CIGNA members: Please note that you may receive a letter in the mail stating that The Dermatology Center of Indiana is no longer in your network. This communication from CIGNA is incorrect and we would like to reassure you that we are still in network with CIGNA. We look forward to continuing to service you and your family for all your dermatology needs.

Top 5 Causes of Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a condition that can cause red, raised, scaly patches on your scalp. It can show up in a single patch or affect your entire head, including neck, behind, and inside your ears.

Scalp psoriasis is not contagious and is often time mild and unnoticeable. Some individuals suffer with a more severe case and they may experience thick, crusted sores, and intense itching. Skin infections and hair loss aren’t directly caused by scalp psoriasis, but the intense scratching or picking of scabs can cause the appearance of loss of hair as well as infections. If you are suffering from patches of scaly, red, bumpy skin, dandruff-like flaking, dry scalp, or hair loss in these areas, you may have scalp psoriasis.

While the exact cause for scalp psoriasis remains unknown, studies have shown that the following items are likely to cause scalp psoriasis:

  • Genetics: People who have family members who have psoriasis have a higher risk of developing psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis.
  • Obesity: The inflammation caused by being obese seems to affect skin disorders including psoriasis.
  • Food allergies or intolerances: Gluten and dairy allergies are often the biggest triggers for this disorder.
  • Stress: While it is difficult to prove that stress can increase symptoms of this disorder, it is known that stress can cause our body’s immune system to function in overdrive, which can increase the amount of inflammation in our body.
  • Viral or bacterial infections: Infections appear to trigger psoriasis or make a current flare-up worse. This is due to your immune system already being in overdrive from the virus or infection you are currently fighting.
  • Medications such as Indomethacin or Quindine

While there is no way to cure scalp psoriasis completely, there are over-the-counter treatments and home remedies that can help ease the discomfort and itchiness that comes with this disorder.  Below are a few home remedies and tips to try to reduce the discomfort from scalp psoriasis:

  • Loosen the scales with a fine-tooth comb.
  • Use a shampoo that contains salicylic acid.
  • Apply a thick moisturizer to your scalp immediately after a shower or bath.
  • Limit the use of a hair dryer.
  • Use an over-the-counter antihistamine (consult with your doctor before taking any oral medication)

As always, please consult with a dermatologist or doctor before trying anything at home. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from scalp psoriasis, please give The Dermatology Center of Indiana location nearest you a call.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.