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

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

What is psoriasis or psoriasis?

scalp psoriasis

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

Since 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 initial stages is the defeat of the scalp, so in this article we want to pay special attention to the specified localization of psoriasis.

Causes of psoriasis on the head

There are 2 types of psoriasis onset: early and late. The first type is genetically determined, heredity plays a significant role here. It is known that the presence of the disease in one of the parents 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 presence of scaly lichen, the most common among them:

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

Symptoms of scalp psoriasis

symptoms of psoriasis on the head

A characteristic feature of psoriasis is a symmetrical flat elevation above the surface of the skin with even rounded edges and increased roughness, combined with a large number of easily removable silver scales. The size of the rashes can vary from 1 mm to 2 cm, so the formations often merge and form plaques of different configurations, which can reach 10 cm or even 20 cm.

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

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

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

Stages of development of psoriasis

The psoriatic process consists of 3 successive stages:

  • I progressive
  • II stationary
  • III regressive

Progressive phase

It is characterized by the formation of new papules enlarged in diameter. The peeling process does not extend to healthy areas of the skin, leaving a thin pink stripe along the periphery of the plaques. The main symptom among patients is itching. In addition, for the progressive or acute stage of psoriasis, the presence of Koebner's phenomenon is characteristic: the formation of new papules 7 days after the skin lesion. There is a psoriatic triad of symptoms.


At this stage, no new elements of the rash occur, the manifestation of itching decreases or disappears altogether. Diagnosis of the psoriatic triad is problematic and Koebner's symptom is negative.


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

Stages of the disease according to the degree of damage

diagnosis of cranial psoriasis 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 ranges from 3 to 10%
  • severe - lesions are located on more than 10% of the skin.

How to cure psoriasis on the head

There are various combined methods of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of psoriasis aimed at minimizing lesions, improving the patient's quality of life and reducing the incidence of relapses.

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 are corrected. Patients are prescribed a diet with a limited intake of foods rich in salt, fat and fast carbohydrates.

Medical therapy

Effective means for systemic psoriasis therapy are as follows:

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

In the common acute form of psoriasis, as well as in erythroderma, short-acting corticosteroids (triamcinalone) 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 the therapy. In critically complicated episodes of scalp psoriasis, glucocorticosteroids are used.

In mild cases of psoriatic disease (PASI index up to 15 units), hyposensitizing, detoxifying and antihistamine drugs, as well as hepatoprotectors, are used.

treatment of scalp psoriasis

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

  1. progressive - 1 - 2% salicylic ointment, corticosteroid creams and ointments
  2. stationary - 5 - 10% naftalan 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

Psorik mercury-salicylic ointment, lotion and shampoo, tar balm, zinc preparations are very popular for scalp psoriasis. Also an integral part of the treatment of 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 rays.

Non-drug treatment

Psoriasis treatment is not based solely on drugs. The use of phototherapy methods also contributes to a speedy recovery and the 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 for the treatment of complicated forms of psoriatic diseases.
  • Selective therapy is most effective in the treatment of exudative and simple forms of psoriasis, when there is a small number of skin 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 deep into the balls of the skin, but have only a superficial effect. The procedure is aimed at preventing the processes of malignant cell degeneration.
  • 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 injuries.

Also, a positive impact comes from spa treatments. Known sources of healing are Lake Kunigunda, the Crimean coast, the Black Sea and the Dead Sea.

Experimental methods

Scientists do not stop and continue to search for new effective methods for the treatment of psoriasis, including the following.

Plasma exchange

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

The mechanism of this procedure is as follows: some 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 strong effect of the cold helps to activate the immune system and stimulate the metabolism in general. This procedure has both a complex effect on the whole body, and local, 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 spasms, swelling and a strong expansion of the vessels, as a result of which blood circulation is disturbed. Additionally, some patients may be susceptible to allergic reactions such as cold urticaria.

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. lengthening of periods of remission.

Immunobiological preparations

These are protein-based products that have a direct effect on the immune system and prevent the onset 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. It is known that ozone has detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, immunomodulatory effects. The advantages of ozone therapy are ease of use, rapid effectiveness, reliability and the complete absence of side effects.

Features of the treatment of psoriasis in children and adolescents

treatment of psoriasis of the head in children

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

Features of the clinical picture of childhood psoriasis are frequent lesions of the skin under the hair. Girls get sick 2 times more often than 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 the age of 10, the manifestation of psoriasis symptoms differs from adults. The localization of the rashes occurs in atypical places such as the face, the back of the head, the genitals or the deep sections of the subcutaneous folds. The triggering mechanism for the onset of the disease is often an acute infection (flu, pneumonia), psycho-emotional stress.

In most children, the first signs of lesions appear on the scalp and are accompanied by redness, peeling of the 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 medicinal ointments and creams; in severe episodes, a combination with other drugs is used. This approach allows you to reduce the negative manifestation of the disease and contributes to a speedy recovery.

How to treat psoriasis on the head at home

treatment of scalp psoriasis 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 the symptoms of psoriasis .

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 various, the most common:

  • zinc - quickly eliminates skin dryness and inflammation, has antiseptic properties, has an antibacterial effect
  • vitamin D - is used to treat simple forms of psoriatic diseases, relieves unpleasant symptoms such as flaking and itching, and also helps improve regeneration
  • urea and naphthalan - has a tonic and soothing effect on the skin
  • herbal extracts - have disinfectant properties, eliminate hypersensitivity and exacerbation of the inflammatory process
  • floralizin - promotes a speedy recovery, relieves the unpleasant manifestations of psoriasis
  • urea and beeswax - suitable for sensitive skin that needs hydration and nutrition, restore 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 over 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 horny substance - exfoliates scabs.

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 treating 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 wound healing on the skin.
  • Composed of salicylic acid, ketoconazole, zinc. This spray shampoo eliminates the inflammatory process, softens the skin and has an antiseptic effect.
  • Healing. Normalizes the secretion of subcutaneous fat, strengthens hair, relieves inflammation.

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

Treatment of psoriasis folk remedies

treatment of psoriasis of the head by folk methods

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

In addition, no less effective are kefir and mud masks, which also act as part of traditional medicine. Such masks additionally 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 preferable to use delicate, delicate 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 normalize the nutrient balance, restore the affected skin areas, maintain the pH of the scalp and moisturize the stratum corneum of the epidermis.

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


Can psoriasis be treated with zinc ointment?

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

Can you cure scalp psoriasis with hydrogen peroxide?

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

Is psoriasis contagious?

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

Is Scalp Psoriasis Dangerous?

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

Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is known to never affect smooth skin and is characterized by the absence of an infiltration process, in contrast to seborrheic psoriasis, which forms a "psoriatic crown", moving to smooth areas of the skin of the forehead and neck. Also noteworthy is the hereditary factor in the onset of psoriasis.