Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up About Symptoms And Treatment Options
Inform your doctor know immediately if you notice plaques in your scalp. Ignoring these symptoms could worsen the disease and increase the risk of hair loss. You may also want to talk with your doctor about systemic drugs, which target the entire body including the scalp, without having to apply topical treatments directly.
Treatment For Scalp Psoriasis
Your dermatologist can treat mild scalp psoriasis with topical medications. For more stubborn cases, oral or injectable treatments are also effective but may have side effects including increased infections.
At UCLA Dermatology, our specialists may recommend one or more of the following:
- Topical medications applied to the scalp, such as tar shampoos and steroid sprays, creams and solutions
- Medicated shampoos
How To Get Rid Of Psoriasis This Summer: 5 Tips From Our Doctors
Do you suffer from psoriasis? Are you worried about how to look after your skin this summer? Then this is the guide for you!
For the two million people in the UK who have psoriasis, summer can be a challenging time.
While sunlight and humidity can keep the worst of their symptoms at bay, there are other aspects of summer than can cause psoriasis to flare up. Weve teamed up with our smart network of doctors to help you manage your symptoms effectively.
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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.
How Do Dermatologists Treat Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis causes many people discomfort. Some people feel embarrassed. Treatment can ease these problems. There are many safe and effective treatments. Some people get relief from a medicated shampoo or solution. A few of these can be purchased without a prescription.
But scalp psoriasis can be stubborn. Many people see a dermatologist for treatment. A dermatologist can tell you what can help. The following types of treatment can help scalp psoriasis:
Medicine applied to the scalp
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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 Are The Symptoms Of Scalp Psoriasis
Symptoms of scalp psoriasis vary.
Mild scalp psoriasis symptoms may involve only small, thin scales or flaking that looks like dandruff.
Moderate or severe scalp psoriasis symptoms include:
- Raised, discolored plaques with a white or silvery surface of dead skin cells.
- Plaques on most of your scalp or your entire scalp.
- Plaques along your hairline, forehead, the back of your neck or on the skin around your ears.
- Irritation or pain.
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Shampoos And Scalp Medications
For the scalp, products that you apply directly to the scalp are a good starting point. Medicated salicylic acid and coal tar shampoos are over the counter. If those dont work, prescription topicals are available.
Medicines meant for use on the scalp usually come in shampoo, liquid, or foams, for easier application through your hair. Leave-on products work better than shampoos, but they might not be practical for styled hair.
Some common topical prescription medicines for psoriasis are below.
When you first see a doctor for scalp psoriasis, youll probably get a prescription for a topical steroid. Steroids work quickly to calm inflammation and improve psoriasis symptoms. Unfortunately, psoriasis tends to flare when you stop using them, and its not safe to keep using topical steroids continuously. Side effects of topical steroids can include:
Thinning of the skin
To avoid this, your doctor might rotate your treatment or have you alternate medications. Topical steroids commonly prescribed for psoriasis include:
There is data that the combination works better than either one alone. But since these products contain betamethasone, there is a risk of steroid side effects if you use them continuously for too long.
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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Geranium Oil For Psoriasis
Geranium oil can improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and even work to relieve stress. It also promotes the growth and regeneration of healthy cells.
Dilute this oil well. You may experience minor side effects when applying this diluted oil to the skin. You should always do a patch test before application of any essential oil. Geranium oil commonly causes allergic or other skin reactions.
Geranium oil is known to slow or stop blood flow. Use caution if you have high blood pressure or youre at risk of cardiovascular diseases.
For skin issues ranging from acne to dermatitis, you can try mixing up to five drops of geranium oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Apply this mixture to affected areas twice daily until you see improvement.
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Do Use Shampoos That Contain Tar Or Salicylic Acid
Tar has proven effective as a treatment for psoriasis for decades, but applying it can be messy, time consuming and changes can take time. Salicylic acid can also be useful, but can result in temporary hair loss if left on the scalp for too long. Additionally, over the counter scale softeners can be placed on the scalp to help loosen scales. The downside is that while these products can help with psoriasis, they often dry out the hair.
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How To Treat Scalp Psoriasis
While scalp psoriasis is a chronic condition, you can help ease uncomfortable symptoms with the right plan. Its important to see a dermatologist as soon as you suspect you may have the condition, though, as scalp psoriasis treatment is highly individualized and requires some persistence.
