Scalp psoriasis can be one of the most irritating and troublesome forms of the disease. It’s estimated that about 50% of us diagnosed with psoriasis will have a flare-up on the scalp. You may notice flakes in your hair and on your clothing that look similar in appearance to dandruff. Scratching from the symptoms of scalp psoriasis can cause bleeding.
Fortunately scalp psoriasis itself does not usually cause hair loss, but scratching a lot or very hard, picking at the flakes, harsh pharmaceutical treatments, and the stress that accompanies the condition can lead to temporary hair loss. Fortunately hair usually grows back after your scalp clears. I remember my own scalp had these funny tufts of hair for ages, where it was taking time to regrow.
Occasionally, seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp can be confused with scalp psoriasis since both can produce excess scales and can cause itching. My natural shampoo & scalp oil available for pre-order, can work wonders on dry irritated scalps. Our home remedy below is also suitable for either.
MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR SCALP PSORIASIS
Medical prescription treatments for scalp psoriasis usually involve using coal tar, selenium, or salicylic acid-containing shampoos. With moderate or severe scalp disease, the addition of a topical steroid is often suggested. Besides being inconvenient, greasy, smelling bad and not always working effectively, my concern with using prescription shampoos to treat scalp psoriasis are predominantly due to the ingredients they contain;
- Coal Tar - it contains several carcinogenic compound
- Soft Paraffin - is a form of petrol derived from the petrochemical industry
It would also be useful to avoid:
- Heavily chemically formulated shampoos - even baby shampoo products can contain lots of nasties
- Hair spray, mousse, gel and other cosmetics
- Drying your hair using a hair dryer, straighteners and other artificial heat
NATURAL ALTERNATIVE FOR SCALP PSORIASIS
Switching to natural hair care can be extremely beneficial, not just in treating scalp psoriasis but also in preventing further aggravation to patches of eczema or psoriasis on the body.
You might have heard about ingredients in regular commercial shampoos such as 'parabens' or 'sulphates' talked about negatively. But what's the problem with these formulas? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant. To put simply, it's the stuff that creates a lather when you massage shampoo into your hair, trapping oil-based dirt and grime so that they can be easily rinsed away with water. As well as breaking down dirt, SLS also strips away the delicate layers of our scalps natural oils, creating significant problems in the long run especially for those with an already sensitive skin.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives often used in cosmetic products. They're the stuff that stops mould growing on your face cream each time you dip your fingers in. On the surface that sounds like a good thing, but when it comes to scalp psoriasis, parabens can irritate and aggravate an already sensitive scalp. Furthermore, they can interfere with the production of hormones, which in turn can trigger skin issues.
My natural hair care products are free from sodium lauryl sulfate and do not contain parabens. You can find out more here;
HOME REMEDY FOR SCALP PSORIASIS
If you're struggling with scalp psoriasis at the moment, this natural treatment can be really powerful. Designed to slough away flakes and penetrate the patches beneath, my salt / oil treatment should leave the scalp feeling soothed and hair shiny. It's important with any treatment that includes essential oils to test a small amount on the skin first for allergies. As this treatment involves dead sea salts, open cuts and patches will sting like hell! Whilst this can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful, the stinging does subside. If it's still too much initially you might simply want to add these salts and oils to your bath and massage the diluted water into your scalp rather than applying it directly.
Dead Sea Salts contain minerals known to be incredibly beneficial when naturally healing psoriasis. In addition, since rosemary has natural antiseptic properties, it's a superior disinfectant for our skin and hair. In fact, this essential oil is known to promote a healthy, moisturised scalp and has even been said to reverse premature greying!
Bicarbonate of Soda or Baking Soda is often the first alternative people who stop using shampoo turn to. This is because the mechanism between this ingredient and your hair is pure and effective. Baking Soda essentially turns the glorious protective sebum of your hair (the bit that can make it look greasy) into soap. Baking Soda also gently balances out your pH levels, encouraging your scalp to produce just the right amount of oil to ensure it's not too dry and not overly oily.
In my 'how to apply' video I'm using a towel on the floor of my bathroom. You don't have to massage it in this way. It might be easier for you to apply this in the bath or shower (it's just difficult getting the camera angle right!).
200g Dead Sea or Epsom Salts (you can use regular salt which will work for exfoliating but does not contain the same mineral properties)
1 tbsp baking soda
100ml olive oil
15 drops rosemary essential oil
100ml coconut oil (melted so it's liquid)
20 drops rosemary essential oil
Juice of half a lemon
- In a bowl mix the dead sea salt
- Add rosemary oil drops to the olive oil and stir half the oil into the salt
- Add baking soda and continue stirring well
- Add the remaining oil and stir until everything is combined
- In a separate bowl add the juice of half a lemon and 10 drops of rosemary to 100ml melted coconut oil
HOW TO APPLY THIS NATURAL SCALP PSORIASIS TREATMENT
- Massage the sea salt mixture into the scalp. Remember to concentrate specifically on the hairline, behind the ears, on the nape and anywhere else your psoriasis patches are particularly bad
- Rinse with warm water
- Massage the coconut oil mixture into your scalp, focusing on any dry patches, behind the ears and along the forehead. You can massage this oil into your hair too
- Wrap hair in a towel and sleep overnight
- Wake and wash your hair using a natural shampoo like this one. You might need to rinse twice to remove all the oil completely
- Allow hair to dry naturally if possible
You can also leave this treatment in your hair during the day, on the beach, relaxing around the house ... wherever you feel comfortable
I'd recommend you apply this twice to three times a week if possible
If you don't have the time to make your own hair products for treating scalp psoriasis, our Scalp Oil will work brilliantly effectively.