How To Get Rid of Psoriasis on Scalp

psoriasis scalp


It is challenging to live with scalp psoriasis. It affects more than just your skin – it can impact your emotions, too. The visible symptoms often cause embarrassment, lowering self-confidence and making you withdraw from social settings. Plus, the relentless itchiness disrupts sleep and everyday tasks. This can interfere with work and personal life, adding to the burden.

Managing scalp psoriasis goes beyond just relieving physical symptoms. Getting rid of the condition can enhance your overall quality of life. Dealing with scalp psoriasis can seem tough, but there's no need to fret! In this article, we will provide strategies for managing the condition. We'll talk about both medical treatments and natural home remedies. Plus, we’ll give tips on changing your routines to avoid flares and boost your scalp's health. Get ready to tame those­ stubborn, flaky patches!

What Is Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a prevalent skin condition that primarily affects the scalp. It manifests as inflamed, scaly, typically silver or red patches. These patches can be slightly bothersome or intensely itchy and uncomfortable, potentially covering the entire scalp or appearing in isolated spots. The condition can also extend beyond the scalp to areas like the forehead, back of the neck, or behind the ears.

The some scalp psoriasis symptoms include the following:

  • Red, inflamed skin covered with thick, silvery-white scales.
  • Dry scalp that may crack and bleed, especially when scales are disturbed.
  • Itching varies from mild to severe, which can lead to further irritation or infection due to scratching.
  • Flaking resembles severe dandruff, shedding larger and more noticeable scales.
  • Burning or soreness in areas where the inflammation is particularly severe.

The severity of scalp psoriasis varies widely. Mild scalp psoriasis is slight scaling or more severe conditions are thick, crusted plaques that envelop the entire scalp. This variability means that each person's experience with the condition is unique. As a result, treatment and management strategies often need to be customised to fit individual needs.

Causes of Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is not merely a surface-level issue - it’s a complex condition influenced by genetic links and environmental triggers. Let's explore these factors in more detail:

Genetic Factors

At its core, scalp psoriasis has a genetic element. It often clusters in families, suggesting a hereditary blueprint. This genetic tendency involves specific genes linked to the immune system, which somehow go awry, leading to the rapid turnover of skin cells seen in psoriasis. Imagine skin cells multiplying so fast that they don't have time to mature, creating those thick, scaly patches on the scalp. If your parents or siblings have psoriasis, the likelihood of you facing this condition increases. This familial link can be a source of worry for many, fearing the day the first red, itchy patches make an appearance.

Environmental Triggers

Life’s unpredictable elements can also play a significant role in triggering scalp psoriasis. These are the external factors that can ignite the condition even in someone genetically predisposed.


Perhaps one of the most common triggers, stress can set off or exacerbate psoriasis. The body’s stress response can stir up inflammation, acting as a catalyst for a flare-up. Many people can recall their first psoriasis outbreak during a particularly stressful period, linking emotional turmoil to physical symptoms.

Weather Conditions

The climate plays a crucial role as well. Cold, dry air can sap the moisture from your skin, making it more prone to psoriasis. Conversely, warm, humid air might relieve symptoms, offering a natural form of relief that many seek eagerly.


The most common type of infection linked to the onset of scalp psoriasis is a streptococcal infection, such as strep throat. When the body responds to this bacterial infection, the immune system becomes activated in a way that can also exacerbate or trigger psoriasis. This immune response leads to increased inflammation, which in turn accelerates the production of skin cells. On the scalp, this results in the thick, scaly patches characteristic of scalp psoriasis.


Interestingly, some medications can induce psoriasis in predisposed individuals. Drugs like beta-blockers, used for managing blood pressure, or lithium for bipolar disorder, can be potential triggers. This side effect can be particularly disheartening, as it forces patients to balance necessary medical treatments with their psoriasis management.

bleeding psoriasis on scalp

Diagnosing Scalp Psoriasis

To manage scalp psoriasis effectively, the first step to take is to diagnose it. A thorough and accurate diagnosis is essential as scalp psoriasis can resemble other skin disorders. The following is how healthcare providers commonly approach the diagnosis of this challenging skin condition.

