How To Naturally Manage Dry & Inflamed Scalp Psoriasis
Have you ever noticed scaly red patches on your scalp? If so, you may be among the 2 to 3% of Americans with psoriasis, an autoimmune disorder that presents itself on the skin, as well as in the joints. And if you’ve ever experienced this type of flare-up on the scalp, you know it can be quite the challenge to learn how to live with it, while not allowing it to control your every hair move. We consulted with experts to get the lowdown on scalp psoriasis and the natural remedies you can take to help manage your condition.
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.
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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Tablets Capsules And Injections
If your psoriasis is severe or other treatments have not worked, you may be prescribed systemic treatments by a specialist. Systemic treatments work throughout the entire body.
These medications can be very effective in treating psoriasis, but they all have potentially serious side effects. All the systemic treatments for psoriasis have benefits and risks. Before starting treatment, talk to your doctor about your treatment options and any risks associated with them.
If you’re planning for a baby, become pregnant or are thinking of breastfeeding, you should also speak to your doctor first before taking any new medicine to check it’s suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
There are 2 main types of systemic treatment, called non-biological and biological .
Oats Or Colloidal Oatmeal
Some people also notice that their psoriasis symptoms get worse after eating certain foods or as a result of allergies. Research has not yet conclusively proven that these factors can trigger psoriasis, however.
It is worth noting that environmental triggers alone do not cause psoriasis. People without a genetic predisposition for psoriasis will not develop it, even when they experience these triggers.
In the following sections, we will cover the different types of shampoo and home remedies that people with scalp psoriasis can try.
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What Is The Best Shampoo For Psoriasis Of The Scalp
Below, youll find some of the best shampoos for scalp psoriasis:
- 1 T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Extra Strength. Neutrogena.
- 2 Psoriasis Medicated Shampoo + Conditioner. Dermarest.
- 3 SAL Shampoo. DHS Sal Shampoo.
- 4 5% Coal Tar Psoriasis Shampoo. PsoriaTrax.
- 5 Clinical Strength Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment. Head & Shoulders.
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What To Do If You Have A Dry Itchy Scalp
Home remedies for dry scalp with coconut oil. Coconut oil has long been used for its skin benefits, and dry scalp is no exception. Tea tree oil. For this reason, many dandruff shampoos contain tea tree oil. aloe vera. Apple vinegar. witch hazel Baking powder and olive oil. banana puree. Yogurt and egg. Jojoba oil lawyers.
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How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. Theyll 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 its psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
How Common Is Psoriasis Itching And Burning
Itching is a very common symptom of psoriasis, affecting between 70% and 90% of people with the condition1. Studies have found that itching was the symptom most frequently complained about by psoriasis patients, with around 77% of patients experiencing itching every day4. Many patients report that itching was the first or second most bothersome symptom of the condition .
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What Is The Treatment
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, whichever treatment you use. 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 achieved clearance, 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 reference depending on your circumstances. If you have no success in controlling your scalp psoriasis, ask your GP to refer you to a specialist.
Psoriasis Can Cause Arthritis
For an unknown reason, psoriasis can cause a form of arthritis known as psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms include:
- discomfort, throbbing or swelling in one or many joints
- tenderness in any joint
- pain caused by inflammation in the joints, which stimulates nerve endings.
- The joints most likely to be affected are the last joint in the fingers or toes, the sacrum , wrists, knees or ankles.
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Make Hair Care Product Swaps
Villaneuva suggests opting for products that are free of sulfates, phthalates, and parabens. These ingredients will dry out the skin, which causes further irritation to the scalp, she warns. Instead, look for ingredients like coconut oil, tea tree oil, turmeric, avocado oil, castor oil, and charcoal. All of these ingredients help to reduce inflammation and remove impurities to balance out the condition of the scalp.
Villanuevas go-to for immediate relief is a DIY paste made with oats and water. If you need immediate relief, you can make a paste with crushed oats and water and apply it directly to the skin, she says. This will not stop the progression of psoriasis, but it will help to temporarily relieve the scalp as oats are extremely soothing to the skin.
I Tend To Eat More And Drink More Alcohol In The Fall And Winter Months Will This Affect My Psoriasis
Alcohol and key foods probably will not trigger a psoriasis flare. Though medical researchers have yet to prove that certain foods cause psoriasis flares, many patients report that eating certain foods seems to worsen their psoriasis. This, though, may be a coincidence. If you notice a regular connection between eating certain foods and increased skin symptoms, ask your doctor whether you can safely eliminate the suspect foods from your diet to assess any changes in your psoriasis.
Alcohol binges are associated with worsening psoriasis. If you tend to smoke when you drink, you might be dealing yourself a double whammy. Evidence indicates that people who smoke tobacco products may be more likely to develop a form of psoriasis that causes pustules to develop on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Researchers have also found a correlation between smoking and more serious forms of psoriasis.
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What Exactly Is Scalp Care
We often spend a large amount of time and money on our skincare. But Bigger explains that scalp care is about treating the skin on your head as you would the skin on your face. Looking after the health and well-being of your scalp not only in disease but also in health, he says. By doing so, you can prevent a number of issues early on, from scalp irritation to hair loss. Its also important to use hair care products that utilize nourishing and kind ingredients for your scalp skin as the scalp can be very sensitive, in particular for people with fine hair.
