Among people having psoriasis, scalp is one of the most commonly affected body parts. Every second person suffering from psoriasis has scalp psoriasis. In scalp psoriasis, the person has silvery white psoriasis flakes on the scalp. If psoriasis is mild, then there would be a slight, thin layer of scales on scalp. On the other hand, if the psoriasis is severe, then the thickness of psoriasis scales on the scalp would be very thick and sometimes, it can spread to nearby areas like- forehead, behind the ears, inside the ears and on the neck. Scalp psoriasis can be highly visible and hence, can be very embarrassing affecting your self confidence. Broken psoriasis flakes falling on the clothes and shoulders can be a frustrating situation to handle.
Scalp psoriasis is extremely dry and itchy in nature. It can make you scratch your scalp which would result further more itching and sometimes, due to harsh itching, you would lose some hairs. Continuous scratching can result in significant hair loss and there would be empty spaces in your scalp. If your scalp psoriasis is severe, then you would see a lot of broken hairs and psoriasis flakes on the pillow everyday in the morning.
Well, don’t worry too much for this. Hair loss due to scalp psoriasis is not permanent. Once you would start healing your psoriasis, you would get your all your hairs back.
Read more: Hair loss and Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp Psoriasis Treatment
Psoriasis patches on any part of the body are same- either on the scalp or anywhere else. Hence, the healing process is also same. Adopt holistic healing by making a considerable change in your diet (less sugar, fats and more of raw fruits and vegetables) and complete lifestyle (regular exercise, less alcohol, less smoking, proper sleep, yoga, meditation).
Psoriasis is an internal body metabolism related disorder. It is important to understand that psoriasis flakes on your skin are just a signal that something is wrong inside your body. Hence, psoriasis is more than just a skin disorder. Hence, a holistic healing approach targeting almost every aspect of your body-mind is necessary.
Holistic healing of Psoriasis means (click on the blue colored text to read more)-
- Restricted Psoriasis Diet
- Healthy Lifestyle
- Use of natural/herbal shampoo, creams and oils
- Stress management
- Use of natural herbs and supplements
Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo
As mentioned earlier, scalp psoriasis can be highly visible. Hence, it is necessary to take care of scalp psoriasis with a suitable shampoo and hair oil to make sure that it doesn’t hamper your self confidence.
Dermatology recommends steroids based shampoos for psoriasis with coal tar and salicylic acid as chief ingredients. Most of the dermatologist advised shampoos would have these 2 ingredients in varying concentration along with sulphur and other chemicals. It is interesting to note that these shampoos are designed to attack the psoriasis scales harshly to slough them off. Due to this severe attack on psoriasis scales, the resultant action on your hairs is very damaging. In simpler terms, salicylic acid burns the psoriasis flakes off the scalp. These steroids based shampoos has cleaning agents (soaps) which remove all the natural oil and moisture from your hairs.
Have you ever noticed that after using coal tar/ salicylic acid based shampoo, your hairs become brittle, lifeless and dull? If you rub your hairs together, you hear a cracking sound.
It happens because these chemical based shampoos strip off the natural oils and moisture from your hairs. Hence, please stop using these steroids based shampoo. In the long run, these products would make your hairs lifeless and cause hair breakage.
So what should we do?
Switch to natural/herbal products. They would provide you equally good results as these chemicals based shampoos and that too without any side effects.
A very popular and trustworthy natural scalp psoriasis shampoo can be- aloe vera based shampoo followed by an aloe vera based conditioner.
A typical aloe vera shampoo would have the following components:
- Aloe vera gel
- Apple cider vinegar
- Essential oils
- Liquid castille soap
- Tea tree oil/ olive oil
- White willow bark extracts
Use of aloe vera for various skin problems including psoriasis is very common. It is a powerful antifungal and antibacterial natural plant along with excellent moisturizing properties. Glycerin and honey further help in retaining the natural oil and moisture of the hairs intact. Apple cider vinegar is highly anti-inflammatory in nature.
White willow bark is as effective as salicylic acid in removing the psoriasis flakes from your scalp.
A typical aloe vera conditioner would have:
- Aloe vera gel
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil/olive oil
Read more: Benefits of Aloe vera for Psoriasis
You can use aloe vera based shampoo and conditioner on a daily basis without any fear of hair damage.
From where to buy
You can buy a herbal/natural shampoo and conditioner for scalp psoriasis from a departmental store near to you or get it online.
