Moderate To Severe Psoriasis Treatments
Your doctor may prescribe steroids, lotions, solutions, sprays, or foams to treat moderate to severe scalp psoriasis. Some topical treatments are applied directly to the skin, then shampooed and rinsed out, including:
- Anthralin . Apply this cream once a day for 10 to 30 minutes.
- Calcipotriene . This is a prescription form of vitamin D. Apply it at night and cover your scalp with a shower cap. Leave it on overnight. Don’t get it in your eyes.
- Calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate . This is a combination of a type of vitamin D and a strong steroid in a suspension or ointment. You use it once a day. Don’t get it in your eyes.
- Tazarotene . This vitamin A treatment comes in a cream, foam, or gel form. If using it at night, put it on clean, dry skin, and let the medication dry before you go to sleep. Applying a moisturizer after the medication may help prevent drying.
Follow your doctor’s directions for all medications. Don’t use stronger steroids for more than a 2-week cycle without your doctor giving you the OK.
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.
How Is Psoriasis Treated
Psoriasis is usually treated by a dermatologist . A rheumatologist may also help with treatment. Treatments can include:
- ultraviolet light from the sun or from home or office treatments. But in some children, sunlight can make psoriasis worse.
- creams, lotions, ointments, and shampoos such as moisturizers, corticosteroids, vitamin D creams, and shampoos made with salicylic acid or coal tar
- medicines taken by mouth or injected medicines
A doctor might try one therapy and then switch to another, or recommend combining treatments. It’s not always easy to find a therapy that works, and sometimes what works for a time stops helping after a while.
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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
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.
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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.
Villanueva’s 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.”
How To Take Care Of Scalp To Avoid Flaking
Dry scalp treatments can include ingredients that hydrate, nourish, and repair the scalp issue. Besides, hair products including oil from argan, coconut, almond, or jojobacan adequately increase the moisture on your scalp. Oatmeal and Vitamin E are also good options for soothing dry and irritated scalps.
Treatments for dry scalp typically come in the forms of shampoos and conditioners, but scalp treatments, moisturising lotion, and serums are also beneficial. They altogether can nourish your scalp and reduce the number of white flakes. However, when experiencing any pain, redness, or increased irritation, stopping using those products is a must to prevent further issues for your hair and scalp.
One suggested way to improve the flaky scalp condition is using a proper hair washing method to enhance the moisturisation of the scalp. Avoid hot showers as they could further dehydrate your scalp and hair. Instead, keep the water lukewarm during shampooing, and wash off the conditioner with cold water to effectively retain moisture.
Last but not least, a scalp massager can assist in exfoliating and rubbing off dead skin from your scalp. Thanks to soft silicone or synthetic bristles, the massager helps relax the scalp and buffs away dry and flaky skin, followed by a decrease in the number of flakes. Also, it provides a clean canvas to enhance the positive effects of the application of hair serums or other hair products later on.
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Medications For Severe Scalp Psoriasis
If you have moderate to severe scalp psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe a drug you take by mouth or one that’s injected or pumped through a needle into a vein. Oral medications include:
- A strong form of vitamin A called a derivative
- , a small molecule inhibitor taken twice daily
Since these medications can cause serious side effects, including liver damage, they require a doctorâs close eye. It’s also important to know that oral vitamin derivatives are different from — and more powerful than — vitamin supplements bought over the counter. Ordinary vitamin A and D supplements do not help.
The latest class of FDA-approved medications are called biologics. These drugs, which you get by injection or IV, may keep your skin from making too many cells. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 11 biologics may work:
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.
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How To Choose A Shampoo For Scalp Psoriasis
Still unsure how to pick the right shampoo for your hair and scalp? Heres what to consider:
- Severity of your symptoms. If youre experiencing a mild to medium case of scalp psoriasis, start with an OTC shampoo. If you have a severe case, or if OTC products dont seem to help, you may need to see your doctor for a prescription shampoo.
- Consider your hair type. Check the ingredients list before you make a purchase, especially if you have dry, curly, color treated, or fine hair. Some shampoos may contain drying ingredients, like sulfates, while others may be too heavy for fine hair.
- Do your research. If you didnt see a shampoo on this list you want to try, no worries! There are many shampoos out there that will work great for you. Just look for key ingredients, like salicylic acid or coal tar, and be sure to check reviews to see what others with scalp psoriasis have to say about it.