It depends on things like hair type, what treatments people have tried in the past, whether people have open sores, their stress level, even how long their hair is, Dr. Bhutani says. Please see your dermatologist. Even if what youre dealing with turns out to be just really bad dandruff, you shouldnt have to live with it.
The most common scalp psoriasis treatments include11:
I usually recommend treating scalp psoriasis from the outside first, Dr. Bhutani says, explaining that she often prescribes topical corticosteroids first. Although topical treatments are very effective for short-term management of scalp psoriasis flare-ups, if the symptoms are severe or if the plaques spread to other areas of the body, additional treatment may be needed.
Treat Scalp With Witch Hazel
One of the most effective over-the-counter herbal treatments is witch hazel.To use, massage it directly onto scalp after washing. Continue to massage the area until the witch hazel is fully absorbed. From there, you can rinse you scalp and style your hair as you normally would.
Please note that home remedies and non-medicated treatments are best used on mild cases of scalp psoriasis to help ease discomfort and are not considered “proven cures.”
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Ways To Get Rid Of Scalp Psoriasis
Psoriasis can attack anyone regardless of gender, it is not dangerous, but its very annoying and will ruin your appearance. This article discusses the best ways to eliminate scalp psoriasis, one of the most common types of psoriasis. This problem is due to abnormality that happens within the immune system.
Whenever the immune system sends a faulty signal, skin cells multiply these excess skin cells then pile up on the skins surface, most commonly on the scalp, causing psoriasis on the scalp. Although it can grow somewhere else, the forehead is the second most common cause. Here are ten effective ways to get rid of scalp psoriasis.
Is It Scalp Psoriasis
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.
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Apply Aloe Vera To Scalp
The soothing properties of aloe vera can have some healing properties for people with mild to moderate scalp psoriasis. Aloe vera creams that contain 0.5 percent aloe can help reduce itching, inflammation, flaking, and redness on the scalp. Aloe should be applied up to three times per day to keep skin moist. It may take up to a month to start feeling and seeing positive effects.
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: 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:
What Causes Psoriasis
The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t known. But experts do know that the body’s immune system, which fights germs and diseases, is involved. Overactive immune system cells make skin cells grow faster than the body can shed them, so they pile up as plaques on the skin.
Some genes have been linked to psoriasis. About 40% of people with psoriasis have a family member who has it.
Anyone can get psoriasis and it may begin at any age. It can’t spread from person to person.
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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.
Vitamin D analogues
How Does Scalp Psoriasis Affect My Body
Scalp psoriasis causes thick, rough, scaly, dry, discolored plaques to develop on your scalp and the skin around your scalp. The plaques can be itchy or painful. Scalp psoriasis can cause hair loss , and scratching your plaques may worsen that hair loss.
Scalp psoriasis can make you worry about how others look at you. It can also affect your behavior and how you think about yourself. You may become self-conscious or experience stress, anxiety and depression.
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Topical Treatments For Moderate To Severe Scalp Psoriasis
If your symptoms are more severe and the plaques on your scalp are thick, you will probably need prescription treatment. Your GP can recommend a topical treatment containing corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, or dithranol. Prescription products containing these ingredients include dermovate scalp application, locoid scalp lotion, dithrocream and dovobet gel.
You should use these treatment exactly as directed by your doctor. Make sure that you apply the medicated product directly to the scalp, and not to the hair.
In addition to these medicated treatments, you might also try using emollients on your scalp, as these can help to soften thick plaques. An emollient is a rich moisturiser which can prevent itching and inflammation, and create a protective barrier on the skin, sealing in moisture. One to consider using is grahams natural psoriasis cream, which is made from manuka honey and calendula. Formulated with natural ingredients, this moisturising treatment offers effective relief will helping to normalise the skins structure.
If you are going to use an emollient on your scalp, you should try the following method:
How Can Parents Help
For some children, psoriasis is just a minor inconvenience. For others, it is a difficult medical condition.
To manage symptoms and make outbreaks less likely, your child should:
- Wash hands well and often and stay away from people who are sick to prevent infections.
- Manage stress through exercise, yoga, or meditation.
- Not smoke or drink alcohol.
- Keep a healthy weight. People who are overweight tend to have more severe psoriasis symptoms.
Kids and teens with psoriasis may feel uncomfortable with the way their skin looks. Help your child understand that psoriasis is common and treatments can help.
Whether your child’s psoriasis is mild or severe, learn about the condition together. Offer to help find a therapist or join a support group if that might help. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:
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