If you already know such a product, go for it. Otherwise, check below Amazon links: –
|USA readers||India readers||UK readers|
|Aloe Vera Shampoo & Conditioner||Click here||Click here||Click here|
Dead Sea Mud Moisturizing Shampoo
If you are a fan of Dead sea mud, then you can check the below shampoo. Dead sea mud contains vital minerals (total 21 in number) and natural tar and silica compounds. A lot of people visit Dead sea every year to take bath in its mud. This shampoo contains other natural ingredients like Shea butter, olive oil and chamomile also.
|USA readers||India readers||UK readers|
|Dead Sea mud shampoo||Click here||Click here||Click here|
Read more: Dead sea salt and mud for Psoriasis
Hair oil for Scalp Psoriasis
After washing your hairs with a safe and efficient shampoo, it is necessary to use a suitable hair oil to keep your scalp moisturized. There are a variety of natural hair oils available for you to choose from.
- Virgin coconut oil– Virgin (non filtered) coconut oil is one of the most effective choice to keep your scalp moisturized. Virgin coconut oil is extracted by cold pressing of coconut kernels to make sure that it retains all the natural healing properties of coconut oil. It has a pleasant smell and non sticky in nature.
Read more: Benefits of coconut oil for Psoriasis
- Neem oil– Neem is a natural blood purifier and renowned for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. In India, use of neem for various skin ailments is very common. Neem oil is having a bitter smell and quite sticky also.
Read more: Benefits of Neem oil for Psoriasis
- Tea tree oil– Tea tree oil is another herbal oil which comes under the category of essential oils. It is a topical antiseptic and antibacterial oil which is used in various skin care herbal preparations.
Sometimes, treating scalp psoriasis is a hit and trail journey and you have to try various options before getting the best possible for you. Hence, sometimes, people get more effective results by mixing these oils together- Coconut oil and neem oil, Neem oil and tea tree oil or mixing all these oils together in different proportions.
Occasional use of Olive oil or Vitamin E oil is also a good option to keep the scalp moist.
Variety of Hair packs to choose from
If you feel that using a natural scalp psoriasis shampoo and hair oil is not enough and you need more intense treatment, then you can try any of the below hair packs. It is advisable to try them initially on a small portion of the scalp first and if feel comfortable, then apply on the complete scalp.
- Apple cider vinegar hair pack – Take 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup of normal cool water. Never take hot water because hot water can increase the skin inflammation. Add 1 teaspoonful of glycerin (it is optional). Rinse your scalp with this solution. Let this solution soak into scalp for 10-15 min. Then wash it off with a good shampoo. If your scalp skin is cracked, then avoid this hair pack because apple cider vinegar can enter into those cracks and aggravate the problem.
- Warm Olive Oil massage– Massage warm olive oil in your scalp thoroughly and let it soak for 20 minutes. For severe scalp psoriasis, you may add a few drops of tea tree oil in olive oil and let it soak for overnight. Then wash it off with a natural scalp psoriasis shampoo and apply a suitable hair oil.
- Herbal tea rinse– Boil 2 cups (16 ounces) of water and add 2 tea bags (4 grams) of green tea/ oolong tea/ or any herbal tea in it. Let it cool for some time. Now, rinse your scalp well with this tea solution and let it soak for 20 minutes. Then, wash it off with normal cool water. Herbal teas provide soothing relief to your scalp, both internally and externally.
- Buttermilk rinse– We all know that buttermilk is an excellent coolant. Simply rinse your scalp with buttermilk and let it soak for some time. Then wash it off.
- Banana and yogurt hair pack– Mash banana and mix it with yogurt. Apply it on your scalp and wash off the scalp after some time.
Additional tips for Scalp Psoriasis treatment
Apart from using an effective scalp psoriasis shampoo and hair oil, try below tips for better results:
- Include foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. They decrease the skin inflammation and associated itching. Fish (salmon, cod, sardines), seafood and fish oils are rich sources of omega 3. Olive oil is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. You can take fish oil capsules to make up for the daily need of omega 3 fatty acids.
Read more: Omega 3 benefits for Psoriasis
- Avoid hair dryers. They make your hairs further dry which would eventually worsen the skin irritation and itching. Let the hairs dry naturally. If you have long hairs and use of dryer is somewhat required for you, then prefer air dryer over blow dryer.
- Avoid hot water for washing of your hairs. Hot water would increase the skin inflammation. Prefer normal or warm water.
- Avoid scratching of your scalp. It would not help you at all. Instead it would further aggravate the problem.
- If your scalp psoriasis is severe, then keep your hairs short. It would facilitate the better application of shampoo and oil on the psoriasis scales.
- For severe scalp psoriasis, increase the application time of shampoo during washing. Let the shampoo soak into your scalp for more time. It would help in softening of psoriasis scales, which can be removed easily by washing and combing afterwards. Also, increase the amount of hair oil and massage time in case of severe scalp psoriasis.
- It is interesting to note that some people experience significant improvement in scalp psoriasis by drinking coconut water. Click here to read more about benefits of coconut water for Psoriasis.