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Management of Scalp Psoriasis

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psoriasis-scalpScalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder, aside from impetigo and fungal infections. It is caused by the body’s immune system faulty transmission of signals that tell skin cells to grow at a faster rate.

According to American Academy of Dermatology, new skin cells are produced in days, instead of weeks. Despite a fast production rate of skin cells, the body fails to shed excess cells, leading them to accumulate on the skin surface and cause patches of skin psoriasis. The publication noted that at least 50 percent of half of the people affected with plaque psoriasis will have at least one affectation on the scalp, according to research.

According to Web MD, common symptoms of scalp psoriasis are raised, erythematous or reddish, and usually scaly patches on the scalp. The publication added that scalp psoriasis may pop up as a single patch or more and may even involve the entire scalp. Prolonged infection with the skin condition may lead to its spread to the forehead, behind the ears, and at the back of the neck. Mild scalp psoriasis may involve slight or fine scaling while in moderate to severe cases, common symptoms include silvery-white scales, dandruff-like flaking, itching, burning and sore scalp, dry scalp, and hair loss.

While scalp psoriasis may be challenging in terms of aesthetics, diagnosis, and treatment, there are topical agents and medications available for the treatment of the skin condition. According to Medicine net, getting rid of the scale in a “nontraumatic” approach is vital in the management of scalp psoriasis. As per the publication, this can be done by shampooing the hair and the scalp regularly using shampoos that have selenium, tar, and salicylic acid. For people with thick scales, shampooing the hair and the scalp may be done at least two times a day, initially. In addition, it is important to use the fingertips when shampooing the scalp, and not the nails, to avoid causing scratches or irritation to the scalp.

Scalp psoriasis itself is not responsible for hair loss, according to Web MD. However, scratching the area very hard or several times, picking at the scaly spots, applying harsh treatment, along with stress, can lead to hair loss. Although people who have scalp psoriasis may lose their hair, it eventually goes back after the skin is treated.

Ensuring that the scalp is naturally dry in a good way also factors in in scalp psoriasis management. According to Mind Body Green, using a scalp moisturizing treatment once a week can get rid of scalp redness, in addition to its great smell and fun experience in making it. The publication suggested using one to two teaspoons of vitamin E oil or one to two tablespoons aloe vera, along with one drop of lavender, peppermint, or tea tree oil. The ingredients are mixed and are massaged into the scalp, leaving them for 30 to 60 minutes. Then, the hair is shampooed with a gentle aloe vera shampoo, followed with an aloe vera conditioner.

Nutrition also contributes to the management of scalp psoriasis. According to Healthline, dietary supplements may also aid in the management of scalp psoriasis, internally. The publication said that vitamin D, milk thistle, fish oil, and evening primrose oil do help as home remedies for the skin condition; however, supplements should not be taken if they interfere with other pre-existing health conditions or if they cause harmful side effects. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, using olive or vegetable oil also helps get rid of skin psoriasis as well as eliminating fatty foods and red meat. The publication also recommended the intake of nuts, soy, cranberries, and chocolates as foods that help manage the condition.

With scalp psoriasis affecting the head, which contains other sensitive body parts like the eyes and the brain, it is recommended to consult a physician for medical advice and possible medication prescription.