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Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms

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Posted by on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 0:56
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Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition, mostly affecting the scalp, elbows, knees and groin areas. It is characterized by the presence of red skin patches and dry scales. Approximately 2 percent of the global population have this skin disorder. And the occurrence rate of scalp psoriasis is very high; of all the psoriasis patients, about 50 percent people have this scalp type. Scalp psoriasis symptoms mimic that of seborrheic dermatitis in the scalp, which adds to the difficulty in correct diagnosis of this psoriatic condition.

Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms


Psoriasis signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but may include one or more of the following:

Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children) Dry, cracked skin that may bleed Itching, burning or soreness Thickened, pitted or ridged nails Swollen and stiff joints Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. Mild cases of psoriasis may be a nuisance; more-severe cases can be painful, disfiguring and disabling.

Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission. In most cases, however, the disease eventually returns.

Several types of psoriasis exist. These include:

Plaque psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques itch or may be painful and can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth. You may have just a few plaques or many, and in severe cases, the skin around your joints may crack and bleed.
Nail psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Psoriatic nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed (onycholysis). Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
Scalp psoriasis. Psoriasis on the scalp appears as red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales. You may notice flakes of dead skin in your hair or on your shoulders, especially after scratching your scalp.
Guttate psoriasis. This primarily affects people younger than 30 and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It’s marked by small, water-drop-shaped sores on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp. The sores are covered by a fine scale and aren’t as thick as typical plaques are. You may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or you may have repeated episodes, especially if you have ongoing respiratory infections.
Inverse psoriasis. Mainly affecting the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals, inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin. It’s more common in overweight people and is worsened by friction and sweating.
Pustular psoriasis. This uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingertips. It generally develops quickly, with pus-filled blisters appearing just hours after your skin becomes red and tender. The blisters dry within a day or two, but may reappear every few days or weeks. Generalized pustular psoriasis can also cause fever, chills, severe itching and fatigue.
Erythrodermic psoriasis. The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely. It may be triggered by severe sunburn, by corticosteroids and other medications, or by another type of psoriasis that’s poorly controlled.
Psoriatic arthritis. In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis causes pitted, discolored nails and the swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. It can also lead to inflammatory eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint. Although the disease usually isn’t as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage that in the most serious cases may lead to permanent deformity.
When to see a doctor
If you suspect that you may have psoriasis, see your doctor for an examination. Also, talk to your doctor if your psoriasis:

Progresses beyond the nuisance stage, causing you discomfort and pain
Makes performing routine tasks difficult
Causes you concern about the appearance of your skin
Leads to joints problems, such as pain, swelling or inability to perform daily tasks
Seek medical advice if your signs and symptoms worsen or don’t improve with treatment. You may need a different medication or a combination of treatments to manage the psoriasis.

The cause of psoriasis isn’t fully known, but it’s thought to be related to the immune system and its interaction with the environment in people who have the genetic susceptibility. More specifically, one key cell is a type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte or T cell. Normally, T cells travel throughout the body to detect and fight off foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. If you have psoriasis, however, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, as if to heal a wound or to fight an infection.

Overactive T cells trigger other immune responses. The effects include dilation of blood vessels in the skin around the plaques and an increase in other white blood cells that can enter the outer layer of skin. These changes result in an increased production of both healthy skin cells and more T cells and other white blood cells. This causes an ongoing cycle in which new skin cells move to the outermost layer of skin too quickly — in days rather than weeks. Dead skin and white blood cells can’t slough off quickly enough and build up in thick, scaly patches on the skin’s surface. This usually doesn’t stop unless treatment interrupts the cycle.

Just what causes T cells to malfunction in people with psoriasis isn’t entirely clear, although researchers think genetic and environmental factors both play a role.

Psoriasis triggers
Psoriasis typically starts or worsens because of a trigger that you may be able to identify and avoid. Factors that may trigger psoriasis include:

Infections, such as strep throat or thrush
Injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, bug bite, or a severe sunburn
Cold weather
Heavy alcohol consumption
Certain medications — including lithium, which is prescribed for bipolar disorder; high blood pressure medications such as beta blockers; antimalarial drugs; and iodides.

Risk factors:

Family history. Perhaps the most significant risk factor for psoriasis is having a family history of the disease. About 40 percent of people with psoriasis have a family member with the disease, although this may be an underestimate.
Viral and bacterial infections. People with HIV are more likely to develop psoriasis than people with healthy immune systems are. Children and young adults with recurring infections, particularly strep throat, also may be at increased risk.
Stress. Because stress can impact your immune system, high stress levels may increase your risk of psoriasis.
Obesity. Excess weight increases your risk of inverse psoriasis. In addition, plaques associated with all types of psoriasis often develop in skin creases and folds.
Smoking. Smoking tobacco not only increases your risk of psoriasis but also may increase the severity of the disease. Smoking may also play a role in the initial development of the disease.

Home Remedies for Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is very difficult to treat, when compared to other skin and scalp conditions. In case of suspected scalp psoriasis symptoms, one should follow self care tips to avoid exacerbation of the condition. Some effective scalp psoriasis home remedies are massaging scalp with soothing oils, using shampoos that contain jojoba oil or wheat germ oil and eating a healthy diet. Drinking ample amount of water is suggested, so as to keep the scalp area hydrated and prevent excess drying.

In case, scalp psoriasis symptoms persist after following natural remedies, get the medical condition checked by a trusted dermatologist. The doctor will examine the symptoms and run diagnostic tests (if required) before starting treatment for scalp psoriasis. Most probably, medication shampoo (containing salicyclic acid and coal tar), topical ointments and other medicinal oils will be prescribed for combating the symptoms. Stick to the doctor’s advice and follow the instructed tips, and scalp psoriasis will improve within a few weeks time.

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2 Responses to “Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms”

  1. [...] of Treatment It is not uncommon for scalp treatments to take eight or more weeks to get scalp psoriasis under control. After it’s under control, using a medicated shampoo on a regular basis may [...]

  2. Jessica x
    2011.02.24 04:21

    I hav drandruff ALOT and i hav dry skin in my scalp that itches really badd…!! :( I dont know what to do because nothing is working for meee!! :( :roll: :?: :cry:

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