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How to Treat Scalp Psoriasis

Updated on August 2, 2016

Chronic plaque psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body but is most common in the folds of the skin – elbow creases, armpits, groin and backs of knees. It can also occur over the lower back and over the knees and elbows and on the scalp. Its intensity will vary between sufferers and between individual’s flares.

There are no once-and-for-all psoriasis cures and treatment aims to reduce the rash as much as possible.

In scalp psoriasis there is thick scaling and redness that can be seen at the hair line, forehead and behind the ears. The scales can look like bad dandruff with the scalp feeling itchy and tight or sore.

In severe cases there may be some temporary thinning of the hair. Don’t worry, it will grow back when the flare has subsided.

Scalp psoriasis treatment.

The first line treatment is usually a tar-based shampoo such as Tgel or Polytar and this often works well.

Some psoriasis shampoos are:

· a combination of tar shampoo with salicylic acid

· coconut oil + salicylic acid combination ointment

· a steroid preparation

· a caliptriol scalp preparation

· another combination of these.

If you have a flare of scalp psoriasis, or the scalp is covered with a thick scale, talk to your doctor about the range of treatments available and which might be best for you.

Applying scalp psoriasis treatments.

1. Part the hair in sections and apply the treatment to the scalp.

2. Work in an orderly way over the head and it may help if someone can check that you’ve covered the back and top of the scalp.

3. For the best results follow the maker’s instructions and those of your nurse.

More info here.

General care for scalp psoriasis.

· Be sure to brush and comb without scratching the scalp.

· Talk to your hairdresser about hair treatments such as colours and perms. Having scalp psoriasis doesn’t mean you can’t have these done and if necessary the hairdresser can talk to the manufacturer of the colour/perm solutions they use.

· Use a pillow protector or an old towel while using treatment as they can stain bed linen.

· Allow treatments to work – they may take weeks not days.

· Try different hairstyles to cover scaly areas.

· Discuss any new treatments available with your doctor.

· Wear light coloured clothing on your upper body to disguise falling scales.


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