Wednesday, July 10, 2024

How To Know If You Have Psoriasis On Scalp

Is It Scalp Psoriasis

The Shampoo That Cured My Scalp Psoriasis! | Ellko

Some other skin conditions can cause similar symptoms.

Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap, often affects babies. It causes a patchy, red rash that looks greasy or moist to form on the scalp.

Ringworm, a fungal infection, can cause a crusty, red rash to form on the scalp, usually in the shape of a ring. With scalp psoriasis, the affected patches of skin are scaly and dry and do not usually form a ring.

Psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis, is a common condition that appears to develop when the immune system sends the wrong signals to the body.

When the immune system sends these messages to the skin cells, the cells multiply too quickly.

Normally, new cell formation on the scalp may take weeks. With psoriasis, cells form within days. This makes it difficult for the body to shed the excess cells. As the skin cells build up on the surface of the scalp, they form scaly patches.

The of scalp psoriasis is unknown, but research suggests there is a genetic link.

People who have a family member with the condition have a higher risk of developing scalp psoriasis.

In 2016, published by nutritionists noted that psoriasis may be more likely in people who have:

  • inflammatory factors that occur with obesity
  • dietary factors, such as gluten sensitivity

The National Psoriasis Foundation note that a number of other factors may trigger a flare-up of symptoms in people who are prone to scalp psoriasis.

These include:

How Is Skin Cancer Treated

Treatment for skin cancer depends on the size and severity of the skin cancer. Typical treatments include the following:

  • Surgery. The best way to prevent the skin cancer from spreading or growing is to surgically remove it.
  • Radiation therapy.Radiation involves beams of high-powered energy that can destroy cancer cells. Its often used if your doctor cant remove all of the skin cancer during surgery.
  • Chemotherapy. This intravenous drug treatment kills cancer cells. Some lotions and creams with cancer-killing medications may be used if you have skin cancer thats confined to the top layers of your skin.
  • PDT is a combination of medication and laser light thats used to destroy cancer cells.
  • Biologic therapy. Biologic therapy involves medication that boosts your bodys natural ability to fight cancer.

Treatments for skin cancer are most successful when the cancer is found early, particularly before it spreads to other organs in a process known as metastasis.

The cancer is more likely to grow and spread to nearby tissues and organs if its not detected and treated early.

Anyone can develop psoriasis. Certain risk factors increase the chances that youll develop the skin condition.

How Do You Get Rid Of Scalp Psoriasis

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but scalp psoriasis is one of those conditions that needs to be managed and cant be cured.

Its not all doom and gloom though, ‘we can manage it effectively so it doesnt interfere with day to day life,’ notes Wedgeworth. ‘Usually a combination of shampoos, lotions and then occasionally tablet or injection treatments can keep it under good control.’

Treatment also depends on the severity, says Kingsley. ‘Mild cases can usually be cleared with the use of prescription creams and tar-based shampoos. However, treatment of more severe psoriasis needs care and patience.

‘At Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic we soften and then remove the scales under a warm steamer and infrared lamps.

‘Such treatments can give considerable relief, but repeat treatments are almost always necessary. Treatment with ultraviolet light can also help, in fact, psoriasis often improves on its own during the summer months when you are exposed to more UV rays.

‘If you’re suffering from Psoriasis our clinics based in London and New York specialise in hair and scalp issues,’ she adds.

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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.

Scalp Psoriasis Vs Seborrheic Dermatitis

How to Know if You Have Psoriasis on Scalp ?

Occasionally, seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp can be confused with scalp psoriasis since both can produce excess scale and can itch. Pathological examination of the skin biopsy material occasionally may be helpful in distinguishing the two entities. As a practical matter, this is rarely necessary because most patients with psoriasis have typical psoriatic lesions present in other areas, such as the elbows, knees, or torso. In addition, both conditions generally respond to similar topical medications.

Also Check: How Fast Does Psoriasis Spread

The Mental Burden Of Skin Flakes In Psoriasis And Psoriatic Arthritis

You dont need a medical study to tell you that scaling and flaking is bothersome, but the evidence exists nonetheless: 65 percent of patients rank flaking, peeling, and shedding on their body as one of the top three most distressing symptoms they experience, per research published in The Journal of Dermatological Treatment.

The problem with any skin disease is that its on the outside. You have to deal with how the world is interacting with you and your skin disease. It can cause a lot of pain and suffering, says Amy Wechsler, MD, who is board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry and author of the book The Mind-Beauty Connection. For instance, if psoriasis flakes are on your hands, you may be worried about shaking hands in work or social settings to say hello.

The challenge then becomes controlling and responding to flares, cleaning up flakes, and explaining them to friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Generally, the more widespread the disease, or the more difficult it is to cover up, the greater the effect it has on quality of life, says Dr. Bressack.

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.

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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.

