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Exeter Trichology Blog

Scalp Psoriasis

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes clearly demarcated raised, red or pink scaly patches to appear on the skin. It typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear in any location. Normal skin cells mature in 28 to 30 days and shed from the skin unnoticed. Psoriatic skin cells mature within seven days. They “build up" and form scaly lesions or plaques. Psoriatic lesions can be painful and itchy and they can crack and bleed.

Scalp psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis can affect 50% of psoriasis sufferers. Expression of the disease varies, it may be mild, with slight, fine scaling or severe with thick, crusted plaques covering the entire scalp. Psoriasis can extend beyond the hairline onto the forehead, the back of the neck and around the ears.

Treating scalp psoriasis

Treatments are often combined and rotated because a person's psoriasis may become less responsive to medications after repeated use. No single psoriasis treatemnt will work for everyone. Systemic treatments are not commonly used just for scalp psoriasis but may be used if psoriasis is present elsewhere on the body or the psoriasis is moderate to severe. Sunlight and ultra-violet light therapy can slow the proliferation of skin cells.

Tar based products and keratolytic agents containing salicylic acid generally work for very mild scalp psoriasis. If you have a more severe case of scalp psoriasis, you may need to try different treatment plans prescribed by your GP or dermatologist such as those containing cortisone compounds and anthralin before you find the one that works for you. Trichologists can offer specalist and holistic clinical treatments that often compliment existing treatments.

Nicola Hemsley AIT
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Nicola Hemsley
Southernhay Clinic 
4 Barnfield Crescent
Tel: 01392 430115
Mob: 07841 237888

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