Tips To Ease Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic condition in which red, scaly, and sometimes itchy patches emerge on the skin. The autoimmune disease can appear anywhere on the body, but one of the most common locations is the scalp, WebMD reports. Approximately 7.5 million Americans suffer from psoriasis with half that amount having scalp psoriasis. For people with scalp psoriasis, those patches can show up in 1 or 2 areas or cover the entire scalp. When it's found on the scalp, it can spread to other areas of the head, including the ears or forehead. Because the disease is chronic, it may include periods of flare-ups.

The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown, but it's believed to be linked to the immune system. According to the Mayo Clinic, the immune system in people with psoriasis may grow skin cells too fast, resulting in the red patches on the skin. In addition to skin patches, there's the possibility of the skin drying, cracking, and bleeding. Because psoriasis is a skin condition, it can also cause stiffness and swelling in the joints.

How to care for scalp psoriasis

If you have scalp psoriasis, you don't need to suffer in silence. According to Everyday Health, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil directly onto the scalp to help reduce flakiness. You can leave it on for a minimum of 10 minutes or as long as overnight, depending on how severe your psoriasis is. Afterward, use a fine-toothed comb to remove flakes and wash them out. If you don't want to use olive oil, apple cider vinegar can also be used to break up scales and relieve any itchiness. Simply dilute the vinegar and saturate it onto your scalp for approximately 10 minutes before combing your hair and loosening flakes. However, you'll want to avoid apple cider vinegar if your scalp is cracked or bleeding.

Oatmeal is another ingredient commonly used to relieve psoriasis symptoms. Healthline recommends soaking for about 15 minutes in a warm bath with a cup of raw ground oats to help with psoriasis irritation. Be sure to fully submerge your head so the oatmeal can work to relieve inflammation and itchiness.

No matter how itchy your psoriasis may make you feel, it's recommended you avoid itching, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Scratching the head can cause your scalp to bleed, result in hair loss, or make psoriasis worse. If you have any concerns about your scalp psoriasis, contact a dermatologist, as they may be able to prescribe you medication.