Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disease causing raised, reddish and scaly patches. It can affect some part or can even affect your entire scalp. Sometimes it can extend to your forehead, the back of your neck, or behind and inside your ears.
However, scalp psoriasis is not infectious. Like other types of psoriasis, it is still unknown what causes it. It occurs when the immune system triggers excessive skin cells growth. These overgrown skin cells look like patches. You are vulnerable to scalp psoriasis if it has in your family.
According to a report, nearly 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis that can be anywhere on their body, including the scalp. Sometimes the scalp is the only spot they get the disease, but that’s rare.
Scalp psoriasis is mild and is not noticeable. However, if it turns worse, it can lead to thick and crusted sores. Even worse, you may experience intense itching that can affect your sleep and routine life as well. And scratching can cause skin infections and hair loss.
What are the Signs of Scalp Psoriasis?
Signs of mild scalp psoriasis include only fine scaling on the scalp. However, the signs of moderate to severe scalp psoriasis are…
• Dry scalp
• Burning or soreness
• Hair loss
• Scaly, red, bumpy patches
• Silvery-white scales
• Dandruff-like flaking
Scalp psoriasis itself doesn’t lead to hair loss, but scratching a lot over hard, picking the scaly spots, rough treatments, and the stress that occurs along with the condition can cause temporary hair loss. Luckily, the hair generally grows back after your skin is treated.
Make sure to visit your doctor if you have any of these signs. He may simply take a look or perform a skin biopsy to ensure that you have scalp psoriasis or a similar looking condition like seborrheic dermatitis.
OTC Medications for Scalp Psoriasis:
Most medications for scalp psoriasis are topical, meaning that they are to be used directly on the skin.
For example, medicated shampoos, gels, lotions, oils, ointments and soaps are topical medications for psoriasis. They are both available as an OTC drug or through a prescription.
OTC drugs often contain one of two medications approved by the FDA for psoriasis which are salicylic acid and coal tar. Some other FDA medications for psoriasis are anthralin, antimicrobials, calipoteriene, calcipotriene, betamethasone, tazarotene and other topical steroids.
They should be used carefully. Make sure to apply them to the scalp, not just your hair. With the proper application, it will take 8 weeks or more to clear the psoriasis from the scalp. Once the psoriasis is gone, make sure to shampooing regularly or twice weekly with a product that has coal tar or other effective medications. It will prevent the psoriasis from coming back.
How Doctors Treat Scalp Psoriasis?
For a mild psoriasis on a few areas, a doctor or dermatologist may inject steroids directly into the affected areas. If topical treatment doesn’t work, you may be given a phototherapy with a laser or non-laser light source. Besides, you may be prescribed oral drug or a medication that is pumped through a needle into the vein.
Keep in Mind….
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, no matter if it’s on the scalp or on the hand. And it is not curable. However, treatment can help you manage the symptoms, ease flare-ups and prevent it from re-occurring. People who stick to their treatment plan rarely have to live with scalp psoriasis for long.
To manage your scalp psoriasis, here are things to do…
• Keep your scalp hydrated using a moisturizing shampoo every time you wash your air.
• Never pick at scales.
• Consider getting a humidifier to protect your skin from the dry air.
• Avoid taking stress that may worse psoriasis. Practice yoga and meditation to ease your stress.
• Drink in moderation as excessive alcohol may worsen the symptoms of scalp psoriasis.