Monday, June 17, 2024

Scalp Psoriasis What Is It

Is It Scalp Psoriasis

Dandruff and scalp psoriasis. What’s the difference? – Dr. Deepak P Devakar

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:

A Flaking Scalp And Skin Are Some Of The Most Frustrating Symptoms Of Psoriasis And Psoriatic Arthritis Heres How To Stop Shedding

It can be enough of a challenge to deal with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis flare-ups the physical appearance and itchy discomfort of psoriasis plaques is upsetting and frustrating for patients. But when psoriasis plaques begin to build up and flake off the skin, leaving behind dandruff-like evidence of the condition on your clothes and surroundings, it can make things even worse. Many patients feel like flaking adds to the stigma they already experience, in part because it calls more attention to the disease from others.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes skin cell buildup that appears as red, scaly, itchy patches on your skin and scalp that can burn and sting. These plaques can also become so thick and dry that they start to flake off the skin in large, silver-toned scales. When it happens on your scalp, it can look like severe dandruff. Research shows that about half of psoriasis patients experience scalp psoriasis, though some estimates say that 90 percent of patients will deal with scalp psoriasis at some point. Sometimes psoriasis plaques on your body shed their scales, too. In one study, doctors rated flaking, along with itch, as one of the most physically bothersome symptoms in their psoriasis patients.

Psoriasis Skin Flakes: What Are They

Flakes in psoriasis are the dead cells at the outer layer of the skin that are being shed, saysMitchell Bressack, MD, a dermatologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who specializes in treating psoriasis. The outer layer of the skin normally turns over every 28 days, which means that it takes about a month for the bottom layer of cells to make their way to the top.

In people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, however, the cells at the base of the epidermis multiply more rapidly than normal and they progress from the base of the epidermis to the surface more rapidly than normal, so theres an increase in the number of dead cells being shed from the surface of the skin on a daily basis, Dr. Bressack says. This appears as scales, which can flake off in large pieces.

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Is It Scalp Psoriasis Or Dandruff

At the onset, scalp psoriasis often is confused with seborrheic dermatitis . Dandruff is a flaky, itchy scalp without signs of inflammation .

Researchers arent entirely sure why some people develop dandruff. It may be due to hormone levels, a weakened immune system, types of yeast, a lack of certain nutrients, or nervous system problems.

You are more likely to have dandruff if you have certain conditions, such as HIV, Parkinsons disease, or depression. In some cases, dandruff could be the sign of an underlying issue, like a vitamin deficiency or problem with the immune system, according to the Mayo Clinic. Certain medications, such as lithium and interferon, can also raise the risk of developing dandruff.

Dandruff tends to itch more, and it has a greasy-appearing yellow scale. In contrast, psoriasis whether it’s on your scalp or any other body part tends to have a thick, silvery scale, Strachan explains.

Jody Alpert Levine, MD, dermatologist and cofounder of Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of NYC in New York City, adds, Scalp psoriasis may itch and become easily irritated during a flare, and it also may affect your hairline or creep down onto your forehead, nape of your neck, or your ears.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, around half of those with psoriasis have it on their scalp.

What Is The Treatment

Tips on How to Treat Scalp Psoriasis

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.

Topical steroids

Vitamin D analogues


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Scalp Psoriasis Vs Dandruff: What Is The Difference

Home » Scalp Psoriasis vs. Dandruff: What is the Difference

Scalp psoriasis and dandruff are two different conditions but can occasionally be mixed up due to both conditions looking similar in some cases. The confusion is justified as dandruff is a disease and not a symptom but skin flakes that look like dandruff occur in scalp psoriasis as well other scalp conditions.

Dandruff is a commonly occurring condition that can cause itchiness, redness of the scalp, and skin flakes which are usually the most noticeable symptom. It is important to note that inflammation is not a symptom of dandruff. On the other hand, psoriasis is a inflammatory disease, but it is a much more severe condition and can cause flaking which is similar to what dandruff causes.

Psoriasis usually causes skin breakouts amongst other conditions such as plaques which are not something that is caused by dandruff.

Concluding Thoughts On The Relationship Between Scalp Psoriasis And Hair Loss

The connection between Scalp Psoriasis and Hair Loss is a very important one. If you have psoriasis, then the chances of hair loss are high due to it being an inflammatory disorder that can cause hair follicle inflammation which leads to scalp psoriasis. Because not every case of hair loss has something like this as its root cause, it is still important to do some more research on Scalp Psoriasis and Hair Loss if you are having hair loss problems. There are many possible treatments for hair loss, but the best option may be to Treat Scalp Psoriasis first.

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Cut The Itch With Apple Cider Vinegar

Some people say to use this on your scalp a few times a week. Its long been used as a disinfectant, so it may burn a bit when you put it on. You can mix it with equal parts water to cut the sting. Some people like to use it full-strength and then rinse once it dries. But dont try this one if you have cracks or open skin. Itll really hurt! It may take a few weeks to notice a difference in itchiness. In general, check with your doctor before you try natural remedies.

Injectable Or Infused Biologic Medications

Scalp Psoriasis Help for Long Hair

These target specific parts and pathways of the immune system to control the over-reactivity that triggers psoriasis flares. These are the most powerful options for treating psoriasis and are used in moderate to severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. That said, flaking alone is not a sign that you would need to jump to systemic therapy. Most people would not want to go on systemic medications simply for the flaking, as these can have significant side effects and can be extremely costly, says Bressack. If youre doing well , you probably dont need a systemic medication.

