Scalp psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by reddish, scaly, and raised skin patches. It may occur as a single patch or several small patches all over the scalp. As the severity of the psoriasis increases, it may spread to the neck and face as well.
Scalp psoriasis is not a contagious skin disease. The exact cause of this condition is not known; however, physicians believe that it may be due to the improper functioning of the immune system. In some cases, scalp psoriasis manifests in a mild form, while in other cases, it is a severe, chronic condition. Medicated shampoos, creams, ointments, and soaps provide relief from scalp psoriasis.
Symptoms of scalp psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis symptoms vary with the severity of the condition. A mild form of the skin condition may only exhibit slight, fine scales, while severe psoriasis leads to the formation of thick, itchy crusted skin. Typical symptoms are as follows:
- Scaly, reddish, and raised skin: This is a typical symptom of psoriasis. The affected area is slightly raised and reddish. The area of scalp affected by psoriasis looks scaly.
- Silvery flakes or scales: Silvery or white flakes appear on top of the skin patch affected by psoriasis. These scales come off the patch when rubbed or scratched.
- Dandruff-like flakes: White flakes resembling dandruff, rub off the patches on the scalp affected by psoriasis. When combed or scratched, these flakes fall on the neck, shoulders, and face.
- Dry and itchy scalp: Scalp psoriasis is a troublesome skin condition that makes you want to scratch the skin. The skin becomes dry and cracked for some.
- Soreness: Constant itching of the scalp results in soreness or a burning sensation. Excessive scratching results in a sore scalp due to tiny bleeding points where the scales get peeled away.
- Crusted sores: Severe scalp psoriasis results in crusted sores in patches of skin or all over the scalp.
- Hair loss: Prolonged scalp psoriasis results in hair loss. Psoriasis does not directly cause hair loss, but excessive scratching or peeling of the scalp or stress may result in hair loss.
Around 3% of the American population is affected by psoriasis. Severe scalp psoriasis that lasts for a long period may form thick crusted sores that are extremely itchy. If left untreated, it can wreak havoc with your sleep and disrupt your daily life. Timely treatment and maintaining a healthy scalp helps combat this skin condition.