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Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis · Dermatologist NYCScalp psoriasis can be uncomfortable, painful and embarrassing. A specialized form of psoriasis, scalp psoriasis is also one of the more misunderstood skin disorders today. It’s not due to bad hygiene or using the wrong shampoo; it happens when your skin rapidly multiplies and creates irritated areas on your scalp. The cells can multiply up to 10 times faster than normal.

Scalp psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that may plague you for only a few years or could continue for your entire life. It can be a consistent problem or it can come and go in aggressive flare-ups. While it’s not contagious, it can be unsightly and lead to self-esteem issues.

It’s frequently uncomfortable and often painful. Because it’s misdiagnosed as dry skin, eczema, or dandruff, it can get worse without proper treatment. Make an appointment with your Manhattan dermatologist to create a treatment plan to both keep symptoms to a minimum and reduce the number of flare-ups.

Psoriasis should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.

Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis

Symptoms of this condition vary in frequency and severity. The most common symptoms of scalp psoriasis include:

  • Inflamed, itchy, red skin that’s sometimes covered in scales
  • Silvery, scaly patches on irritated skin
  • Small, red spots
  • Dry skin that can crack and bleed
  • Pain in your joints or joint stiffness
  • Problems with your nails
  • Thick patches of skin
  • Inflamed tendons
  • Flakes of skin caught in your hair that are sometimes mistaken for dandruff

Plaque Scalp Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of scalp psoriasis. It’s characterized by red areas of skin growth that have white or silvery scales on top. It can be embarrassing, as skin flakes off and becomes caught in your hair. This condition is itchy and can become painful if not treated.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dermatologist in New York City. It’s very difficult to get rid of without medical intervention. Additionally, your dermatologist can give you recommendations to reduce painful flare-ups.

Scalp Psoriasis Causes

Scalp psoriasis is a skin disease that’s completely different for each person. Little is understood about what causes the symptoms, severity and frequency of this disease. Some possible causes of scalp psoriasis include:

  • Genetics: Only about three percent of people with psoriasis report family members with the same condition, but genetics remains a possible cause.
  • Environmental factors: These factors include lifestyle, stress, medications, injuries and infections. Remember that how you live affects your entire health.

Scalp psoriasis is a chronic disease that can flare up from time to time. The severity changes depending on your personal health. Because it’s closely tied to your immune system, there are a number of medical conditions that can make your scalp psoriasis worse:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Mental or mood disorders
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Dry skin or irritated skin
  • Skin and other infections
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Some medications

Diagnosis

Scalp psoriasis is an aggravating and often painful disease that can be difficult to diagnose. It can look similar to other diseases such as rashes, eczema, or fungal infections. Only a dermatology specialist can accurately diagnose the condition.

Make an appointment with your New York City dermatologist as soon as you experience symptoms. As with most skin conditions, the earlier you treat the issue, the easier it is to reduce side effects and prevent future complications.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Scalp Psoriasis

You can make a number of changes in your diet and lifestyle that help reduce the frequency and severity of scalp psoriasis outbreaks. Your dermatologist in midtown Manhattan can direct you to the most helpful for you, depending on your personal condition and body. For example, some alternatives may include:

  • Dietary supplements: Omega 3 oils, vitamin D, aloe, primrose oil, and milk thistle are thought to help with scalp psoriasis.
  • Epsom salt and oatmeal bath soaks: These help to remove scaling, but be sure to apply moisturizer immediately after because they pull moisture from the skin.
  • Prevent dry skin and scalp: Use moisturizing lotions and shampoos specifically meant for your skin and scalp.
  • Avoid perfumed shampoos and conditioners: The perfumes in cosmetic products are a common irritant that can worsen your scalp psoriasis. Use natural products whenever possible.
  • Eat healthful foods: Diet is extremely important in managing scalp psoriasis. Some foods can actually be a trigger and make your psoriasis worse. Others can help and reduce symptoms. Reduce or eliminate bad fats and processed food.
  • Reduce alcohol intake: Alcohol can be a trigger for all types of psoriasis.
  • Reduce stress: Stress is one of the most common triggers for psoriasis. Try reducing stressful things in your life and incorporating meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga.
  • Incorporate turmeric into your diet: Turmeric has been shown to minimize symptoms and flare-ups for all forms of psoriasis. Add a little to your meals or take supplements.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking increases your likelihood of developing psoriasis and making symptoms more severe.

Treating Scalp Psoriasis

There are a number of treatments for psoriasis that can help with flare-ups and symptoms. For mild scalp psoriasis, try:

  • Coal tar shampoos: Used as directed, they reduce itching and inflammation.
  • Salicylic acid ointments: These topical creams soften scales and make them easier to remove.
  • Oral medications: Your dermatologist may use these in conjunction with topical treatments.
  • Medicated shampoo: There are both coal tar and non-coal tar options.
  • Intralesional steroid injections: Done at your dermatologist’s office, these shots reduce inflammation.

For moderate or severe scalp psoriasis, try these suggestions:

  • Anthralin cream: This natural product was derived from goa powder.
  • Calcipotriene cream: This topical ointment has lots of vitamin D.
  • Calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate ointment: This topical cream combines a steroid medication with vitamin D.
  • Tazarotene gel: This topical contains a lot of vitamin A.

No single treatment is better than the others. Scalp psoriasis is a condition that differs from person to person in such a way that you need a personalized treatment plan to get and keep your psoriasis under control. Your best dermatologist in Manhattan NYC determines the best treatment based on your condition. Find more detailed information about all these scalp psoriasis treatments.

Psoriasis should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Scalp Psoriasis? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, best dermatologist in Manhattan NYC, Dr. James Taft of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC office for consultation with cosmetic and laser dermatologist.

Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
Dr. James Taft (Laser Cosmetic Dermatology of NY)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 411
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 889-2402

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class dermatologist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.