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 you’re 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.”
Medicine You Apply To The Scalp
This is the most commonly prescribed treatment. Your plan may include one or more of the following medicines.
Corticosteroids: This is the #1-prescribed treatment for scalp psoriasis in children and adults. Corticosteroids work quickly to reduce redness, swelling, itch, and scale. This makes it more effective than any other treatment that you apply to the scalp.
When used as directed, this medicine is safe. Because side effects can occur with long-term use, your dermatologist may recommend another treatment to use with the corticosteroid. This reduces possible side effects.
Medicated shampoos: This is often part of a treatment plan.
If you have stubborn scalp psoriasis, your dermatologist may prescribe a shampoo that contains clobetasol propionate. This can be quite effective when used in a shampoo. Studies show that patients can safely use this shampoo every day for up to four weeks. Its also safe to use it once or twice a week to maintain results.
Rubbing, scrubbing, and scratching your scalp can worsen existing psoriasis.
Scale softeners: If the psoriasis on your scalp is thick, it can be hard for the treatment you apply to work. A product that contains salicylic acid can soften thick, stubborn patches. Other ingredients can also help.
Tip for applying medicine
Lift your hair up and away when applying medicine to your scalp.
Talk To Your Doctor About These Scalp
Psoriasis symptoms can show up anywhere on your body. Itchy or sore patches of raised, red, dry skin known as plaques can occur on the face, arms and hands, legs and feet, and the back. One of the most common types of psoriasis affects the scalp. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation , at least half of the 7.5 million Americans who have the disease have it on their scalp.
How you treat any type of psoriasis depends, to some degree, on how severe it is. The symptoms of scalp psoriasis can range from mild scales and flaking to moderate and severe plaques that cover the entire scalp and can cause the hair to thin in areas. Severe scalp psoriasis can go beyond your hairline, across the forehead to your neck and around the ears.
Depending on your symptom severity and how much of your skin is affected, your doctor may recommend a variety of treatment options. Fortunately, if one treatment doesnt work or stops being effective, there are likely to be others that you can try.
We have so many fantastic ways to clear psoriasis and to treat scalp psoriasis, says Melodie Young, NP, RN, an advanced practice nurse focusing on gerontology and dermatology at Baylor Scott and White Modern Dermatology in Dallas.
Severe flares may require the use of oral or injectable medication in conjunction with such topical treatments.
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Tea Tree Oil Keeps The Scalp Infection
Tea tree oil, an essential oil distilled from the leaves of a plant native to Australia, has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help keep the scalp free of infection,which may result from frequent scratching.
If you have dandruff, psoriasis, or a dry, itchy scalp, mix 1 part tea tree oil to 10 parts olive oil and dab the affected areas with a cotton ball. Leave it on for five minutes before rinsing out.
“While there is no scientific evidence to support the use of tea tree oil for psoriasis, some people report it works, says Stefan C. Weiss, MD, a dermatologist at the Weiss Skin Institute in Boca Raton, Florida. But Dr. Weiss cautions that it can cause an allergic reaction in others. If you’re thinking of trying tea tree oil, test it first by applying a small dab on a healthy patch of skin on the inner arm before using it on your scalp.
Fish Oil Can Reduce Inflammation Boost Immunity
Eating a couple of servings weekly of salmon, albacore tuna, and other fatty fishes that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation, the hallmark of psoriasis. In addition, studies have suggested that people with psoriasis have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Consuming fatty fishes or taking fish oil supplements can both help decrease your risk of heart disease risk and improve your psoriasis symptoms. Fish oil supplements are available over the counter in capsule form at many food markets and drugstores. Some studies have also found that fish oil can boost the immune system. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, so this natural psoriasis treatment could help improve symptoms. One word of warning: Dont take fish oil if youre on blood thinners it can raise your risk of bleeding.
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What To Look For When Buying Soap For Psoriasis
- Can Fight Inflammation
When you think of what soap is good for psoriasis, it is something that can defeat the symptoms of this skin disease. When the skin is inflamed, it leads to itchiness. The redness should be lightened by an effective soap for psoriasis.
- Can Eliminate Itchiness
Psoriasis comes with itchiness. You will find it hard to resist the urge to scratch so it can make things worse. It is a symptom that can affect your lifestyle as well. You may feel itchy even at night and you will struggle in getting some sleep. A good soap for psoriasis should relieve you from itchiness so you can have a healthy mind and body.
