Psoriasis is a skin condition that is characterised by raised and scaly patches. When this appears on the scalp of your head, it is referred to as “scalp psoriasis”. It can occur alone or in conjunction with other symptoms in any part of your body. Elbows, knees and the back are also frequently affected.
This condition is caused by an overactive immune system, which leads to an increase in cell growth. Even though it can occasionally aggravate and then improve, psoriasis on the scalp is a chronic illness.
Scalp psoriasis typically affects the head, but it can also affect the neck, ears and forehead. Some of the symptoms that may show up on the scalp include:
- Discoloured and raised patches.
- Itching and soreness.
- Dryness of the skin.
- Scaly flaking that resembles dandruff.
- Bleeding from the scalp.
- Temporary hair loss.
What causes the immune system to malfunction, leading to the rapid growth of skin cells, is unclear. Most people with psoriasis have a relative with similar conditions and will have some environmental factors that trigger the condition.
Several factors may increase an individual's risk of scalp psoriasis:
- Family history of psoriasis.
- Obesity and being overweight.
- Specific medications, such as blood pressure and anti-malaria drugs.
You can control psoriasis at home through dietary and lifestyle changes. However, if your symptoms do not improve after a few weeks of treatment, you should immediately see a healthcare provider. Especially when:
- The symptoms increase in severity.
- It is painful to touch.
- It causes joint pain or swelling.
You cannot prevent scalp psoriasis, but you can manage the symptoms.
- Have your bath daily with soap and water.
- Do not scratch the scalp or pick at it.
- Use a comb to pick out the scaley scalp areas instead of scratching at them with nails.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.
- Take care to avoid stress and smoking, which trigger psoriasis.
- Avoid taking alcoholic drinks.
- Exercise regularly and keep a healthy weight.
- Your healthcare provider will examine the scalp and hair physically and obtain a small sample of skin or scalp to examine under a microscope for psoriasis.
- Your healthcare provider will recommend creams and ointments to limit the psoriasis.
- They may also recommend light therapy to treat psoriasis directly.
- They may also recommend other medicines to reduce the growth of cells in the scalp.
There is no cure for psoriasis, a long-term condition common among people. Experiencing the symptoms can be difficult and uncomfortable. There are treatment options available for you to help manage symptoms. To manage this disease, you should follow the advice of your healthcare practitioner.
Eat a balanced diet, keep physically active, avoid chemicals or cosmetics that worsen your psoriasis and work with your healthcare provider to improve your quality of life.