Scalp Psoriasis is another common scalp ailment. It shares some symptoms with seborrheic dermatitis, but it is a different condition with its own treatments.
(Photo from the American Academy of Dermatology)
Scalp Psoriasis is a manifestation of psoriaris on the scalp that approx. 50% of people with plaque psoriasis will experience at least once.
What causes it?
Psoriasis occurs when the body’s immune system tells the skin cells to grow too many cells, too quickly. This causes an excess buildup of skin cells, forming plaques as the cells pile up on top of each other. For whatever reason, the body does not naturally shed these excess cells.
What does it look like?
Typical symptoms of scalp psoriasis include:
*Dandruff-like flakes that are typically white or silvery. Unlike seborrheic dermatitis, these flakes are usually unaccompanied by the silver sheen & dry scale common to psoriasis on other parts of the body
*Patches on the scalp that are reddish. They may be mild or more severe. Severe patches are typically thick and appear inflamed.
*Very dry scalp that may crack or bleed
*Itchiness, soreness, or burning sensation (may be mild or intense)
*Bleeding (usually caused by scratching)
*Temporary hair loss (typically caused by scratching or forcefully removing the scale)
How do I treat it?
There is currently no cure for psoriasis, but there are treatments available to help reduce the symptoms of it. Treatments include:
*Medicated shampoos, topical corticosteroids, and other creams & ointments
*Scale softeners. These are products containing an exfoliating ingredient (often salicylic acid) that loosens the thick scales to allow better penetration of the topical medications/shampoos
*Injections of corticosteroids
*Phototherapy (light treatments)
*Biologics (medications taken orally or by injection)
For More Information:
American Academy of Dermatology: Scalp Psoriasis
National Psoriasis Foundation: Scalp Psoriasis
Mayo Clinic: Scalp Psoriasis vs. Seborrheic Dermatitis
PsoriasisNet by the AAD: Scalp Psoriasis Treatment
**If you think you may have scalp psoriasis or another scalp condition, please schedule an appointment with us! Call the front desk at (949) 831-3057**