Have you ever wondered, “Why is my scalp so itchy?” or “What are these scabs on my scalp”? For some people, the answer may be because of scalp psoriasis.

This skin condition is common and can cause both physical and mental complications. To control scalp psoriasis and reduce its impact, learn how to manage it effectively.

This article will review the signs and symptoms of scalp psoriasis and the ways you can control your condition. Taking supplements like Nufolix hair growth supplements, for example, can help you treat hair loss from scalp psoriasis.

What is scalp psoriasis?

Scalp psoriasis[1] is a chronic, autoimmune skin condition where skin cells rapidly build up on the scalp’s surface. This leads to thick, red patches (or plaques) covered with silvery-white scales. You often find these patches near your hairline, forehead, neck, and the skin around your ears.

While this condition is not contagious, it can still cause discomfort and embarrassment to those who are affected due to the itchiness and bumps on the scalp.

Who does scalp psoriasis affect?

Scalp psoriasis can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in adults. It usually peaks at ages 20-30 and 50- 60.[2]

It’s believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in scalp psoriasis. For instance, those with a strong family history may be more likely to develop it. Other factors, like smoking, obesity, and diet, can also cause scalp psoriasis.[3]

How common is scalp psoriasis?

Scalp psoriasis is a relatively common condition among people with psoriasis. Approximately half[4] of individuals with psoriasis may develop scalp symptoms at some point. Psoriasis affects about 2-3% of the world’s population and around 7.5 million Americans.

What are the signs and symptoms of scalp psoriasis?

Scalp psoriasis typically presents several distinctive signs and symptoms. The severity and combination of symptoms can vary from person to person.
Common signs and symptoms include,[5]:

  • Raised red patches varying in size
  • Silver or white scales that may cover the red patches
  • Dryness and flakiness
  • Itching or burning sensation
  • Hair thinning and Hair loss
  • Cracking or bleeding of the skin
  • Pain or tenderness

What causes scalp psoriasis?

The exact cause of scalp psoriasis has not been fully understood. However, it’s believed to be related to a combination of factors. One of the main reasons for rapid skin cell turnover is an overactive immune system.

You may also have other vital factors contributing to its development, such as:

  • Genetics: Psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis, tends to run in families. A person with a family history of psoriasis may be more predisposed to developing it.
  • Triggers: Common triggers include stress, skin injuries, medications, and hormonal changes.
  • Environmental factors: Psoriasis symptoms can be triggered or worsened by dry air, cold weather, and infections.

It’s important to know that scalp psoriasis can develop differently for each person.

What are the complications of scalp psoriasis?

If you don’t treat it or if your condition is severe, scalp psoriasis can cause complications. Some people experience physical discomfort and distress due to scalp psoriasis symptoms. For example, intense itching may cause secondary infections or hair thinning and loss.

People with scalp psoriasis may have changes in their mental health as well as physical problems. They may experience:

  • Increased self-consciousness, anxiety, and/or depression
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Increased social isolation
  • Challenges with professional interactions
  • It’s important to seek professional medical advice for managing scalp psoriasis. A healthcare provider can suggest treatments to reduce complications and improve your quality of life.

What’s the difference between scalp eczema and psoriasis?

Scalp psoriasis and eczema/dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) share similar symptoms. However, they are distinct conditions with different underlying causes.

Here’s a comparison[6]:

Scalp Psoriasis Scalp Eczema/Dandruff
Causes Genetics immune system dysfunction Yeast overgrowth on the skin excess oil production individual susceptibility
Appearance Red, raised patches covered with thick silver or white scales that adhere to the scalp Smaller white or yellowish, oily-looking flakes that do not stick to the scalp as much
Location Often found on the scalp but can also extend beyond the hairline to the forehead, back of the neck, or behind the ears It primarily affects the scalp but can also occur in areas with oil glands like the face, ears, and upper chest
Itching Can be itchy and, in some cases, may also be painful or tender Often itches, but typically less intense than psoriasis
Occurrence A chronic condition that tends to come and go in flares A chronic but usually milder condition compared to psoriasis
Treatment Topical corticosteroids Medicated shampoos Systemic medications Phototherapy Over-the-counter shampoos Prescription treatments are available if severe

Even though there are similarities, an accurate diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. If you need more clarification about your condition, seeking medical advice is recommended.

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How can you prevent scalp psoriasis flares?

