What is Scalp Psoriasis ?
Scalp psoriasis is a skin disorder that can cause patches on a person’s skin. These patches are red and look like lesions and they appear on the scalp. It can affect certain patches of the scalp or the entire scalp itself. It can also go beyond the scalp and stretch to the back of the neck, behind the ears, the forehead, etc. Scalp psoriasis is not a disease that is contagious.
The causes of scalp psoriasis is still unknown, though it is suspected that it is related to immunity problems, which leads to excess growth and development of skin cells on the scalp, which starts forming patches. One of the biggest causes of psoriasis is genetic problems. A person who has a family member who is scalp psoriasis is more likely to acquire this disease themselves.
The symptoms of scalp psoriasis might be really subtle in the beginning. They might even be completely unnoticeable. However, this might aggravate with time. The lesions might became larger, thicker or even crusted. Symptoms of scalp psoriasis would also include excessive itching and an urge to scratch. All this can lead to hair loss and skin infections as well. The urge to itch might even interfere with ability to sleep.
Some other symptoms of scalp psoriasis include scaling of the scalp. The scaling is usually silvery white, like dandruff. The scalp will become excessively dry and it will also itch and burn a lot. People who do end up scratching their scalp would also have to deal with some amount of soreness.
Treatment for scalp psoriasis
There are many ways of treating scalp psoriasis, out of which topical treatments are very common. Topical treatments are shampoos, creams, soaps, oils, etc. that are to be applied on the scalp directly. There are over the top topical treatments and prescription drugs as well.
There are two important FDA approved goods that form treatment for scalp psoriasis. One is salicylic acid and the other is coal tar. Usually, the prescription medication for scalp psoriasis would include both these ingredients or either one in different measurement. There are many other drugs used for treatment of scalp psoriasis as well, such as corticosteroids, antimicrobials, anathralin, tazarotene, calcipotriene, etc. These are vitamin based drugs that do help in treating scalp problems, especially psoriasis.
In order to be effective, all this medication has to be applied on to the scalp, and not the hair. It is to be used for as long as it takes to get rid of the lesions on the scalp. Usually, this is a process that takes around eight to ten weeks. Once the scalp psoriasis is under control, the basic prevention measures have to be taken, where an anti-psoriasis shampoo should be used twice a week or even a milder gel.
People who have a combination of scalp psoriasis and the common psoriasis of the body must consult their doctors before using the medication. The medication that works for the scalp might not work for the rest of the body and cause problems. There are some treatment processes that involve the usage of phototherapy for scalp treatment. It is called light therapy, though it is not widely done or approved of.
Prevention of scalp psoriasis
Like all other kinds of psoriasis, it is a little difficult to prevent scalp psoriasis. People who are looking to prevent scalp psoriasis would have to adopt the basic methods of sanitation and cleanliness of the scalp.
They should certainly make sure that the scalp is not allowed to become too dry at any point of time. If they start feeling the onset of scalp psoriasis, they should start taking adequate measures against it to make sure that it does not become too big an issue. Using a mild anti psoriasis shampoo for this reason would be beneficial.
People who have relatives or people in their family with a history of scalp psoriasis have to make sure that they keep an eye for any trouble and get to the doctor the moment they sense some trouble, for this is a necessary precaution to prevent scalp psoriasis.
Home treatment for Psoriasis
There are a few tips for home treatment of psoriasis. This might not be very effective as a stand-alone treatment, but it can speed the recovery process when combined with topical treatment or medication.
- Use olive oil or vitamin E oil on the scalp to keep it from becoming too dry.
- Using oil can also make the lesions less itchy.
- Making a hair pack of yogurt and bananas would reduce the itchiness of the scalp, once it has been washed off.
- Make sure to use a shampoo that is not too harsh for it won’t do to irritate the scalp.
- Avoid using brushes as much as you can, only on the scalp. It will be okay to comb your hair