Learn About Scalp Psoriasis

Learn about Scalp Psoriasis
By far the most common form of psoriasis found in the United States is plaque psoriasis, which occurs in roughly 80 percent of psoriasis patients. Of those patients, the majority will experience an outbreak of psoriasis on their scalps, too. This is referred to as scalp psoriasis, and it is an especially difficult form of psoriasis to treat, because the scalp has particularly thick skin that cannot be fully treated by normal anti-psoriasis measures. However, this condition is highly treatable if you use medications that specifically target it, and it can be resolved relatively quickly.

Causes and Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis is caused by the same things that result in plaque psoriasis on other portions of the body. More specifically, this version of the disease is a result of a malfunctioning of the body’s immune system. When people develop plaque psoriasis on their scalps or anywhere else on their bodies, what is happening is that their immune system has detected a skin problem on that area of the body. Frequently, this is caused by a legitimate skin issue or injury to the skin. But rather than fixing the skin problem and then ceasing the immune response, the body continues to deliver new skin cells to the affected area well after the skin issue has been resolved. Because of this, extra skin cells build up in these areas, and the skin quickly becomes thick and irritated. When someone has scalp psoriasis, this process occurs on their scalp and sometimes on adjacent areas, too.

Scalp Psoriasis
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Scalp psoriasis has many of the same symptoms that are found in other forms of psoriasis: thick skin, itchiness, and unsightly red patches. But it can have other symptoms as well. These include loss of hair and infections on the skin.

Extent of Scalp Psoriasis
Not all cases of this disorder impact the same portions of the scalp. Usually, the outbreaks will only occur in a few isolated areas of the scalp. In the most severe cases, though, the resultant skin thickening can spread until it covers the entire top of the head. Sometimes, there will be additional areas of inflammation that don’t actually affect the scalp, but instead are found in places like the forehead, ears, and neck. There have also been instances where the outbreaks spread onto a person’s face. This usually happens when the condition is allowed to go untreated for a long period of time. If the skin irritation is detected and addressed early, patients are usually able to stop it from spreading beyond their scalp.

Scalp Psoriasis on the Ears
It is especially important to stop the spread of the outbreaks before they move onto a person’s ears. When scalp psoriasis moves to the ears, it can affect areas inside the ear and close to the eardrum, which can cause substantial losses of hearing. Therefore those who have this form of the disease must be careful that it does not get into their ears. If the outbreaks have spread to your ears in the past, you should be vigilant about controlling future flare-ups. These flare-ups are usually attributable to triggers like stress, unclean skin, and long periods of exposure to cold, dry air.

Management of Scalp Psoriasis
This form of the disease is especially problematic because it is a threat to spread to areas like the face and neck, which are easily visible and difficult to hide from other people. This can make patients very self-conscious about their condition. Fortunately, scalp psoriasis is rarely a long term problem, and it can be cleared up quickly with proper treatment. Until treatment alleviates symptoms, those suffering from it can choose to wear hats, scarves, and other accessories that hide impacted areas of their skin.
Alerie Johnston
About the Author:

Alerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

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