The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis that affects various parts of the body including the scalp. Scalp psoriasis is one of the types that can lead to self consciousness and embarrassment depending on the severity.
What is Scalp Psoriasis?
This is one of the most common types of psoriasis. It can also be very persistent and quite frustrating to treat. It usually starts behind the ears and can spread to other areas of the scalp. Scalp psoriasis can affect a few areas of the scalp or can affect the entire scalp. The lesions can even extend beyond the scalp.
When this type of psoriasis extends into the ear canal, it can lead to problems with hearing if the scales accumulate.
Psoriasis Hair Loss
Scalp psoriasis does not usually lead to hair loss unless it is very severe. Even if hair loss occurs in some severe cases of scalp psoriasis, the hair will usually grow back if treatment is successful since the hair root usually remains unaffected.
Scalp psoriasis looks like a bad case of dandruff. This is what leads to self consciousness because dandruff is bad enough but scalp psoriasis is like dandruff on steroids!
Scalp psoriasis symptoms include;
- Thick, silvery white scales on the scalp
- The scales can stick together forming dense crusts that can itch
If the scalp psoriasis is mild, it can be successfully hidden by hair. If severe however, it can be very visible to others and itch terribly. Scratching the scalp or picking at the scales usually worsens scalp psoriasis.
The embarrassment from a moderate to severe case of scalp psoriasis comes from the silvery white scales that can flake onto the shoulders and clothing and can be visible to others causing them to think that you have a bad (and nasty) case of dandruff.
Treatment for Scalp Psoriasis
There are types of shampoos that are formulated specifically for scalp psoriasis or other scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis. Active ingredients in these shampoos that can help to reduce the scaling include tar, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione and steroids.
Applied to the scalp and washed off after about 30 minutes or longer can help reduce the excessive turnover of skin cells on the scalp. Though anthralin can be effective, it is messy and can stain hair and clothing. It is also not recommended if the scalp is sore and tender from psoriasis.
3. Topical Steroids
Can reduce the redness associated with scalp psoriasis that results from the overactive blood vessels underneath the lesions.
4. Salicylic Acid
Can be mixed with and/or included in shampoos or in an oil mixture or in a steroid mixture and it can help to remove excessive scales produced with scalp psoriasis.
There are many more treatments for this type of psoriasis including supplements, making diet changes, vitamin D, various home remedies for scalp psoriasis, etc. For more on effective homemade scalp treatments for scalp psoriasis symptoms, click here.