Bottom line: A healthy scalp encourages healthy hair growth.
What Is Scalp Eczema And How To Treat It
A common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that can appear on the scalp and typically begins in childhood.
Although the underlying cause is still unknown, the immune system becomes overactive and triggers an inflammatory reaction, leading to dryness and itchiness. Topical corticosteroids and other lotions, such as pimecrolimus or crisaborole, are common treatments. Oral antihistamines or prescription corticosteroids, such as prednisone, can also be used to control the condition.
Again, many of the symptoms of atopic dermatitis overlap with those of other conditions so its important to get an official diagnosis from a dermatologist before attempting to treat it.
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Limit Your Use Of Styling Tools
Be gentle when styling your hair, in order to avoid irritating the scalp. It is best to avoid tight hair styles, as pulling too tight on the scalp can lead to irritation, says Garshick. Additionally, curling irons, rollers, coloring, perming or relaxing your hair should be limitedespecially if there is an active flareas these can be irritating on the scalp.
If youre concerned about concealing plaques, Green suggests a low pony with added texture to hide irritation at the nape of your neck. You can add volume to down-dos by gently teasing strands at the root to conceal any scaliness behind the ears. If the hairline is typically your trouble zone, full or side-swept bangs can help hide redness.
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Take Care Of Your Scap Tip #: Support A Healthy Ph Balance
A pH is essentially a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Everything has a pH balance including your skin and hair. The normal, healthy scalp has a pH of about 4.5 to 5.5 .
It is very important to maintain this range because if not then damage can ensue which will affect your hairs growth and overall well-being. For more information on pH and what it does to your hair click here.
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Use Of Medicated Scalp Psoriasis Products
The first process in caring for psoriasis scalp is to shampoo with a medicated product prescribed by your dermatologist. There are additional creams, gels, and ointments that may be prescribed to ease the condition. Most of these products are also bought over the counter, but consultation with a physician will provide clarity on the extent of the condition and how to best tackle scalp psoriasis.
Stronger steroid topical applications are prescribed in case the psoriasis is more severe, which require prescription. Coal tar and salicylic acid based over the counter products are FDA approved for this condition. Additional medications may have ingredients which have anti-microbial properties, such as anthralin, betramethasone, calcipotriene, and tazarotene among others.
In order to contain the condition effectively, the medication needs to be applied at the exact site on psoriasis scalp locations. Rather than applying on the hair, the medicine should be placed directly on the scalp lesions, and this method will need to be followed in correct dosages for a period of 8 weeks to effectively tackle the condition. Once the initial scaly, patchiness has been dealt with, you can prevent further occurrences in most cases by shampooing with a prescribed medicated product twice weekly or on a daily basis.
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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Things To Avoid If You Have Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can be very uncomfortable, but find the right treatment and avoid these 6 pitfalls, and you can keep your scalp inthe best condition possible.
1. Dry skinKeep your scalp hydrated by using a moisturizing shampoo every time you wash your hair.
2. Itching and scratchingNever pick at scales or sore patches of skin ÃÃ¢ this will make the condition worse!
3. Dry, cold weatherThe weather can have a big effect on psoriasis. Cold, dry weather can make the symptoms appear worse, so make sure to wrap up warm in winter and consider getting a humidifier to take the edge off the dry air.
4. Certain medicationTell your doctor about any medication you take and ask whether it might affect your psoriasis.
5. StressStress is often linked with flare-ups, so try to reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation and yoga are a good place to start.
6. AlcoholItÃ¢s thought that excessive alcohol consumption may worsen psoriasis symptoms, so drink in moderation. If youÃ¢re taking psoriasis medication, check whether itÃ¢s okay to drink alcohol while taking them.
How should you treat scalp psoriasis?Scalp psoriasis is a somewhat rare skin disorder, affecting about 3% of the population. If you havenÃ¢t yet been diagnosed with the condition, itÃ¢s worthwhile to check to see if your symptoms are the result of a more common scalp flaking disorder like seborrheic dermatitis.
Try using Clinical Strength Shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis.
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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.
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Consider A Medication Change
If youre struggling with an overload of flakes, you may need to evaluate and possibly switch medication. That can be frustrating, but there are many choices of targeted treatments on the market. It can be trial and error, but everyone can be treated, says Dr. Wechsler.
Psoriasis can be mild, moderate, or very severe, and these symptoms can change over time, so treatment that worked for you in the past may not be right for you now. If youre currently being treated for mild psoriasis but are starting to have more severe disease, talk to your doctor about if its time to change your therapy. Heres a brief overview of different types of treatment for psoriasis.
Use An Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar is a do-it-all ingredient, and when used as an apple cider vinegar rinse, it can help lower the pH of the hair, giving you the silky, shiny locks youve always wanted. Villaneuva says its a great natural at-home remedy to alleviate itching and irritation. Apply an apple cider vinegar rinse to the scalp and wait for it to dry, she suggests. Once the vinegar has dried, rinse the solution off of the scalp. However, only use this on mild flare-ups: Youll want to avoid using apple cider vinegar if your skin is cracked, bleeding, or there are open wounds. This is safe to repeat a few times a week to reduce irritation.
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