Psoriasis on the head: characteristics of treatment

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the epidermis. The pathology is not contagious, as it is caused not by infectious causes, but by an autoimmune disease. The disease is characterized by excessive division of skin cells, which leads to the formation of dense plaques. Inflammation affects any part of the body. Scalp psoriasis is a very common form of the disease. The peculiarity of the location of the rashes on the head is the complexity of the treatment. This form of psoriasis often becomes the cause of complex development and self-dissatisfaction, as it is visible to others. The elements of the rash do not look aesthetically pleasing and require timely treatment.

The reasons for the development of the disease

Scalp psoriasis develops for the same reasons as skin lesions on the body. The factors that act as an impetus for the appearance of plaques on the skin can be:

  • stress;
  • seborrhea;
  • prolonged exposure to the sun;
  • allergic reaction;
  • damage to the skin;
  • decreased immunity.
stressful condition as a cause of psoriasis on the head

Stress worsens many illnesses, including psoriasis.

Regardless of the reasons that triggered the onset of the first episode of the disease, psoriasis is always accompanied by excessive division of epidermal cells, which explains the appearance of the elements of the rash. This is due to the body's autoimmune response, which causes an immune attack on skin cells.

The disease is characterized by a wavy course with periods of exacerbation and remission. Doctors usually call the pathology a psychosomatic disorder, since exacerbations of psoriasis are directly related to the patient's psycho-emotional state.

Stress, lack of sleep, fatigue, lack of vitamins in the body can cause an extraordinary exacerbation and the appearance of new elements of the rash.

Despite the repulsive aspect of the rash, psoriasis is not contagious, as it results from internal disorders, but not from infections or viruses.

Although doctors have not yet identified the exact cause of the development of the disease, most believe that psoriasis is the result of systemic disorders of the body caused by hormonal imbalance, nervous system instability and metabolic processes, malnutrition and cold weather.

Psoriasis symptoms

Psoriasis in the head begins with the appearance of dense nodules that are invisible externally. Over time, the nodules fuse, forming islands. The skin around the clusters of eruptive elements swells and becomes inflamed, and dry crusts and scaly areas may appear.

Over time, the nodules become dense and flat, the flaking begins on its surface with the formation of large scales, with a shape and structure similar to dandruff.

Scalp psoriasis is most often located in the temporal region, behind the ears, on the neck and along the hairline. Often, flaking and plaques form along the split.

The disease can manifest at any age. Most of the time, the first episode of psoriasis occurs during puberty and before the age of 20 or after the age of 35.

Scalp psoriasis is classified according to the severity of the symptoms. The mild form of the disease is characterized by the formation of isolated foci of inflammation and moderate desquamation. Skin rashes with this shape are not striking and respond well to drug treatment.

For a severe course of psoriasis on the head, a photo that allows you to assess the severity of the symptoms, the whole head, the hair growth zone and the nape of the neck are characteristic. The elements of the rash are large, the scales are very large and visible to the naked eye.

photo of psoriasis on the head

Scalp psoriasis can affect the scalp and the surrounding skin.

Timely diagnosis plays an important role in scalp psoriasis. An experienced dermatologist will make a diagnosis during an external examination of the patient. The difficulty lies in the fact that many patients do not go to the doctor, because they do not know what psoriasis is like on the scalp and because it is confused with dandruff. It is important to remember that early-stage psoriasis responds well to treatment, however, the lack of timely therapy will inevitably lead to disease progression and damage to more and more areas of the skin.

If you find the first symptoms of scalp injury, you should see a doctor, as if psoriasis is diagnosed, treatment should be comprehensive and timely.

Stages of the disease

Regardless of the location of the rash, psoriasis of the scalp and skin of the body always occurs in several stages. The first stage is an exacerbation of the disease. During this period, new papules form on the skin, noticing excessive division of the epidermal cells. The papules fuse into large lesions, which turn into plaques and, in turn, begin to peel. The duration of an exacerbation depends on several factors and can last up to several months. During this period, the elements of the rash cover the scalp, the epidermis around the ears and neck, and can descend to the back. Scalp psoriasis is often accompanied by focal lesions of the body's skin.

The second stage of the disease is stationary. During this period, the progression of the disease stops, the number of elements of the rash does not change, the disease stops spreading to healthy areas of the skin. During the stationary stage, literally nothing happens - the plates do not increase in size, but neither do they decrease. The peeling remains the same, the epidermis appears dense and inflamed. This stage can also take several months.

The next step is to reduce the disease. During this period, the inflammatory process stops, the flaking stops, as well as the division of epidermal cells. The plaques gradually become softer, decrease in size and then disappear completely. With proper skin care, after recovery from the disease, there is not even a trace left, however, in most cases, areas with impaired pigmentation are formed at the site of the plaques.

Then there is remission, during which the skin looks absolutely healthy. The duration of remission depends on the patient's lifestyle and general health. It doesn't last forever, since psoriasis doesn't go away, it just goes away temporarily. The next exacerbation can occur in a few months or years due to stress, climate change or decreased immunity. With the next exacerbation, psoriasis proceeds again in several stages, beginning with the appearance of new papules, ending with a decrease in the size of plaques and complete restoration of the skin.

symptoms of psoriasis in the head

In mild forms, psoriasis can easily be mistaken for dandruff.

