Psoriasis on the head: what it is, how it looks and how to treat

In the modern world, there are many medical and social problems that arise unpredictably and have a specific course, one of which is the disease of civilization - psoriasis. This disease occurs in 1. 5 - 2% of inhabitants of progressive countries, spreads equally between men and women and manifests itself regardless of the age of the patient.

What is psoriasis or psoriasis?

scalp psoriasis

Psoriasis or psoriasis is a genetically determined skin pathology, which is based on a chronic recurrent inflammatory process of the skin (impaired maturation of keratinocytes) caused by the influence of triggering factors. The location of rashes is extremely multifaceted, the location of foci of psoriasis can occur both on the oral mucosa and on the scalp, extensor surfaces of the limbs, nails or throughout the body.

As psoriasis is a systemic disease, the lesion will also be characteristic of the cardiovascular, nervous, musculoskeletal and other systems. In addition, the manifestation of the disease in 80% of cases in the early stages is the defeat of the scalp, so in this article we want to pay special attention to the specified location of psoriasis.

Causes of psoriasis on the head

There are 2 types of psoriasis onset: early and late. The initial type is genetically determined, heredity plays a significant role here. It is known that the presence of the disease in one parent increases the risk of psoriasis in a child by 14%, and with psoriasis in both parents - by 40%.

There are more than 100 factors for the occurrence of scaly lichen, the most common among them being:

  • genetic
  • viral
  • infectious (tonsillitis) and allergic
  • stressful (psychosomatic)
  • endocrine
  • metabolic disorders (lipids, enzymes)
  • immunological disorders.

Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis

head psoriasis symptoms

A characteristic feature of psoriasis is a flat, symmetrical elevation above the surface of the skin with uniform rounded edges and increased roughness, combined with a large number of silvery scales that are easily removed. The size of the eruptions can vary from 1 mm to 2 cm and therefore the formations usually merge and form plates of different configurations, which can reach 10 cm or even 20 cm.

A frequent occurrence in psoriasis is the so-called "psoriatic crown" - the transition of neoplasms to smooth skin of the neck or temporal region along the hairline. A pronounced symptom that spreads among scalp psoriasis patients is itchiness.

Psoriasis is defined by three main symptoms (psoriatic triad):

  1. "Stearin stain" - a psoriatic plaque is scraped with a glass slide, as a result of which the scales become thinner, which enhances the snow-white color of the surface and resembles a drop of frozen stearin.
  2. "Terminal film" - with more scraping, a smooth, translucent surface will be observed.
  3. "Blood dew" - the presence of small drops of blood when scraping.

Stages of development of psoriasis

The psoriatic process consists of 3 subsequent phases:

  • i progressive
  • II stationary
  • III regressive

progressive stage

It is characterized by the formation of new papules of increased diameter. The peeling process does not extend to healthy areas of the skin, leaving a narrow pink band along the periphery of the patches. The main symptom among patients is itching. In addition, for the progressive or acute stage of psoriasis, the presence of the Koebner phenomenon - the formation of new papules 7 days after the skin injury is characteristic. There is a psoriatic triad of symptoms.


At this stage, there is no emergence of new elements of the rash, the manifestation of itching decreases or disappears completely. Diagnosing the psoriatic triad is problematic and the Koebner symptom is negative.


In the regression phase, the scaling decreases, the plaques disappear, but hypopigmented spots form. Psoriatic symptoms are not detected. It is worth mentioning that even after the regression stage, "service plates" remain in the area of the scalp, knees and elbows.

Stages of the disease according to the degree of damage

diagnosis of psoriasis on the head by a doctor

Depending on the area of the lesion, there are 3 stages of psoriasis:

  • mild - the affected area is less than 3%
  • medium - the prevalence of papular eruptions is 3 to 10%
  • severe - lesions are located on more than 10% of the skin.

How to cure psoriasis on the head

There are several combined methods of drug and non-drug treatment of psoriasis that aim to minimize lesions, improve the patient's quality of life and reduce the incidence of relapses.

The treatment of psoriasis depends on the degree of skin lesions, the shape and age of the patient. If there are additional pathologies of organs and systems, they will be corrected. Patients are prescribed a diet with a limited intake of salt, fatty foods, and fast carbohydrates.

medical therapy

Effective means for systemic therapy of psoriasis are as follows:

  • desensitization (30% sodium thiosulfate solution),
  • sedatives (valerian infusion, tranquilizers),
  • antihistamines,
  • diuretic,
  • vitamins (A, B1, B12, B6, E, C),
  • hepatoprotective,
  • pyrogenic preparations,
  • immunostimulating drugs,

In the common acute form of psoriasis, as well as in erythroderma, short-acting corticosteroids (thiancinalone) are prescribed.

With damage to the musculoskeletal system (joints), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac sodium, voltaren, nimesulide) are indicated.

For the treatment of complicated forms of psoriasis, cytostatics (metatrexate, azathioprine) are used.

