Scalp Psoriasis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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The skin disorder that is characterized by raised, scaly and reddish patches on the entire scalp. The lesion can appear just as a single patch on the small area of the scalp or can spread to the entire area of the scalp.  It can also affect the adjoining areas like skin on forehead, behind the ears or at the back of neck. It is the common form of psoriasis and people suffering from plaque psoriasis have chances of getting episode of Scalp psoriasis. Most of the times, it remains unnoticeable resulting in scratching and itching.

Scalp Psoriasis

Causes of Scalp Psoriasis

The cause of scalp psoriasis is the same as plaque vulgaris. The immune system is responsible for the development of this disease. The release of cytokines in the system sends wrong signals resulting in excessive production of new cells. The body then becomes unable to shed off those excessive cells. This results in the formation of patches on the surface of the scalp. The genetics also play significant role in the development of this disease.

Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis

These are the symptoms of scalp psoriasis:

  1. Scaly and red patches: formation of red coloured, scaly and bumpy patches. Sometimes these patches remain unnoticeable and thus the patches change to thicker and inflamed form.
  2. Formation of silvery-white scale: the formation of silvery-white scale is peculiar feature of scalp psoriasis unlike dandruff. Usually, it is misdiagnosed as dandruff on the scalp.
  3. Dryness: the scalp becomes dry and sometimes crack and bleeding can occur on the surface.
  4. Itching: dryness can cause itching. It may be from mild to severe form thus can also interfere with sleep at night.
  5. Bleeding: due to constant itching and scratching, the scalp may bleed. Scratching can aggravate the condition and should be avoided.
  6. Hair loss: the formation of patches, dryness and scratching can cause hair loss for temporary period.
  7. Burning sensation: the soreness and burning sensation can be felt at times.

Management of Scalp Psoriasis

These are some points which shows how to manage scalp psoriasis:

  1. Topical treatment: topical treatment includes use of medicated shampoos,oils, gels, soaps. Use ofAnthralin, topical steroid like betamethasone ,vitamin A derivative Tazarotene or calcipotriene is prescribed
  2. Pharmacological treatment: to treat severe cases, strong steroids are prescribed or injected directly on the affected area of the scalp. To treat severe cases, following medicines are prescribed:
  • Cyclosporine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Methotrexate
  • Vitamin D derivative
  • A strong form of vitamin A, called a derivative
  1. Phototherapy: People having thick hair and suffering from scalp psoriasis are recommended for phototherapy. Use of narrow band UV B treatment is recommended. The treatment is not advisable for the people with thin hair.

Precautions for Scalp Psoriasis

These are the precautions which everybody should adopt:

  1. Try to avoid scratching as it can worsen the condition.
  2. Try to avoid stress as stress can also flare up the condition. Stress can also lead to hair loss.
  3. Use shampoo gently on your scalp. Try not to rub it on the scalp.
  4. Try not to pick the hard plaques on the scalp. First loosen the plaques with scale softeners and then remove them gently