Preventing scalp psoriasis flares may require changes in your lifestyle, how you care for your scalp, and medical treatment. Keep in mind that these tips may help, but they may not completely prevent flare-ups for everyone. Psoriasis is different for each person. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Here are some general tips to help prevent scalp psoriasis flares:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Avoid excessive alcohol intake and smoking.
  • Reduce stress levels by practicing relaxation techniques. Examples include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or mindfulness.
  • Avoid stress, certain drugs, infections, and skin injuries, as they can worsen psoriasis.
  • When washing your hair, use a gentle, fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner to rub your scalp and get rid of the scales. Avoid harsh chemicals or irritants that may exacerbate psoriasis.
  • After you wash your hair, put moisturizer on your scalp to keep it from getting dry.
  • Drink lots of water to keep moisture and hydration in your skin.

Talk to a healthcare professional who knows you well for the best advice and treatment. They can help you develop a plan tailored to your needs and circumstances.

What treatment options are available for scalp psoriasis?

Treatment options for scalp psoriasis range from over-the-counter products to prescription medications. The best treatment option for you depends on your symptoms and how severe your condition is.

Many treatments are applied directly to the scalp such as creams, ointments, solutions, and shampoos.1 Certain treatments can help with inflammation caused by scalp psoriasis. Other treatments can reduce scales and slow down the growth of skin cells. These options include,[7]:

  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medicated shampoos
  • Vitamin D analogs (calcipotriene or calcitriol)
  • Topical retinoids derived from Vitamin A

If you have severe scalp psoriasis, you may need medication like oral retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, or biologic drugs.[8]

If you don’t want complex medication, ask your doctor about light therapy and laser therapy. Phototherapy[9] treats scalp psoriasis with controlled ultraviolet light, either natural or artificial. Laser treatments can target specific areas of psoriasis-affected skin and effectively reduce symptoms.

Make sure to see a healthcare professional to get diagnosed and talk about treatment for your scalp psoriasis.

Is scalp psoriasis contagious?

No, scalp psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot “catch” scalp psoriasis from someone who has it. You also cannot transmit it to others through contact.

Tips for managing scalp psoriasis

The way people respond to the effects of scalp psoriasis and how they address their condition may vary. Outside of using medications, phototherapy, and laser therapy to manage your condition, you may find some of these tips helpful.

  • Be gentle when washing and brushing your hair.
  • Use lukewarm water when washing your hair. Hot water makes dryness and irritation worse.
  • Avoid scratching the affected areas because it can make symptoms worse and cause infections.
  • To keep your hair healthy and prevent hair loss, try taking Nufolix hair growth supplement. It helps with hair growth, keeping your hair healthy and shiny.
  • Follow your treatment plan consistently, even when your symptoms improve.

Frequently asked questions

Should I avoid any foods or drinks if I have scalp psoriasis?

While there is no specific diet to cure psoriasis, some people find that certain foods worsen their symptoms. These triggers can vary from person to person. Common triggers include alcohol, red meat, processed foods, and foods high in sugar. To stay healthy, eat a balanced diet and see how foods affect your symptoms. Getting personalized diet advice from a healthcare professional or dietitian can be helpful.

Should I wash my hair every day if I have scalp psoriasis?

It's okay to wash your hair from time to time if you have scalp psoriasis. Frequent washing with harsh shampoos can worsen symptoms. It's best to use a mild, fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair as needed to keep it clean and comfortable.

Is vitamin C bad for psoriasis?

Vitamin C is generally considered beneficial for overall health, including skin health. It's an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports collagen production. However, no evidence suggests that vitamin C is specifically bad for psoriasis. Eating a balanced diet with lots of vitamins and minerals can help your overall health. This might also help with psoriasis.

Can psoriasis cause hair loss?

Sometimes, severe or prolonged scalp psoriasis can lead to temporary hair loss. This can occur due to damage to the hair follicles or continuous scalp inflammation. With the right care and treatment, hair usually grows back after the condition is managed. Using Nufolix hair growth supplement may also help prevent hair loss. If you're losing a lot of hair, see a doctor to find out why and get treatment.


Scalp psoriasis is a common skin problem. It can make you uncomfortable and impact your daily life. It arises from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The illness can’t be transmitted, and the right management involves lifestyle adjustments, proper scalp care, and medical treatments. Many people use shampoos, creams, and ointments for skin problems. Stronger treatments like oral medications or light therapy are sometimes needed.

It is essential to set a proper diet, as certain foods can aggravate symptoms. Gentle hair care, avoiding triggers, and consistent treatment are crucial.

Getting the right information and consulting a doctor for medical advice can also help you manage the condition and alleviate the symptoms. Lastly, adding Nufolix hair growth supplements to your health regimen is excellent for addressing hair loss. Proactive management can significantly enhance your quality of life.