What is scalp psoriasis?
Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that often makes raised, red, and scaly patches. It can appear as one or several patches, and it can even affect your entire scalp. It can also spread to your forehead, back of your neck, or behind and inside your ears.
You cannot get scalp psoriasis from another person. As with the other types, we don’t know why. Doctors believe it is caused by something wrong with your immune system that causes skin cells to grow too quickly and accumulate in spots. You may be more likely to develop scalp psoriasis if it runs in your family.
About half of the approximately 7.5 million Americans who have psoriasis – which can affect any surface of the skin – have scalp psoriasis. Sometimes the scalp is the only place they become infected, but this is uncommon.
Scalp psoriasis can be mild and almost unnoticed. But it can also be severe, last a long time, and cause thick, scaly sores. Intense itching can affect your sleep and daily life, and severe itching can lead to skin infections and hair loss.
Scalp psoriasis symptoms
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe and include:
- Flaking resembles dandruff
- Itching, burning, or discomfort
- Raised red sports
- Silver scales
- Temporary bleeding or loss of hair from scratching or removing plaque from the scalp
These symptoms usually appear evenly on either side of the scalp, or they may affect most of the head. It may also extend to:
- Other parts of the face
Causes, risk factors, and triggers
Psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis, is a common condition that appears when the immune system sends false signals to the body. When the immune system sends these messages to the skin cells, the cells multiply very quickly.
Usually, it may take weeks for new cells to form on the scalp. With psoriasis, cells are formed within days. This makes it difficult for the body to get rid of the extra cells. When skin cells accumulate on the surface of the scalp, they form scaly patches.
The exact cause of scalp psoriasis is unknown, but research indicates a genetic link. People who have a family member with the condition have an increased risk of developing scalp psoriasis. In 2016, research published by nutritionists indicated that psoriasis may be more prone to developing psoriasis:
- Inflammatory factors that occur with obesity
- Nutritional factors, such as gluten sensitivity
The National Psoriasis Foundation notes that several other factors may trigger symptoms in people prone to scalp psoriasis.
- A skin injury, such as a burn, cut or bruising
- Infection, especially sore throat
- Stress, which may worsen or trigger symptoms for the first time
- Use of certain medications, such as indomethacin, used to treat arthritis, and quinidine, which is a heart medication
Anecdotal evidence suggests that sensitivity and weather may play a role, but scientific evidence is lacking to prove this.
How do you treat scalp psoriasis?
There is no cure for scalp psoriasis, but there are ways to control its symptoms. “I always remind my patients that they will need to continue their treatment to keep it under control,” says the dermatologist.
According to data published in February 2016 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the range of treatments works best against scalp psoriasis.
Treatments for scalp psoriasis may include the following:
Methotrexate, oral retinoids, cyclosporine, biological agents, and UV rays may be used if psoriasis is also present in other parts of the body.
“Light therapy works by reducing inflammation,” says Dr., but cautions that it is less effective with psoriasis of the scalp compared to psoriasis elsewhere on the body. This is because the scalp does not respond in the same way. Hair blocks some or all of the light, but you can get better results if you divide your hair into several classes.
This can be injected into scalp lesions that are mild and appear in a few areas.
It is often used in combination with other treatments. The first step in effectively treating scalp psoriasis is removing or lifting the thickened scales, helping the medication to penetrate and cleanse the plaques. “Another way to deal with unwinding and decline scalp scales is to apply oils, lotions, creams or salves to a soaked scalp,” she incorporates. Once psoriasis has softened, you can carefully remove it with a fine comb or toothbrush.
Strachan recommends “combing the scalp gently in a gentle, circular motion, holding the comb almost flat on the scalp.” Once the plaque is loosened, shampooing is a good way to keep scales away from your scalp and hair. But be gentle. Combing or combing too hard can break the skin and cause an infection. It can also lead to hair breakage. On the scalp. Causing temporary hair loss. ”
A shampoo that contains ingredients like tar and salicylic acid may also be helpful. “Liquid or foaming topical medications [such as steroids and calcipotriene] are easy to apply to the scalp,” Strachan says. The shampoo – either with or without the coal tar medication – is available to treat scalp lesions. But severe attacks may require the use of oral medications in conjunction with such topical treatments.
These include topical treatments for scalp psoriasis:
- Dovonex (calcipotriene)
- Taclonex (calcipotriene and betamethasone)
- Tazorac (tazarotene)
- Topical corticosteroid solutions, oils, and foams
Before beginning any skin scalp treatment, Strachan recommends applying a test fix of the prescription to a subtle spot on your head. Your hair must develop once more. Be that as it may, if going bald endures in the wake of treating psoriasis, a dermatologist ought to be counselled.”
Are there any complications?
Scalp psoriasis can cause two complications:
- Scalp psoriasis can cause itching and discomfort. Bleeding may occur from scratching or removing the scales.
- Hair loss: Impact on hair follicles, severe exfoliation, and excessive scratching can lead to noticeable hair loss. Whole lumps of hair may also appear when the scalp is damaged. Certain treatments for scalp psoriasis and stress may exacerbate hair loss.
Talk to your doctor about ways to avoid hair loss if you have scalp psoriasis. You may need to avoid hair treatments (such as dyes and perms) or change your scalp psoriasis treatment. But keep in mind that your hair will grow back.