What Are the Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis?
Many people confuse scalp psoriasis with dandruff, thinking that those little dandruff flakes showing up on their collars are simply a sign that they should buy a dandruff shampoo. But scalp psoriasis is quite different from dandruff, and most often requires treatment from a board-certified dermatologist to remedy the symptoms before they create a larger problem, such as causing cuts and hair loss on itchy portions of the scalp. In addition, you’ll surely want your doctor to lessen your scalp psoriasis symptoms so that you don’t have to deal with the embarrassment of flakes on your shoulders and visible in your hair line.
Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that can appear as a single patch of raised, reddish, often scaly skin, or it can appear as several patches or a large section of your scalp affected, as well as your forehead, the back of your neck and behind your ears. Scalp psoriasis may be mild and almost imperceptible, but it can also occur in severe forms with thick, crusted sores, and can cause such extreme itchiness that sleep can be affected, and scratching can lead to more than just hair loss; cuts from scratching scalp psoriasis can become infected.
It is not known what causes scalp psoriasis, but doctors believe it may be caused by an immune system disorder that causes skin cells to grow too quickly and build up into those telltale scalp psoriasis patches. It is not contagious, but it’s important to know that scalp psoriasis often runs in families, so your kids may develop issues with scalp psoriasis if you are among the estimated 7.5 million people with this condition.
Here are some of the top symptoms of scalp psoriasis:
- Mild scalp psoriasis can appear as slight, fine scales
- Moderate to severe cases of scalp psoriasis can include the following:
- Scaly, red, bumpy patches
- Red patches
- Silvery-white scales
- Dandruff-like flaking, although scalp psoriasis is different from dandruff in that scalp psoriasis causes silvery sheen and dry scale on the affected areas
- Dry scalp
- Itching, one of the most common symptoms, which can interfere with everyday life by being socially embarrassing when you have to keep scratching your head and dealing with falling flakes on your skin and clothing. Itching can be so severe as to cause emotional distress
- Bleeding. Since slap psoriasis can be extremely itchy, many people scratch their affected areas, which causes cuts and bleeding, perhaps infection, and can worsen the psoriasis outbreak
- Burning or soreness
- Temporary hair loss (hair usually grows back once your skin clears after treatment)
Symptoms can come and go, sometimes affected by stress, cold and dry air, and flare-ups can be an occasional occurrence or can happen often.
If you notice flakes, scales, red spots or raised patches on your scalp, or on your children’s scalps, be sure to visit your dermatologist to be diagnosed correctly and acquire the proper prescriptions and treatment advice that can bring you relief from your scalp psoriasis symptoms safely and as soon as possible.