Scalp Psoriasis

Everest Remedies
10 min read


What Is Scalp Psoriasis?

This skin disease happens when your immune system sends faulty signals and skin cells grow too quickly.
These pile up in red patches, often with silvery scales.
At least half the people with psoriasis have it on their scalp.
But you can also get it on your forehead, behind the ears, and down the back of your neck.



Who Can Get It?

You can't catch scalp psoriasis from someone else who has it.
It's not contagious.
It's hereditary.

It's something that's passed along in your family's genes.
Most people who get psoriasis have at least one person in their family with the disease.



Symptom: Red and White Patches

The most common form of the disease is plaque psoriasis.
It looks like areas of thick, swollen, red patches with well defined edges.
On top of these areas are the silvery white scales.
It's easy to knock them off and cause bleeding, so be gentle with yourself when you comb your hair, shampoo, or put on and take off hats.



Symptom: Dry and Flaky Scalp

Because skin cells grow and reach the surface of your skin too fast, they tend to pile up and flake off.
This can look like dandruff.
But unlike that, scalp psoriasis causes a silvery sheen and dry scales.
Dandruff can be waxy or greasy.



Shampoo for a Dry and Flaky Scalp

Try selenium sulfide (1%), zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole (an anti-yeast OTC medicine), or tar based
ones for thin plaques.
For thicker scales, salicylic acid shampoos can work well.
Not all of these work for every person.
You may have to try one for a few weeks and switch to another if it doesn't work.
Use the shampoo first when you'd normally lather up.
It's OK to use your regular shampoo and conditioner afterward.
Know that tar based options can be a bit smelly.



Symptom: Itchiness

This can be one of the toughest parts of having psoriasis.
It can be intense and non stop.
To some people it feels like a burning sensation.
No matter how bad it gets, try not to scratch.
While it may feel good in the moment, it can break open the skin and make you bleed.
That can set you up for hair loss and a possible infection.
If you spot swollen lymph nodes, it can be a sign of an infection.



Moisturize and Cool to Stop the Itch

The first things you might want to try are lotions, moisturizers, or even heavy ointments like petroleum jelly.
Chill them in the refrigerator before you use them for an extra soothing effect.
Cool water or cold packs can also give you relief.



Cut the Itch With Apple Cider Vinegar

Some people say to use this on your scalp a few times a week.
It's long been used as a disinfectant, so it may burn a bit when you put it on.
You can mix it with equal parts water to cut the sting.
Some people like to use it full-strength and then rinse once it dries.
But don't try this one if you have cracks or open skin.
It'll really hurt!
It may take a few weeks to notice a difference in itchiness.



Tea Tree Oil

This is another natural remedy that some people say gives them relief but there aren't any studies to prove it.  
You can pick up a shampoo with this oil in it.
Before you go all in, try a little bit on your arm to see if you have a reaction.
Some people are allergic to it.



Symptom: Pain

A flare up can hurt, whether it's because your scalp gets so dry that it cracks or you had to give in to scratching.
But there are things you can do.



Solutions for Pain

The best way to keep it away is to treat and control your psoriasis.
To keep scales in check before they can flake and crack, try a scale softening product (keratolytic).
Look for these active ingredients: salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea, or phenol.
Moisturize to lock in moisture, too.



Symptom: Depression

Things can be tough when you have psoriasis.
You may have to work every day to control the flakes, itch, and pain.
Even the most optimistic people can get discouraged by treatments that work for a while and then don't.
And when people are rude about your condition, it can be that much harder to deal with.



Hair Loss

If your scales get thick you can lose hair for a while.
But it usually grows back once your psoriasis gets under control and your skin heals.
As a general rule, be gentle when you get rid of scales.

And in the meantime, feel confident as you are.
Or if you want some camouflage, use it as an opportunity to rock some new headwear, be it a hat, scarf, or wig.



Other Things You Can Do: Keep It Moist

Dry air can make dry skin worse.

A home humidifier can help.
Also, after you shampoo, try a good conditioner to seal in moisture.
Remember that anytime you put something on to treat your psoriasis, gently rub it onto your scalp instead of your hair.
That way it has a better chance of working.




Stress is one of the biggest flare triggers.
Pause each day to unwind.
Do something you enjoy.
Have a cup of tea.

Call up guided mindfulness meditations online.
People who did UV phototherapy and listened to meditation tapes did better than those who just did phototherapy, according to one small study.
People with other skin conditions have had success with this.
It's helped them deal with stress and the emotional load that can come with skin issues.






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