What to do if psoriasis appears on the scalp?

Psoriasis on the head significantly reduces the quality of human life and requires a lot of effort and money for treatment. The constant struggle with psoriasis symptoms and the feeling that you are not like everyone else creates a special psychological problem. This burden is especially difficult for young people who do not yet have a family of their own. After all, people around often perceive peeling on the head for head lice or think that a person is unclean. In fact, squamous lichen is not contagious and mainly occurs as a hereditary disease.

Causes of occurrence

Scalp psoriasis occurs in children and adults. Its appearance, like its current, is unpredictable. Scientists still do not understand why and for what specific reason psoriatic rash appears on the human body and affects the scalp. They managed to establish that the appearance of psoriasis on the head and other parts of the body is preceded by a violation of the functions of the epidermis. This happens to the skin after exposure to an external irritant, for example, after using a low-quality shampoo or body gel.

Subsequently, it became known that many factors contribute to the development of psoriasis, for example:

  • improper nutrition;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • infectious skin diseases;
  • general intoxication of the body;
  • hormonal disbalance;
  • endocrine disorders;
  • weakening of immunity;
  • allergic reactions.

This is not the whole list of what can affect the severity of the disease of the scalp.

hair problems with psoriasis on the head

Psoriatic elements on the scalp are formed, as in other localizations, in the upper layer of the epidermis, so they rarely disrupt the growth of individual hairs and provoke their loss.

If you look at it, then all these and other, not named here, causal factors have one thing in common - the ability to negatively affect metabolic processes in the skin. But this is one of the main reasons causing abnormal proliferation of epidermal cells.

Symptoms of different types of disease

The following forms of psoriasis can occur on the head:

  • Vulgar - another name for plaque psoriasis, is diagnosed in 90% of cases. It is characterized by the appearance of small papules and red spots on the scalp. Their surface is covered with dry silvery scales that can be easily removed with nails. The elements of the rash gradually increase, then merge into one and represent islets with a scaly gray surface.
  • Pustular - exudative psoriasis, considered the most serious form of the disease, manifests itself in small blisters with yellow or transparent contents. The skin underneath is swollen and hot. If untreated, it is possible that ulcers that have formed from opened bubbles can become infected with a bacterial infection.
  • Drop-shaped - develops against the background of a streptococcal infection. The elements of the rash are tear-shaped and tend to enlarge.

What does psoriasis look like on the head at different stages

The initial stage of psoriasis on the head most often has symptoms similar to other dermatoses (there are coincidences with common dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, etc. ). Therefore, only a specialist can correctly diagnose the disease in order to subsequently choose an effective direction of treatment.

At each stage of the development of psoriasis on the scalp, the following pathological changes are observed:

  • A small, itchy, papular rash appears. Its elements are rounded and red or pink. At this stage, a characteristic feature of psoriatic eruptions is the formation of silvery scales on their surface, which flake off when combed. The inflammatory process is absent, so the patient with psoriasis is irritated only by itching and slight peeling of the skin.
  • In the second stage of psoriasis, which in medicine is called progressive, papules, increasing, unite into single islets and cover most of the scalp. Itching of the skin intensifies, which leads to scratching and inflammation. In the absence of proper treatment, an infection enters the skin through scratching and causes the appearance of purulent pustules and yellow crusts under the hair.
  • At the stationary stage, when the medications used have brought the desired effect, the psoriatic plaques cease to grow in size, and the inflammation subsides. Due to the exfoliation of the whitish layer from the surface of the plaques, a lot of dandruff is observed in the hair, the itching becomes less intense.
  • After a while, plaques on the scalp brighten, some disappear without a trace, stop itching. Elasticity returns to the skin. This is what psoriasis looks like at the stage of remission.
psoriasis symptoms on the head

If it is not possible to stop psoriasis at the stage of progression, the skin on the head thickens, as a result of which it is easily injured. Psoriatic plaques do not stop growing due to the appearance of new papules. When combing, huge flakes of dead skin are removed from their surface, which cannot be completely combed out of the hair.

Localization of skin disease

If psoriatic plaques have arisen on the scalp and have affected the entire scalp, then over time they can spread beyond the hair growth area to the smooth forehead skin, capture the temple area. Psoriasis can appear on the back of the head and upper part of the neck, on the skin behind the ears and on their lobes. This form of localization of the disease is called "psoriatic crown".