Do Scalp Psoriasis Home Remedies Work

How I treat scalp psoriasis

How you take care of your hair and scalp can have a big impact on your scalp psoriasis flare-ups. In addition to the treatment plan your doctor recommends, you may want to try some of the following tips at home12:

Skip styling tools when possible: Since heat can further dry out your scalp and exacerbate symptoms, its best to avoid blow-drying, curling, and straightening tools if you can. When brushing your hair, use gentle pressure to avoid further irritation. If you have natural hair and are used to consistent styling that requires heat, talk to your dermatologist or stylist to figure out a plan that reduces the risk of potential flare-ups while maintaining the health of your hair.

Avoid the tight up-do: If you have longer hair and have hair loss, you may also want to avoid pulling it back tightly in a ponytail, since that can pull on the already-fragile scalp and possibly lead to more hair loss. If you must pull your hair back, keep the hair low and loose to prevent excess tugging.

Choose hair products wisely: Using certain hair products, such as hair dyes, can also be irritating to your scalp. Ask your dermatologist for brand recommendations or if there are ways your stylist can dye your hair that might be more gentle on your scalp.

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How To Know If You Have Dandruff

Dandruff is a condition marked by flakes of dry skin on the scalp. The flakes can frequently fall from your hair and arrive at your shoulders. Dandruff normally results from a dry scalp. If this is the cause, the flakes are typically small and you might have dry skin on other parts of your body.

Washing your hair with a harsh hair shampoo or using a great deal of chemicals on your hair can often irritate your scalp and result in flakes.

A relatively common condition called seborrheic dermatitis is the cause of lots of dandruff cases. Its defined by spots of red and oily skin that leave yellow-colored flakes on the scalp. These flakes are typically bigger than dandruff flakes that take place from dry skin. Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause flaky, irritated spots somewhere else on your body, which may lead you to believe you have psoriasis.

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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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

Don’t Ignore Redness And Skin Irritation

How To Know If I Have Scalp Psoriasis

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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Seeking Medical Help For Psoriasis

You should see a doctor if you think you may have psoriasis or if you have already been diagnosed and your psoriasis worsens and causes pain, discomfort, or emotional stress interferes with your normal activities or does not respond to a treatment you have been prescribed. It often takes trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you.

Doctors usually gauge the severity of psoriasis based on the percentage of your body that is affected. If you have plaques only on your elbows and knees, for instance, you probably have a mild case. Moderate psoriasis is traditionally defined as covering less than 20% of your skin and can be accompanied by nondebilitating joint pain. Severe psoriasis is characterized by more than 20% body coverage or psoriasis that develops in certain critical areas, such as the face. People with severe psoriasis may also develop fluid-filled plaques and psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis typically goes through cycles of flaring and subsiding, but rarely achieves permanent remission. There are, however, many new treatments available that can help people with psoriasis effectively control the disease and live a more comfortable, less painful life.

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.

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Can Going To The Barber Or Hairdresser Make My Psoriasis Symptoms Worse

If you have open and honest communication with a professional, experienced barber or hairdresser, then your psoriasis symptoms will probably not be aggravated by getting your hair cut or styled. Many barbers or hairdressers will be able to provide you with advice about types of hairstyles or hair products. Your healthcare provider or dermatologist can also provide guidance about the best products for people scalp psoriasis, which you can report back to your hairdresser or barber.

For some people, symptoms can be irritated by things such as blow drying, hot irons, or brushing too vigorously with a firm brush. Again, being honest with your barber or hairdresser about anything that might irritate your symptoms is the best way to avoid trauma to your scalp2.

People with scalp psoriasis can often have hair treatments such as coloring/highlights and use products such as hair sprays, but its best to check with your healthcare provider and do a patch test on a small area of scalp before applying any products to the entire scalp3. Some people with scalp psoriasis bring their own hair coloring or other hair products into the salon to avoid irritation. Stylists can also use techniques to reduce irritation, such as applying a barrier around the hairline and ears before applying hair color. Highlights are less likely to cause irritation because the color product itself does not touch the scalp, only the hair above it4.

Shampoo For A Dry And Flaky Scalp

Scalp Psoriasis Help for Long Hair

Several kinds, both over the counter and prescription, can help. Try selenium sulfide , zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole , or tar-basedones for thin plaques.

For thicker scales, salicylic acid shampoos can work well. Not all of these work for every person. You may have to try one for a few weeks and switch to another if it doesnt work.

Use the medicated shampoo first when youd normally lather up. Its OK to use your regular shampoo and conditioner afterward. Know that tar-based options can be a bit smelly.

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How To Know If You Have Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is different from dermatitis. While self-diagnosis of any condition is not recommended and best only done by a physician, there are some standard signs of scalp psoriasis that may be helpful in informing you. Symptoms of scalp psoriasis include silvery-red scales that are seen extending beyond the hairline and along with them is itching, flaking, and redness.

Again though, this is not something you determine on your own and you should make an appointment to see you doctor if you believe you may be developing scalp psoriasis.

How Can Parents Help

For some children, psoriasis is just a minor inconvenience. For others, it is a difficult medical condition.

To manage symptoms and make outbreaks less likely, your child should:

Kids and teens with psoriasis may feel uncomfortable with the way their skin looks. Help your child understand that psoriasis is common and treatments can help.

Whether your child’s psoriasis is mild or severe, learn about the condition together. Offer to help find a therapist or join a support group if that might help. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:

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