Diagnosis of the disease

Psoriatic skin rashes on the head can appear in adults and children, since psoriasis in children is not uncommon. It is important to detect the onset of the pathological process early and visit a dermatologist.

The scraping method is used to diagnose the disease. The affected epidermis reacts to local damage with a series of specific signs that are characteristic of psoriasis only.

When scraped, the scales fall off with dandruff without causing pain, itching or discomfort. As a result of prolonged exposure and cleaning of the keratinized particle board, a thin film of skin is found under the scales. It is inflamed, tinted with a bright pink color and shines like a stearin stain. If this film is damaged, small drops of blood will appear on the surface of the plaque, which indicates damage to the capillaries that are very close to the skin.

This reaction of the epidermis is known as the "psoriatic triad" and is an exclusive symptom of this disease, which allows an accurate diagnosis without laboratory tests.

Principle of treatment

A dermatologist will make detailed consultations on how to treat psoriasis on the head. The fact is that each person's illness manifests in its own way, so there is no universal treatment regime that adapts to all patients, without exception.

The goal of therapy for psoriasis is to stop the progression of the disease, improve the appearance of the skin and achieve lasting remission. As doctors' practice shows, a properly selected treatment regimen allows you to forget about the disease for several years.

An integrated approach to the treatment of psoriasis is practiced, which includes:

  • the use of hormonal ointments to relieve inflammation;
  • use of non-hormonal drugs to relieve symptoms;
  • physiotherapy to accelerate skin recovery;
  • dietary changes and spa procedures.

The basis of the treatment is composed of medicines for external use, which are applied in the areas of inflammation. In some cases, treatment is supplemented by taking psoriasis pills on the head, with preference given to immunostimulating drugs and vitamins.

medications for psoriasis

It is impossible to cure psoriasis, but it is quite possible to get rid of its manifestations for a long time.

Conservative therapy

Traditionally, dermatologists have prescribed two types of skin treatments - non-hormonal ointments and glucocorticoid preparations.

Glucocorticoid ointments are used in short courses in the disease exacerbation stage. They help to stop inflammation and reduce the rate of disease progression, allowing you to quickly stop an exacerbation. However, these drugs are not safe. They enter the general bloodstream and have a systemic effect on the body, causing disturbances in the functioning of the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands. Hormonal ointments are selected only by a dermatologist. Today, many doctors are moving away from the use of glucocorticoid drugs in the treatment of psoriasis, looking at its short-term effect.

The main lines of fight against the disease are physiotherapy, non-hormonal ointments and changes in lifestyle.

Non-hormonal drugs are divided into several groups:

  • preparations with naphthalan and solidol;
  • tar ointments;
  • sulfur preparations;
  • zinc-based creams.

Such ointments have keratolytic properties, that is, they contribute to the exfoliation of the keratinized particles of the epidermis. All ointments have no systemic effect on the body and have a greasy base, so they quickly smooth the plaques.

Ointments based on birch and coal tar are recommended for patients with oily scalp. These funds interrupt the inflammatory process and increase local immunity, preventing further cell division in the affected area.

Ointments with naphthalene and solid oil are used for very dry plates with a large number of detachable scales. Its main objective is to prevent the spread of the pathological process to healthy skin. They effectively soothe the affected areas and improve the overall appearance of the epidermis, while providing an anti-inflammatory effect.

Zinc preparations exfoliate the skin and protect against secondary infections. They are used for any form of scalp psoriasis as they act quickly and gently. Sulfur tar ointment, sulfur ointment and zinc - these medications are suitable for most patients and have a pronounced therapeutic effect quickly.

The advantage of non-hormonal drugs is their natural composition, absence of contraindications and side effects. These drugs can even be used to treat young children, as they have no systemic effect on the body.

natural ointment for psoriasis treatment

The advantage of natural ointments is that they are harmless

The course of treatment is on average 20 days, the ointment is applied up to three times a day. The disadvantage of treating the scalp with ointments is the untidy aspect of the hair, as all medications are oily and quickly stain the hair. An alternative is the special medicinal shampoos, however, as practice shows, the best therapeutic effect is achieved with the simultaneous use of shampoos and ointments.

General therapy

When treating psoriasis on the head at home, an important role is played by general strengthening therapy. Dermatologists say that it is not enough to get ointments for psoriasis on the head, it is necessary to take measures to strengthen the whole body as a whole.

Complex therapy includes:

  • sedatives;
  • antidepressants and tranquilizers;
  • immunostimulants;
  • vitamins;
  • tonics;
  • cytostatics;
  • retinoids;
  • antihistamines.

As the exacerbation of psoriasis is always accompanied by stress and disturbance of the nervous system, sedatives and tranquilizers play an important role. The purpose of this therapy is to minimize the destructive effects of stress, improve sleep, restore the normal functioning of the nervous system and normalize mood. Sedatives include drugs, alcoholic tinctures of valerian, peony and fennel. The medications are available without a prescription and are light medications that can help normalize sleep and relieve stress. For depression, neurosis and other mental disorders that appear in the context of psoriasis, you should consult a neurologist about the indication of potent medications, such as tranquilizers and antidepressants.

