How to Treat Scalp Psoriasis

According to the World Psoriasis Day Consortium, Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects 2-3% of people worldwide. It affects different parts of the body, such as the outer parts of the elbow, knees, nails, trunk, and scalp. Fortunately, it isn’t a contagious disease. However, people with close family members who have psoriasis have a higher chance of getting it.

Fortunately, you can use many types of psoriasis of the scalp treatment to calm and relieve symptoms. But the treatment varies when the symptoms manifest on the scalp. 

So what is the best psoriasis scalp treatment? Discover which of the products available can assist you in living a happy and comfortable life despite this skin condition.

What is Scalp Psoriasis?

People with psoriasis experience patchy rashes that are reddish, sore, and look thick and scaly. If these symptoms appear on a person’s scalp, it’s called scalp psoriasis. And about 45-56% of people with psoriasis will have scalp psoriasis, which can negatively impact your life since it can affect your concentration and sleep.

Scalp psoriasis looks different from other skin disorders. It may look like the following:

  • Fine scaling that looks like dandruff
  • Powdery with a silver sheen

If you think you have the symptoms mentioned, visiting a dermatologist is the best course of action. They can tell you what is the best treatment for psoriasis and which products can help.

Common Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis

The symptoms of scalp psoriasis may be mild, moderate or severe. For those with mild scalp psoriasis, the common symptom includes slight, fine scaling. But for moderate to severe scalp psoriasis, the symptoms are as follows:

  • Burning sensation
  • Hair loss
  • Scaly red or bumpy patches
  • Silvery-white or gray scales
  • Large dandruff-like flakes
  • Soreness
  • Itching

Hair loss isn’t necessarily a symptom of severe scalp psoriasis. But non-stop itching can cause bald spots, especially if the scaly areas are picked at often. The stress of having this condition can also lead to temporary hair loss for some people who are more sensitive to stressful situations.

What are the Treatments for Scalp Psoriasis?

The treatments available for scalp psoriasis are extensive, depending on how mild or severe your symptoms are. If your scalp psoriasis is only mild, a treatment used directly on your skin is the first thing you should consider. One example is a psoriasis treatment cream or ointment that you can buy over the counter.

There are also medicated shampoos, gels, foams, oils, and soaps that can calm your psoriasis flare-ups. Some can be purchased OTC. Others require a prescription.  Examples include:

  • Salicylic Acid: A peeling agent available in both OTC and prescription shampoos and soaps. It can soften scales, which makes them easier to remove.
  • Coal Tar Products: These are available in ointments, shampoos, gels, foams, soaps, and creams. They support skin growth and can reduce inflammation, scaling, and itching.

Medications to Apply on the Scalp

These are treatments that are applied directly to the affected area:

  • Medicated Shampoos: You can use medicated shampoos with coal tar, which you can massage onto your scalp and leave for five to ten minutes. After that, rinse it out. But remember that coal tar products may leave an odor and stain. For the odor, you can use a non-medicated conditioner after shampooing. Furthermore, there are also medicated shampoos that don’t have coal tar as the main ingredient. Instead, they have phenol and menthol creams as active ingredients. It’s okay to use them daily to manage those scalp plaques but follow the directions carefully.
  • Calcipotriene: A strong derivative form of Vitamin D that people can apply directly to their scalp before bed. The dermatologist may recommend covering the scalp with a shower cap after application. Most of the time, it’s used once a day for at least two weeks.
  • Tazarotene: A derivative of Vitamin A, which people apply on their scalp before bed. Only a thin layer is enough, and it’s rinsed off in the morning.
  • Corticosteroids: The most prescribed treatment for scalp psoriasis in children and adults that quickly reduces itchiness, redness, and swelling. It’s safe to use as long as used carefully and as directed.

Treatment at the Doctor’s Office

These are treatments available only at the doctor’s office:

  • Intralesional steroid injections: If you have scalp psoriasis on a few areas of your head, the doctor will use a small needle and inject a corticosteroid into the scalp plaques to reduce the inflammation. It’s practical, but the use is limited to a few times.
  • Laser and light treatments: These treatments are done if the symptoms don’t respond to topical treatments. The excimer laser is an excellent example that only focuses on the affected areas. Two to three times per week is necessary, with each session taking only ten minutes.
  • UV light: A UV comb is used to treat the whole scalp.

Oral Medications

The dermatologist may prescribe a stronger medication if your scalp psoriasis is moderate to severe. It can be very stubborn, but attacking it where it starts is the key, which is your immune system. The medications they may prescribe are the following:

  • Cyclosporine 
  • Acitretin 
  • Apremilast 
  • Methotrexate 
  • Tapinarof 
  • Upacitinib 
  • A biologic
  • Upacitinib

Some of these medications can cause serious side effects, so following your doctor’s orders is essential. These are more powerful and different from the ones available over the counter.

Managing Your Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms is the Only Way to Beat It

There’s no definite cure for psoriasis, so knowing how to treat it is essential. Fortunately, whether you have mild or moderate to severe scalp psoriasis, there’s a treatment plan your doctor can create for you.If your scalp psoriasis is mild, you can use OTC creams, ointments, or other skin care products that can relieve your scalp. Fortunately, you can find some of these products at Medical Monks. Start by taking care of your symptoms to manage this disease successfully.

The MEDICAL MONKS STAFF brings to the table decades of combined knowledge and experience in the medical products industry.

Edited for content by ADAM PAGE.

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