overproducing skin cells, which lays down plaques on your skin. Plaques are red, scaly patches that can be itchy or painful. Sometimes psoriasis is accompanied by psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition.
Neither of these conditions is caused by anything you eat, but theres an important link between your diet and psoriasis. Many foods are known to cause inflammation throughout the body. In some people, this widespread irritation can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse.
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.
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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.
What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have psoriasis, ask your healthcare provider:
- How can I prevent outbreaks and control symptoms?
- What medication will work best for me?
- What else should I do to improve symptoms?
- What are my options if creams dont work?
- Will psoriasis ever go away?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Psoriasis, an itchy skin condition, can come and go throughout your life. Its related to an overactive immune response and is not contagious. If you have skin changes that arent going away, talk to your healthcare provider. There is no cure for psoriasis, but psoriasis treatments can improve symptoms. Your provider may prescribe a special cream or moisturizer or medications. Other therapies are available if creams or medicines dont work. Maintaining your overall health will also help improve symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/17/2020.
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Start With The Right Ingredients
To remove scales, be sure you have the appropriate products on hand. Removing psoriasis scales can be done safely without damaging skin by using products with substances that help chemically and physically separate and lift scales away from psoriasis plaques.
Compounds used to remove psoriasis scales are known as keratolytics, or keratolytic agents. Keratolytics, which soften and separate the outer layer of skin, are used for treating psoriasis and other skin diseases, such as eczema and seborrheic dermatitis. Keratolytics, sometimes called scale lifters, can help peel away scales and reduce the thickening of plaques without damaging skin.
Salicylic acid is considered the most effective keratolytic agent, but high amounts of salicylic acid can be harmful to skin. Safe concentrations of salicylic acid can be found in many products created for the treatment of psoriasis. Other keratolytics, such as urea and lactic acid, are also used for lifting psoriasis scales off the skin. These ingredients can be found in prescription topical medications and in a range of over-the-counter products, such as shampoos, moisturizers, and bath solutions.
There are several other ingredients that are beneficial for both the prevention and removal of scales, including:
- Coal tar
- Baking soda
- Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts
Why Do People Get Scalp Psoriasis
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation , about 45-56% of people with psoriasis have scalp psoriasis. Additionally, the NPF states that scalp psoriasis is common in people of color.
“We don’t know why some people get it on the scalp and some don’t,” Adam Friedman, MD, professor of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, tells Health.
He explains that while it’s not known exactly what causes plaque psoriasis, a combination of genetic makeup and environmental factors are believed to be involved.
While skin cells usually grow and fall off in a month’s cycle, the skin cells of those with plaque psoriasis grow faster, due to an overactive immune system. The skin cells tend to grow in about three to four days, yet they don’t fall off at the same pace, leaving dead skin cells to buildup on the skin.
While there isn’t a known reason for why people get psoriasis on different parts of the body, Dr. Friedman says he finds that those with scalp psoriasis also get inverse psoriasis, which occurs on the folds of skin like the groin and underarms. He notes that because those areas can be moist, psoriasis might look different.
“So, people who have this are often underdiagnosed because it doesn’t have that classic appearance. In the groin area, it can be assumed it’s a yeast infection or sexually transmitted disease. This is why it’s important to make a correct diagnosis,” Dr. Friedman says.
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How To Choose The Product That Is Right For Your Scalp
So how do you choose the right over-the-counter product for you? First you need to determine the severity of your condition. The more severe the case the stronger the active ingredient may have to be to help treat your scalp psoriasis. Remember to read the packaging. The FDA recommends levels of Sal Acid and Tar from 1-3% for Salicylic Acid and from .5-5% for tar. It is always better to start lower and increase concentration if the medication is not working effectively for you. Never go right for the highest concentration because this could irritate your scalp and cause the psoriasis to become worse.
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
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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 Is The Main Cause Of Scalp Psoriasis
When it comes to what causes scalp psoriasis, you may be surprised to learn that nearly anyone can develop the scaly skin condition, regardless of skin type, hair type, or texture.
The main cause of scalp psoriasis is a reaction from a persons immune system that has faulty signals, tell the skin to grow new skin cells in days rather than weeks, says Dr. Chacon.
Flareups can happen year-round, but scalp psoriasis can worsen during the fall and winter months due to the extreme fluctuations between the dry, cold air outside and the dry, warm air inside.
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Home Remedies For Psoriasis
Conventional treatments of psoriasis are often associated with adverse reactions as well as limited efficacy. Hence, the patients always look out for herbal remedies for psoriasis.
Research evidence suggests that Aloe Vera gel is helpful in alleviating the redness and scaling of the skin, which may be caused due to psoriasis. A natural home remedy for psoriasis involves the application of the Aloe Vera gel on the affected skin for about 3 times a day. When buying a marketed product for psoriasis treatment, always look for creams containing 0.5% of aloe.
Aloe extract is obtained from the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant and is used as an essential ingredient in creams and ointments to reduce redness, scaly patches on skin, itchiness, and inflammation. Research studies have revealed that Aloe Vera has chemicals like anthraquinone and acemannan, which have antibacterial activity and can be used in clearing off dry patches or scaly patches of psoriasis. Another component salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, which is efficacious in the desquamation of psoriatic plaques.
It has been reported that the use of Aloe vera in cutaneous treatment is well-tolerated by patients.
