Causes and Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis
What are the Causes and Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes skin inflammation. It looks like raised, red scaly patches on the skin. It can be seen on any part of the body but it usually affects the knees and elbows. Once it affects the scalp that’s the time it’s called scalp psoriasis. It can be as mild as having a single or several patches on the scalp but it can also affect the whole scalp and can even spread on your forehead, neck and ears. And like all kinds of psoriasis, scalp psoriasis is very itchy especially when it is severe and causes your skin to form excess thick, crusted scales. It can be really uncomfortable, stressful and can affect your day to day activities.
What Causes Scalp Psoriasis?
The causes of scalp psoriasis are still unknown and not yet fully understood. Most of the people with psoriasis find that at least one of their relatives had or have psoriasis. It is safe to say that psoriasis is hereditary. Psoriasis is developed when the immune system mistakenly identifies the normal skin to be a threat thus causing the skin to produce excess new skin cells. All psoriasis including scalp psoriasis is not contagious. There are also factors that can trigger scalp psoriasis like:
- Skin trauma or injury
- Infections like tonsillitis, streptococcal sore throat
- Some medications like anti-inflammatory, beta-blockers and lithium medications
- Smoking and even excess alcohol intake
Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis
Symptoms of scalp psoriasis differ depending on how severe it is. Mild psoriasis can only have slight scaling but moderate to severe cases of psoriasis can include the following:
- Very dry and itchy scalp
- Red, scaly patches or thick crusts
- Silvery or white scales and sometimes it looks like dandruff. That’s why sometimes scalp psoriasis is mistaken to be seborrheic dermatitis or vice versa. Take note that these two skin conditions are different.
Sometimes hair loss occurs when you scratch and pick your scalp. And sometimes it is a result of harsh medications for your psoriasis. Don’t worry, hair loss is temporary. Once the scalp psoriasis clears up, normally your hair will grow back.
Before applying or taking any medications make sure to consult your dermatologist for a simple skin test. This will confirm if you do have scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.