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June 9, 2017 | Dermatology
If you ever notice raised, reddish and often scaly patches on your scalp, you may have a condition called scalp psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect any part of the skin and is relatively common, affecting roughly 7.5 million Americans. About half of these cases are specific to the scalp.
Scalp psoriasis doesn’t appear to be contagious, and doctors aren’t completely sure what causes it. In some cases it can be mild and virtually unnoticeable, and in others it can be severe and long-lasting. Fortunately, there are treatment and management tactics you can try as well.
Scalp psoriasis may appear anywhere on the scalp and may cover the entire scalp or just part of it. They may come and go, and some people have just a single mild flare-up. Symptoms include:
Scalp psoriasis is not contagious. The causes are not exactly known, but doctors do know that it develops when the immune system has faulty signals and tells skin cells to grow too quickly. This causes cells to form in days instead of weeks, and the body is unable to shed these cells. As a result, they build up on the skin. At least 50 percent of people who have plaque psoriasis will get at least one flare-up on their scalp.
Several treatments can provide success with scalp psoriasis:
There are also several steps you can take to help treatments benefit scalp psoriasis as much as possible and prevent symptoms. These include:
If you or your child show the signs of scalp psoriasis, speak to your dermatologist about your treatment options.
“Scalp psoriasis.” American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-and-scalp-problems/scalp-psoriasis#overview
“Scalp Psoriasis.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/scalp-psoriasis#1
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.