In severe forms of psoriasis (index greater than 15 units), cytostatics, tranquilizers, and aromatic retinoids are added to therapy. In critically complicated episodes of scalp psoriasis, glucocorticosteroids are used.

In mild cases of psoriatic disease (PASI index of up to 15 units), hyposensitizing, detoxifying and antihistamine drugs are used, in addition to hepatoprotective drugs.

scalp psoriasis treatment

The use of topical treatment depends on the stage of lichen squamous:

  1. progressive - salicylic ointment 1 - 2%, corticosteroid creams and ointments
  2. stationary - 5 - 10% naphthalan ointment, 3% salicylic ointment, 2 - 5% sulfur tar ointment, baths with chamomile decoction
  3. regressive - 3-5% salicylic ointment, 10-20% naphthalan ointment, 5-10% sulfur tar ointment, psorkutan

Psoriks mercury salicylic ointment, lotion and shampoo, tar balm, zinc preparations are widely popular for scalp psoriasis. Also an integral part of treating the disease are hot baths once every 2-3 days. In the winter form of psoriasis, therapy is based on the use of ointments in combination with ultraviolet radiation.

non-drug treatment

The treatment of psoriasis is not based on medication alone. The use of phototherapy methods also contributes to a quick recovery and onset of remission.
There are the following types of radiation exposure:

  • Photochemotherapy (PUVA therapy) is a type of phototherapy in combination with the use of photosensitizers. The mechanism lies in the action of ultraviolet radiation on the surface of the skin to treat complicated forms of psoriatic disease.
  • Selective therapy is most effective in treating exudative and simple forms of psoriasis when there are a small number of rashes. The course of therapy consists of 20-30 sessions, the effectiveness is 80%.
  • Narrow band therapy - used in the presence of superficial psoriasis, the rays do not penetrate deeply into the skin balls, but only have a superficial effect. The procedure aims to prevent the processes of malignant degeneration of cells.
  • Narrow Spectrum UVB Treatment - This type of therapy significantly reduces the occurrence of side effects such as redness and burns. The course of the procedure is 20-30 sessions, it is used only for skin lesions.

Also, a positive impact comes from the spa treatment. Known sources of healing are Lake Kunigunda, the coast of Crimea, the Black and Dead seas.

Experimental methods

Scientists do not stop and continue to look for new effective methods of treating psoriasis, among which are the following.


A gentle intoxication procedure that helps clear blood plasma of pathogenic components and toxins. After a procedure, as a rule, up to 30% of the blood is cleaned. This manipulation is used in severe and complicated cases of psoriasis. The course of plasmaphoresis is carried out in 3-6 sessions, with an interval of one week.

The mechanism of this procedure is as follows: certain membranes filter the intercellular fluid and return it to the bloodstream, while the beneficial components are preserved as much as possible and the pathogenic toxic substances are destroyed.

Cryotherapy or "cold treatment"

cryotherapy for the treatment of psoriasis

The therapy of the disease is due to the effect of ultra-low degrees on the body. The acute effect of the cold helps to activate the immune system and stimulate the metabolism in general. This procedure has a complex effect on the whole body and site, aimed at the focus of skin lesions.

It is important to keep in mind that cryotherapy is not suitable for all patients. Due to the anatomical features of the location of the vessels, some individuals experience spasm, swelling, and a marked expansion of the vessels, resulting in disturbances in blood circulation. In addition, some patients may be susceptible to allergic reactions such as cold hives.

Effect of cryotherapy:

  1. increase the body's defenses
  2. improved regeneration processes
  3. negative symptoms disappear: itching, burning, peeling
  4. improves skin metabolism
  5. prolonging remission periods.

Immunobiological preparations

They are protein-based products that have a direct effect on the immune system and prevent the occurrence of concomitant diseases. In the presence of a psoriatic process, the body is constantly replenished due to an excessive amount of TNF protein. These drugs inhibit the effects of TNF-a, so the symptoms of the inflammatory process in psoriasis are reduced.

ozone therapy

A new effective method for the treatment of psoriasis. Ozone is known to have detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, immunomodulatory effects. The advantages of ozone therapy are ease of use, rapid efficacy, reliability and the complete absence of side effects.

Features of the treatment of psoriasis in children and adolescents

treatment of head psoriasis in children

It should be noted that psoriatic disease is less common in children than in adults. The explanation is the low degree of detection of psoriasis, frequent common cases of regression and significant periods of remission up to 12 years.

Characteristics of the clinical picture of childhood psoriasis are frequent lesions of the skin under the hair. Girls get sick twice as often as boys, which is associated with endocrinopathies that occur during adolescence. Children are characterized by a pronounced picture of the pathological process (significant inflammation and varying degrees of itching).

In children under 10 years of age, the manifestation of symptoms of psoriasis differs from adults. Localization of rashes occurs in atypical locations such as the face, back of the head, genitals, or deep sections of the subcutaneous folds. The triggering mechanism for the onset of the disease is often an acute infection (influenza, pneumonia), psycho-emotional stress.

