What Can You Do About Scalp Psoriasis Right Now?

There are numerous types of psoriasis, and one of them is scalp psoriasis. By its name, Scalp Psoriasis occurs in the scalp and causes some extreme itchy, sore, and scaly white and red patches.

But don’t you worry, as this one is not a communicable disease, meaning this disease is not transferable by touch, air, or anything.

There are several options for treating Scalp Psoriasis, but more than that is the prevention that can be done to avoid future episodes.

Scalp psoriasis is an inflammatory disease caused by the scalp skin that affects the adult population aged 15 to 25. But it can be found in children too, and it is seen that this skin disease touches the peak around 5 – 8 years old in children.

Does Scalp Psoriasis Cause Hair Loss?

Scalp Psoriasis appears as white and red itchy scales that turn into slightly raised bumps combined to form plaques on the scalp. As the disease becomes severe, it can also cause a loss of scalp hair.

Does Scalp Psoriasis Prevent hair growth?

Although the scalp is thick skin, the itchy and rough scalp is caused by intense rubbing, leading to hair fall as a result. But nothing to worry about; lost hair will return if the disease remains controlled and the scalp is looked after properly. 

There is a myth that leads people to believe that scalp psoriasis is nothing but extreme dryness and dandruff of the scalp and most people who are not aware of the seriousness of this issue don’t give it much attention.

However, when the problem exceeds a whole new level and starts to cover the forehead, neck, or area around the ears, people should consult a professional. Otherwise, they will keep implementing their own treatment methods to eradicate dandruff, which is not the main problem.

Meanwhile, researchers have proven that scalp psoriasis is caused by an issue related to the immune system. It is known that the skin goes through a process called cell turnover. And in this process, the skin cells grow rapidly and rise to the surface of the skin.

This process normally happens over the course of a month, but in people who have psoriasis, it happens over the course of just a few days, leading to those dry thick, scaly patches on the scalp.

What Are the Causes of Scalp Psoriasis?

Scalp Psoriasis like other types of psoriasis on the skin, is related to the genetic anomalies that affect parts of the immune system, and hence the disease takes over the skin. Psoriasis is known to develop when the immune system sends a wrong signal to the body.

The signals are sent to the cells, and hence the cell production there is multiplied, leading to excessive cell production on the skin’s surface, and scaly whites on the skin are formed.

In a normal person’s scalp, the cell formation takes weeks and usually a month, but people with psoriasis have the cell formation multiplied, and it happens over the course of a few days. This makes it quite difficult for the skin to shed the excessive cells produced.

The cause for this is still unknown; what most researchers suggest is that there is a connection link. It can be related to someone in the family with scalp psoriasis or any psoriasis; for that reason, you have a higher risk of developing this extremely stressful scalp psoriasis.

Keeping in mind that the scalp is a heavy hair-bearing area, and this is why there are issues and delays in its diagnosis and treatment. 

Undoubtedly, some risk factors trigger this problem’s initial development in genetically defected individuals.

But the thing that we hear the most about scalp psoriasis is “emotional stress.” However, no scientifically proven studies show that stress even plays a causal or at least is the reason to exacerbate psoriasis.

Risk factors that contribute to Scalp Psoriasis

A lot of reasons are there that might be the ones to increase further and intensify the disease but they are not the real causes.

These might include:

  • deep injury on the skin, such as a burn, cut, or bruises
  • infection, or strep throat
  • Being stressed may worsen the symptoms or trigger them for the first time
  • the use of some medications, that might trigger the disease for the first time, such as Indomethacin, that is primarily used for treating arthritis or Quinidine, a cardio-related medication
  • Allergies that attack the skin
  • Extremely dry or cold weather conditions

The factors that are proven or are connected somehow to affect the immune system are:

  • Family history

Family history is the main and a proven risk factor as this condition runs in genetics that is family.

Having one parent or grandparent with psoriasis clearly increases your risk of inheriting the disease, while having both of the parents with psoriasis makes you the one with even more risk.

  • Smoking

Smoking tobacco and consumption of alcohol not only increases your risk of acquiring psoriasis but can also be the reason that increases the severity of the disease. Smoking may also be a huge contributor in triggering the initial development of the disease.

