Among all the people dealing with psoriasis, scalp is the most commonly affected body part. But, the situation becomes worse when the psoriasis scales go beyond scalp and spread on your forehead (hairline) and other parts of your face. In this article, we would discuss about how to manage psoriasis on face and forehead. Psoriasis is not life threatening, but it can make you very uncomfortable due to high degree of skin dryness and inflammation associated with it. Red colored patches covered with silvery white psoriasis scales on various parts of your body can make you highly conscious about your physical appearance when you are facing the outer world. Psoriasis on face and forehead along with the scalp is more traumatic than other parts of the body which are less visible.
Psoriasis on Face and Forehead
Wikipedia claims that more than 2% of the world’s total population is dealing with psoriasis. That’s really a big number. But, not all of them have psoriasis on face and forehead. I have met a lot of people who have severe psoriasis all over their body, but not on the face.
The psychological impact of psoriasis is much more if it exists on the face. It is very obvious also. Your face is the first thing that a person notices on coming in contact. If a person meets you and give awkward stares at your face, then you are bound to feel a little low. Psoriasis marks on the face and forehead can really make an impact on your personal and professional life. I remember, once I got an email from a young lady who was fired from her job because of psoriasis on face. She was a receptionist. Similarly, if you are approaching an opposing sex with the intention of getting into a relationship, then psoriasis patches on your face can really prove a big turn off.
My story is no different
I got psoriasis in August, 2005; I was 21 at that time. It was the final year of my engineering studies when I got my first attack of psoriasis. At the peak of my youth, I was a good looking tall, handsome guy and I was proud of my personality. But, suddenly those undesired psoriasis patches just spoiled everything. Initially, I got psoriasis patches on my scalp and back. Gradually, my whole body got covered with psoriasis flakes. It was a case of severe psoriasis. I had plenty of psoriasis patches on my face- forehead, inside my eyebrows, area between the eyebrows, on my nose, on the cheeks, inside the ears, behind the ears, on the area between the lips and nostrils, on my chin and on my neck. It was very difficult for me to hide them from people’s eyes and every day, I used to see people staring at my face; sometimes they enquired and sometimes they didn’t.
Facing the mirror was a challenge for me
During those years of severe psoriasis, I would seldom look myself in the mirror and that too only for a few seconds. It was something like- I used to hate seeing myself in the mirror and avoiding mirror was my way of forgetting about my psoriasis. Although I had psoriasis patches all over my body, but it was psoriasis on face that really took a toll on me.
My severe scalp psoriasis made this behavior more powerful. As a result of thick psoriasis scales on my scalp, I would experience heavy hair fall every day. Every day in the morning, my pillow would be full of broken hairs. Also, during combing, a lot of hairs would fall. To minimize this hair fall, I used to have short hairs most of the time. Those short hairs would let me skip combing.
So, practically, there was no requirement to see myself in the mirror as there was no need of combing.
But, do we see ourselves in the mirror only to comb our hair?
We see ourselves in mirror to adore ourselves. I remember a quote- We can love someone else only if we love ourselves.
So, adoring yourself in front of the mirror; seeing yourself in the mirror and smiling; exploring various ideas to groom yourself while looking in the mirror- all these things shows that you love yourself and when you love yourself, then your self esteem will be higher and you will be able to enjoy a healthy life with warmth in relation with family and friends.
The Journey of Holistic healing
Holistic healing doesn’t work just on the physical symptoms of the illness. Holistic or “wholistic” healing stands for considering every aspect of a person- diet, lifestyle, nutritional deficiency, level of stress and anxiety- to treat the illness.
Since last 1 one and half years, I have started walking on the path of holistic healing to work on every aspect of my life to heal my psoriasis. Results are really good.
Now, I don’t find looking in the mirror as terrifying as it was earlier. Now, I can see my face in the mirror without any feeling of self hatred.
Heal Psoriasis from Inside-out
Psoriasis is an auto-immune illness where your faulty immune system causes rapid growth of skin cells resulting in thick psoriasis patches on various parts of the body.