In most children, the first signs of lesions appear on the scalp and are accompanied by redness, peeling scales. Even in the most severe cases of scalp psoriasis, hair loss is not common.

Therapy for childhood psoriasis is based on the use of medicated ointments and creams; in severe episodes, a combination with other drugs is used. This approach allows to reduce the negative manifestation of the disease and contributes to a quick recovery.

How to treat psoriasis on the head at home

scalp psoriasis treatment at home

In the fight against dry scalp in psoriasis, various basic creams, lotions, herbal shampoos, water-based emulsions are used, which not only relieve skin inflammation, but also help relieve psoriasis symptoms.

The most popular home remedies for psoriasis are creams, salicylic ointments and special shampoos.


Use non-hormonal agents based on natural ingredients. The active ingredients can be varied, the most common being:

  • zinc - quickly eliminates dryness and inflammation of the skin, has antiseptic properties, has an antibacterial effect
  • Vitamin D - is used to treat simple forms of psoriatic disease, relieves unpleasant symptoms like scaling and itching, and also helps improve regeneration
  • urea and naphthalan - has a tonic and soothing effect on the skin
  • herbal extracts - have a disinfecting property, eliminate hypersensitivity and exacerbation of the inflammatory process
  • floralizin - promotes rapid recovery, relieves the unpleasant manifestations of psoriasis
  • urea and beeswax - suitable for sensitive skin that needs hydration and nutrition, restores the protective barrier

Salicylic ointment in the fight against psoriasis

Salicylic acid, derived from willow bark, is the active ingredient in salicylic ointment and has anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. The advantage of salicylic ointment compared to hormonal drugs is the absence of side effects.

Positive properties of salicylic ointment:

  • fights inflammation - removes itching and redness
  • antiseptic action - eliminates pathogenic microorganisms
  • keratoplastic effect - prevents the occurrence of purulent foci, promotes the regeneration process.
  • destroys the horny substance - exfoliates the crusts.

Salicylic-zinc ointment is also widely used in the treatment of psoriasis and is no less effective.


There are the following types of shampoos for the treatment of scalp psoriasis:

  • Based on birch tar. Tar helps to gently cleanse the skin of the stratum corneum, impurities, eliminates itching and burning and has antifungal properties.
  • Antifungal - the main active ingredient ketoconazole eliminates the reproduction of a fungal infection and promotes the healing of skin wounds.
  • Composed of salicylic acid, ketoconazole, zinc. This spray shampoo eliminates the inflammatory process, softens the skin and has an antiseptic effect.
  • Cure. Normalize subcutaneous fat secretion, strengthen hair, relieve inflammation.

It is also important to remember that when washing your hair with psoriasis, you should only use warm, not hot, water. It is necessary to minimize the use of hair dryer, rollers and ironing.

Treatment of folk remedies for psoriasis

treatment of psoriasis of the head with folk methods

Lotions based on celandine, aloe vera, chamomile and apple cider vinegar are great for treating psoriasis. A dressing moistened with a solution is applied to the wounds. This procedure reduces inflammation, kills pathogens and improves skin metabolism.

Also no less effective are kefir and mud masks, which also act as part of traditional medicine. These masks also moisturize the hair, have an anti-inflammatory effect, improve blood circulation in the scalp.

Which product is better?

For the treatment of scalp psoriasis, it is best to use mild, gentle and fragrance-free products. Regular cleansing and moisturizing is the foundation of proper hair and skin care for psoriasis. It is important that the products used help to normalize the balance of nutrients, restore the affected areas of the skin, maintain the pH of the scalp and hydrate the stratum corneum of the epidermis.

All these effects and more are characteristic of the products of the Fitomarket online store. Here you can choose not only the most suitable means and methods of high-quality treatment for scalp psoriasis, but also get proper advice on the right medicines for you.

Common questions

Can psoriasis be cured with zinc ointment?

Zinc ointment has an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and enveloping effect, promotes the formation of a protective layer on the surface of the skin. If you lubricate the affected areas daily with zinc ointment, the positive effect will come quickly, but this remedy is not able to completely cure psoriasis, as the treatment must be complex.

Can You Cure Scalp Psoriasis With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide, by releasing active oxygen, performs mechanical cleaning and eliminates toxic substances from the damaged skin, but, as in the case of zinc ointment, it will not work to cure psoriasis of the head with this component alone.

Is psoriasis contagious?

Psoriasis is not transmitted as it is non-infectious in nature, so avoiding contact and communication with people with this disease is not worth it.

Is scalp psoriasis dangerous?

If left untreated, psoriasis can lead to serious complications and even death. Do not forget that psoriatic lesions can spread to the deep layers of the skin, as well as to other organs and systems of the body (nails, cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, etc. ).

How to distinguish psoriasis from dermatitis

It is known that seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp never affects smooth skin and is characterized by the absence of an infiltrative process, unlike seborrheic psoriasis, which forms a "psoriatic crown", moving to smooth areas of the skin of the forehead and neck. . The hereditary factor in the occurrence of psoriasis is also highlighted.