Treatment Options For Psoriasis On The Scalp

Psoriasis scalp treatments

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Psoriasis on the scalp can be a challenging condition to manage, affecting individuals both physically and emotionally. Understanding the various treatment options available is crucial for effectively dealing with this condition.

Overview of Psoriasis on the Scalp

Psoriasis on the scalp is a common skin condition characterized by the rapid growth of skin cells that leads to the formation of thick, red patches covered with silvery scales. Common symptoms include itching, burning sensation, and flaking of the scalp skin. In some cases, scalp psoriasis can also cause hair loss.

Differences from Psoriasis on Other Parts of the Body

Scalp psoriasis differs from psoriasis on other parts of the body in terms of symptoms and treatment. The presence of hair on the scalp can make it challenging to treat and manage scalp psoriasis effectively. Additionally, the use of certain medications or treatments may not be suitable for the scalp area due to the risk of hair damage.

Prevalence and Impact

Scalp psoriasis affects a significant number of individuals worldwide, with estimates suggesting that around 50% of people with psoriasis have scalp involvement. The impact of scalp psoriasis on individuals can be both physical and emotional, as the visible symptoms can cause embarrassment and affect self-esteem. It is essential for individuals with scalp psoriasis to seek appropriate treatment to manage the condition effectively and improve their quality of life.

Treatment Options for Psoriasis on the Scalp

Psoriasis scalp treatments
Psoriasis on the scalp can be challenging to manage, but there are several treatment options available to help alleviate symptoms and improve the condition of the skin.

Medicated Shampoos and Topical Treatments

Medicated shampoos containing ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, or ketoconazole can effectively reduce scaling and inflammation on the scalp. These shampoos are usually used in combination with topical treatments like corticosteroids or calcipotriene to help control psoriasis plaques on the scalp.


Phototherapy, also known as light therapy, involves exposing the scalp to specific wavelengths of light to reduce inflammation and slow down the growth of skin cells. This treatment option can be effective for scalp psoriasis that does not respond well to other treatments. However, it is essential to follow the recommendations of a healthcare provider to prevent potential side effects and ensure the best results.

Oral Medications and Biologics for Scalp Psoriasis

Treatment options for psoriasis on the scalp
Oral medications and biologics play a crucial role in treating severe cases of scalp psoriasis. These treatment options are often recommended when topical treatments have not been effective in managing the condition.

Oral Medications for Scalp Psoriasis

Oral medications such as methotrexate and cyclosporine are commonly prescribed for severe scalp psoriasis. These medications work by suppressing the immune system’s overactivity, which plays a key role in the development of psoriasis. Methotrexate interferes with the growth of skin cells, while cyclosporine helps to reduce inflammation.

  • Methotrexate: This oral medication is usually taken once a week and can help to slow down the rapid growth of skin cells associated with psoriasis. It is important to monitor liver function and blood counts regularly while taking methotrexate due to potential side effects.
  • Cyclosporine: Another oral medication, cyclosporine is known for its immunosuppressive properties. It works by inhibiting the activity of immune cells that contribute to the inflammation seen in psoriasis. Regular monitoring of blood pressure and kidney function is essential during treatment with cyclosporine.

It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and monitoring schedule closely when taking oral medications for scalp psoriasis to minimize the risk of side effects.

Biologics for Scalp Psoriasis, Treatment options for psoriasis on the scalp

Biologics such as adalimumab and ustekinumab are a newer class of medications that target specific components of the immune system involved in the development of psoriasis. These medications are often used when other treatments have not been effective or well-tolerated.

  • Adalimumab: This biologic works by targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein involved in inflammation. By blocking TNF, adalimumab helps to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, including those affecting the scalp.
  • Ustekinumab: Another biologic, ustekinumab targets interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23, two proteins that play a role in the immune response seen in psoriasis. By blocking these proteins, ustekinumab helps to alleviate the symptoms of scalp psoriasis.

Biologics are typically administered through injections and require regular monitoring for potential side effects, including increased risk of infections and allergic reactions.

Side Effects and Risks

Both oral medications and biologics for scalp psoriasis carry potential side effects and risks that need to be carefully considered before starting treatment. These may include:

  • Increased risk of infections due to suppression of the immune system.
  • Liver toxicity and kidney damage with long-term use of certain medications.
  • Allergic reactions, injection site reactions, or flu-like symptoms with biologics.
  • Monitoring of blood counts, liver function, and kidney function is essential to detect and manage these potential side effects.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies for Managing Scalp Psoriasis

Treatment options for psoriasis on the scalp

Managing scalp psoriasis at home involves a combination of proper hair care, hygiene practices, diet and nutrition adjustments, and stress management techniques to help reduce flare-ups and alleviate symptoms.

Proper Hair Care and Hygiene Practices

  • Avoid harsh shampoos and opt for gentle, fragrance-free products to prevent irritation.
  • Gently massage the scalp when washing hair to remove scales and reduce buildup.
  • Avoid scratching or picking at psoriasis patches to prevent further irritation and infection.
  • Use a soft brush or comb to avoid damaging the scalp and worsening symptoms.

Role of Diet and Nutrition

  • Include foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, to help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts may help improve skin health and reduce psoriasis symptoms.
  • Avoid trigger foods that may exacerbate psoriasis symptoms, such as processed foods, alcohol, and sugary snacks.

Stress Management Techniques

  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to reduce stress levels, which can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
  • Engage in regular physical activity to help manage stress and improve overall well-being.
  • Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to cope with stress and emotional challenges related to psoriasis.

Final Summary

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In conclusion, exploring the diverse treatment options for psoriasis on the scalp opens up a world of possibilities for those seeking relief. By combining medical interventions with lifestyle adjustments, individuals can take proactive steps towards managing their scalp psoriasis and improving their quality of life.

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