All About Scalp Psoriasis

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All About Scalp Psoriasis

By Dr Aman Sharma , Dermatology

Psoriasis is a kind of skin disease caused by the immune system. The skin cells receive defective signals from the immune system; signals which cause the skin cells to mature quickly. New skin cells, thus, form within days rather than weeks. In such cases, your body cannot get rid of these excess skin cells, and the cells keep piling up on the skin’s surface. This causes the formation of psoriasis.

Psoriasis can occur anywhere on your skin, but the most common spot is the scalp. Scalp psoriasis can be mild (red, small, rash-like growths), or severe (scaly, thick plaques).


The main cause of scalp psoriasis is unknown. Doctors generally believe it is a hereditary skin disorder; if someone in your family has psoriasis, you could be vulnerable to it.

Psoriasis is chronic; you might have days with minimal symptoms, but sometimes the symptoms can get severe and might hinder your daily activities. These periods of severity are called flare-ups. Factors that causes flare-ups include:

1. Stress

2. Skin injuries

3. Infections

4. Certain medications

5. Dry or cold air


Mild scalp psoriasis has symptoms such as fine, minimal scaling. However, severe psoriasis includes symptoms such as:

1. Red, scaly, raised patches

2. Whitish-silver scaling

3. Dandruff-like shedding

4. Dry scalp

5. Itching

6. Soreness or burning

7. Hair loss

Scalp psoriasis itself doesn’t cause hair loss, but scratching a lot or very hard, picking at the scaly spots, harsh treatments, and the stress that goes along with the condition can lead to temporary hair loss. Fortunately, your hair usually grows back after your skin clears.

When to See Your Doctor:

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain from scalp psoriasis or any of its symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor. Even if you’re just concerned about the effects on your appearance, a doctor can help.

Scalp psoriasis can become infected. Symptoms of infection include tenderness and crusting of the scalp, and sometimes may include swollen lymph nodes. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor right away.