- Should be Good at Moisturizing and Hydrating
Cold and dry weather gives more hardship to psoriasis sufferers. It makes the skin dry and encourages the development of this skin disease. Itchiness can arise and you need to use moisturizer.
When your skin dries, theres excessive skin cell growth called plaque. The overactive immune system when you have psoriasis makes flaking happen. The tiny pieces of skin may be all over the place. It may cause embarrassment, so a soap for psoriasis with moisturizing or hydration is very important.
The Nitty Gritty Of Scalp Psoriasis
Its easy to think that patches of dry, itchy skin on the scalp are caused by some kind of lack of hygiene. But cleanliness has nothing to do with scalp psoriasis.
Psoriasis is actually a chronic inflammatory disorder caused when the immune system doesnt work quite right. Doctors arent sure why, but some people have an immune system that churns out too many skin cells. Since the body cant get rid of these excess cells fast enough, they pile on top of each other, forming flakey, silvery scales.
Psoriasis can pop up anywhere on the body, but when it shows up on your head, dry skin patches can appear under the hair, on the back of the neck, and behind the ears.
Its easy to confuse psoriasis with dandruff, and sometimes dermatologists arent so sure themselves. When it looks like a blend between psoriasis and dandruff, they call it sebopsoriasis a cute couples name for seborrheic dermatitis, aka dandruff, and psoriasis.
However, some clues that your scalp irritation might be psoriasis include more defined or patterned pink scale-like plaques.
Dandruff looks more like generalized greasy flaking with pink patches. Over-the-counter shampoos can typically knock out dandruff, but scalp psoriasis is a little harder to treat.
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What Are Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms And Signs Can Scalp Psoriasis Cause Hair Loss
Psoriasis appears as a small bump, a papule, surmounted by scale. When these papules coalesce, a plaque is formed that is often covered by thick layers of horny scale. When this scale is shed, it appears as dandruff, which can be quite unsightly. Scratching these plaques, either because of itching or because of the impulse to remove it, is a very poor idea because of what is called the Koebner phenomenon . This may cause psoriasis to develop in areas of inflammation and trauma. Scratching off the scale will only make things worse. Although most patients do not note hair loss, there can be extensive alopeciahair loss in severe cases.
What Are Office Treatments For Scalp Psoriasis
Rarely, it may be of benefit to inject triamcinolone acetonide directly into psoriatic plaques. Aside from the pain involved, the benefit only lasts about six weeks at best. Ultraviolet light in wavelengths near 313 nm is effective in psoriasis. The hair, however, can pose a barrier to effective administration unless it is removed or sparse. The excimer laser produces out laser light in these UV wavelengths also and can be of benefit if the amount of scalp involvement is limited.
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Treatment Of Psoriasis: An Algorithm
ASHA G. PARDASANI, M.D., STEVEN R. FELDMAN, M.D., PH.D., and ADELE R. CLARK, P.A.-C., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Feb 1 61:725-733.
See related patient information handout on psoriasis, written by the authors of this article.
Psoriasis is characterized by red, thickened plaques with a silvery scale. The lesions vary in size and degree of inflammation. Psoriasis is categorized as localized or generalized, based on the severity of the disease and its overall impact on the patients quality of life and well-being. Patient education about the disease and the treatment options is important. Medical treatment for localized psoriasis begins with a combination of topical corticosteroids and coal tar or calcipotriene. For lesions that are difficult to control with initial therapy, anthralin or tazarotene may be tried. The primary goal of therapy is to maintain control of the lesions. Cure is seldom achieved. If control becomes difficult or if psoriasis is generalized, the patient may benefit from phototherapy, systemic therapy and referral to a physician who specializes in the treatment of psoriasis.
What Does Scalp Psoriasis Look Like
It can be challenging to decipher the difference between standard-variety dry scalp, dandruff, and psoriasis. According to trichologist Eva Proudman, it’s best to visit an expert for an accurate diagnosis, but there are some telltale signs to self-diagnose at-home.
For starters, if you’re experiencing a scalp that feels tight and itchy with small, dry flakes of skin in the hair and your hair is dryer than normal, you most likely have a dry scalp. If you see flakes that are small white or gray scales that fall onto your clothes, but your scalp looks and feels oily, chances are you’re dealing with dandruff.