Physical Examination

A physical examination is usually the first step in the diagnosis of scalp psoriasis. A dermatologist or other healthcare provider will closely examine the scalp, looking for the distinctive signs of psoriasis. These signs include red patches of skin covered with silvery scales, dry scalp, dandruff-like flaking, and changes in the texture and appearance of the scalp. The edges of these patches are typically well-defined.

During the examination, the doctor might also check other parts of the body because psoriasis can affect various areas simultaneously. They will look for similar patches on the elbows, knees, torso, and nails, which are common locations for psoriasis lesions.

Medical History

A thorough medical history helps in diagnosing scalp psoriasis. The healthcare provider will ask questions about the patient’s health history, any family history of psoriasis, and the presence of any symptoms such as itching, pain, or bleeding. They will inquire about factors that could influence the condition, such as recent stress, medication usage, or exposure to certain environments.


If the diagnosis isn't clear from the visual exam and medical history, the doctor may perform a biopsy. This involves taking a small sample of skin from the affected area, which is then examined under a microscope. This test helps distinguish psoriasis from other similar-looking skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, fungal infections, or eczema.

Other Tests

In some cases, additional tests may be required to rule out other conditions. For instance, a fungal culture might be done to exclude fungal infections, which can mimic the appearance of scalp psoriasis.

Topical Treatments for Scalp Psoriasis

When managing scalp psoriasis, topical treatments and products for scalp psoriasis are often the first strategy recommended by healthcare providers. These treatments are applied directly to the scalp and can significantly alleviate symptoms. Let’s explore the most effective medicated shampoos and creams used to combat this condition.

Medicated Shampoos

Medicated shampoos are a staple in treating scalp psoriasis. They are designed to reduce scaling, inflammation, and itchiness. Here are some common types:

●      Coal Tar Shampoos

Coal tar is an old but gold treatment for psoriasis. It slows the rapid growth of skin cells and reduces inflammation. Shampoos containing coal tar can be a bit messy and might have a strong odour, but their effectiveness makes them a popular choice.

●      Salicylic Acid Shampoos

These shampoos help soften plaques and scales, making them easier to remove. Salicylic acid is excellent for reducing scalp build up, but it’s important not to use it too frequently as it can sometimes weaken the hair shafts and lead to breakage.

●      Ketoconazole Shampoos

Typically used for fungal infections, ketoconazole can also help reduce the yeast population on the skin, which might contribute to inflammation and symptoms of psoriasis.

Using these shampoos involves more than a quick wash; it’s best to leave them on the scalp for a few minutes to allow the active ingredients to work effectively before rinsing them off.

Topical Creams and Ointments

In addition to shampoos, various creams and ointments can be used to treat scalp psoriasis:

●      Corticosteroid Creams

These are the most commonly prescribed medications for scalp psoriasis. They come in various strengths and can significantly reduce inflammation and ease symptoms. However, they should be used sparingly and not for prolonged periods, as they can lead to skin thinning and other side effects.

●      Vitamin D Analogues Creams

These creams (such as calcipotriene) help control the overproduction of skin cells. Unlike corticosteroids, they do not cause skin thinning, making them suitable for longer-term use. While vitamin D analogues are typically safe for treating psoriasis, they might not be the best choice for everyone. If you have certain health conditions or are currently on specific medications, these treatments could lead to drug interactions. For that reason, try to check with your doctor to see if vitamin D analogues are a safe option for you. They can guide you through any potential interactions with your existing medications or health issues, ensuring your treatment plan is both effective and safe.

Applying these creams and ointments can be tricky on hairy areas like the scalp. It’s often recommended to part the hair in sections to ensure the medication is applied directly to the skin.

Light Therapy for Scalp Psoriasis

Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is a popular method for treating scalp psoriasis. It works by exposing the scalp to ultraviolet (UV) light under medical supervision, effectively slowing the rapid growth of skin cells associated with psoriasis.

There are two primary types of UV light used:

1.   UVB Phototherapy

This is the most common form of light therapy for psoriasis. Narrow-band UVB light directly targets the DNA in skin cells, helping to reduce their growth rate, which diminishes scaling and inflammation. Sessions typically occur two to three times a week, either in a clinic or at home, using a specialised UVB lamp.

