Psoriasis is a common skin condition where skin cells multiply faster than normal, resulting in raised, red plaques covered in silvery scales. More than 7 million Americans have psoriasis and about half of those affected develop psoriasis on their scalp.
The condition can range from mild to severe and typically causes itching and discomfort. Symptoms of scalp psoriasis include dandruff-like flaking, dry scalp, bleeding, burning sensation or soreness, and hair loss. It can affect the entire scalp or present as one or more patches. Experts believe psoriasis is caused by a problem with the immune system, and often flare-ups are brought on by stress.
Scalp psoriasis does not directly cause hair loss, but excessive scratching and picking at the scales can lead to a temporary loss of hair. Even some of the chemicals used to treat psoriasis can cause breakage and hair loss. Once the psoriasis is treated and your skin clears, the hair usually grows back.
There are several treatment options available for people suffering from scalp psoriasis, including over-the-counter and prescription-strength topical treatments. In addition, dermatologists may prescribe light treatment or steroids. If you have questions about scalp psoriasis, talk to your doctor.
A few, simple lifestyle changes can help reduce stress and lessen flare-ups of scalp psoriasis. Try reducing your alcohol intake and avoid cold, dry weather as it’s a common trigger. Take steps to reduce your stress and avoid scratching as much as possible.
Because excessive scratching can result in hair loss, try these tips to alleviate itching:
- Use conditioner every time you shampoo to keep your scalp hydrated.
- Try using hair care products that have menthol as an ingredient.
- Avoid or decrease the use of heat styling tools like curling irons and blow dryers.
- If your scalp is irritated, hold a wet compress or a cold pack against it to reduce inflammation.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are options to help control flare-ups, manage symptoms and reduce the chances of it coming back. Your physician should be able to provide you with a treatment plan.
Once you have your psoriasis symptoms under control, Hair Club can help you with hair loss. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our trained hair loss experts today and find out which solution is right for your needs. We’ve helped more than 600,000 men and women restore their hair since 1976. Find out how we can help you, too!