If you have ever experienced dandruff, you will know how much of a nightmare an itchy scalp can be. Constant scratching, pieces of dry, flaky skin going everywhere, and trying all kinds of treatments which produce no results at all. It really is frustrating!
So, what if you experience these problems but they just will not go away? What if to add to it all, the skin of the scalp is red with silver colored scales? What if you have Scalp Psoriasis?
Scalp Psoriasis and its Causes
Scalp Psoriasis is a common skin problem which causes the skin to become raised, red, scaly and severely itchy at times. In some rare cases lesions can even form on the face if an outbreak of Psoriasis of the scalp is quite severe.
Psoriasis is caused when the skin cells grow quicker than the dead cells shed. This usually causes red lesions and scales generally cover them. The severity levels of the condition do vary and it can occur as mild with only a little scaling, or it can be severe with thick, crusty skin covering the entire scalp. The really extremely severe cases can cause hair loss and the condition can even spread to the forehead, around the ears and on the back of the neck. The scalp is not usually the only area affected and often sufferers of Scalp Psoriasis have other types of Psoriasis already on other parts of the body. There are some cases which only include the scalp, but generally it often affects other parts of the body too.
It is possible to mistake Scalp Psoriasis for Seborrhoeic Dermatitis though there are differences between the two. The main way to tell Scalp Psoriasis apart from anything else is by its silver colored scales that appear on the affected skin.
How the Condition is treated
Whilst it is possible for this condition to clear up on its own, there are treatments available which can really help to control it. The type of treatment you should use depends entirely on the severity of the Scalp Psoriasis itself.
If you have a mild case of Scalp Psoriasis, some tar treatments may be best, as may Salicylic acid treatments. For more severe cases topical treatments such as creams and lotions may be prescribed, or occasionally ultraviolet light therapy may be needed. As each person is different, treatment does vary and often treatments are combined in order to be the most effective and to eliminate the condition completely. The treatment may also be changed occasionally due to the scalp becoming used to a treatment that has been used for long periods of time.
You should not expect fast results as usually the condition takes around eight weeks to show any improvement. Once the condition is under control, it is important to use products such as a tar shampoo around twice a week to stop the condition from reoccurring.
Generally tar products work really well and they are available over the counter in shampoo form, cream form, gel form and oil form. Over the counter treatments are generally low dosages and are for mild forms of the condition only. However, your doctor may be able to prescribe you a higher dose if needed. Whilst it may be really effective, a lot of people prefer not to use this type of treatment because it has a strong odor and it can also stain bedding as well as grey hair.
Tar treatments come in two forms which are coal and wood tar. Whilst coal tar is the most common treatment available, wood tar soaps are really effective in treating Scalp Psoriasis. Also, soaps are a lot cheaper than shampoos and they last longer too.
Overall it is advisable to contact your doctor for proper diagnosis and they will be able to talk through your best treatment options.