Scalp psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to reproduce more quickly than expected. The skin becomes thick, with discolored plaques that show on the scalp and areas around it, like around the ears, hairline, forehead, or the back of your neck.
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Who Does Scalp Psoriasis Affect?
Generally, millions of people have psoriasis, with half of them having scalp psoriasis at some point. However, you need to know how to differentiate dandruff vs scalp psoriasis since they’re unique conditions. Dandruff is an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp and requires different treatments from scalp psoriasis. The condition can affect anyone, but people with the following qualities are more likely to develop scalp psoriasis.
- Drink alcohol.
- High stress or depression levels.
- Irregular use of medications.
- Suffer from other autoimmune diseases.
Signs of Scalp Psoriasis
The symptoms of scalp psoriasis vary from one individual to another, and it also matters if it’s mild or severe. Here are the symptoms to look out for;
- Bumpy, discolored silver plaques on your scalp surface (dead skin cells).
- Plaques on the entire scalp and surrounding skin.
- Dryness and itching.
- Skin flakes.
- Cracks on the skin.
- Irritation and pain.
How to Manage Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis creates red patches on the skin, which can be mild or severe. When mild, it’s hard to discern as it displays small flakes, while the severe cases show scales that cover the forehead, back of the neck, or behind the ears. Although managing scalp psoriasis is a great challenge, you can soothe the scalp to lessen the symptoms using the right strategies. These tips will help you with scalp psoriasis:
You must look for a mild shampoo for psoriasis that’s fragrance-free and explicitly formulated for scalp psoriasis. There are particular ingredients to look for in shampoos, like coal tar, salicylic acid, or ketoconazole. These ingredients help to reduce inflammation and scaling on your scalp. Avoid harsh shampoos containing strong fragrances, as they irritate the scalp further.
Regularly applying a moisturizer to your scalp can alleviate dryness and itchiness. Look for moisturizing products that contain aloe vera, coconut oil, or jojoba oil. Once you shampoo your hair, apply the moisturizer, then massage gently for the scalp to absolve maximally.
Your scalp will be itchy, but you must avoid scratching as it can exacerbate scalp psoriasis leading to further inflammation. Scratching your scalp can cause injury and increase the risk of getting more infections. Anytime you feel like scratching, rub or pat the itchy area gently.
Warm Oil Treatments
Warm oil treatments on your scalp will help soften scales and reduce itchiness. You need natural oils like olive oil, almond, or coconut oil. Heat your oil slightly, gently apply it to your scalp while massaging, and leave it on for several hours or overnight before shampooing.
Know and Avoid Triggers
Some factors can exacerbate scalp psoriasis, such as stress, dry hair, cold weather, specific medications, or harsh hair products. Identify your triggers and adjust your lifestyle to prevent or limit negative impacts on your scalp.
Moderate your exposure to sunlight by spending more time indoors, but you can go out during non-peak hours. Your scalp needs exposure to natural sunlight, but you should avoid sunburn to avoid worsening the condition. Use sunscreen in the areas surrounding the scalp to prevent extreme exposure to sunlight.
Use the Right Medications and Treatments
If your condition worsens, see your doctor for tropical treatments without hesitation. They include corticosteroids, calcipotriene, tar preparations, or medicated shampoos. When using medications or treatments your doctor prescribes, follow instructions carefully.
Stress is a trigger for many conditions, including scalp psoriasis. Engage in activities that help you relax and unwind after strenuous activity. Living a healthy lifestyle and workout regularly exercise to reduce stress levels.
Seek Professional Advice
If your condition is severe and not responding to home remedies, consult a dermatologist as soon as possible for help. They can provide a customized, comprehensive treatment plan for your specific condition.
How Scalp Psoriasis Affects the Body
Scalp psoriasis makes your skin dry, thick, rough, and scaly, with discolored itchy plaques. It affects the areas around the scalp, and hair loss (alopecia) is inevitable in extreme cases. The condition is not contagious, but it can lower your self-esteem as you worry much about how people look at you, and this can lead to stress, anxiety, or depression, which is terrible for you.
Scalp psoriasis is a chronic condition that will not go away overnight. Therefore, you need to have patience and consistency in managing the condition. Home remedies help reduce the effects of scalp psoriasis, but be cautious before trying any new product to void further inflammation. Identify a routine that works for you, stick to it, and seek medical advice when your condition becomes severe.