Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition affecting skin anywhere on the body. It is characterized by scaly, itchy and reddish lesions. Being an autoimmune disorder, it cannot be cured completely or permanently, but the goal of the treatment is to target the symptoms and prevents the disease from spreading.
It is a common condition which is often confused with dandruff. Thinking it to be dandruff, is the main factor which leads to a progression of the disease and ultimately it spreads all over causing psoriasis on the head. Psoriasis is not a contagious disease however if it runs in your family you are at risk of getting it. Around 50 percent of individuals affected with psoriasis have scalp psoriasis in comparison to psoriasis ion other body parts.
Scalp Psoriasis Causes
The cause of scalp psoriasis is thought to be autoimmune destruction of skin cells. T cells are the body defends against external microorganisms by attacking and killing them. But in psoriasis T cells starts to attack the healthy skin cells mistakenly as they fight against harmful cells like viruses and bacteria’s. These overactive T cells also increase the production of normal skin cells, and as the skin cells grow rapidly over the normal skin, it causes the thickness of the skin causing patchy lesions.
Some triggers are meant to start this T cell abnormal activity which is: infections (skin or throat infections), skin injury, smoking, stress, alcohol consumption, Vitamin D deficiency, and certain medicines also trigger plaque psoriasis scalp. Other than these triggers there are certain risk factors which put an individual at higher risk of developing psoriasis in hair or psoriasis on the head. These risk factors are:
- A family history of psoriasis.
- Infections (people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get psoriasis in hair or psoriasis on the head).
- Obesity (psoriasis is more likely to affect the skin creases and folds).
- Dry Weather (more likely to cause plaque scalp psoriasis outbreaks).
Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
Scalp psoriasis symptoms depend on disease severity. Mild scalp psoriasis can cause only itchy scaly lesion while the severe disease can cause lesions to bleed. Following are the symptoms of scalp psoriasis which one can experience:
- Thick, inflamed, red or silvery white patches of skin on scalp in case of psoriasis on the head.
- Extremely itchy scalp.
- Painful or burning on scalp.
- Hair loss due to constant scratching plaque psoriasis scalp.
- Dandruff-like flakes seen in psoriasis in hair.
- Dry and cracked scalp skin that may bleed. This happens mostly in case of severe plaque psoriasis scalp.
Mild scalp psoriasis can only have itching and upon examination one may find scaly red patches. If psoriasis treatment is started timely, it can be resolved completely without spreading on the whole head, neck, and back of ears. You can also start using psoriasis shampoos if you have mild scalp psoriasis to prevent it from progressing.
Scalp Psoriasis Treatment
Plaque psoriasis scalp must be treated as soon as it gets diagnosed to prevent getting psoriasis in hair which can lead to permanent hair loss in severe cases. There are many treatment options, and all of them addresses the symptoms of the disease. Scalp psoriasis symptoms can be very uncomfortable because one can get embarrassed while itching the head in front of others.
The main agents used for scalp psoriasis cure are shampoos, oils, ointments, lotions, gels, and soaps. The compounds used in all these treating agents are salicylic acid and coal tar. Salicylic acid works by softening the scaly patch leading to peeling off the dry and dead skin patches. For intense itching menthol containing lotions or shampoos can be used which can soothe the skin. In severe cases, topical steroids are also used to heal the lesion quickly.
Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo
Shampoos are the only agents which can target psoriasis in hair or plaque psoriasis scalp. The best shampoo for psoriasis is the one which contains both treating compounds that are salicylic acid and coal tar. If the shampoo has menthol in addition, it will be a better option. Salicylic acid and coal tar are the approved treatment options for psoriasis by FDA.
Scalp Psoriasis Natural Treatment
One can also opt for natural remedies for psoriasis on the scalp because scalp psoriasis home remedies use natural products which can treat the disease with equal effectiveness as the medications. The other benefit of using scalp psoriasis natural treatment is safety from the adverse effects of medications. We are enlisting some effective scalp psoriasis remedies which you can do easily at home.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has been using since ages for dry skin conditions. It also works like magic on scalp psoriasis. Applying coconut oil on the head or only on the patches can heal them quickly. The oil softens the lesions and ultimately peeling them off the scalp. You can use coconut oil twice weekly.
Epsom Salt: it can do wonders when mixed with shampoo and is used for rinsing hairs. It has the property to exfoliate psoriasis plaques and also gives relief from intense itching. Using this scalp psoriasis home treatment whenever you wash hairs can give you relief from the plaque psoriasis scalp within a few days.
Glycerine: it is excellent moisture therapy for the psoriatic scalp. Apply glycerine on patches and leave it overnight then rinse off your scalp in the morning. Doing this, dry patches will recover within a few days. With the overnight application, the moisture gets to lock in the lesions and ultimately gets peeled off. You can do this remedy twice or thrice weekly.
We have discussed everything about scalp psoriasis that one must know. Our mentioned treatment options are effective and widely used. If you are suffering from scalp psoriasis, you can try our home remedies at a milder stage of the disease to get rid of it quickly. If your disease progressed to a severe stage, then we recommend paying a visit to the dermatologist for proper evaluation and medication.