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 them is the disease of civilization - psoriasis. This disease occurs in 1. 5 - 2% of the inhabitants of progressive countries, it spreads equally among both men and women, and manifests itself regardless of the age of the patient.

What is psoriasis or psoriasis?

psoriasis of the scalp

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 trigger factors. Localization of rashes is extremely multifaceted, the location of psoriasis foci can occur both on the oral mucosa and on the scalp, extensor surfaces of the limbs, 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 appearance of psoriasis: early and late. The early 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 occurrence of scaly lichen, the most common among them:

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

Symptoms of psoriasis of the scalp

symptoms of psoriasis on the head

A characteristic element for psoriasis is a symmetrical flat elevation above the skin surface with even rounded borders and increased roughness, combined with a large number of easily removed silvery scales. The size of the rashes can vary from 1 mm to 2 cm, and therefore 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 transition of neoplasms to the smooth skin of the neck or temporal region along the hairline. A pronounced symptom that spreads among patients with psoriasis of the scalp is itching.

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

  1. "Stearin stain" - a psoriatic plaque is scraped off 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 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 subsequent stages:

  • I progressive
  • II stationary
  • III regressive

Progressive stage

It is characterized by the formation of new papules enlarged in diameter. The peeling process does not extend to healthy areas of the skin, while leaving a narrow pink strip along the periphery of the plaques. The main symptom among patients is itching. Also, for the progressive or acute stage of psoriasis, the presence of the Koebner phenomenon is characteristic - the formation of new papules 7 days after skin injury. 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 altogether. Diagnosing the psoriatic triad is problematic, and Koebner's symptom is negative.


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

Stages of the disease according to the degree of damage

diagnosis of head 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 rashes is from 3 to 10%
  • severe - lesions are localized on more than 10% of the skin.

How to cure psoriasis on the head

There are various combined methods of drug and non-drug treatment of psoriasis aimed at minimizing lesions, improving the quality of life of the patient, 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 salt, fatty and fast carbohydrate-rich foods.

Medical therapy

Effective means for systemic therapy of psoriasis are the following:

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

In the acute common 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 therapy. In critically complicated episodes of scalp psoriasis, glucocorticosteroids are used.

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

scalp psoriasis treatment

The use of topical treatment depends on the stage of scaly 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% naftalan ointment, 5-10% sulfur-tar ointment, psorkutan

Mercury-salicylic ointment, lotion and shampoo Psoriks, Tar balm, preparations with zinc are widely popular for psoriasis of the scalp. Also an integral part of the treatment of the disease are warm 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 based not only 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 to treat complicated forms of psoriatic disease.
  • Selective therapy is more effective in the treatment of exudative and simple forms of psoriasis, when there is a small number of rashes. The course of therapy consists of 20-30 sessions, the effectiveness is 80%.
  • Narrowband therapy - used in the presence of superficial psoriasis, the rays do not penetrate deep into the skin balls, but have only a superficial effect. The procedure is aimed at preventing 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 for lesions of the skin only.

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

Experimental Methods

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


A gentle intoxication procedure that helps to cleanse the blood plasma from pathogenic components and toxins. After one procedure, as a rule, up to 30% of the blood is cleared. 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 for one week.

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

Cryotherapy or "cold treatment"

cryotherapy for the treatment of psoriasis

Therapy of the disease is due to the effect of ultra-low degrees on the body. The sharp effect of cold helps to activate the immune system and stimulate metabolism in general. This procedure has both a complex effect on the entire body, and a local one, aimed at the focus of skin lesions.

It is important to bear 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 sharp expansion of the vessels, as a result of which blood circulation is disturbed. In addition, 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 metabolism in the skin
  5. lengthening periods of remission.

Immunobiological preparations

These 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 excess 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 detoxification, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, immunomodulatory effects. The advantages of ozone therapy are ease of use, fast effectiveness, 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.

The features of the clinical picture of children's 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 10 years of age, the manifestation of psoriasis symptoms differs from adults. Localization of rashes occurs in atypical places such as the face, back of the head, genitals or deep sections of the subcutaneous folds. The trigger 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, flaking of 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

psoriasis scalp treatment at home

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

The most popular home remedies for psoriasis are creams, salicylic ointment, and specialty shampoos.


Use non-hormonal agents based on natural ingredients. Active ingredients can be varied, the most common of them:

  • 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 such unpleasant symptoms as peeling and itching, and also helps to enhance regeneration
  • urea and naftalan - 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 speedy recovery, relieves the unpleasant manifestations of psoriasis
  • urea and beeswax - suitable for sensitive skin in need of 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 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 wounds on the skin.
  • Consisting of salicylic acid, ketoconazole, zinc. This spray shampoo eliminates the inflammatory process, softens the skin and has an antiseptic effect.
  • Healing. Normalize the secretion of subcutaneous fat, strengthen hair, relieve inflammation.

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

Treatment of psoriasis folk remedies

treatment of psoriasis of the head with folk methods

Lotions based on celandine, aloe vera, chamomile, 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 metabolism in the skin.

Also 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 psoriasis of the scalp, it is better to use mild, gentle, fragrance-free products. Regular cleansing and moisturizing is the basis 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 moisturize the stratum corneum of the epidermis.

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


Can psoriasis be cured 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 daily with zinc ointment, then the positive effect will come quickly, but this remedy is not capable of completely curing psoriasis, since the treatment should be complex.

Can you cure scalp psoriasis with hydrogen peroxide?

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

Is psoriasis contagious?

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

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

It is known that seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp never affects 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 occurrence of psoriasis.