For scalp psoriasis patients, a bad hair day isn’t only about the itchiness that’s characteristic of the condition. It’s also about dealing with thick, flaky skin patches that give their hair an icky look.
Scalp psoriasis can be mild or severe. Thin scales that are hardly visible characterize the former. On the one hand, people with severe cases have scales covering their scalp, the back side of the neck, the forehead, and the ears.
Most doctors have their patients use topical solutions like salicylic acid to treat this skin disorder. Other treatment options include scalp psoriasis gels, shampoos, creams, and oils available in local drugstores.
If you’re unsure of how best to manage scalp psoriasis, here are five tips to help you do so:
- Avoid Scratching The Scalp
Although psoriasis makes your scalp extremely itchy, you must avoid scratching it, as it only worsens the condition. In addition, scrubbing or rubbing the scalp during shampooing digs up the itchy spots and further induces psoriasis. Scratching also causes scalp bleeding, which might lead to hair loss.
If you can’t stand the itchiness on your psoriasis scalp, consider applying a corticosteroid on the affected areas to reduce the inflammation. Opt for a mild type and limit the application to three or four times weekly. Remember that steroid overuse can worsen your scalp psoriasis.
- Use A Scale Softener
Proper management of this condition ideally starts with applying scale-softening oils or agents on psoriasis patches before applying medication. An excellent way to use these solutions is to part the hair well to expose the scalp to target the scales directly.
After softening the scales, apply the treatment. Soft scales allow the medication to penetrate the skin with ease. Apply a pealing agent like lactic acid, salicylic acid, or urea to make scale removal easier. During treatment, part your hair section by section to avoid spreading scales.
- Keep Off Alcohol And Minty Hair Products
When washing your hair, avoid mint conditioners and shampoos. This can irritate the skin when you have psoriasis on scalp. So, choose hair products that have essential but few ingredients. Psoriatic shampoos have crucial components that aid in soothing and treating psoriasis.
Choose products that have coal tar and hydrocortisone as essential ingredients. Coal tar slows cellular proliferation while supporting the scalp to shed dead skin. Hydrocortisone, on the other hand, reduces inflammation and alleviates itching.
Besides minty products, avoid ones with alcohol as an ingredient, as it induces inflammation. Speaking of alcohol, it’d be best to steer clear of beer, wine, and spirits.
- Adhere To The Five-Minute Shampooing Rule
Washing your hair with a psoriasis shampoo goes a long way in relieving severe scalp psoriasis symptoms, including itchiness and inflammation. Soften the plaques on the scalp using warm water before applying the shampoo. Put a quarter-sized portion in your hand and rub it gently onto the wet scalp.
Leave the lather to sit for about five minutes before rinsing it out. During this time, the shampoo’s ingredients work fast to reduce scaling, itching, swelling, and discoloration. Comb the hair in a gentle circular mothing to remove loose plaques.
Avoid scratching, scrubbing, or scraping the scalp during shampoo application or rinsing.
In addition to these general directions, follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle for the best results. If you’re on prescription shampoo, talk to your doctor about how frequently you should use it.
While most psoriasis shampoos are safe, the daily application can irritate your scalp and increase sunlight sensitivity. If your scalp manifests adverse reactions, drop shampoo usage to two days per week.
- Keep Your Scalp Moisturized
A dry scalp is among the common signs of scalp psoriasis. So, keeping your scalp moisturized reduces these symptoms. You can use over-the-counter lubricants and use a conditioner when shampooing your hair.
Start your search by trying moisturizing shampoos for dry scalps and essential oils like jojoba and tea tree. In addition to that, avoid blowing your hair using a hair dryer, which worsens dryness and itching.
Managing scalp psoriasis can be challenging for most people. The condition causes extra cells to build up on the skin surface, causing swollen, silver patches on the scalp, neck, and forehead. The patches often feel itchy, dry, and painful, making daily hair care routines difficult for patients.
But scalp psoriasis can be managed effectively using topical medications and over-the-counter hair products like gels, shampoos, conditioners, and creams. To do this, you must pay attention to the ingredients in these hair products and follow the manufacturer’s or doctor’s instructions when using them for the best results.
Although it has no cure, there are certainly ways to alleviate the severity of scalp psoriasis symptoms. Following the five hair care tips discussed above can make managing the condition much more effortless. This way, you’ll achieve a better quality of life despite living with the said skin disorder.