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Psoriasis and hair loss: everything to know and best tips!

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Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease, causing dry patches on dryer areas such as elbows, knees, feet, or scalp. On the scalp, psoriasis may lead to hair loss. How are psoriasis and hair loss linked?

Psoriasis and hair loss

Technically, psoriasis may be located anywhere on the body. On the scalp, psoriasis may cause hair loss because the scalp is dried out. Better seek treatment at the first signs to avoid hair loss.

The symptoms include:

  • Lots of dandruff, looking like scales and flakes as the condition progress
  • Discolored scalp areas
  • Intense itching
  • Dryness, cracks, and bleeding
  • Pain, burning, or soreness

Scalp psoriasis and hair loss

Scalp psoriasis may cause temporary hair loss. Scratching may damage the skin and cause hair loss. It may be a vicious circle for the patient as losing hair makes them stressed, and stress worsens psoriasis and makes them lose hair.

How significant as the loss may be, the hair grows back once the condition is cured.

Scalp psoriasis and hair loss prevention and treatment

Here are the most common treatments for psoriasis induced hair loss:

  • Skin treatment

Most doctors and dermatologists first prescribe topical treatments. They often include topical steroids, a medicated shampoo, and vitamin D cream. Those topical treatments help to reduce inflammation and itching to protect the hair.

  • Over-the-counter medication

Salicylic acid, wood, or coal tar are available as over-the-counter (OTC) treatments to relieve psoriasis symptoms. Salicylic acid helps to soften the skin, and tar relieves itching.

  • Prescription medication

Psoriasis is not a hair disease, and it affects the whole body. In some cases, prescription drugs are the only option that works. Those medicines include retinoid biologics and can be taken orally or injected.

  • UVB treatment

UVB medication used to be the standard way to cure psoriasis. UVB is a part of sunlight and slows down affected skin cells’ growth. 

Nowadays, new medicine replaced sun exposure as a psoriasis treatment.

  • Steroids use for psoriasis and hair loss

Steroids help to reduce inflammation. Steroids are prescribed by a physician, family doctor, or dermatologist, depending on the state of psoriasis.

  • Oral treatment

The cases of severe psoriasis are treated with oral medication. Apremilast, methotrexate, acitretin, and cyclosporine are useful to treat this condition.

  • Infusion and injectable drugs

Doctors may prescribe injectable or infusion drugs for extreme psoriasis cases to relieve the symptoms. It often involves biological treatment to reduce inflammation.

Change in lifestyle to avoid psoriasis induced hair loss

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. Looking for the triggers and eliminating them may help the patient get better. However, it is often an arduous task because stimuli may be various and associated. Stress, both physical and mental, is a significant factor for many patients.

It is essential to follow those points to prevent hair loss due to psoriasis during an outbreak.

  • See a doctor as soon as possible
  • Ask a dermatologist about the best shampoo for psoriasis patients and the list of ingredients to avoid
  • Avoid picking and scratching. Psoriasis itself does not destroy hair; picking and scratching do!
  • Avoiding violent moves during hair washing and using gentle products not to make irritation worse
  • Let hair dry naturally and do not blow-dry not to aggress the scalp
  • Gently comb or brush out flakes and dandruff to eliminate them
  • Treatments must be applied on the scalp and not on the hair!