Causes of Psoriasis of The Scalp That May Have You Stumped (It’s Not What You Think)

Scalp psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by raised, reddish, and often scaly patches. It can appear as a single patch or multiple patches, and it can even affect your entire scalp. It can also spread to your brow, back of your neck, and behind and inside your ears.

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It is impossible to contract scalp psoriasis from another person. Doctors believe it is caused by a problem with your immune system, which causes skin cells to grow too quickly and form patches. If you have a family history of scalp psoriasis, you are more likely to develop it.

Scalp psoriasis can be mild and virtually undetectable in certain cases. However, it can be severe, last for a long time, and cause thick, crusted sores. Itching can disrupt your sleep and daily life, and scratching excessively can lead to skin infections and hair loss. Hence, medical professionals suggest seeking consultation to address and minimize any possible discomfort that this condition brings.

Scalp Psoriasis causes

Psoriasis is presumed to be an immune system issue that causes the skin to regenerate at a faster rate than normal. This large influx of cells results in scales and red patches in the most common type of psoriasis, known as plaque psoriasis.

It’s unclear what reasons there are for the immune system to malfunction. Genetics and environmental factors, according to researchers, both play a role. The illness is not contagious.

What can trigger Scalp Psoriasis?

Many people who are predisposed to psoriasis may be symptom-free for years before the disease is triggered by an environmental factor. The following are some common psoriasis triggers:

  • Infections like strep throat and skin infections.
  • Weather, particularly cold and dry conditions.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Skin injury, such as a cut or scrape, a bug bite, or severe sunburn.
  • Stress smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Rapid discontinuation of oral or systemic corticosteroids.
  • Contraindications such as certain medications, such as lithium, blood pressure medications, and antimalarial drugs.

Risk factors of Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis can affect anyone. Approximately one-third of cases begin in childhood. The following factors may increase your chances of developing this condition:

  1. History of the family: The disease runs in families. Having one parent with psoriasis raises your chances of getting the disease, and having two parents with psoriasis raises your chances even more.
  2. Smoking: Tobacco use not only increases your risk of psoriasis, but it may also worsen the disease’s severity. Smoking may also play a role in the disease’s early development.
  3. Stress: High-stress levels may increase your risk of psoriasis because stress can affect your immune system.

Scalp Psoriasis symptoms

Mild scalp psoriasis symptoms may include only minor, fine scaling. Moderate to severe scalp psoriasis symptoms include:

  • Patches of scaliness, redness, and bumpiness
  • Hair thinning
  • Silvery/white scales
  • Soreness or burning
  • Scalp dehydration
  • Itching
  • Flaking resembling dandruff

Scalp psoriasis does not cause hair loss in and of itself, but scratching excessively or very hard, picking at the scaly spots, harsh treatments, and the stress associated with the condition can all result in temporary hair loss. Fortunately, your hair usually regrows after your skin heals, but healing also requires attention.

When should you see a doctor?

Consult your doctor if you suspect you have psoriasis. Also, consult your doctor if you have psoriasis:

  • When it becomes severe or widespread.
  • You are in pain and discomfort as a result of this.
  • Concerns you about the appearance of your skin.
  • This causes joint problems such as pain, swelling, and the inability to perform daily tasks.
  • Treatment has had no effect.

Scalp Psoriasis treatments

1)Topical treatments

The first line of defense is skin-care products such as medicated shampoos, creams, gels, lotions, foams, oils, ointments, and soaps. Some of these products are available over the counter, but others require a prescription. These treatments must be applied to your scalp, not just your hair, to be effective. Follow the instructions exactly until your skin heals, which can take up to 8 weeks.

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2) Clinical/office treatments

If you have a few areas of mild scalp psoriasis, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend injecting steroids directly into those areas.

If topical treatments do not relieve your symptoms, phototherapy with a laser or non-laser light source may help. The excimer laser, for example, focuses high-intensity light on affected areas while avoiding healthy skin in the surrounding area.

Ultraviolet (UV) light can be used to treat the entire scalp and is sometimes delivered with a hand-held device called a UV comb. If you have very thin hair or a shaved head, your doctor may advise you to spend brief periods in natural sunlight.

3) Medications for severe scalp psoriasis

If you have moderate to severe scalp psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication or one that is injected or pumped into a vein through a needle.

Oral medications include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
  • A strong form of vitamin A called a derivative (Soriatane)
  • apremilast (Otezla), a small molecule inhibitor taken twice daily

Because these medications can have serious side effects, including liver damage, they must be closely monitored by a doctor. It’s also important to understand that oral vitamin derivatives differ from – and are more potent than – over-the-counter vitamin supplements. Vitamin A and D supplements are ineffective.

Life with scalp psoriasis

Because the exact cause of scalp psoriasis is unknown, prevention is difficult. However, treating the condition as soon as symptoms appear may help to keep it from worsening. Individuals are affected differently by scalp psoriasis.

Some people have a flare-up now and then, while others have the condition regularly. If a person knows what causes their symptoms, they can try to avoid those factors. Hence it is necessary to understand the characteristics of the type of scalp psoriasis you may have, to know the optimum treatments to manage it.

Psoriasis support groups can also provide valuable advice on how to improve medical treatments and alleviate the stress and sadness that this common condition can cause!

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