Natural Remedies for Psoriasis on Scalp
What Is Scalp Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common autoimmune skin disorder characterized by red scaly patches. Psoriasis on the scalp is known as scalp psoriasis and a common form of plaque psoriasis. It can cause so much discomfort and itching, which could be mild or severe. If scalp psoriasis is left untreated, it can lead to temporary hair loss, though the hair eventually grows back if finally treated.
It’s tougher to treat psoriasis on the scalp than on any other part of the body. This is because the scalp is usually covered by hair, which prevents treatment from getting to the scalp and hinders the exposure of the scalp to ultraviolet. The cause of scalp psoriasis is the same as psoriasis on other parts of the body. Fifty percent of people with psoriasis have it on their scalp, and it sometimes extends to the forehead, ears, and neck. Sometimes people confuse flakes from the scalp psoriasis with dandruff flakes, but these are different conditions.
Scalp psoriasis is not contagious. This means you cannot get it from being in contact with a person who already has it. It is usually hereditary. Chances are you can get it if someone in your family has it. Flares can be triggered by environmental factors such as infections, stress, drugs, etc. However, environmental factors alone can not cause psoriasis. This means that people without a genetic disposition will not have psoriasis even when they experience environmental triggers.
Some symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Red patches on the scalp
- Dandruff-like flaking
- Burning sensation
- Hair Loss
- Dry scalp
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Natural Remedies for Scalp Psoriasis
It is important to note that home treatments are not proven to cure scalp psoriasis. These natural remedies only help to ease the symptoms of mild psoriasis.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel possesses anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. For some people, it has been proven to improve symptoms of mild scalp psoriasis. It helps to reduce scalp redness. Use creams that contain about 0.5% pure aloe vera or if you want to apply aloe vera gel, use with a topical cream, and apply to affected areas. After each application, wash hair with mild medicated shampoo.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best home treatments for scalp psoriasis. It is promoted as an anti-itch agent. It helps reduce redness, burning sensation, irritation, and itchiness of the scalp. It possesses antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Apple cider vinegar is widely available in grocery stores since it has gained prominence for its many properties. People who used apple cider vinegar on their scalp psoriasis have recorded improvement within a few weeks. Apple cider vinegar can also be used to
- Regulate sugar level
- Aid digestion
- Improve the hair and skin
- Boost immune system
Vinegar causes a burning sensation; therefore, it shouldn’t be used on a bleeding, wounded, or cracked scalp. To use, add two tablespoons to 250ml of water and apply to the scalp and leave for about 20 minutes. Wash your hair with lukewarm water. For best results, repeat the process several times a week.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the best home remedies for scalp psoriasis. Many people use it on their hair as a natural beauty product. It reduces scalp dryness, moisturizes, helps with inflammation, kills bacteria, and is easily absorbed. It helps to loosen the hard scales on the scalp.
As much as the coconut oil is beneficial, it is not a standalone treatment. You can use it to soften the scales so that other treatments can penetrate to the scalp. Psoriasis scales on the scalp are the hardest because the hair traps them in and try are not easy to see and treat.
Gently massage the scalp with warm coconut oil (you can preheat it), focusing on scaly areas. Wrap your head and let it stand for one hour, or you can leave it overnight — Wash hair with lukewarm water and mild shampoo.
4. Shea butter
Shea butter is considered the best moisturizer in the world. It contains triglycerides, which contribute to moisturizing the skin and preventing it from adverse environmental influence. Shea butter can help retain moisture in the scalp and body.
It is a rich source of Vitamin A, and E. Vitamin A promotes skin rejuvenation and also soothes and nourishes dry skin. Vitamin E slows the aging process and reduces the risk of cancer. Shea butter is very effective for skin disorder treatment, especially psoriasis, as it helps remove dead scaly cells from the scalp.
Melt the shea butter and gently massage unto the scalp and leave it overnight. Repeat this process once or twice a week.
5. Ultraviolet B rays
Controlled ultraviolet B sunrays exposure can be good on psoriasis. UVB contains immunosuppressive effects, and this can help reduce psoriasis symptoms. People with psoriasis notice improvement during summer.
However, too much exposure can trigger a skin flare. You can start by getting about 5 – 10 minutes of exposure and gradually increase it. Be careful not to spend too much time in the sun so that complications of cancer do not arise.
6. Dead sea salt
Dead sea salt has a calm and soothing effect, and it is helpful with psoriasis. It is also known to cure many skin diseases. Add some dead sea salt in a tub and soak scalp for 15mins. Use a moisturizing conditioner to trap in the moisture when you’re done.
Yogurt helps to exfoliate and moisturize the skin, thereby reducing itchiness. It removes dead scaly cells from the scalp. Apply yogurt to scalp and massage gently for about 30 minutes. Wash hair with mild antiseptic shampoo.
Ginger has a long history of use as medicine. It contains anti-inflammatory, medicinal, anti-microbial properties that help prevent infections. Ginger treatment can be orally ingested. To use ginger, boil ginger in water. Strain to get the juice, then add lime juice and honey and drink while warm.
9. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is another home remedy used to manage the symptoms of psoriasis. It helps to prevent further infections that may occur as a result of scratching. It contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is reputable for treating and clearing skin and nail infections. Some people consider it useful for their psoriasis. There are many hair and skin products that contain tea tree oil.
10. Meditation and Yoga
Meditation can help reduce stress, and this can improve scalp psoriasis symptoms and skin flares. Yoga is especially helpful for people with psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis on the scalp can be more challenging to handle than psoriasis on any other part of the body. Depending on how severe your scalp psoriasis is, options for treating scalp psoriasis include:
- Over the counter shampoos
- Oral treatments
- Light therapy
Adherence to treatment will give effective results, and hair loss will be regained almost immediately. Systemic therapy needs to be considered in severe cases of scalp psoriasis. If left untreated, complications such as skin cancer and heart disease may arise. Medical attention should be sought immediately symptoms are noticed.
Scalp psoriasis patients often feel depressed about their condition. Their physical appearance, hair loss, and scratching can affect their confidence; therefore, they shouldn’t be stigmatized. People living with scalp psoriasis should find strategies to help them cope with their well-being.
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