What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by an accelerated skin cell life cycle resulting in thick, red, scaly patches. It can be chronic, and may get worse over time if not treated properly, but it is important for the public to understand that psoriasis is not contagious. It can appear in thick patches on various areas of the body such as the scalp, elbows, or knees. The cause is not completely clear, but it is believed that the immune system “misfires” and can cause cells to grow and can develop into this type of skin condition.
What causes psoriasis?
It is a common condition that affects nearly 2% of the population. While it is likely that genes are just one of the reasons, experts have still not determined precisely how defected genetics affect the immune system. We are, however, aware of various environmental factors that influence and aggravate the skin:
- Stress and emotional shocks
- Certain types of medicine
- Hormonal imbalance
- Sun exposure
- Alcohol and tobacco
Some specific tips to treat scalp psoriasis
The scalp is one of the areas most commonly affected by psoriasis. It is important to recognize the characteristics of scalp psoriasis in order to better understand how to deal with outbreaks or avoid them altogether.
- A soft brush or comb should be used to avoid irritating the affected scalp area. We advise that you refrain from scalp and head massages and steer clear of hot styling tools, like hair dryers.
- Choose your hair care products carefully. Select mild or medicated shampoos formulated for psoriasis. Some products contain aggressive detergents and synthetic fragrances which irritate skin further; therefore, opt for a silicone and sulfate free shampoo.
- Essential oils used in aromatherapy are very effective for relieving pain, redness, and swelling on the skin. Certain essential oils will also allow your skin to regenerate and heal.
- Avoid using chemical dyes which can irritate the skin and cause flare ups and outbreaks. Lean towards gentle natural and organic hair products.
- Relax! Stress is a triggering factors is stress related. So enjoy moments of peace and let go.
And last, but not least: do not scratch! 5 minutes of scratching leads to two or three weeks more of scalp psoriasis.