How To Treat Scalp Psoriasis
Before attempting to treat scalp psoriasis permanently, you should see a certified dermatologist to be properly diagnosed. Unfortunately, scalp psoriasis has no actual cure, but there are certain natural and chemical products you can use to treat, manage and control your flare-ups. As someone whos been living with this condition for more than 10 years, here are some tips and products I recommend.
Final Tips For Treating Scalp Psoriasis
Having scalp psoriasis is, without a doubt, annoying, but using one of the aforementioned remedies can definitely help you manage to live with it. Heres a pro tip: No matter what remedy you pick, be ready to switch it up regularly because, after a while, your scalp psoriasis will adapt to a particular treatment. For a final tip, always fight the urge to itch when removing flakes, do so gently and keep your scalp moisturized at all times.
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.
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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.
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.
Vitamin D analogues
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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.
Systemic Treatments And Biologics
Patients who have troublesome scalp psoriasis that does not respond to scalp-targeted medications might consider the wide range of treatments that work on the entire body: the pills, injections, and infusions typically used for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
Most of the biologics have clinical data demonstrating their effectiveness in treating psoriasis of the scalp, and the others have extensive anecdotal evidence of effectiveness. Many of the latest biologics, in fact, have been able in clinical trials to obtain total resolution of scalp lesions for many psoriasis patients over a period of weeks or months. Read more about biologics for treating psoriasis.
Other systemic treatments can also improve scalp psoriasis. Data from a clinical trial of the PDE4-inhibitor pill Otezla show it improved scalp psoriasis for almost half of patients after four months.
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What Else Is There To Know About Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can really disrupt someone’s life and overall well-being. While you might think it’s solely a condition that affects the skin, in some cases, psoriatic arthritis can occur especially if the psoriasis is left untreated. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, out of the 8 million people with psoriasis, approximately one-third of them will develop psoriatic arthritis, affecting the joints and the tendons. Having psoriasis doesn’t guarantee a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, but, unfortunately, the risk is higher. If you’re concerned, visit a rheumatologist to screen for the condition and catch it early if you can.
Keeping the scalp soothed and calm is integral to a healthy head of hair. Whether you’re dealing with scalp psoriasis or not, steering clear of astringent chemicals and highly perfumed products is the way forward. Invest in a hair wellness system that takes a gentle, natural and effective approach to maintain your mane and keep your crowning glory glossy and happy.
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.
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Shampoo For A Dry And Flaky Scalp
Several kinds, both over the counter and prescription, can help. Try selenium sulfide , zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole , or tar-basedones for thin plaques.
For thicker scales, salicylic acid shampoos can work well. Not all of these work for every person. You may have to try one for a few weeks and switch to another if it doesnât work.
Use the medicated shampoo first when youâd normally lather up. Itâs OK to use your regular shampoo and conditioner afterward. Know that tar-based options can be a bit smelly.
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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.
What Does Scalp Psoriasis Look Like
With scalp psoriasis, too much skin cell growth can typically lead to chronic inflammation across the whole scalp. The excess cells can form psoriatic plaques, which often have a reddish-silver appearance that can flake, itch, crack and even bleed. Not fun at all! Sometimes the patches are sore and irritating, and sometimes, they’re not. Mild scalp psoriasis can, at times, go almost unnoticed. However, severe scalp psoriasis can last for a long time and be very noticeable.
During a psoriasis flare-up, the swollen edges of the thick plaques are usually well defined. And if the white, silvery scale gets knocked off, that’s when bleeding can occur. To protect the sensitive, thickened skin, it’s crucial you take care when brushing or combing the hair. It’s also essential you use a shampoo and conditioner that are appropriate for your scalp’s condition.
Learn: Why a Healthy Scalp Is So Important
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How Can You Combat Scalp Psoriasis And Thinning Hair
Once you’ve had a formal scalp psoriasis diagnosis, you can start your treatment plan and get to work clearing up the irritating issue. It is worth remembering that there is currently no cure for the condition, so it’s all about managing flare-ups when they happen.
Depending on the severity of your scalp psoriasis, to help slow skin cell growth, your dermatologist could recommend topical steroids, topical therapies or even steroid injections if the legions just won’t disappear. Always seek professional help from a dermatologist for you scalp psoriasis. They can help make recommendations and you can ask them about any products you’d like to use.
