As discussed in our previous post, scalp psoriasis is one of the most common type of psoriasis. More than half of the total population suffering from psoriasis has scalp psoriasis. Dry and itchy scales on your scalp and nearby areas (forehead, behind the ears and inside of your ears) can be a terrible experience.
Proper diagnosis of scalp psoriasis is very crucial. Sometimes, people would misjudge it as dandruff. In my case also, my family considered my scalp psoriasis as dandruff and tried various home remedies to make my scalp clean, but all in vain. When psoriasis patches started to spread to other parts of my body, then I visited a dermatologist and my psoriasis was confirmed. Hence, it is quite common that mild to medium intensity scalp psoriasis is sometimes misunderstood as dandruff.
Few of the basic symptoms of scalp psoriasis are:
1. Silvery white scales which can fall on to your clothes or in your bed.
2. These scales quite dry in nature. This dryness can even cause cracking of psoriasis scales to cause bleeding.
3. Itching is second worst, along with scalp dryness. Dry scalp and itching- it can’t be any worse a situation.
Scalp Psoriasis treatment
I was having thick psoriasis scales in my scalp. Silvery white scales used to fall on your clothes every time. Every day in the morning, I used to see a lot of psoriasis scales and broken hairs on my bed and pillow. Also, the extreme dryness of these psoriasis scales used to compel me to rub and scratch my head frequently causing hair loss. It was a horrible experience. But there is nothing new in this story because we all have more or less similar life experiences.
But this pain is not forever. Once you start walking on the path of holistic healing, thickness of psoriasis scales would start lessening all over your body including scalp. Holistic healing concept has helped me in healing my scalp psoriasis significantly and the good story continues. Gradually, I am getting all my lost hairs (lost due to psoriasis) back. Now, I can see hairs coming back in those empty spaces in my scalp. When I can experience this amazing experience, there is no doubt that you can experience it as well.
Click here to read more: Hair fall due to psoriasis is temporary!!
The crux of the matter is- whether it is psoriasis on the scalp or any other part of your body, the healing process is the same. Holistic healing would benefit in lessening the intensity of psoriasis equally on various parts of your body. Holistic healing concept works on the principle that Psoriasis is an INSIDE-OUT problem. Psoriasis patches on your skin are just a reflection of something bad inside your body. Hence, the real healing would be from INSIDE-OUT only.
Just treating those psoriasis patches on your skin and scalp would not solve the problem.
It would be something like – Painting the outer walls of your body with new color every time without removing the dirt from the interior of your building.
Hence, you would need to work on almost all the aspects of your life to get the things back in the order to function properly.
Holistic healing comprises of:
- Positive change in your diet
- Positive change in your lifestyle
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Use of natural herbs and supplements
- Use of natural alternatives for topical treatment
Shampoo and oils for Scalp Psoriasis
Holistic healing takes time and the results would not come over night. Hence, along with the inside body healing, we do need to take care of scalp psoriasis on a daily basis by suitable topical treatment solutions (shampoos and oils)
Use of various shampoos and oils for scalp psoriasis has two main purposes:
- To reduce the scalp dryness and itchiness.
- To minimize the hair fall (related to psoriasis)
I visited two dermatologists during my initial days of struggle to deal with psoriasis. Both of them prescribed topical shampoos for my scalp psoriasis having coal tar, salicylic acid and sulphur as main ingredients. After every use of these shampoos, my scalp used to get damn dry as if someone had stripped off all the oil from my scalp. Also, these shampoos used to make my hairs lifeless and dull causing hair breakage. The bottom line is- Dealing with scalp psoriasis, you are supposed to shampoo your hairs everyday, hence, using a steroid based coal tar shampoo (as explained above) is not a good idea at all.
Choosing a natural/ herbal shampoo
Personally, I am using a herbal Aloe Vera shampoo on a daily basis. These days I am having long hairs and hence, to take care of them, I shampoo my hairs on everyday basis. I am experiencing very minor hair breakage which is quite normal for non sufferers also. Hence, I can relieve you from all your worries of hair fall with this shampoo. Any herbal Aloe Vera shampoo would contain glycerin and essential oils apart from Aloe Vera.
Click here to read: Selecting a Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo
Choosing a hair oil
Keeping your scalp moisturized is very important because scalp psoriasis is very dry in nature. I am using virgin coconut oil as a hair oil. It keeps my scalp moisturized for the whole day quite effectively and it is not sticky at all. As I am drinking virgin coconut oil on daily basis, I am using the same for my scalp as well.
Click here to read more: Benefits of coconut oil for Psoriasis
Apart from this virgin coconut oil, you can try other options as well. Here goes a few choices:
- Coconut oil (virgin coconut oil would be perfect)
- Neem oil (Using pure neem oil can make your scalp quite smelly and sticky)
- Neem oil diluted with coconut oil
- Neem oil diluted with tea tree oil
Click here to read more: Benefits of Neem oil for Psoriasis
Weekly Scalp moisturizing treatment with Apple cider vinegar
If your scalp psoriasis is giving you troubles even after using the above said natural shampoos and oils, you can try an intense scalp moisturizing technique.
- Take 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and add 3/4 cup of normal water to it. (Never take hot water because it can further increase the skin inflammation)
- You can add 1 teaspoonful of pure glycerine in it. It is optional.
- Stir it well to make a uniform solution.
- Take a sponge or a cotton cloth and dip it into this above prepared solution.
- Apply this solution on the psoriasis affected area of your scalp.
- Leave it for at least 15-20 minutes and then wash your hairs with a herbal shampoo.
- If your scalp skin is cracked or you have bleeding sores, avoid this treatment because apple cider vinegar can irritate your scalp and increase the inflammation.
Useful tips for scalp psoriasis treatment
- Avoid using hair dryers. They can make your scalp dry and itchy.
- Avoid using hot water for washing your hairs because it can increase the inflammation.
- Show some love for your own skin. Don’t scratch your scalp harshly.
- Scalp psoriasis some times spread in near by areas like – on the forehead, behind ears, inside the ears etc. Use Aloe Vera gel on these areas to reduce the thickness of the scales and also to reduce itching.
Additional tips for severe scalp psoriasis
In case you have severe scalp psoriasis with thick psoriasis scales on your scalp, below tips can help you
- For severe scalp psoriasis treatment, keep your hairs short. Short hairs would help in targeting the thick psoriasis scales in an effective manner.
- Increase the application time of shampoo during bathing. It would help in softening of psoriasis scales. Softened scales can be easily removed by washing and then combing.
- Increase the amount of hair oil and massage for enough time. Better the moisturization, lesser will be itching and scratching.
- Increase the frequency of scalp moisturizing treatment. Initially, do it on a weekly basis and after confirming the positive results, you can increase the frequency as per your comfort.
- During scratching, longer fingernails can irritate the scalp and cause hair pulling. Hence, keep your fingernails short.
There has been real life experiences of people where drinking coconut water regularly have helped them in treating their scalp psoriasis.
Click here to read about their experiences: Drinking coconut water for Scalp psoriasis