Scalp Psoriasis ranges from fine and mild scaling to very severe heavily crusted plaques, which covers the entire scalp. In extreme cases, scalp psoriasis may infiltrate beyond the hairline onto the forehead, around the ears and the backside of the neck. Scalp psoriasis is characterized by its silvery sheen that sets it apart from other skin disorders.
Treatment Options For Scalp Psoriasis
The reddish plaque and flaking similar to dandruff can be controlled by various treatment options. It is important to rotate and combine a number of treatments for scalp psoriasis, as repeated and systematic usage of the same medication, renders the skin unresponsive to that particular treatment process.
The treatment of scalp psoriasis is targeted towards alleviating the symptoms and signs of the disease and for controlling the flare-up that causes a lot of itching in the scalp. Phototherapy, topical medications and the usage of medicated shampoos are some of the common ways of treating scalp psoriasis.
Topical Medicine Therapy
Topical medicines which include tar, tazarotene, corticosteroids, anthralin, calcipotriol or calcipotriene, are very effective in the treatment of scalp psoriasis.
These medications are available in the form of gels, ointments, creams, lotions, shampoos and foams. Using these medicated products for a prolonged period helps in getting rid of the symptoms of scalp psoriasis. The topical products can be applied once or twice on the scalp as per the requirement.
These commonly used topical medications include clobetasol, betamethasone, hydrocortisone, fluocinolone acetonide, etc. If the spread of scalp psoriasis is mild, then intralesional steroid injections are administered in the scalp area, as per the recommendations of dermatologists and other professionals.
The shampoos, gels, ointments, lotions and creams containing corticosteroids, can be safely be used for a prolonged period, until the symptoms of scalp psoriasis disappear.
The application of .25% or .50 % of Anthralin on the scalp infected by scalp psoriasis is an effective treatment for the disorder. Anthralin should be left on the effected area for 30 minutes and then washed off for best results.
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The topical medications formed from tazarotene, have properties resembling that of Vitamin A. A thin layer of the gel consisting of tazarotene should be applied on the scalp and left overnight. This medication should not be used during pregnancy.
Several topical medications contain this active ingredient that is very effective in the treatment of scalp psoriasis. This treatment aids in a big way in reducing itching and loosening the scales and the flakes embedded on the scalp.
Salicylic acid is mostly used in the treatment of mild scalp psoriasis. On of the most popular treatment of scalp psoriasis uses coconut compound ointment that also has a combination of coal tar, sulfur and salicylic acid. The ointment should be rubbed gently over the affected area and left overnight. A good medicated shampoo should be used to wash off the traces of the ointment in the morning.
Calcipotriene is a synthetic derivation of Vitamin D which is very effective in controlling the rapid growth of cells. Scalp psoriasis spreads due to the multiplication of cells, and using medications containing calcipotriene helps in arresting their growth.
These medicinal products do not interfere with the normal calcium metabolism of the body and are available in the market as Daivonex or Doyonex.
Coal tar shampoos are highly effective for the treatment of scalp psoriasis. The active ingredients in these medicated shampoos help in providing relief from itching and in removing the scales formed on the scalp. It is important to follow the instructions written on the bottles. For best results rub the shampoo on to the effected areas and leave on 15-20 minutes.
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Then wash off gently with warm water. The scales are loosened and removed by the warm water easily. Cortisone lotion should be applied on the scalp after shampooing. Regular combing of hair removes the accumulation and formation of scales on the scalp and slowly alleviates the symptoms of scalp psoriasis.
If the scalp psoriasis is accompanied with fungal or bacterial infection, then antifungal shampoos and antimicrobial drugs should be combined with the medicated shampoos and the topical medicines mentioned above.
One of the latest treatment methods require the scalp to be exposed to ultra violet rays. It is important to shave off the hair or cut it close to the scalp, to help the penetration of the ultraviolet rays into the scalp.
UV light of high intensity is provided with a special hand held device which is called the UV comb. As natural sunlight is a good source of Ultra violet rays, it is also important to expose the disorder in the scalp to a few minutes of sunlight, during the daytime.
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