Diagnostic features

To diagnose the initial stage of psoriasis, it is not enough for a dermatologist to examine the scalp for the presence of small itchy papules or psoriatic plaques. Such elements of the rash are characteristic of a number of other diseases, therefore, in addition to examining and interviewing the patient, differential diagnosis is mandatory.

This type of examination allows you to distinguish psoriasis on the head from other dermatoses, which are also a favorite site of localization of the scalp. It is pertinent to mention here:

  • seborrhea - it is dandruff, a consequence of improper work of the sebaceous glands;
  • rosacea - it is characterized by the appearance of papules and pustules on the red edematous skin, as in psoriasis;
  • pityriasis versicolor - affects the hair follicles, causes papules around the hairs.

When diagnosing psoriasis, the symptoms of the phenomena, united by the name "psoriatic triad", are also taken into account. It includes three symptomatic phenomena:

  • Stearin spot - when scraping a papule or psoriatic plaque, its surface becomes white, the scales are separated.
  • Terminal film - the surface of the papule after removing the scales becomes pink and shiny.
  • Spot bleeding - occurs after scraping and removing scales from a single papule or psoriatic plaque.

In the process of making a diagnosis, the presence of the Kebner phenomenon is also taken into account, when about 15-20 days after injury to the skin, a psoriatic element is formed on the affected area. The symptom is typical for the progressive stage of psoriasis.

How to get rid of psoriasis on the head

The doctor draws up an effective treatment plan for psoriasis taking into account the patient's general health, the form of the disease and the severity of its course.

The general treatment regimen includes:

  • the use of medicines for external and internal (sometimes) purposes;
  • compliance with nutritional rules;
  • physiotherapy sessions;
  • preventive hair care.

Psoriasis on the scalp is not dangerous, with the exception of the pustular form of the disease, so some of the procedures prescribed by the doctor can be performed at home.

What pharmacy medicines help

Preparations for the treatment of psoriasis of the scalp are prescribed taking into account the stage of development of the disease:

  • Progressive stage. Prescribe daily washing of the head with a special shampoo with zinc, after which a therapeutic lotion or salicylic ointment is applied to the scalp 2 times a day. Means relieve itching, inflammation, help to exfoliate dead cells of the epidermis, strengthen the blood vessels of the skin.
  • Stationary stage. Within 2-3 weeks, 5% lactic or salicylic acid is used to treat psoriatic plaques. The solutions soften the stratum corneum and promote its exfoliation, and also help other drugs penetrate the affected epidermis. Among them, a cream based on naphthalan improves local blood circulation, softens the skin and relieves inflammation. Non-hormonal ointments for psoriasis containing a synthetic analogue of vitamin D3, which stops the process of epidermal cell division, contributes to their normal maturation.
  • The stage of relieving symptoms (stage of regression) is used to treat the scalp with balms, shampoos and ointments based on juniper or birch tar. The effect of these drugs is aimed at improving metabolic processes and blood microcirculation in the scalp. Purified tar has anti-inflammatory, absorbent, antipruritic and exfoliating effects.

In addition to drug treatment, for people with psoriasis on the scalp, homeopathic-type drugs help well during the period when the symptoms of the disease are alleviated. For example, made on the basis of such substances:

  • lanolin (animal wax), which softens the stratum corneum;
  • berberine - relieves inflammation;
  • extract from Mahonia holly - prevents the growth of immature cells of the epidermis and desquamation.

In severe psoriasis of the scalp, patients are prescribed hormonal tablets, cleansing droppers Magnesium sulfate, sodium thiosulfate, immunomodulatory drugs to relieve inflammation.

How to cure scalp psoriasis with folk remedies

Masks prepared on the basis of medicinal plants, liquid mixtures and decoctions for shampooing will help remove psoriatic plaques from the skin.

Hormonal ointment with celandine


  • freshly picked (preferably) celandine herb - 1 tbsp. l . ;
  • purified grease - 100 g.

How to cook: combine the ingredients, mix thoroughly, leave for 3 days in a dark, warm place to infuse.

celandine for the treatment of psoriasis on the head

Result: the product softens the stratum corneum of the scalp, eliminates itching and flaking, relieves inflammation.

How to use: apply the ointment in a thin layer on the plaques for no more than 5 days in a row, since the composition contains a hormonal component that is addictive.