Apple Cider vinegar
Tea Tree oil
Turmeric should be liberally added to foods such as curries. Turmeric is also available as over the counter product in the form of concentrated pills or supplements. As per the FDA, 1.5 to 3.0 gm of turmeric can be taken safely as daily doses.
Oatmeal Helps Fight Inflammation
Oatmeal isnt just a great breakfast option its a major skin soother. An oatmeal bath is a popular at-home treatment for alleviating the itch and pain of rashes caused by poison ivy, chicken pox, and sunburn.
Oatmeal can also help with inflammation associated with scalp psoriasis, says Jennifer Burns, NMD, a naturopathic doctor and founder of the Burns Integrative Wellness Center in Phoenix.
Mix uncooked oatmeal with water, adding a few drops of olive oil. Smooth the paste on your scalp and leave it on for at least 10 minutes. Rinse, shampoo, then condition.
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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.
Causes Of Scalp Psoriasis Psoriasis Scalp How To Get Rid Of
If youre struggling with scalp psoriasis, you happen to be not alone. The disease is a chronic, multisystem disorder that can adversely have an effect on joints and result in itching and redness. Luckily, theres an efficient therapy accessible. Youll find several common triggers, which includes genetics, environmental aspects, and life-style habits. Understanding about these aspects could assist you to decrease your danger of developing psoriasis.
Some triggers are autoimmune ailments, which cause the bodys immune system to attack its personal tissues. These diseases generate proteins referred to as cytokines that cause the bodys immune program to attack skin cells. Inflammatory reactions to these proteins can cause scaly, red patches. Environmental aspects might also play a role in causing psoriasis. Some toxic agents and pathogens in the atmosphere can lead to skin infections.
Inflammatory immune reactions also can trigger scalp psoriasis. Even though psoriasis is usually genetic, its not contagious. This condition might begin on a single patch and eventually spread to surrounding places, such as the back in the neck, inside the ears, and even the forehead. > > > Psoriasis Scalp How To Get Rid OfBenefit From Expert Help Alternatively Read More > > > Higher stress levels are also believed to trigger an inflammatory immune response. If the underlying cause is unknown, its essential to seek the advice of a physician for additional therapy.
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Injectable Or Infused Biologic Medications
These target specific parts and pathways of the immune system to control the over-reactivity that triggers psoriasis flares. These are the most powerful options for treating psoriasis and are used in moderate to severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. That said, flaking alone is not a sign that you would need to jump to systemic therapy. Most people would not want to go on systemic medications simply for the flaking, as these can have significant side effects and can be extremely costly, says Bressack. If youre doing well , you probably dont need a systemic medication.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. They’ll also ask whether someone else in the family has psoriasis and if the child recently had an illness or started taking a new medicine.
Rarely, doctors might take a skin sample to check more closely. A biopsy can tell the doctor whether it’s psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
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Treatments For Scalp Psoriasis
There are a number of different treatments that can be effective in managing scalp psoriasis. Topical treatments, light therapy, and oral medications are all options that your doctor may recommend.
Topical treatments are applied directly to the scalp and can be very effective in reducing inflammation and itchiness. These include corticosteroids, calcipotriol, tazarotene, and Anthralin.
Light therapy, also called phototherapy, involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light. This can be done either with artificial light sources in a dermatologist’s office or by using natural sunlight. Light therapy can be an effective treatment for moderate to severe scalp psoriasis.
For more severe cases of scalp psoriasis, your doctor may recommend oral medications. These include methotrexate, acitretin, cyclosporine, and biologics. Biologics are a newer class of drugs that target specific parts of the immune system. They are typically reserved for patients who have not responded to other treatments.
What If Those Psoriasis Treatments Dont Work
If psoriasis doesnt improve, your healthcare provider may recommend these treatments:
- Light therapy: UV light at specific wavelengths can decrease skin inflammation and help slow skin cell production.
- PUVA: This treatment combines a medication called psoralen with exposure to a special form of UV light.
- Methotrexate: Providers sometimes recommend this medication for severe cases. It may cause liver disease. If you take it, your provider will monitor you with blood tests. You may need periodic liver biopsies to check your liver health.
- Retinoids: These vitamin A-related drugs can cause side effects, including birth defects.
- Cyclosporine: This medicine can help severe psoriasis. But it may cause high blood pressure and kidney damage.
- Immune therapies: Newer immune therapy medications work by blocking the bodys immune system so it cant jumpstart an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis.
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Is Your Stomach to Blame?
Who would have thought that a severe psoriasis outbreak could start because of something going wrong inside of your stomach and intestines? Yet, new research developed by psoriasis expert Edgard Cayce shows a distinct link between a leaky gut and a scaly psoriatic episode. According to Cayce, the primary source of psoriasis can be found in the intestinal tract, where toxins are leached into the body. This causes the immune system to react by thickening the skin. At the same time, the skin tries to purge the toxins through its layers, which can cause scabs and sores to form.
Could Arthritis Be the Cuplrit?
The intestines arent the only link to psoriasis found by researchers arthritis seems to also contribute to it. As many as one-third of all psoriasis patients eventually develop some form of psoriatic arthritis. Unlike normal forms of arthritis, those with psoriatic arthritis do not exhibit a rheumatoid factor when their blood is tested. This indicates that the arthritic condition comes solely from either the psoriasis itself or the underlying cause of the skin affliction.
Could a Virus Be the Cause?
Arthritis has been linked to certain virus and so have other auto-immune disorders. This leads some researchers to think that psoriasis too may start with a virus, which is what kicks the immune system into overdrive.