Whats The Difference Between Scalp Psoriasis And Dandruff
Dr. Bhutani says it can be really tough to tell scalp psoriasis and dandruff aparteven for doctors! Although both conditions can cause those annoying flakes, which may be the only visible symptom at first for some people, they tend to pop up for different reasons. Unlike scalp psoriasis, dandruff isnt an autoimmune issue and can be spurred by various factors, like having very dry or oily skin, which can lead to an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus that thrives on a moist scalp10.
But you may be able to pick up on subtle differences if you look a bit closer. Dandruff flakes can be white or yellow, which is not common in scalp psoriasis. With scalp psoriasis, plaques have a dry scale with more clearly defined edges, and the scales themselves are often thicker with a silvery sheen.
If your scalp is extremely itchy or you have any other scalp psoriasis symptoms, then you may want to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, who can thoroughly assess whats going on. If youre only noticing some flaking and have tried an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo but havent noticed improvement, then you may want to see a dermatologist anyway theyll be able to take a closer look and prescribe something a bit stronger if you need it.
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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.
Take Care Of Your Scap Tip #: Maintain Cleanliness
Due to the lipid and sweat glands combined with the amount of hair on our heads, the scalp collects a lot of dirt. So, I guess it goes without saying that in order for hair to thrive and grow it has to have a clean environment.
Or else the pores along the scalp will become clogged, possibly blocking the hair follicles from sprouting beneath the skin thus hindering growth. Washing the hair perhaps not frequently but definitely on a consistent basis is the key to avoiding this issue.
Additionally, some people may prefer the use of an exfoliant or scalp scrub as it can be helpful in removing dirt and dead skin cells. That said if you have a previous skin condition like psoriasis, eczema, any acne, open wounds, sores, or just a sensitive scalp you may not want to pursue a scalp scrub. The abrasive nature of the scrub may irritate or exacerbate any issues. If you do still want to try one, and you have a sensitive scalp try a gentler exfoliant.
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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 woman’s breasts.
Support Hair Health And Growth
Scalp psoriasis flare-ups can wreak havoc onhair follicles resulting in fallout, breakage, stunted hair growth and evenbalding. Switching gears from taking care of your skin with natural remedies,here are the Best Organic Hair and Scalp Serums thatcontinue to strengthen, hydrate, and nourish your locks even when psoriasistries to take over.
As you wade through the list of natural products that treat psoriasis, youllnotice a few key components that appear on allor at least a lot oftheingredient lists. These all have proven to help restore hairs vitality underany condition.
- Organic oils: A healthy way to nourish your hair without the use of artificial, toxifying chemicals. Such beneficial oils include sunflower, coconut, and rosehip.
- Aloe vera: We love aloe vera for its deeply hydrating properties. Its also known that aloe vera contains proteolytic enzymes, which repairs dead skin cells.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants can appear in a number of forms in hair care products, but a few that show up in the ingredients of the products listed here include amla berry, pomegranate seed oil, and rosehip seed oil.
- Essential oils: These are the best alternatives to man-made fragrances, as they are typically lighter in scent and, therefore, easier on the respiratory system.
Treating scalp psoriasis requires a level ofpatience and dedication but can always result in you looking and feeling yourbest with the help of only clean, safe, non-toxic remedies.
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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 you’ve always wanted. Villaneuva says it’s 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: “You’ll 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.
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.
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What To Do For Infection
If your scalp psoriasis becomes infected, you may have crusting, redness, warmth, tenderness, and sometimes swelling of your lymph nodes. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic treatment for this problem.
National Psoriasis Foundation: “Specific locations: scalp,” “Scalp Psoriasis,” and “Over-the-Counter Topicals,” “Traditional systemic medications,” “Moderate to severe psoriasis: Biologic drugs.”
Handa, S. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 2010.
Skin Therapy Letter: “Treatments for Scalp Psoriasis with Emphasis on Calcipotriol Plus Betamethasone Dipropionate Gel .”
How To Care For A Dry Scalp
In a dry scalp, the skin gets irritated and flakes off because it doesnt have enough oil and moisture. People with dry skin are also prone to dry scalp and both problems are usually caused by the same factors, such as genetic predisposition, dry air, excessive washing, and older age.
Adams recommends that those experiencing dryness consider a scalp toner, since many are formulated to be moisturizing. His personal favorite is Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Calming Scalp Toner with aloe vera and camphor.
If youre experiencing dryness, its also important to wash with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo, followed by a moisturizing conditioner. Try to shampoo your hair less frequently and use warm water instead of hot water. Running a humidifier is another way to prevent dehydration.
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