Understanding the Symptoms, Causes & Triggers
Tips // Scalp Psoriasis
5 min reading | Published 3 May 2019 by Fleur Scalp Care
What is Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis is a relatively common skin disorder on the scalp that causes reddish, irritable, and often scaly patches. It can appear as a single patch or several. Scalp psoriasis could also spread to your forehead or back of the neck.
Scalp psoriasis is estimated to affect about 2% of the global population and can occur at any age, though more commonly in people between 20 - 30.
Psoriasis is a result of rapid cell turnover. Though the exact cause is still unclear, there are many possible triggers such as genetics, food allergies, and prolonged stress.
Scalp psoriasis has varying severity, from mild and almost unnoticeable to more severe ones with irritable, thick crusted sores. Intense itching can affect your sleep and everyday life, and scratching a lot can lead to skin infections and hair loss.
Scalp Psoriasis and Hair Loss
Scalp psoriasis usually does not cause large amounts of hair loss. However, if the scaling on your scalp is very tight, your hairs’ diameter may change and there can be breakage.
Causes and Triggers
Scalp psoriasis appears to develop when the immune system sends the wrong signals to the body. When the immune system sends these messages to the skin cells, the cells multiply too quickly.
Normally, new cell formation on the scalp may take weeks. With psoriasis, cells form within days. This makes it difficult for the body to shed the excess cells. As the skin cells build up on the surface of the scalp, they become scaly patches.
With scalp psoriasis, identifying and avoiding possible triggers for a flare-up episode can go a long way. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, some cases may be triggered by certain food allergic reactions or an infection like strep throat. Stress is also a common trigger that could worsen the symptoms.
Symptoms of mild scalp psoriasis may include only slight, fine scaling. Moderate to severe cases may present any of the following:
- Scaly, red, bumpy patches
- Dandruff-like flaking
- Dry scalp
- Sore, irritation and itching
- Burning sensation
- Hair loss
Though scalp psoriasis by itself doesn’t cause hair loss, frequent forceful scratching at the scaly spots could damage the follicles and cause further inflammation. The stress that goes along with the condition can also contribute to temporary hair loss. Fortunately, your hair usually grows back after your skin clears.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your trichologist or dermatologist to assess and rule out similar conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.
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