Learn: Smelly Scalp? Here’s What You Can Do
Cure Yourpsoriasis Without Steroids
We here at Dr. Health provide natural and herbal treatment for psoriasis. We do not use any kind ofsteroidal treatment. There are no side-effects of our medication on liver, kidney, joints and all thevital organs as they are absolutely free from steroids.
Therefore our treatment is safe, natural, effective and will help you to cure psoriasis permanently.
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Article Summary: Scalp Psoriasis Is Highly Bothersome And Hair Makes It Harder To Treat But There Are A Number Of Prescription Treatments In A Variety Of Formats Including Sprays Foams Gels And Shampoos To Help Treat The Scalp Effectively As Well As Treatments For The Whole Body That Have Demonstrated Strong Success In Treating Scalp Psoriasis
Psoriasis of the scalp is very common. Nearly 80% of psoriasis patients develop plaques on the scalp at some point in their life with psoriasis.
Scalp psoriasis is especially distressing to many patients. It can be extremely itchy, and when psoriasis extends beyond the hairline onto the face and around the ears or down the back of the neck, it is highly visible. In some cases, it can also cause temporary loss of hair in places where the psoriasis patches are thick on the scalp. Add to this the difficulty in applying medicine only to psoriasis patches, often covered by hair, without also treating the healthy skin and its not surprising that patients are eager for effective treatments.
Fortunately, there are a variety of medications that when applied directly to scalp psoriasis, are able to reduce or resolve it for a period of time and many of the newest psoriasis treatments, designed to treat psoriasis all over the body, have demonstrated excellent clearance of scalp psoriasis as well. Over-the-counter products can play an important supporting role.
Our message for those suffering with the frustration, itch, and pain of scalp psoriasis is: dont lose hope, as there are options available today that will likely provide you substantial relief from your scalp psoriasis.
Still Not Cured From Psoriasis
Allopathic medicines only supresses symptoms of psoriasis with temporary relief for short period and also have long term repercussions. If a patient look into the prescription of allopathic treatment, they will only find medicines for immunosuppressive drug , steroid and anti- inflamatory drugs which reduces immune response, swelling and hormonal medicines which harm person’s body and further damages vital organs.
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When To See A Doctor
If you suspect you have scalp psoriasis, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor. They may examine your scalp to rule out other conditions before sending you to a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.
If you dont already have a dermatologist, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
Treatment: Where To Start
The most common treatments for mild cases are medications that you put directly on your scalp. If you have a more severe case or have psoriasis elsewhere on your body, you may need a medication that treats your whole body. You can take these medications by mouth or injection.
If your psoriasis doesn’t respond well after repeated use of one medication, your doctor may replace or combine it with another type of treatment.
One of the first steps is to soften and remove scales. This makes it easier for medications to do their job.
- Apply over-the-counter products to your scalp to help soften scales and make them easier to peel off. Look for products with the active ingredients salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea, zinc pyrithione, or selenium sulfide.
- Gently loosen the scales with a brush or fine-toothed comb.
- Shampoo your scalp to remove the scales, using a salicylic acid shampoo or soap.
- Apply thick creams to your scalp while it’s still damp to hold in the moisture.
To apply medication:
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Natural Scalp Psoriasis Treatments
Like many other conditions, natural remedies can be used in treating scalp psoriasis at home.
Essential oils such as tea tree oil or peppermint oil are antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. Adding a few drops in your oil mix and applying it directly on your scalp can help soothe the itchiness caused by scalp psoriasis. Not to mention, that minty feeling on your scalp feels amazing! For a bonus tip, you can also add drops of tea tree oil or peppermint oil to your shampoo or use shampoos that have these oils as their main ingredients.
Did you know that apple cider vinegar contains antiseptic and disinfective properties? Well, this is why ACV is a great natural scalp psoriasis treatment that can help reduce itchiness and soreness caused by scalp psoriasis. When using ACV to treat your psoriasis, dont apply it directly on your scalp because it might burn, especially if the affected area is already an open wound. So, always mix it with some water to cut out the sting. A great way to implement ACV in your hair-care routine is by using it as a rinse after shampooing and before applying your conditioner.
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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