2.   PUVA (Psoralen plus UVA)

This approach combines a light-sensitizing medication called psoralen with UVA light exposure. Psoralen can be taken orally or applied directly to the skin, enhancing its sensitivity to UVA light. This method tends to be more potent than UVB therapy but comes with increased risks, such as premature skin ageing and a higher chance of skin cancer.

Systemic Treatments for Scalp Psoriasis

When scalp psoriasis is severe or stubbornly resistant to other treatments, doctors might recommend systemic treatments. These treatments, which include oral medications and injectables, work throughout the entire body and are potent against psoriasis.

Oral Medications


A well-established treatment, methotrexate helps calm inflammation and dial down the immune response. Although effective, it requires careful monitoring due to potential side effects like liver damage.


This medication quickly curbs symptoms by suppressing the immune system. It's effective for rapid relief but is usually reserved for short-term use because of risks like kidney damage and increased blood pressure.


Related to vitamin A, acitretin slows the production of skin cells. It's an option for those who can't use light therapy, but it carries significant risks, including severe birth defects, so precautions are necessary.



These advanced drugs are made from living cells and target specific parts of the immune system that drive inflammation. Drugs like etanercept, adalimumab, and ustekinumab can greatly reduce psoriasis symptoms, offering some patients clear skin.

IL-17 inhibitors

These are among the latest in biologic treatments, blocking the IL-17 protein involved in inflammation. Drugs like Secukinumab and Ixekizumab have shown promising results in managing psoriasis symptoms effectively.

Due to the powerful nature of these systemic treatments, regular check-ups with your doctor are essential to ensure they're working as intended and to monitor for any side effects.

Mask Remedies for Scalp Psoriasis

Many people with scalp psoriasis look for natural ways to ease their symptoms. Two herbal remedies that are often recommended for their soothing properties are aloe vera and tea tree oil.

Two Herbs Collagen Deep Moisturizing Mask

The Two Herbs Collagen Mask is an innovative scalp psoriasis treatment specifically designed to deeply hydrate the scalp and restore the moisture it desperately needs. This specialised treatment harnesses the power of natural ingredients to provide a soothing, moisturising experience for those struggling with dry scalp conditions, including scalp psoriasis.

The Two Herbs Collagen Mask is an effective do-it-yourself home remedy formulated with natural ingredients like Hydrolyzed Royal Jelly Protein, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf and Hydrolyzed Collagen. These ingredients have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis on scalp, such as dryness and itching. Additionally, this treatment for scalp psoriasis helps to improve the overall health and elasticity of the scalp, which can be particularly helpful in managing the scaling and flaking associated with psoriasis.

The Two Herbs deep collagen mask is produced under stringent quality controls, guaranteeing that only the finest ingredients are used on your scalp.

To further enhance your treatment, consider Two Herbs Scalp Peeling Gel after using the collagen mask. After hydrating with the collagen mask, you can use the scalp peeling gel to remove dandruff on your scalp. 

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is well recognised for its soothing, anti-inflammatory effects. This makes it a great choice for easing the irritation and redness that psoriasis dry scalp can cause. You can apply the gel directly from the plant to the scalp -  which helps moisturise the skin, reduce flakiness, and encourage healing. For continuous relief, you can use pure aloe vera gel or products with a high concentration of aloe vera multiple times throughout the day.

Tea Tree Oil

Known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities, tea tree oil can also be a valuable tool in your scalp psoriasis care routine. It helps lessen the itchiness and scaling often seen with this condition. Since tea tree oil is quite strong, it’s important to dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil before applying it to your scalp to prevent irritation. Mixing a few drops into your regular shampoo or with a carrier oil can provide ongoing symptom management.


If you're looking to manage scalp psoriasis effectively, ensure you find a suitable scalp psoriasis treatment in Singapore that works for you. This might include but is not limited to conventional medical care, light therapy, and natural remedies like tea tree oil and aloe vera. Apart from medical interventions, adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, and maintaining a balanced diet are essential for managing symptoms. Furthermore, it would be ideal to stay in close communication with your physician so that you can adjust your strategy as necessary.

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