Scalp psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects the scalp, leading to red, itchy, and scaly patches. It is a non-contagious autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, causing them to multiply rapidly. Healthline mentioned that psoriasis affects around 7.4 million people in the U.S. This accelerated cell growth results in the formation of thick, silvery-white scales on the scalp. Although scalp psoriasis can be uncomfortable and bothersome, it can be managed with proper treatment and care. Consulting a dermatologist is essential for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
This article will help you learn more about scalp psoriasis and its treatment.
Common Treatments to Consider for Hair Loss in Scalp Psoriasis
There are several ways in which you can treat scalp psoriasis hair loss. Below are the most common hair loss tips and treatments for this condition:
- Comb and brush away the scales gently: You must loosen and remove the scale to cure scalp psoriasis. Also, make sure that you do this gently to prevent hair loss.
- Trim your fingernails: Keep your fingernails clipped to avoid picking or accidentally scratching your scalp.
- Don’t blow dry your hair- Allow your hair to air dry as much as possible because your scalp is already dry from psoriasis.
- Use conditioner- This might make your scalp less dry. Using a non-medicated conditioner can also assist to mask the odor of medicated shampoo.
How Does Scalp Psoriasis Contribute to Hair Loss?
Scalp psoriasis can contribute to hair loss through various mechanisms, including:
Scalp psoriasis is characterized by an inflammatory response in the affected skin. Chronic inflammation can damage hair follicles, leading to weakening and shedding of hair.
2. Itching and Scratching
The intense itching sensation caused by scalp psoriasis may lead to excessive scratching. Constant scratching can further damage the scalp and hair follicles, leading to hair breakage and loss.
3. Plaque Formation
Psoriasis often results in the formation of thick, scaly plaques on the scalp. These plaques can cover the hair follicles, disrupting the normal hair growth cycle and potentially causing hair to fall out.
4. Reduced Blood Flow
The inflammation associated with scalp psoriasis can reduce blood flow to the hair follicles, depriving them of essential nutrients and oxygen necessary for healthy hair growth.
5. Telogen Effluvium
Severe cases of scalp psoriasis may trigger a condition called telogen effluvium, in which a significant number of hair follicles enter the resting phase prematurely, leading to increased hair shedding.
6. Psychological Stress
Dealing with a visible and sometimes socially stigmatized condition like scalp psoriasis can cause emotional stress. Stress, in turn, may contribute to hair loss through mechanisms like telogen effluvium.
It’s important to note that not everyone with scalp psoriasis will experience hair loss, and the extent of hair loss can vary from person to person. Early and effective management of scalp psoriasis can help reduce the risk of hair loss and promote a healthier scalp and hair. If experiencing hair loss due to scalp psoriasis, it is advisable to seek medical advice for appropriate treatment and care.
Natural Remedies That Can Help Reduce Scalp Psoriasis Hair Loss
There are natural and homemade hair loss treatments due to scalp psoriasis. The following natural and homemade treatments can help you reduce scalp psoriasis symptoms:
- Use Aloe Vera- Apply aloe vera to keep the skin moist up to three times a day. itching, inflammation, flaking, and redness on the scalp can be significantly reduced by aloe vera cream.
- Apply Baking Soda- Baking soda is a simple and effective remedy for itchy scalp. Pour one spoonful of baking soda into a small glass of water. Then, using a cotton pad or a washcloth, apply the mixture to the afflicted region of your head to reduce irritation and inflammation under your hair.
- Apply Garlic Cream- Garlic contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics that enhance skin health, prevent skin infections, and help alleviate certain psoriasis symptoms. In a 1-to-1 ratio, combine pureed or squeezed raw garlic and aloe vera cream or gel. Apply the solution to the afflicted region for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, rinse with cold water.
- Use Coconut or Avocado Oil- Coconuts and avocados are high in good fats, which improve skin health. This can help to lessen or eliminate some of the scaling associated with the condition of scalp psoriasis.
Can Dietary Changes or Supplements Have an Impact on Hair Regrowth?
Certain supplements and dietary changes can help in hair regrowth in individuals with scalp psoriasis. Listed below are some of the changes that can have a positive impact on hair growth:
- Eat a good quantity of fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce the consumption of cereals, meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.
- Avoid any red meat, nightshades, citrus fruits, processed meals, and so on.
- Take cold-water fish oil supplements that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory that help in the case of scalp psoriasis.
- Use calcipotriene which is a newer form of topical vitamin D that can be spread over your skin. It helps to slow down abnormal skin cell growth, improves the health of keratinocytes, and has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Consume food rich in folic acids which are also known as folate or vitamin B9. Food sources like dark, leafy green vegetables, beans, and oranges have this supplement. This supplement helps to improve moderate and severe psoriasis.
Potential Side Effects or Risks Associated with the Treatment Methods
There are some risk factors and potential side effects associated with the treatments for hair loss in scalp psoriasis. These include:
- Itching and Discomfort: Scalp psoriasis can cause persistent itching and discomfort, leading to potential scratching that may worsen the condition.
- Skin Infections: The inflamed and damaged skin from scalp psoriasis can increase the risk of developing secondary bacterial or fungal infections.
- Hair Loss: Severe or prolonged scalp psoriasis can contribute to temporary hair loss in affected areas.
- Psychological Impact: Dealing with a visible skin condition like scalp psoriasis may lead to emotional stress, self-consciousness, and a negative impact on overall well-being.
- Limited Hair Styling Options: Thick scales and plaques can restrict hair styling choices, causing inconvenience and frustration for some individuals.
- Spread to Other Areas: Scalp psoriasis can extend to other parts of the body, such as the forehead, neck, or behind the ears.
Medications to Consider for Effective Treatments for Scalp Psoriasis
In more severe or extensive cases of scalp psoriasis, healthcare providers may opt for different treatment approaches, including:
- Medicine injections: Healthcare providers administer medications via a thin needle either into the affected skin, a vein in your arm, or directly into the psoriatic plaques. These injected medicines may include adalimumab, etanercept, or ustekinumab.
- Oral medications: These are pills or tablets that you swallow with water. Oral medications for scalp psoriasis may consist of acitretin, cyclosporine, or methotrexate.
- Phototherapy: Utilizing ultraviolet light (UV), typically ultraviolet B (UVB), from specialized lamps. Phototherapy takes advantage of the beneficial effects of sunlight on certain skin conditions, including scalp psoriasis.
Treating scalp psoriasis can be challenging, as individual responses to treatments may vary. So have an open discussion with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable and effective treatment plan for your specific condition.
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