Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. This condition can affect any part of the skin, but it is very common on the scalp. Often, psoriasis lesions are accompanied by intense itching. In this article, we explain how to alleviate scalp psoriasis.
In brief, scalp psoriasis.
Scalp psoriasis is very common. It is the most affected area by psoriasis in both children and adults. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of patients suffering from psoriasis develop scalp psoriasis.
Generally, psoriasis plaques on the scalp are distributed in an asymmetricalmanner. They are observed along the hairline, at the back of the neck, and behind the ears, appearing like a band around the head. The involvement of the entire scalp is much less common. According to studies, up to 70% of patients also complain of itching.
Psoriasis lesions on the scalp being highly visible, they can be a source of stigmatization and rejection. The itching can significantly impair the quality of life of those affected by disrupting social relationships or even sleep. Moreover, scratching worsens psoriasis lesions. Therefore, it is essential to adopt the right practices to alleviate scalp psoriasis.
Actions to adopt to alleviate scalp psoriasis.
If you notice itchy red patches on your scalp, the first instinct should be to consult your dermatologist so they can provide a diagnosis. They will suggest a suitable treatment to help you manage your psoriasis effectively. However, in addition to these treatments, there are daily habits that can help alleviate psoriasis.
Be gentle with your scalp.
Scalps with psoriasis are sensitive. Therefore, it is necessary to be meticulous in the choice of hair care products. Choose a shampoo that is very gentle, soap-free and with a physiological pH. Ideally, opt for a shampoo containing anti-itching active ingredients (thermal water, pre or postbiotics). Regarding styling accessories, favor the use of a brush with soft bristles.
If your psoriasis plaques are located on the forehead, behind the ears, or on the back of the neck, do not hesitate to use a emollient balm to reduce the scales. Ultimately, it is strongly advised against using heating devices that can damage the scalp. Opt for drying with warm air or air drying.
Avoid scratching as much as possible.
Scratching is a normal response to psoriasis lesions and it is often difficult to control. However, scratching irritates the skin and worsens the lesions. Therefore, it is important to avoid scratching as much as possible. One solution is the use ofthermal water. Originating from underground sources, thermal waters are naturally enriched with minerals and trace elements that allow for therapeutic use. They possess healing, restorative, and soothing properties. Therefore, the use of thermal water can help alleviate itching. Spray the thermal water generously on your scalp to benefit from its soothing properties. For optimal effectiveness, keep your thermal water in the refrigerator.
Some medicinal treatments proposed by professionals can space out flare-ups over several months or even years. They are administered based on the severity of its onset.
STREIT V. & al. Scalp psoriasis Journal of German Society of Dermatology (2011).
TSAI T.F. Managing scalp psoriasis: An evidence-based review. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2017).