Can Scalp Psoriasis Lead To Hair Loss?
Scalp psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes red patches, called plaques, to form on the scalp. The patches are accompanied by itching, irritation, inflammation, and flaking. The cause of scalp psoriasis
is not known, but it is believed to be the result of an autoimmune disorder.
The immune system targets patches of skin cells in the scalp and sends white blood cells to the patches of scalp. This causes a buildup of skin cells, which causes a raised patch of skin on the scalp. The actions of the white blood cells also cause inflammation and irritation of the patches.
Scalp psoriasis can sometimes lead to hair loss. This can occur either due to the plaques coming off and bringing hair with it or from scratching.
How Scalp Psoriasis Leads To Hair Loss
Surprisingly enough, the patches of scalp psoriasis don’t usually cause hair loss. Most of the time, hair loss is the result of scratching the patches or removing the patches too forcefully. Scalp psoriasis causes an itching sensation and scratching too frequently or too hard can damage hair follicles and cause them to fall out.
Scraping of the patches to remove the skin buildup can remove the hair as well as the patch. Hair follicles are easily damaged, and if many hairs are damaged at one time, the resulting hair loss is noticeable. Hair loss is also more visible because the hair doesn’t grow back in the sore spots right away.
Stress can also cause hair loss, and scalp psoriasis is a stressful disorder for those who have moderate to severe cases. Every hair goes through a resting phase lasting about three months, and after the resting phase, it will fall out.Stress
can cause a larger percentage of hairs to enter the resting phase, which means that when the resting phase is over, a larger than normal percentage of hairs will fall out. This loss of a large number of hairs at once is visible.
Sometimes, treatments tried on scalp psoriasis can cause hair loss. Some medications
put on the scalp, such as those containing salicylic acid, can damage the hair and cause it to fall out. Other treatments that involve vigorous scrubbing of the scalp can also cause damage to follicles, causing them to shed.Scalp psoriasis and hair loss
, fortunately do not have to go hand-in-hand, so to speak. Typical flakes, bumps, redness and even sores rarely cause you to lose hair directly; it is often the itching and scratching that pulls out follicle roots. As healing begins, follicles will sometimes regrow.
Prevention & Treatment
To reduce the risk of losing more hair, be gentle in the treatment of your scalp tissue and avoid doing things to further irritate the scalp.
Although the scales must be removed for effective treatment of scalp psoriasis, this can be done gently. Lightly comb through patches, and don’t pick at them. Focus on keeping the scalp moisturized, which will help reduce the itching. Avoid using harsh medications that will irritate the scalp, worsening the symptoms. Be sure to keep your hair moisturized, which will help dryness of the scalp as well. Finally, avoid blow drying as much as possible; air drying is much gentler and will not cause additional excessive or chronic drying of the tissue.There are several shampoos/cleansers that both help prevent and treat symptoms. A psoriasis shampoo containing Menthol or Zinc PCA helps control oil production while reducing symptoms and both (ingredients) act to inhibit DHT that can lead to loss and thinning.
Supplementing this regimen with a moisturizing conditioner with Zinc or Zinc PCA further helps control excess oil and moisturize the scalp helping heal sores. This allows addressing several issues at once; one, the reduction of flaking, inflammation, and itching symptoms that may result in temporary loss; and two, reduction of one of the causes of scalp psoriasis.