Recognizing that scalp psoriasis is the real cause behind that itchy, flakiness messing up your hair-do is the first step to finding just the right remedy. Scalp psoriasis treatment can help put an end to the scratching and get a leg-up on a new and improved hair style.
Understanding Psoriasis of the Scalp
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, scaly plaques that can occur on any part of the body. Psoriasis of the scalp can occur alone or may be just one part of the body affected by the condition.
About one-half of people who suffer from psoriasis will have the symptoms show up on their scalps. The most appropriate treatment for psoriasis scalp flare-ups will depend on their severity, how much hair you have and if you also have psoriasis on other parts of your body.
The Basics of Psoriasis Scalp Treatment
Just as with any other part of the body, treatment for psoriasis on the scalp is aimed at slowing the overly rapid skin cell maturation that causes the disorder. Applying a therapy for psoriasis on scalp areas covered with copious hair may make the treatment a bit tricky. Fortunately, a number of types of options exist, making it possible to find just the right scalp psoriasis treatment.
There are many ways to receive a psoriasis scalp treatment
- Softening lotions or gels
- Leave-in treatments
- Oral medications
- Injectable medications
- Phototherapy with UVA or UVB light
Softening up: Preparing For Psoriasis Remedies
The first step in any psoriasis treatment is to soften the effected skin. This allows the flaky scales to fall away from the psoriasis plaques. As a result, any medications will be better able to penetrate the skin and stop psoriasis attacks.
Softening treatments most often contain salicylic acid, a compound known to gently break apart the bonds holding dead skin cells in place. For some cases of scalp psoriasis, a softener containing lactic acid, urea or phenol may be more effective. In either case, follow the instructions carefully for proper use. They will describe the length of time the treatment needs to remain on the scalp before the scales can be gently loosened with a comb or brush.
Wash Those Troubles Away: Shampoos for Scalp Psoriasis
After pre-treating with a softener, the hair should be washed with a scalp psoriasis shampoo. These are available without a prescription in a number of formulations and are effective for most cases of scalp psoriasis. These will likely contain salicylic acid but may also use coal tar as the active ingredient. Coal tar shampoos can be very effective at putting psoriasis in it’s place but if the potent smell is too much to bear, try one of the other many psoriasis shampoo options.
If over-the-counter shampoos haven’t managed to keep your psoriasis in-check, talk to your doctor about a prescription treatment. These shampoos may be able to offer a more potent formulation of the active ingredients used in the non-prescription versions. Other prescription psoriasis shampoos include medication such as clobetasol propionate, a type of topical steroid that suppresses the immune activity that causes psoriasis. For some people, a prescription shampoo containing the anti-fungal medicationketoconazole may be what’s needed to put psoriasis to rest.
When Washing Just Isn’t Enough: Additional Psoriasis Remedies
Sometimes, special daily or weekly shampoos are all that’s need to keep psoriasis on the scalp under control. It may, however, only provide limited improvement or only work for a short while. In such cases, your doctor may recommend using another topical treatment.
Psoriasis sprays with active ingredients such as clobetasol propionate help deliver potent medication right where it’s needed. This may be an excellent option for anyone suffering from psoriasis on multiple areas of the body as it can easily be applied anywhere, including the scalp.
Oral medications, such as retinoid pills or injections are system-wide therapies that can also help root out the cause of scalp psoriasis. Phototherapy with UVA or UVB lights may also be recommended as an effective treatment for your scalp psoriasis.
As these treatments affect the whole body, they are usually reserved for people who have psoriasis on the scalp in addition to other areas. A systemic treatment, however, may be recommended if your psoriasis scalp treatments alone are insufficient to provide relief from psoriasis symptoms.
Psoriasis is just one cause of the scalp condition commonly referred to as dandruff. If you have any reason to believe that your dandruff and scalp discomfort is due to this disorder, there’s no reason not to talk to a health care provider or simply try out one of the many great options in scalp psoriasis treatment shampoos.