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Why Do I Only Have Psoriasis On My Scalp

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SCALP PSORIASIS ALL UP IN MY GRILL!

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Are There Complications Of Psoriasis

In some people, psoriasis causes more than itchiness and red skin. It can lead to swollen joints and arthritis. If you have psoriasis, you may be at higher risk of:

  • Use medicated shampoo for scales on your scalp.

Other steps you should take to stay as healthy as possible:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider about lowering your risk for related conditions, such as heart disease, depression and diabetes.
  • Lower your stress with meditation, exercise or seeing a mental health professional.

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.

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Articles On Types Of Psoriasis

Knowing which kind of psoriasis you have helps you and your doctor make a treatment plan. Most people have only one type at a time. Sometimes, after your symptoms go away, a new form of psoriasis will crop up in response to a trigger.

In general, most types of psoriasis result from the same triggers:

Here’s how you can spot the 7 types of psoriasis and what you can do to treat them.

How Common Is Scalp Psoriasis

I have dry, scaly skin only around the edge of my hairline ...

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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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.

There Are Ways To Shorten Flare

Psoriasis is a big star on TV drug ads, but this autoimmune skin disease is something most people try to keep well hidden.

“Psoriasis is among the most common skin conditions, affecting about 2% of the U.S. population, and while the condition doesn’t affect everyone the same way, the approach to treatment and prevention is often similar,” says Dr. Gideon Smith, an assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

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What Are The Symptoms

Scalp psoriasis causes redness and scaliness, which may also involve the hairline, the forehead, behind the ears and the back of the neck. It can range from very mild with slight fine scaling to very severe, crusted thick scaling covering the entire scalp. Hair loss during the flare-up can occur in some cases, but the hair will normally grow back. Psoriasis can be itchy, make the scalp feel tight and occasionally cause soreness, especially if there are cracks in the skin.

Hats Scarves And A New Hairstyle Can Mask Psoriasis

Do I Have Dandruff Or Psoriasis

Best for: All psoriasis

Why it works: In general, you can wear any kind of hat or scarf with scalp psoriasis. But you should avoid tight headwear or hats that rub and cause friction, Daveluy says. This can cause the psoriasis to flare due to the trauma. He also advises wearing white or light colors that dont show flaking.

Wearing your hair a certain way may hide some of the redness and scales of psoriasis. Though you might be nervous about going to a barber or a salon, many hairstylists are familiar with scalp psoriasis. Just mention your condition in advance so you and your stylist can talk about any special requirements, such as gentle treatments and avoiding injury to the scalp area.

A hat or scarf may also prove useful if you are experiencing temporary hair loss that sometimes occurs with scalp psoriasis. This hair loss usually happens when a person is too aggressive when removing plaque scales in other words, pulling out hairs when using a comb to remove the excessive skin cells that make up a plaque.

Psoriasis itself does not cause hair loss, but your hair can enter a resting stage known as telogen when you are under stress. When too much of your hair goes into telogen at once, fewer hair follicles are available to grow new hair. As a result, you may notice more hair on your hairbrush than usual. Thats another reason why you might want to try keeping your stress levels in check.

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Topical Vitamin D Calms The Immune Response

Best for: Mild to moderate psoriasis

Why it works: These medications work by calming the immune response and telling the skin cells to grow and turn over at a regular rate, Daveluy says. Vitamin D analogues calm your overactive immune response, which is causing the excess skin cell production that leads to psoriasis. Vitamin D analogues , including calcipotriene and Rocaltrol , can be part of liquid scalp treatments or may be combined with a topical steroid. The combination product is particularly effective and useful for mild to severe scalp psoriasis, he says.

Slowing the growth of skin cells may cause the plaques to become thinner and less scaly. Psoriasis occurs when the immune system misfires and starts overacting creating inflammation inside the body. Vitamin D may also work by shifting the balance of your immune system and putting it in a more neutral and healthy state.

In addition to treatments containing forms of synthetic vitamin D, some people with scalp psoriasis find relief using topicals that contain retinoids including Tazorac .

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.

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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.

How Can Parents Help

Bumps On Scalp

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:

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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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.

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Other Treatments For Psoriasis

If you have severe psoriasis then you may need hospital-based treatment. Light therapy is one type of treatment that can be used. This may involve treatment with ultraviolet B light. Another type of phototherapy is called PUVA – psoralen and ultraviolet light in the A band. This involves taking tablets which enhance the effects of UV light on the skin. You then attend hospital for regular sessions under a special light which emits ultraviolet A .

Sometimes people with severe psoriasis are given intense courses of treatment, using the creams or ointments described above, but in higher strengths and with special dressings.

If psoriasis is severe and is not helped by the treatments listed above then a powerful medicine which can suppress inflammation is sometimes used. For example, methotrexate, ciclosporin, acitretin, etanercept, infliximab, efalizumab, secukinumab, ustekinumab and adalimumab. There is some risk of serious side-effects with these medicines, so they are only used on the advice of a specialist.

What Are Other Types Of Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis and Dry Scalp l Hair Treatment

Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. About 80% to 90% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.

Other, less common types of psoriasis include:

  • Inverse psoriasis appears in skin folds. It may look like thin pink plaques without scale.
  • Guttate psoriasis may appear after a sore throat caused by a streptococcal infection. It looks like small, red, drop-shaped scaly spots in children and young adults.
  • Pustular psoriasis has small, pus-filled bumps on top of the red patches or plaques.
  • Sebopsoriasis typically appears on the face and scalp as red bumps and plaques with greasy yellow scale. This type is a cross between psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.

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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

What Are The Different Types Of Psoriasis

There are different types of psoriasis. However, chronic plaque psoriasis is by far the most common and typical type.

The Primary Care Dermatology Society has published a ‘Treatment pathway’ – see Further Reading below. This has several pictures that may be useful, as well as a clear plan for treatment of the different areas and types of psoriasis. This includes often difficult to treat areas such as the face, the hands and the genital area.

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Scalp Psoriasis Can Lead To Hair Loss

Unfortunately, hair loss is common with scalp psoriasis, per the NPFbut it’s more about damage to the hair shaft and follicles from excessive itching, rubbing, and combing or from the ingredients in products, than it is about the psoriasis itself.

The good news: Hair loss from psoriasis is almost always temporary, and, with appropriate treatment, normal hair growth will return once psoriasis is managed.

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Is Psoriasis The Same As Eczema

Dr Kin Leung Naturopathic Case Review Patient with ...

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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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.

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.

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