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How to Get Rid of Scalp Scales and Crust Flakes:Psoriasis And More

Updated on August 11, 2012

Scalp scales and crust flakes are symptoms of a common skin condition called psoriasis. Psoriasis affects more than five million people in the United States. The red scalp scales and itchy, dry crust flakes can make anyone with this condition feel like a social outcast. Psoriasis affects male and female usually between the ages of 10 and 40 years old. This condition often goes into remission but then suddenly flares up again with no apparent reason.

Although the cause is considered unknown a faulty digestive system is suspected. More specifically, a digestive system that is highly acidic with an unhealthy ratio of good to bad intestinal bacteria.

A diet high in white flour products, refined sugar and processed foods lead to a takeover of good bacteria by bad bacteria which eventually leads to a number of health conditions. Unhealthy fats are considered a main contributors to psorisasis. In countries where diets are low in these fats, the condition is rare.

Constipation is another problem that contributes to psoriasis because it allows toxins to be reabsorbed into are bodies. Many people have some degree of constipation and don't even realize it. If you eat a low fiber diet with inadequate fluid intake during the day chances are you have some degree of constipation. Fortunately, our bodies have another method of elimination through the skin.

Unfortunately, there can be serious side effects like scalp scales and crust flakes. Triggers for psoriasis include stress, viral and bacterial infections, beta blockers, anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics. Adding any of these to an overloaded digestive system will quickly bring the onset of symptoms. Traditional treatments include drugs such as methotrexate which can cause liver damage with long term use and cortisone creams which thin the skin.

To be successful at overcoming psoriasis permanently, it is important to identify and eliminate any food sensitivities because they increase inflammation and make the digestive system work even harder. The most common food sensitivities have been identified as eggs, wheat and cow's milk products. In Europe, many doctors use a Vega machine to diagnose and treat food allergies. One of the most common triggers for psoriasis is stress. Learning stress reduction techniques can help alleviate symptoms. Stretching, deep breathing, meditation and getting out in nature and taking a walk.

Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong foods will quickly bring balance to an acidic digestive system. The right foods are high in fiber and when combined with adequate filtered water intake throughout the day constipation will be eliminated. A diet of 70 percent raw fruit and vegetables with 15 percent cooked vegetables and the rest whole grains, seeds almonds and beans will cleanse the digestive system and restore proper balance to intestinal bacteria.

Foods to avoid are refined sugars, red meat, animal fat, fried foods, soda pop, coffee and high acid, canned fruits such as strawberries, pineapple, and tomatoes. While bad fats are linked to the onset of psoriasis, healthy cold-pressed fats such as flax seed, borage, olive, salmon, evening primrose, sesame and halibut oil have been found to prevent eruptions.

Useful supplements are probiotics such as acidophilus to help restore balance of intestinal healthy bacteria. The product should always be found in refrigerated section of health store. Herbs which will help eliminate toxic debris from the body are dandelion, barberry, milk thistle, Oregon grape root, burdock, cleavers and clover. They can often be found in a combination digestive cleanse formulation.

Apple Cider Vinegar is effective in loosening scalp scales, reducing legions and eliminating itching. Homeopathic sulfur is effective in treating red and itchy skin. Vitamins A and D, and zinc and selenium also help heal psoriasis. B vitamins enhance liver function and reduce stress. Topical formulas that can be used to help relieve symptoms are licorice and chamomile creams. Effective compresses to loosen and soften scales are comfrey and stinging nettle.


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    • profile image

      islandboi 5 years ago

      I have had eczema all my life. Now I have scales in patches on my scalp. A friend who cuts hair told me it looked like cradel cap and to use olive oil. I do. I put it on, and run a comb over it. It works to take it off. Then I put aloe vera from the plant on it. It clears it, but doesn't heal it. I am going to try no sugar and probiotics as well.

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      ugly child puppy 6 years ago

      I hate my head, scratch till i see my brain.

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      Juji 6 years ago

      Very informative.I'm sedate and have this problem, let me try to implement some of the solutions and come back to the forum again...

    • profile image

      paddytoo 6 years ago

      I have never suffered any skin conditions but in February this year my scalp began to itch like mad and I noticed dandruff - which I have never had previous. I bought dandruff shampoo which made no difference at all. After a month, I visited my GP who thought that I may have psoriasis of the scalp and prescribed Betacap which I used as instructed.About a month later my hair started to come out so I stopped using the Betacap and was prescribed coal tar products. My hair is now thin,dry and looks lifeless. Help!! Previous to these problems I had really nice quite thick hair. I had two years of stress before the scalp problems began ie: deaths in the family, my daughter being very seriously ill and a serious house fire in which I lost almost everything. I can only look back now and believe that stress caused my scalp psoriasis.Also,the use of betacap which seemed to trigger hair loss Has anyone else experienced this and can anyone offer any advice on my scalp please. Thank you.

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      sally st clair 6 years ago

      All info, I feel is useful and can be helpful. I have suffered from scalp psoriasis as well as on my body since the age of 16 and I am now 45. When living in Dallas I was being treated by the Baylor Psoriasis Center. One of the best in the world. I can tell you that yes, your diet plays a role, but more importantly, there is a psoriasis gene that usually skips every other generation. Stress plays a huge factor in triggering it. It basically has I mind of its own. It can go into remission which I have experienced, but it has been back for many years and right now is full blown since I lost my job last June along with my health insurance. Dead sea salt and oatmeal baths are soothing, but with limited relief. Search your family history and I know for a fact, you will find many family members who have or had suffered from this annoying skin disorder.