Examples include:

  • golimumab
  • abatacept

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What Causes The Itch

When you have psoriasis, a problem with your immune system causes your body to produce too many skin cells, and it does so at a rate of production thats too rapid.

The dead cells move quickly to the outer layer of your skin and build up, forming red patches covered in flaky, silver scales. The skin also turns red and inflamed.

Even though the word psoriasis comes from the Greek word for itch, in the past, doctors didnt consider itching a main symptom of the condition. Instead, they would determine the severity of the disease based on the number of scaly patches a person had.

Today, the medical profession is increasingly recognizing itch as a major symptom of psoriasis.

The itching is caused by psoriasis scales, flakiness, and inflamed skin. However, its also possible to itch in areas of your body that arent covered by psoriasis scales.

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:

  • Corticosteroids
  • 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:

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What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disease that causes an itchy rash with flaky scales. It causes redness on light skin and light patches on darker skin. Itâs also called dandruff, cradle cap, seborrhea, seborrheic eczema, and seborrheic psoriasis.

It might look similar to psoriasis, eczema, or an allergic reaction. It usually happens on your scalp, but you can get it anywhere on your body.

The Problem With Psoriasis

Is this dry scalp, psoriasis, or something else? This is a ...

Though it is much less common than dandruff, psoriasis is a serious long-term autoimmune disorder that affects the scalp as well as other parts of the body.

Psoriasis causes the immune system to target the healthy skin cells, drastically shortening their lifecycle. The result is greyish-silvery hardened skin being left behind. This is referred to as plaques. Currently, psoriasis is incurable but can be controlled through treatment where periods of remission and flare-ups might occur. Psoriasis can also cause excessive hair loss which is why people suffering from psoriasis might investigate procedures such as micro scalp pigmentation to regain their hair. Scalp psoriasis hair loss can be an indicator of the disease becoming more severe.

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When And How Does Scalp Psoriasis Occur

Psoriasis, including that of scalp, can pop up at any age, but it predominantly occurs in those under 20 or over 60. In general, psoriasis tends to plague a person’s body in fits and starts. It runs a chronic course, and then with treatment and time, it can start to dissipate, which offers some relief.

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Ways To Soothe The Itch

No matter how bad the itching gets, try not to scratch or pick at your plaques. Scratching can make you bleed and worsen your psoriasis.

Many of the therapies your doctor prescribes to treat psoriasis, including phototherapy and steroids, can help with the itch. If it continues to bother you, try one of these remedies:

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What To Look For In A Psoriasis Shampoo

One of the top recommendations for psoriasis shampoos, according to Rachel Maiman, MD, board-certified dermatologist at in NYC, is clobetasol, a topical steroid thats only available by prescription. Dr. Maiman explains that corticosteroids are helpful for psoriasis because they reduce immune system overactivity, which slows the rapid production of skin cells that causes excessive flaking. With that said, there are over-the-counter psoriasis shampoos that can be beneficial as well. Here are the ingredients the experts say to seek out in your shampoo formula:

Can Psoriasis Be Cured


There is no therapy/treatment that can completely cure psoriasis. In all cases the treatment of psoriasis involves symptom control. Since psoriasis is expressed by plaques and flakes on the scalp and skin and is therefore often visible, it can have a negative effect on your self-confidence. Fortunately, you can reduce the flakes and itch yourself by using the right products.

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Calcipotriene Plus Ultrapotent Topical Steroid Regimens

Alternating regimens of potent TCS in combination with calcipotriene have been examined as well. One study found that augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% cream once daily in the first and third weeks and calcipotriene 0.005% ointment twice daily in the second and fourth weeks was more effective than augmented betamethasone dipropionate once daily for 4 weeks.35

Another study found that application of calcipotriene ointment twice daily on weekdays and halobetasol ointment twice daily on weekends led to longer duration of psoriasis remission than calcipotriene ointment alone.36

Finally, another examined combination of calcipotriene ointment and clobetasol foam, finding that combination of the two agents for 2 weeks resulted in greater clearance than either agent alone subsequent application of calcipotriene ointment twice daily on weekdays and clobetasol foam twice daily on weekends led to longer duration of remission in comparison to calcipotriene ointment on weekdays and vehicle on weekends.37

Scalp Psoriasis

A scalp formulation of calcipotrienebetamethasone dipropionate developed for once-daily treatment of scalp psoriasis showed superior efficacy to either drug alone in the same vehicle.38,39

Nail Psoriasis

Jörg Reichrath, Michael F. Holick, in, 2018

The Connection Between Scalp Psoriasis And Hair Loss

Scalp psoriasis is a common autoimmune disease where the bodys immune system attacks healthy skin cells. Scalp psoriasis can be difficult to diagnose because of its many symptoms, but one symptom that not everyone knows about is hair loss. Hair loss due to scalp psoriasis affects both men and women, but its most common in adults who are over 40 years old.

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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.

What Causes Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis: Shampoos, home remedies, and causes

Regardless of where psoriasis forms, the cause is the same. Psoriasis develops when a persons immune system has faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days rather than weeks. The body does not shed these excess skin cells. The skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear.

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