Scalp psoriasis is a very common form of psoriasis that Iâ€™ve seen in many patients over the years, it is in fact one of the most common kinds of psoriasis many will experience who have this chronic skin condition. It commonly occurs behind or around the ears, as you will see on the images on this page. It may cause silvery-white scales that can be most annoying and even quite embarrassing for many people. People who experience scalp psoriasis not only find that it may occur around the ear, it can occur at the crown of the head or affect any other part of the scalp. Apart from producing white, silvery flakes of skin that can fall onto your clothes or in your bed, it may also cause temporary hair loss which can be even more embarrassing than those skin flakes.
Sometimes a small patch of psoriasis develops as a result, which can be easy to hide with hair, especially if you allow your hair to grow longer. Unfortunately for some, scalp psoriasis can even cover the entire scalp. When psoriasis does appear on the scalp, you may notice the following:
- Silvery white scales, or dandruff-like flaking. Some people who have scalp psoriasis in fact think they may have dandruff, especially if their psoriasis is mild. Most people who have scalp psoriasis will experience flaking skin. The big difference between scalp psoriasis and dandruff is that psoriasis skin flakes tend to be silvery and dry in appearance, whereas dandruff skin flakes have a tendency to be duller and even somewhat oily.
- Scalp patches with a reddish appearance. Some psoriasis skin patches are barely noticeable, but others can be red in appearance and have a very noticeable thick, inflamed look about them.
- Scalp dryness. Dryness is very characteristic of scalp psoriasis, and a personâ€™s scalp may become so dry that the skin can even crack and bleed.
- Itching. Of all the symptoms a person will experience with psoriasis of the scalp, Iâ€™ve certainly noticed that itching is by far the most common one. For some the itch is mild; others have intense itching that can interfere with everyday life and even cause sleepless nights.
- Bleeding. One of the main problems with scalp psoriasis is itching, and it is this incessant itching that makes most people scratch the skin of their scalp, and regular itching can make the scalp bleed. Scratching can worsen the psoriasis and increase the risk of a skin infection. Besides these problems, scratching can make the psoriasis patches larger and thicker. Dermatologists often tell patients to not scratch their scalp.
- Soreness or burning sensation. The skin on the scalp can burn and feel very painful.
- Hair loss. Temporary hair loss can occur, because scratching the scalp or using force to remove the scale can cause skin trauma to the scalp and increase the risk of hair loss. Once the scalp psoriasis clears however, hair usually grows back.
These seven signs and symptoms are typical of scalp psoriasis, they can vary from person to person in their severity and they can come and go. Some psoriasis patients I have known experience one or more of these signs and symptoms as only mild flare-ups, whereas others will experience them as more severe flare-ups. Many things can trigger or cause a flare-up, including stress, cold, and dry air.
More About Scalp Psoriasis
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