If your scalp is constantly itchy, you may be having Scalp Psoriasis. What is Scalp Psoriasis? It is very common for plaque psoriasis to occur on the scalp. More than half of the people who have psoriasis will have scalp affected at some time during the course of the disease. Scalp psoriasis looks very similar to psoriasis on other parts of the body. Skin cells are created in days rather than weeks, piling up the cells the surface of the skin creating red flaky areas. It can be seen around the hairline, on the forehead, neck and behind the ears, and can make scalp feel itchy and tight. Scalp psoriasis also can include dandruff-like flaking, burning sensation and soreness.
Scalp Psoriasis and hair loss
Scalp psoriasis on its own doesn’t cause hair loss. However, excessive scratching, picking on the scalp spots and harsh treatment leads to temporary hair loss. People with severe scalp psoriasis experience thinning of hair. However, the hairs can grow back and get normal after appropriate treatment.
Psoriasis is a long-lasting disease which many people find extremely inconvenient as the disease has phases with milder symptoms followed by severe symptoms. Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis, but there are many treatments for itchy scalp available to manage scalp psoriasis. In most scenarios, the first treatment option is the common preparation, such as shampoo with coal tar, salicylic acid or coconut oil.
- Coal Tar- Coal Tar has been used to cure a lot of skin conditions since ancient times. Although its curing method is not fully understood, the theory states that usage of coal tar normalizes, and moderates keratin growth in the skin which helps reduce scaling. It also helps reduce itching.
- Salicylic Acid- Salicylic Acid is a naturally available organic acid that has been in usage for many years for treating psoriasis. It has the capability to disturb the cellular form that keeps the upper layers of the skin intact. This process removes the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin which prevents the skin pores from getting clogged and decreases plaque formation.
- Coconut Oil- Usage of coconut oil can help by softening the scalp and makes plaque easy to remove. Coconut oil can also hydrate the skin, help improve skin barrier and prevent water loss.
It is also advised to use professionally formulated products that can consistently treat you itchy scalp like scalp moisturizers which not only help lessen the irritation but also helps the scalp to get hydrated. In severe scalp psoriasis cases, it is best advised to use visit your doctor and oral or injected medicine which work throughout the body.
Simple and easy precautions which you can take
- Brush and comb your hair regularly to remove loose scales
- Avoid scratching the scalp
- Give several weeks for the treatment to work.
- Inform your hairdresser about your scalp psoriasis and request them to use a mild shampoo or bring your own shampoo.
- Be careful with hair products like dyes which touch the scalp, in case there is broken skin. Ask your hairdresser to do a patch test to see possible reactions.
- While applying any hair treatments, make sure you apply it on the scalp rather than the hair. Try to apply on the exposed area of the scalp.
Scalp psoriasis can have a deep impact on those who are severely impacted. It is a very good idea to try mild shampoos, moisturizers and coconut oil. Practicing simple measures like combing hair and resisting to scratch hair can help a lot. Always reach out to your General Physician or dermatologist if you have scalp psoriasis and are unable to manage it with the current treatments as they can suggest stronger medicine or alternatives.