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Symptoms, Causes & Cures of Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that affects the scalp and is sometimes confused with seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. Scalp psoriasis has symptoms that are similar to seborrheic dermatitis such as itchy, inflamed and scaly skin. However scalp psoriasis is more resistance to treatment than seborrheic dermatitis. Specific symptoms to scalp psoriasis include inflamed dry plaques of skin that are covered with either red or silvery scales, cracked skin which is also extremely dry and may cause bleeding, burning an itching sensations or soreness on the inflamed patch. Scalp psoriasis is usually seen either on the forehead or the skin just below the hairline. In some, it is observed that that the inflamed patches are characterized by thickening of the skin with accentuated skin lines. The thickening of the particular area takes place because of constant friction and scratching of the itchy patch. Secondary infection is likely to take place if the individual is constantly picking on the thickened scab.

Diagnosis of scalp psoriasis is usually made with a visual examination of the particular area. In some cases a skin biopsy is needed to distinguish whether the individual is afflicted with seborrheic dermatitis or scalp psoriasis. The dermatologist may also check for psoriasis on other parts of the body as it is likely that scalp psoriasis precedes psoriasis on elbows, lower back, nails or knees.

Mild scalp psoriasis is usually treated with medicated shampoos that contain topical steroids such as ketoconazole. Coal tar applications are also known to be useful to treat mild scalp psoriasis. Other over the counter treatments includes medications containing pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide and salicylic acid. Mild psoriasis is relatively easy to control and treat than moderate or severe psoriasis. For moderate scalp psoriasis corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, calcipotriol or calcipotriene, tazarotene, tars, and anthralin are different types of drugs used to treat scalp psoriasis. As for severe scalp psoriasis, topical applications in conjunction with ultraviolet therapy are given to control the symptoms and the itching. If the psoriasis on the scalp has thickened and inflamed then the dermatologist usually takes measures to reduce the plaques. Scalp psoriasis is usually not treated with greasy creams and ointments as they are tough to reach the affected area and also difficult to remove from the hair. Hence there are a number of specialized lotions, solutions, and gels that have been specifically made to target scalp psoriasis.