In addition, vitamins are prescribed (A, C, E, group B). Its goal is to normalize the activity of the nervous system, antioxidant effect, accelerate skin regeneration and normalize immunity. Antioxidant preparations in the composition help to remove toxins from the body, restore skin regeneration and protect cells from negative influences.

vitamins in the treatment of psoriasis on the head

Vitamins are indispensable for treatment.

Immunostimulants should be used, but only as directed by a physician. Self-administration of such drugs can negatively affect health and aggravate the course of the disease.

Cytostatics and retinoids prevent the excessive division of epidermal cells, acting from the inside out. Due to the large number of contraindications and side effects, these drugs are prescribed by a dermatologist after a comprehensive examination.

Shampoos for psoriasis

Although the first line of treatment consists of ointments for psoriasis on the head, special shampoos are mandatorily used. They help to cure psoriasis on the scalp and provide a gentle cleansing of the epidermis without drying out too much.

You can use hypoallergenic baby shampoos for gentle cleansing of the scalp.

Shampoos can be used up to three times a week. The course of treatment is 30-40 days and depends on the form of the disease. The shampoo is applied to wet, lathered hair and rinse immediately - this is necessary to clean the scalp from accumulated skin flakes. Then, the product is reapplied, foamed with massaging movements and left for five minutes, after which the medicine must be washed. Thus, the shampoo both cleanses the skin and has a therapeutic effect.

Among the applications of medicated shampoo, there is a need for frequent hair washes, which are untidy due to the use of oily ointments. For daily washing for psoriasis, it is recommended to use children's shampoos with medicinal herbs in the composition - chamomile, marigold, sage. Preference should be given to products intended for children from the first days of life, since the composition of these shampoos is the most natural and safe.

Physiotherapy for psoriasis

Physiotherapy helps to increase the effectiveness of drug treatment. In scalp psoriasis, darsonvalization and PUVA therapy are considered the most effective and safe methods.

The first method is based on exposure to low frequency currents. The procedure is performed using a special device with a comb-shaped electrode. In 10 minutes, simply comb your hair with the included preparation. This effect improves metabolic processes and accelerates skin regeneration. Usually, the course of treatment consists of 25 procedures.

One of the most popular treatments for psoriasis is PUVA therapy. It is a type of ultraviolet radiation. The result is an improvement in skin trophism, an increase in local immunity and a stimulus to regeneration. The duration of treatment also consists of 20-25 procedures.

Folk remedies

Traditional medicine knows how to get rid of psoriasis on the head as quickly as possible, but dermatologists warn that these drugs can only be used in addition to medication and physical therapy.

folk remedies for psoriasis on the head

Folk remedies complement traditional treatment, but do not replace it.

Traditional remedies for scalp psoriasis are based on the preparation of rinses and masks using natural ingredients. Below are the most effective recipes.

  1. Hawthorn oil mask with yolk improves metabolic processes and accelerates recovery. This remedy can be used only in the healing phase of the plaque, since sea buckthorn oil significantly speeds up this process. Another unique property of the oil is the prevention of pigmentation disorders in the areas of skin lesions. To prepare the mask, heat the oil a little to a comfortable temperature, mix it with a yolk and a spoon of honey and apply it on the scalp for 40 minutes.
  2. Another effective and safe remedy is a blue or green clay mask. Clay is rich in valuable micro and macro elements, improves metabolic processes, saturates skin cells with useful substances and speeds up recovery. To prepare the mask, pour the clay with warm water, mix and apply to the skin for half an hour under a plastic cover.
  3. Turn 4 tablespoons of fresh celandine into a meat grinder and squeeze through a cotton cloth. Mix the resulting juice with half a glass of red wine and use a cotton swab to apply to the plates for 15 minutes and then rinse with water. Fresh onion juice can be used in the same way.
  4. Pour 150 ml of medicinal alcohol into two large spoons of dried celandine flowers, pour into a glass container with a lid and leave for ten days. The medicine is then used to treat the plaque. After application of the product, it must be washed after 10 minutes. If you overexpose the celandine tincture, it can burn your skin.

These folk remedies for the treatment of psoriasis on the head help to speed recovery. Simultaneous treatment with medications, folk remedies and tonics has good results.

Lifestyle and prognosis

With psoriasis, you must reconsider your lifestyle and change your diet. It is necessary to minimize the consumption of allergenic foods, give up fast food, smoked and fatty foods. It is important to avoid stress, normalize sleep and work hours. For psoriasis, spa treatments and climate change are recommended. Mud baths and mineral salts help to improve the condition of the skin.

The prognosis depends on the form of the disease and the methods of treatment. It is impossible to get rid of psoriasis completely, but the appropriately selected therapy allows you to achieve long-term remission.

Preventive measures are to strengthen the nervous system and immunity, fight stress in a timely manner and a healthy lifestyle.