Important Scalp Psoriasis Triggers to Avoid

Some people may be free from any symptoms for many years until this disease is triggered by the usual factors. Common scalp psoriasis triggers may include the following things:

  • Infections at some point might become dangerous and start affecting the skin in the form of scalp psoriasis.
  • As the extremely dry and cold weather causes dandruff and rough dry skin conditions so this might lead to psoriasis.
  • Skin injuries such a deep cut scratch, bug bites, or sunburns might become a trigger
  • Stress affects the immune system and this disease is also a result of a default in the immune system
  • Smoking
  • Heavy and regular alcohol consumption
  • Medications that alter blood pressure, for cardio, arthritis and a few antimalarial drugs
  • Rapid withdrawal from the use of corticosteroids

How To Prevent Scalp Psoriasis?

Scalp Psoriasis tends to damage your scalp making it extremely and painfully itchy and unbearable doesn’t seem to spare hair on it. Scalp psoriasis usually results in hair loss, due to the rough scalp and weak roots. However, this hair loss is only temporary.

As you might accidentally scratch your head harshly to relieve the annoying itching caused by scaling. This causes your hair to fall out. Sometimes, when we forcefully try to remove the scales to clear our scalp the hair fall out and it repeats and thus hair loss is there.

But if you find an effective and long term solution to this problem your hair will grow back normally for sure.

To prevent the annoying scalp itching that results in hair loss, try to follow these tips:

  • Use a conditioner regularly to keep your scalp moisturized and peaceful
  • Limit the use of heating tools, such as blow dryers, straighteners or tongs when styling your hair.
  • Make use of hair products that contain menthol in them so that it gives off a cooling effect.
  • Make a habit of pressing a wet towel or ice against the itchy scalp.

While you can’t totally prevent psoriasis hair thinning and breakouts, you can manage the condition well by following these tips and most of all consulting your doctor about ways to manage your stress level, alcohol intake, different medications, and other major or minor changes in your health.

How To Treat Scalp Psoriasis?

Scalp psoriasis is somewhat hectic to treat because of the scalp that is covered with sufficient hair acting as a major barrier for any medications. It requires a lot of patience and effort to find the best suitable treatment that works well with you.

However, the good news is that there are many treatment options available for the scalp psoriasis. Some are as follows:

  • OTC Products

Over-the-counter (OTC) products are a good source of managing the mild symptoms of scalp psoriasis. The two main active ingredients to check in OTC products will be: salicylic acid and tar.

This can be either wood or coal tar. Salicylic type of acid is known to soften the plaques and tough scales formed and remove them gently from the skin. Moreover, using tar to your hair might sound a bit strange but it helps to slow down the cell growth. 

  • Topicals

Topical treatments means the usage of professionally recommended medicated shampoos, steroids and tars. As here we are discussing the scalp psoriasis and hair is a big obstacle in the way for treating the scalp with some topical treatment. Your dermatologist or any other professional would prescribe you the shampoo and its proper usage and how frequently it should be used. So that the topical treatments effect gradually to treat psoriasis .

  • UV light

Another solution to eradicate or at least lessen the scalp psoriasis, the use of ultraviolet (UV) rays is recommended. It helps as well to slow down the skin cell growth. Photo-therapy devices that are built for scalp psoriasis have integrated combs that help UV rays to reach the scalp.

  • Oral treatments

Oral treatments and biologics are often used to cure scalp psoriasis on areas beyond your scalp that is neck or around the ears. It also helps when no other treatment option is working on you.

  • Herbal treatments

Some herbal treatments also help gradually in easing out on your itching or treating the scalp psoriasis in the long term.

  • Oatmeal
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Tea tree oil shampoo
  • Dead sea salts
  • Turmeric


Scalp Psoriasis is not an easy thing to handle, but thanks to modern medicine and many trials throughout the years, there are already some effective methods for dealing with it.

Even with those it should not be a neglected disease, as it’s symptoms can have devastating consequences. Always follow your doctor’s advice and embrace Scalp Psoriasis wisely.