Now if you’ve checked those two boxes off the list and you’re still wondering if you have scalp psoriasis, Proudman suggests checking for circular, uniform areas of darker, redder skin that is visibly a different color from the rest of your scalp. If these patches are covered with dry, whitish-silver scales and cannot be easily removed, that is a sign of psoriasis. This is especially true if you remove the scales and see bleeding points on the scalp.
“Sufferers of scalp psoriasis report itching, tight uncomfortable scalp sensations, and often the knees and shins are also affected,” Proudman says. Bottom line: Psoriasis patches are attached to the scalp and often raised with a rough texture. It’s not flaky or loose and often has scales that aren’t easy to remove.
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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
Scalp Psoriasis Vs Seborrheic Dermatitis
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.
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Do Scalp Psoriasis Home Remedies Work
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.
Make Time For Afternoon Tea
Tea tree oil isnt messing around. This strong antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory oil can treat scalp psoriasis when paired with a carrier oil .
Dont go nuts with this one. Start with just a drop or two and see how your skin reacts. Also, if youre pregnant, breastfeeding, have linear IgA disease, or are taking the antibiotic vancomycin, then this oil is not for you.
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Following Your Treatment Plan Is Key To Getting Results
When working with a dermatologist, it is important to use the treatment exactly as prescribed and for as long as recommended. Many patients fail to see clearing because they stop following their treatment plan.
ImagesBefore and after treating scalp psoriasis: Photographs used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol 2008 58:614.
ReferencesAl-Mutairi N, Al-Haddad A. Targeted phototherapy using 308 nm Xecl monochromatic excimer laser for psoriasis at difficult to treat sites. Lasers Med Sci. 2013 28:1119-24.
Bagel J, Lynde C, et al. Moderate to severe plaque psoriasis with scalp involvement: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of etanercept. J Am Acad Dermatol 2012 67:86-92.
Chan CS, Van Voorhees AS, et al. Treatment of severe scalp psoriasis: from the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 60:962-71.
Guenther L. Current management of scalp psoriasis. Skin Therapy Lett. 2015 20:5-7.
Paghdal KV, Schwartz RA. Topical tar: Back to the future. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Aug 61:294-302.
Renton C. Diagnosis and treatment of adults with scalp psoriasis. Nurs Stand. 2014 Feb 26-Mar 4 28:35-9.
Wong, JW, Kamangar F, et al. Excimer Laser Therapy for Hairline Psoriasis: A Useful Addition to the Scalp Psoriasis Treatment Algorithm. Skin Therapy Letter. 2012 176-9.
Diet Modification: Eat Better Feel Better
According to a review published in 2017 in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, people with psoriasis have an increased risk of celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which gluten a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye causes inflammation that can damage the small intestine. That connection may explain why some people with psoriasis report that eating a gluten-free diet helps them feel better. While following a gluten-free diet is essential if you have celiac disease, theres little evidence that supports removing gluten from your diet if you dont. Anecdotally, it works, Weiss says, but it has never been proven scientifically. If a gluten-free diet makes your psoriasis feel better, however, thats great. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before starting a gluten-free diet.
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My Flavored Skincare Oil For Psoriasis:
In an amber or blue glass bottle of 50 ml, pour successively:
- 10 drops of essential oil of cistus
- 5 drops of immortal essential oil optional if your budget is tight
- 5 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops of essential oil of myrrh
- 1 tablespoon of borage or evening primrose oil
- 2 tablespoons of oil of nigelle
- 1 tablespoon oily macerate of calendula.
If you are officially allergic to any of the essential oils mentioned or if you should not use it on a medical order, simply do not add it. Do not use the recipe on a child under 3 years of age. Not suitable for pregnant women.
Apply this oil with a little strange odor twice a day on the affected areas after having cleaned and dried gently. Use this oil daily, until you notice a significant improvement.
If you know of any psoriasis home remedies that work well for you, please share them with us in the comment space below so that we can all benefit.
In all cases of psoriasis:
I also recommend night clothes with silver strands. Its extraordinary against itching! These are tee-shirts, leggings and combed cotton gloves woven with silver thread that cleanses and reduces irritations. They are worn in the evening as pajamas, or during the day under the clothes in difficult cases.
I recommend a daily intake of evening primrose oil capsules. According to the brands, there will be 2 to 4 capsules of evening primrose oil to take at meals.