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Scalp Psoriasis: Causes, Types, and Effective Management

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While it's not life-threatening, living with psoriasis can be challenging and it can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. This rapid turnover of skin cells leads to the accumulation of thick, elevated, scaly plaques. The skin cell cycle normally takes about 28 to 40 days depending on a person’s age. The skin cell cycle in those that have psoriasis can take place over 3 to 7 days. These plaques appear differently on different skin tones, they could be pink, red, dark brown or purplish grey. Psoriasis is often very itchy but not everyone with psoriasis reports this symptom.

Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that can vary in severity, with periods of flare-ups and remission.

Causes of Psoriasis: The exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, but it's believed to be related to an overactive immune system. Several factors can trigger or exacerbate psoriasis, including:

  • Genetics: A family history of psoriasis increases the risk of developing the condition.

  • Stress: High stress levels can trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms.

  • Infections: Infections like strep throat can lead to guttate psoriasis.

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as lithium or beta-blockers, can worsen psoriasis in some individuals.

Effective Management Strategies: While there is no cure for psoriasis many people will find it hard to manage without specialist treatment. There are several strategies to manage and alleviate its symptoms:

  1. Topical Treatments: Creams, ointments, and shampoos containing, salicylic acid, cade oil, or dermatological topical medication can help reduce inflammation and scale build up. Due to the fact the scale is so tightly adherent, it is not advisable to try and remove the scale manually. Treatments are formulated to help remove the scale without causing damage to the scalp, which could lead to hair loss.

  2. Phototherapy: UVB light therapy administered under medical supervision can slow the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. Supplements of vitamin D3 help in the management of the condition.

  3. Oral Medications: In severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe oral medications to manage psoriasis.

  4. Lifestyle Changes: Stress management techniques, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding triggers like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help manage psoriasis.

  5. Support Groups: Joining a support group or seeking counselling can help you cope with the emotional aspects of living with psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that requires ongoing management. By understanding its causes, recognising its types, and implementing effective strategies for symptom management, you can take control of your psoriasis and improve your overall quality of life.

A Trichologist can help in the treatment of scalp psoriasis. In severe cases a referral to a dermatologist may be necessary for prescription medication options and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Remember, with the right approach, psoriasis can be effectively managed, allowing you to enjoy healthy, comfortable skin.

CURLiD recommended products:

Pre-Shampoo Treatment: A deep Exfoliating Scalp Cream which helps to remove thick, tight excessive skin cells often experienced with conditions such as extreme dandruff, Seborrheic Dermatitis/Eczema and Psoriasis.

Shampoo: The Lavender Rehydrating Shampoo is designed to lubricate and rehydrate textured hair types.

Post Shampoo scalp lotion: The Scalp Lotion is an antiseptic after shampoo lotion, designed to help with the management of scaly and itchy conditions such as Dandruff, Seborrheic Dermatitis/Eczema.

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