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      Tyler 6 years ago

      Diet is absolutely linked to skin problems. Maybe not all symptoms of all people are going to magically go away by changes to their diet, or even that diet is the "cause" of the skin problems fundamentally. Yet, that does not say that there is not a strong connection between diet and skin. Certainly there are many toxic substances that will quickly demonstrate this fact should you swallow them.

      However, as a more grounded example, after 12 years of trying many changes to my diet in the interest of my scaly and prolific dry skin on my scalp and face going away, I never found what exactly would put this problem into remission on call. This did not change the fact that I could see patterns of skin variations in response to diet; worsening with consumption of fatty meats and deep fried food, sugar and sweets, and white wine and hard alcohol. But I have not been satisfied as even taking those items out of my diet did not stop the issue. I have finally found two significant patterns:

      1. If I stop eating, or significantly reduce the amount I eat, my skin clears up. Ok, not very practical, even dangerous. But that puts the nail in the coffin in terms of the argument of whether the skin problems "are linked to diet". Again, I don't claim the food is the cause of the fundamental issue, or even that an unhealthy digestive system is the fundamental, but it does strongly argue, if there is not something more fundamental, then it can be the diet and/or it can be the digestive system inadequately functioning. Everything in our bodies is integrally linked, so an immune issue, or other system in an unhealthy state, could be the fundamental issue, while the digestive system is impeded from normal operation as a consequence.

      2. Eating late is the next most consistent pattern I have come to recognize as leading to skin issues flaring up. Obviously some cultures seem to operate fine with meals 8pm or later, but these are people who over many years may have adapted and are from a different climate and sleeping pattern than I. Also, their eating quantities, combined with timing, are significantly different.

      The main point I have come to is recognizing that my diet does affect my skin, and I can purposefully modulate that now with consistency. I am still trying to determine whether I can maintain my nutritional requirements with a specific diet while putting it into remission, but maybe there is something more to the problem.

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      Shane 6 years ago

      TO Graham and Martha. Your body is built from and runs off the things you eat. I have psoriasis and over the passed several years I've found that my condition is very linked to what I eat and drink, the amount of exercise I'm getting, and the amount of stress I'm dealing with. This is exactly what the above article states, I wish I had encountered this information much earlier.

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      Martha 6 years ago

      Graham, I agree with you. I had undergone holistic mind and body “care,” for about 17 years, until 2007. Twenty thousand dollars went to the "healers, and very, VERY little real and practical advice and help came to me. I no longer work with any of them. I have a spot, an itchy scale on the crown of my head on my scalp, that I cannot resist scratching. I have very sensitive skin (my mother has psoriasis; my half-brother has eczema). I have my hair colored, but wear it naturally curly, and avoid hair products that contain sulfates. This has helped somewhat. The patch has not spread. So, every time I read about someone saying, "Don't eat sugar! Don't eat white flour," I cringe. This patch on my head has lived through every holistic method under the sun. So-called "healers" take advantage of the fact that the FDA cannot stop them--for now. I might try the apple cider vinegar. But my dermatologist, not an ayurvedic "doctor," will be examining my scalp spot tomorrow.

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      Graham 6 years ago

      I think a medical professional needs to corroborate this information, due to the preponderance of false information about psoriasis.

      Psoriasis is an immune system disorder, meaning the body performs immune response on areas for no reason, leading to inflammation, lesions, scales, arthritis etc.

      I have heard claims by holistic healers that the digestive system is implicated, but I have tried many, many elimination diets over time and they have had essentially no effect on the condition, which may be genetic.

      More research must be done to corroborate the digestive link.

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      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      It worked, I passed it on and she's making the changes! Wonderful what can happen when the advice doesn't come directly from a parental unit! Thank you so very much.

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      This hub is going directly to my daughter, do not pass go, do not collect my two hundred dollars, directly to my daughter. Thank you immensely for writing this. We have been looking for some information that could be easily understood and duplicated and this is it in spades.

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      racheal 7 years ago

      thanks..god bless!!

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      amy M. 7 years ago

      thanks this made me feel a lot better.I was very stressed and thought i had head lice too.LOL now i know wat i need to do to get rid of this annoying and embarassing condition.

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      Amy 7 years ago

      I have this and its really annoying and makes my head itch a lot. I swear I felt like I had head lice until I went to the doctors and he told me I had this. So I guess all I have to do is start eating healthy to get rid of it?

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      lk 7 years ago

      Hi ayurveda(indian treaditional madicine) is really useful for psoriasis. It says the same reasons for this disease. Thanks for ur info.

    • StephanieP profile image

      StephanieP 8 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      My husband has mild psoriasis of the ears, right at the canal opening. I have been swabbing his ears with a little jojoba oil and it seems to keep it really under control. I started doing this everyday and now we do it every few days. Jojoba oil is fantastic at balancing skin moisture.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      I only thought that the cause of this are dust and sun exposure. Sure is great to have read this hub of yours.

    • G.Uriarte profile image

      G.Uriarte 8 years ago from San Francisco

      I have not seen this information anywhere else. Really helpful!

    • ccdursina profile image

      Carolina Dursina 8 years ago from Spring Green WI

      Great hub, good to know this!

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Hally Z, thanks for your comment! The skin is another way the body eliminates toxins when it can't effectively go the normal route. The result is skin conditions such as psoriasis.

    • profile image

      Hally Z. 8 years ago

      Ugh...I'm glad I don't have to worry about this condition. I wonder why the bacteria eventually affect skin, though?

    • einron profile image

      einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thank you. Didn't know that constipation affects psoriasis.

    • Happy World profile image

      Happy World 8 years ago from Slovenia, Europe

      Another good reason to live and eat healty.

      Thank you- health expert!