An auto-immune condition like psoriasis triggers when the level of toxins in your body goes out of control slashing the safety limit. When you eat food, your digestive system process that food to get energy and various vital nutrients to sustain a healthy life. After getting these stuffs, it is the responsibility of your liver and kidney to flush off the remaining food wastes from your body in the form of stool and urine. This is how your body works.
If due to any reason, this equilibrium gets disturbed- either you start injecting more toxins or your liver becomes incapable to remove the toxins-then these toxins would pile up. This increased level of toxins would seep through the pores of the intestinal walls to enter into the bloodstream. With blood circulation, these toxins would reach every part of your body and would start accumulating in body cells. Your impaired liver would seek help from skin. Your skin is the largest body organ and after liver and kidney, it is the third most important organ responsible for elimination of toxins from the body. Your skin would facilitate elimination of these accumulated body toxins from your body in the form of psoriasis scales.
Hence, psoriasis is not just a skin problem. Actually, it is a gut related disorder. Psoriasis scales on your skin are just a reflection that your gut is under stress.
So, to heal psoriasis, first of all, we have to identify the factors that can increase body toxins:
- Food intolerance (inability to properly digest foods such as wheat gluten, dairy, red meat, nightshades)
- Chronic constipation
- Inefficient digestive tract
- Genetic problems
- High consumption of alcohol and tobacco (smoking)
- Chronic stress and anxiety
- Long term use of steroids and antibiotics (they destroy your gut flora and can impair your liver)
After identifying the factors, we have to reverse them:
- First of all, detox your body to get rid of accumulated toxins. Lemon water detox, coffee enema, panchkarma, green juice fast are some of the ways. Most importantly, avoid constipation at any cost
- After detox, follow a restricted and healthy psoriasis diet. Dr Pagano diet, Alkaline diet are some of the diet programs that can help you.
- Along with the diet, take steps to strengthen your digestive tract. Take probiotic supplements to fortify your gut flora with healthy enzymes. Buttermilk is a natural probiotic. Turmeric is one of the best natural liver detox herb with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
- Faulty genes and digestive tract cause nutritional deficiency. Take omega 3 fatty acid and vitamin D supplements. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, but, due to today’s hectic life, we hardly get time to enjoy enough exposure to sunlight.
- Cut down on the consumption of alcohol and smoking. Remember that smoking is a bigger culprit than alcohol.
- Stop denying your problem, rather accept it and try to overcome it. It would slash the stress level. Also, take help from yoga, meditation and massage therapies to calm down your emotions.
- Avoid cold, flu and other viral infections. Limit your consumption of antibiotics.
- For topical application, use safe and effective shampoo, cream and oils which are based on natural alternatives.
What about those Psoriasis scales on face and forehead
Natural healing takes time. Results don’t come over night. You would start seeing some results in 4-6 weeks. Then, gradually, these psoriasis patches would start getting thinner and then they would disappear. It is a long term commitment.
Hence, it is not a bad idea to discuss some safe and effective quick-fix ideas to minimize psoriasis symptoms on your face.
Your face is quite sensitive and facial skin is thinner than other body parts. Applying steroids based topical creams on your facial skin is not a good idea at all. Most of these pharma based creams have coal tar and salicylic acid as chief ingredients. Coal tar is a by-product of coal processing-when coal is converted into coal gas. It doesn’t give me a good feeling if I have to use something on my face which is obtained by burning of coal.
Salicylic acid is no less. Salicylic acid is extensively used as a stain remover. Some people use salicylic acid to remove rust also. So, how can you expect mercy from these two hardcore chemicals if we apply them regularly on your face. These chemicals work harshly to rub off the psoriasis scales from your skin without bothering for the natural beauty of your skin.
Let us opt for safe and effective natural alternatives!!
A very effective way to manage Facial Psoriasis is:
Face steaming (Facial sauna) for Psoriasis
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. After liver and kidney, your skin is the third most important organ of your body which is responsible of elimination of wastes and toxins from your body. Facial sauna is a wonderful treat for it.
