Dont Ignore Redness And Skin Irritation
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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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:
- Wash hands well and often and stay away from people who are sick to prevent infections.
- Manage stress through exercise, yoga, or meditation.
- Not smoke or drink alcohol.
- Keep a healthy weight. People who are overweight tend to have more severe psoriasis symptoms.
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 childâs 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:
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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What Is Scalp Psoriasis The Causes And Symptoms
Scalp psoriasis is a completely different animal from dandruff, says Dr. Gohara. Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body, she points out, and according to the National Psoriasis Foundation , 45 to 56% of people who have psoriasis have it on their scalp. It can feel very itchy, and at times burning or painful. Here, more information on the cause of scalp psoriasis:
Psoriasis is the result of an over-proliferation of epidermis, the top layer of our skin, resulting in thick, scaly plaques, says Dr. Gohara.
The cause of that over-proliferation is an immune dysregulation around skin cells, Dr. Gohara explains. According to the Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, psoriasis is what is called an immune-mediated disease meaning that an unknown cause brings about a dysregulation of the immune system that causes inflammation. The overactive immune system revs up the growth of skin cells, which pile up rather than shedding, creating the plaques.
Generally, in scalp psoriasis, the plaques are usually very dry, not oily or greasy. And theres redness or pinkness or with dark skin, a dark red or purplish color,” says Dr. Gohara.
Scalp psoriasis can be very disruptive to ones lifestyle, says Dr. Gohara. Its very obvious everyone knows if you have it. If you have, say, a heart issue, people dont see it, but they see the flaking from scalp psoriasis.
Six Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can vary in severity, from person to person and can even come and go . Here are six symptoms you should watch out for.
1. Its hard to move in the morning
Psoriatic arthritis can make getting up in the morning a challenge, especially after you havent moved around for a while. It can cause stiffness and pain in one or more joints, from your toes to your fingers. It can even cause pain and swelling in the tendons and surrounding structures that connect to your bone, a condition called enthesitis.
2. Your fingers look like warm sausages
About 30 to 50 percent of patients with psoriatic arthritis will experience the symptoms of dactylitis, or extreme swelling in their fingers and toes, Dr. Aquino said. This is when the entire fingers and toes swell to resemble sausages.
You may notice your swollen joints feel warm to the touch because inflammation and swelling cause heat.
3. You have lower back pain
When you think of psoriatic arthritis, you typically think about skin symptoms, but many people experience lower back pain as well. About 20 percent of those with psoriatic arthritis will develop a subtype called spinal involvement or psoriatic spondylitis, which may result in pain and stiffness in the back and hips, Dr. Aquino said.
4. Your nails have grooves and ridges
5. You experience eye problems
6. Youre always tired
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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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Sneaky Psoriasis Sign #: Hand Or Foot Blisters
Raised red patches on the palms or soles are common with psoriasis, but an unlucky few develop deep blisters or pustules within these patches, says Dr. Katta. This is known as palmoplantar pustular psoriasis.
Smokers are at higher risk for this type, because nicotine can cause inflammation in the sweat glands of the hands and feet.
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What Else Should I Know
Making healthy choices can help with psoriasis. Here are some things you can do:
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking can trigger outbreaks of psoriasis in some people.
- Avoid alcohol. It can make psoriasis treatments less effective.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can help fend off diseases that might trigger psoriasis.
- Stay at a healthy weight. This decreases the risk of inverse psoriasis.
- Keep skin clean and well moisturized. Bathing daily with bath salts or oils and then applying moisturizer can help ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
People who have psoriasis may feel self-conscious about how it looks. That’s one reason why some people turn to a therapist or join a support group of people who understand what they might be going through.
The key to psoriasis treatment is keeping up on whatever your doctor prescribes. If that means applying an ointment twice a day, then find a way to remind yourself to do it so you don’t forget. Psoriasis is one of those things that you need to stay focused on treating, even when you’re feeling OK.
Whether your psoriasis is mild or severe, learn all you can about it. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:
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.
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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.
What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
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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, donât 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.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. Theyâll 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 itâs psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
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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.
Emotional Impact Of Psoriasis
Because of the effect that psoriasis can have on physical appearance, low self-esteem and anxiety are common among people with the condition. This can lead to depression, especially if the psoriasis gets worse.
Your GP or dermatologist will understand the psychological and emotional impact of psoriasis, so talk to them about your concerns or anxieties.
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What Causes Scalp Psoriasis Anyways
One study showed that researchers dont know the exact cause of scalp psoriasis. But, it appears to develop when your immune system sends particular signals to your skin cells. This makes your cells multiply too fast, leading to those scaly patches.
According to a research review, other factors that lead to psoriasis include:
- body weight
Some folks also claim that allergies are to blame, but theres not enough proof to back this up.
Scalp psoriasis symptoms can range from mild to severe. Common side effects include:
Psoriasis can indirectly cause hair loss. Giving in to scratch attacks on the reg or harsh treatments can make you lose some of your luscious locks. Thankfully, your hair should grow back after your skin clears up.
The AADA suggests trying these techniques to prevent hair loss:
- Avoid blow dryers or other hot tools.
- Use hair products that have menthol.
- Dont use products that contain irritants.
- Keep your scalp moisturized with a top-notch conditioner.
- Press an ice pack or cool towel on the inflamed parts of your scalp.
While theres currently no cure for psoriasis, there are a ton of over-the-counter treatments, medications, or home remedies that can help. The exact type of treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms.
Look For Scaly Patches Of Skin
The best way to look for this particular psoriasis symptom is to feel around on your scalp. Youre 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. Its believed that an autoimmune issue is the cause of this skin buildup. When skin grows so quickly like that, your body cant shed cells fast enough. If you feel small patches or large areas of scaly skin on your scalp, its likely psoriasis.
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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.
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.
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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 womans breasts.
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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