Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis is a common scalp disorder that usually produces red plaques covered with silvery scales. These plaques may be itchy and painful and sometimes crack and bleed, increasing the risk of infection, which can lead to hair loss.

In severe cases, the plaques of irritated skin will grow and merge into one another, covering large areas. This is why it is important to try to control the symptoms as soon as they are noticed.

It is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person, but it can occur in members of the same family.

The exact causes of psoriasis are unknown, however it is believed that abnormalities in the immune system cause inflammation in the skin, triggering new skin cells to develop too quickly. Normally, skin cells are replaced every 28 to 30 days. With psoriasis, new cells grow and move to the surface of the skin every three to four days. The build-up of old cells being replaced by new cells creates the silver scales of psoriasis.

Psoriasis usually begins in early adulthood or later in life. In most people it limited to a few patches of skin; in severe cases, it can cover large areas of the body.

The medications used to treat scalp psoriasis usually have the same ingredients as those used to treat body psoriasis, however the vehicles used differ. Heavy creams and ointments are usually too difficult and messy for scalp application, so liquids, foams, shampoos, or oils are usually recommended by the trichologist.

Drugs that are useful for scalp psoriasis, and that your trichologist may recommend for home use, include:

  • Keratolytics
  • Coal Tar based Creams, Lotions and Shampoos
  • Antiseptic Shampoos
  • Corticosteroids
  • Dovonex Liquid

In more severe cases the trichologist may recommend a short course of weekly clinical treatment where the treatment can be more specifically tailored to the patients needs, increasing the chances of managing the condition more effectively.