SCALP PSORIASIS
TIPS YOU CAN USE

Heads Up

Psoriasis can pop up almost anywhere on your body. It can occur on your hands, back, and even your nails. One place where psoriasis is more common than you might expect is your scalp. But the good news is you have treatment options to help manage it. First, let’s learn more about scalp psoriasis. 

About 50% of people with psoriasis experience it on their scalp to some degree. Scalp psoriasis is often characterized by a dry, flaking scalp with itching, burning, or soreness. Symptoms can be milder, ranging to more severe, when it can be painful, embarrassing, and spread to the neck, forehead, and behind the ears. 

TIP: Try not to scratch! Easier said than done, but scratching can cause bleeding, infections, and hair loss. 

Person with scalp psoriasis on scalp Person with scalp psoriasis on scalp Person with scalp psoriasis on scalp

Speaking of hair loss, this can happen even if you don’t scratch. Don’t worry—it’s likely not permanent and your hair will usually grow back when your skin heals.

Derm Knows Best

The first thing you should do if you have scalp psoriasis is talk to a dermatologist. Don’t have one? Find one using our Dermatologist Locator. Only a dermatologist can assess how severe your scalp psoriasis is and suggest a treatment plan for your symptoms.

Illustration of a psoriasis patient and dermatologist

Your primary care doctor can help you find a psoriasis specialist who will help you manage your symptoms. For many, relief starts with finding the right dermatologist.

Over-the-counter psoriasis product Over-the-counter psoriasis product Over-the-counter psoriasis product

OTC Relief

Sometimes you need quick relief. Over-the-counter products can help you temporarily relieve some of the symptoms of psoriasis. Here are a few things to consider.

Many scalp psoriasis shampoos and creams can help with symptoms. Look for products containing salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea, zinc pyrithione, or selenium to help soften plaques and calm itching, irritation, and redness.

Coal tar is another popular treatment that can offer temporary relief. For some, coal tar has been shown to slow skin growth and reduce inflammation. Careful though—it’s kind of messy and can stain if you’re not cautious.

Psoriasis Treatments

Learn more about available treatment options for psoriasis.

Get to Know Your Options ➜

Home Remedies

DID YOU KNOW: There are remedies to help manage scalp psoriasis with products you may already have in your pantry. While they can’t replace your dermatologist-prescribed medical treatment, these DIY tricks may be able to help with additional symptom relief.

Psoriasis and coconut oil Psoriasis and coconut oil Psoriasis and coconut oil

Coconut oil can help gently soften scales. Apply to entire scalp, cover with a shower cap, and let it sit for 10-60 minutes. Wash your hair as usual, and plaques may be easier to remove.

Psoriasis and apple cider vinegar Psoriasis and apple cider vinegar Psoriasis and apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar may be able to soothe itching. Put some in a spray bottle and apply it to your scalp a few times a week. If it’s uncomfortable, dilute it with water.

 

Illustration of hand with bow tied around index finger Illustration of hand with bow tied around index finger Illustration of hand with bow tied around index finger
Illustration of hand with bow tied around index finger Illustration of hand with bow tied around index finger Illustration of hand with bow tied around index finger

REMINDER: Don’t use home remedies if your scalp is cracked or bleeding. While they can help provide temporary relief for some, it’s important to keep your doctor in the loop about what you are using to manage your psoriasis.