When you expose your face to steam for 5-7 minutes before bathing, all the psoriasis scales gets soft and loose and then they can be easily removed during bathing. You can easily do facial sauna at your home without spending too much time or money.
Facial sauna hydrates your skin, increases blood circulation and open skin pores to remove dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria from it. Hence, if you are prone to common skin problems like acne, facial sauna would help you with that also. During steaming, skin pores would open. Continuous steaming for 5-7 minutes would make your skin sweat. This sweat would dissolve various skin impurities like dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria in it to get washed away.
How to do Facial Sauna
You can easily do face sauna at home either manually or using a face steamer. If you want to do manually, then you would need some boiled water, a bowl and a towel. Otherwise, you can get a good quality face steam by spending just 25 US dollars.
I personally recommend using a facial steamer instead of using boiled water in the bowl. The reasons are:
- Facial steamers assure uniform steaming throughout the whole process
- Timer knob to set time
- Auto off to avoid over steaming of your face
Whether you decide to go for manual face steaming or mechanized, don’t forget to wash your face properly before steaming if you have applied makeup because during steaming, the makeup ingredients can enter into your skin pores to irritate your skin. Wash your face properly with a gentle face cleanser and warm water.
After washing, prepare your facial steamer as directed or just pour some boiled water in a bowl. Tie your hairs back and lean your face over the steam for 5-7 minutes. Use a towel as a tent for your face as well as the steamer/water bowl. Don’t take your face too close to the steam. Over steaming can increase the skin inflammation and can dry it out. Maintain a distance of 10-15 inches. After steam for 5-7 minutes, use a soft fibrous towel to pat your skin dry and then use aloe vera gel or a natural skin moisturizer. Opened skin pores would assure deep penetration of aloe vera gel/ moisturizer in the skin.
After this, take a bath using normal cool water. In winter, use warm water. Never use hot water because longer bathing time in hot water can strip off the natural moisture from your skin. During bathing, use a natural herbal soap and gently rub off the psoriasis scales from your skin.
Read more: Soap for Psoriasis
Read more: Winter tips for Psoriasis
After bathing, dry your skin with a soft towel. Develop a habit of patting your skin dry instead of rubbing the towel. Immediately after drying, use a skin moisturizer to make sure that the water gets locked in your skin and don’t get evaporate. Don’t use aloe vera gel on face after bathing because it can make your skin red.
- Do facial steam twice a week. In case of severe psoriasis, do it three times a week. Not more than that. Over steaming would make your skin dry.
- The day when you perform facial sauna, drink 1 cup of water extra with a pinch of himalayan pink salt in it to compensate for any lost body fluids and minerals.
- Optimum steaming time is 5 to 7 minutes. At max, you can go for 10 minutes. Not more than that.
- Don’t use aloe vera gel after bathing because it would make your skin red. Although aloe vera is an excellent skin soothing gel, but use skin moisturizer instead.
- You may try facial sauna at night, apply a good skin moisturizer liberally, leave it for overnight and take a bath the next morning. Sometimes, this overnight process brings enhanced healing effect.
More useful tips
- Take Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. These essential fatty acids reduce skin inflammation and reduce the itchiness. Fish oil capsules are the best source of omega 3.
Read more: Omega 3 for Psoriasis
- For facial hairs, use a trimmer or an electric shaver instead of harsh manual shaver.
- Sweating is a good way to make these psoriasis scales soft and loose. Then they can be easily rubbed off the skin. Physical workout or sunbathing are good ways for sweating.
- If you are a big fan of pharma based topical creams, then instead of using coal tar and salicylic acid creams, use vitamin d based creams.
Read more: Vitamin D, sunlight and Psoriasis
From where to buy
To get natural/ herbal soap and moisturizer for psoriasis, please follow the above given links.
For buying a facial steamer, I am giving the below Amazon link. Do remember that you can easily do face steaming with just a bowl of boiled water also if you are not willing to spend on buying a face steamer.
If you are from USA, click here to buy
If you are from UK, click here to buy
If you are from India, click here to buy
I hope, this article has answered at least few of your questions about how to manage psoriasis on face and forehead. Together, we are stronger!!