Mustard mask for scalp psoriasis


  • mustard powder - 2 tbsp. l . ;
  • hot water - 2 tbsp. l . ;
  • vegetable oil - 2 tbsp. l . ;
  • chicken yolk - 1 pc . ;
  • sugar - 2 tsp

How to cook: add sugar, mixed with mustard powder, oil and water to the yolk while whipping.

How to use: apply a mixture of psoriasis to the scalp, rubbing, put on a cellophane cap on top, warm your head with a towel. The procedure should last at least 15 minutes. The skin will tingle at first, and then it will begin to burn. After the mask, the head is washed with lukewarm water with tar shampoo. Repeat the procedure every 2-3 days while the exacerbation lasts.

Result: the mask reduces itching, causes blood flow to the scalp, improves the local metabolic process, and helps to soften and exfoliate the stratum corneum.

Decoction for rinsing hair after washing


  • amaranth seeds - 2 tsp;
  • amaranth leaves - 1 tsp;
  • boiling water - 750 ml.

How to cook: put the seeds in an enamel bowl, pour boiling water over, simmer for 5 minutes, add the leaves of the plant, put in heat for 30 minutes. Strain.

How to use: rinse hair after washing with medicated shampoos.

Result: hair with psoriasis is easier to comb, it becomes soft and silky. In addition, the broth relieves inflammation, strengthens local immunity.

Nutrition rules

During the treatment of psoriasis on the head, it is important to include in the menu foods that are a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (mackerel, sardines, herring, game meat, flax seeds, spinach). You should also eat cereals and soups from cereals (buckwheat, oatmeal, rice), vegetable stews (beets, cabbage, potatoes), fresh berries and fruits, juices, herbal teas, dairy products.

It is recommended to cook food by boiling, baking and stewing. It is better to eat little by little, but 5-6 times a day. Overly salty, spicy, smoked and fried foods, as well as sweets and alcohol are prohibited.

How is psoriasis on the head treated with physiotherapy?

Such an effective treatment as physiotherapy for psoriasis is prescribed at all stages of the disease, except for exacerbation.

Applied methods:

  • Electrosleep - improves the psychological state of a person.
  • PUVA therapy - relieves inflammation, improves the condition of the scalp.
  • Phototherapy - normalizes metabolic processes in the skin, helps to prolong remission.
  • Physiotherapy sessions bring the desired result only with regular and correct procedures.

Hair care

During the treatment of scalp psoriasis, it is recommended to use cosmetic detergents and hair masks with a therapeutic effect:

  • Shampoos with birch and juniper tar.
  • Healing oils for use in the form of masks (burdock, castor, amaranth, stone, naphthalan, currant, sesame).

With psoriasis, the head can be washed daily, the main thing is not to damage the skin until it bleeds when washing.

Lifestyle correction

Since psoriasis is often exacerbated by stress, a good mood helps to fight its manifestations on the head, which comes only to people who lead an active and healthy lifestyle every day.

A healthy night's sleep is a guarantee of a good mood, so after a hard day you can take a peony or motherwort tincture at night.

Also, psoriasis in the head area is afraid of proper nutrition, so you should take seriously the preparation of a therapeutic diet. For this purpose, you can contact a nutritionist.

The course of psoriasis in childhood and features of therapy

Scalp psoriasis in children proceeds in the same way as in adults, with exacerbations and remissions. For the treatment of psoriatic papules and plaques on a child's head, the doctor selects drugs taking into account the age of the small patient and the presence of concomitant dermatological diseases. The initial stage of pathology is easier to treat, therefore, all procedures recommended by the doctor are carried out at home.

In the event that psoriatic elements occupy most of the head, then doctors suggest that parents hospitalize the child. Inpatient treatment is carried out:

  • calcium gluconate - relieves itching, swelling, inflammation;
  • vitamins A, E, D and group B - strengthen general and local immunity;
  • with a restless night's sleep, a sleeping pill is prescribed.

During the treatment period, you should take care of the child's sore scalp with the help of the funds prescribed by the doctor.

Can psoriasis be permanently cured?

Until now, there is no such remedy that could cure a person from psoriasis completely. The most effective that pharmaceuticals can offer to a patient in order to temporarily get rid of psoriatic rash are drugs in different dosage forms with anti-inflammatory, antipruritic and exfoliating effects. Vitamin D3 has shown its effectiveness, which slows down pathological changes in the skin, as well as a number of physiotherapeutic procedures.