Psoriasis is a bothersome skin problem that affects many people. The condition leads to the development of raised, red colored patches bordered with silver scales. The disease may affect any part of the body, especially, scalp, elbows, under the ears, under the knees and more. However, the most painful of all is psoriasis on scalp.
What is psoriasis on scalp?
Psoriasis on scalp is essentially a manifestation of the condition, psoriasis. The symptoms of the disease, in this condition are observed on the scalp. The evident symptoms of this condition are evidence of thick silvery patches comprising of dead skin cells on the entire scalp, unusual itching, soreness on the affected regions of the scalp, tightness on the affected region and sometimes bleeding observed in the itchy areas. It is important to know that psoriasis on scalp is not a contagious disease but a result of hereditary conditions. The disease is likely to worsen on constant scratching or combing the affected regions. The condition may hamper sexual endeavors of couples and hence may crush ones self-esteem and relationships.
Signs of psoriasis on scalp
Psoriasis on scalp may manifest in the form of abnormalities of sorts on the scalp, some of the most common being, flaky skin, inflamed red patches on the scalp, itchiness, pain and swelling. Apart from these, the subject may also suffer from symptoms like pain on the affected region, bleeding, uncontrollable tingling sensation and numbness. During a severe attack of psoriasis on scalp, one may experience development of thick and crusted plaques which may cover the entire scalp area. Further, the symptoms of this condition may extend onto the forehead, under the ears and on the neck.
Causes of psoriasis on scalp
According to experts, similar to other forms of psoriasis, psoriasis on scalp is a condition which occurs due to malfunctions in the body’s immune system. In particular, during the onset of the condition, the immune system misinterprets the skin as a foreign invasion and hence sets out to attack the skin. The T-cells under wrong impression attack the scalp, thus causing it to become inflamed and flaky. In order to save itself from the damage, the scalp gives rise to a vigorous production of new skin cells. This action leads to the overcrowding of skin cells which results into the emergence of plaques. The disease is further likely to spread due to genetic dispositions passed from the parents to the offspring.
Emotional impact of scalp psoriasis
The appearance of the flaky and inflamed patches on the scalp may become a potent cause of embarrassment for many. The condition is likely to affect the intimacy between the couples and may further crush their self-confidence. People unaware of the condition may mock at the sufferer for an abnormality which may further crush the subject’s self-esteem.
Diagnosing psoriasis on scalp
Psoriasis on scalp is considerably easy for a dermatologist to diagnose, the first and foremost method being a close examination of the red inflamed patches. No further test may be required to confirm the attack of psoriasis, unless the patient is suffering from other similar skin condition as well, like eczema. In this case, the skin biopsy may be conducted wherein a trace of the affected skin region may be scalloped and sent to the laboratory to check for the presence of dead skin cells.
Treatment of scalp psoriasis
The treatment for psoriasis on scalp may get rotated and repeated after some interval as the condition is likely to become least responsive to the frequent injection of the medicines. This kind of treatment is better known as the systematic treatment.
Treatment for mild psoriasis on scalp
For mild bouts of psoriasis on scalp medicinal products like salicylic acid and tar products may be used for the treatment. There are numerous specialized psoriasis shampoos comprising of coal tar which may used to relieve the lesions on the scalp. When the condition has affected only certain regions, these may be injected with steroid medications.
Treatment for severe scalp psoriasis
In case of a severe attack of psoriasis on scalp, one may be given a completely different treatment plan for bringing the condition under control. The topical treatment for the same may include injection of medicines like Dovonex, Tazorac, Anthralin and Taclonex. Other than these medicines, other possible treatment for the condition include the subjection of Methotrexate, Oral retinoids, Cyclosporine and Biologics.
Ultra Violet Light Treatment
In the combination with the above mentioned medications, the sufferer may be subjected to Ultra Violet Light Treatment as well. In the treatment, high intensity Ultra Violet rays are beamed at the affected region of the scalp. Normally, the subject is asked to shave off his hair or divide the hair into several partitions so that the UV rays may directly reach the inflamed region of the scalp.
Is it safe to brush hair during psoriasis on scalp?
Contrary to the belief, brushing and combing the hair is not only necessary but even strictly advised to the patients of scalp psoriasis. However, one needs to be gentle while running the comb through the hair, lest locks get uprooted. This way, the hair would be brushed and the unwanted scales would get removed from the scalp.
Basic Hints to help you manage your scalp psoriasis
- Follow-up of certain preventive measures may help you to tackle the condition of psoriasis on scalp easily.
- Always brush your hair at least twice a day with large spaced comb.
- Always make gentle strokes of the comb through your hair.
- Keep a good stock of pillow covers especially during the time when you are availing a treatment
- Always follow the instructions for the treatment of psoriasis.
- Inform your health care practitioner immediately if any of the medicinal treatments is causing irritation or other discomfort.
- You may try different kinds of hairstyles to help you cover the lesions on the scalp.
Psoriasis on scalp or any other form should not be a cause of social embarrassment any more owing to the numerous treatments available.