If you live with scalp psoriasis, you know exactly how frustrating and embarrassing it can be. Scalp psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes red, scaly patches on your scalp. Not only can these patches can be itchy, painful, and flaky, but they can also affect your hair growth and quality.
Scalp psoriasis can cause hair loss in two ways: by damaging the hair follicles or by making you scratch or pull your hair. However, the good news is that hair loss from scalp psoriasis is usually temporary and reversible, as long as you treat your condition and take care of your scalp and hair.
Here are some tips and advice on how to manage your scalp psoriasis and prevent hair loss:
Use gentle shampoos and conditioners:
Avoid harsh chemicals, fragrances, or alcohol in your hair products, as they can irritate your scalp and irritate your psoriasis. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are specially formulated for scalp psoriasis, such as MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Conditioning Shampoo or Dermarest Psoriasis Medicated Shampoo Plus Conditioner. These products contain ingredients like salicylic acid, coal tar, or zinc pyrithione, which can help reduce inflammation, scaling, and itching.
Avoid scratching, picking, or rubbing your scalp:
Scratching or picking at your scalp can damage your skin and hair follicles, leading to infections, scarring, and hair loss. Try to resist the urge to scratch or rub your scalp, even if it feels itchy. You can use a cold compress, a moisturizer, or an anti-itch cream to soothe your scalp. You can also try cutting your fingernails really short so that even if you do scratch, there is minimal to no damage.
Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis flare-ups, as it can affect your immune system and inflammation levels. Stress can also cause you to scratch or pull your hair more often, which can lead to hair loss. To reduce stress, you can practice some self-care activities, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, or doing something you enjoy. Self-care can be as easy as a text to a close friend to check in or just listening to your favorite song with your eyes closed. You can also talk to a therapist, a friend, or a support group if you need emotional support .
Follow your treatment plan:
The most important thing you can do to manage your scalp psoriasis and prevent hair loss is to follow the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor. There are so different types of treatments available for scalp psoriasis, such as topical medications (creams, gels, lotions), light therapy (UVB or PUVA), or biologics (injections or infusions). These treatments can help reduce inflammation, scaling, itching, and hair loss by targeting the underlying causes of psoriasis. However, they may have different side effects and risks, so you should always consult with your doctor before starting or changing any treatment.
Consult a dermatologist or a trichologist:
If you have severe or persistent scalp psoriasis or hair loss that does not improve with treatment, you should see a dermatologist or a trichologist for further evaluation. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin diseases, while a trichologist is a professional who specializes in hair and scalp disorders. They can diagnose your condition, rule out any other causes of hair loss (such as alopecia areata or telogen effluvium), and recommend the best treatment options for you .
As you can see, managing scalp psoriasis and preventing hair loss requires a multifaceted approach that combines over-the-counter treatments, natural remedies, and lifestyle adjustments. By following these tips, you can take proactive steps to alleviate symptoms, maintain a healthy scalp, and preserve your hair. Remember, talking with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance is an important step in achieving long-term success in managing scalp psoriasis and hair loss concerns.
Read more about scalp psoriasis: 5 Tips Before Going to the Salon with Scalp Psoriasis