What Does Psoriasis Look Like on the Scalp?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. One common form of this disorder is scalp psoriasis, which can be challenging to identify and manage.
At Everest Medspa in Havertown, PA, Dr. Xiaobin Li helps patients understand the triggers of their scalp psoriasis, minimize flare-ups, and treat any resulting scalp discoloration with laser hyperpigmentation treatments.
Keep reading to discover what scalp psoriasis looks like and how it's treated.
What is scalp psoriasis?
Scalp psoriasis affects the skin on the head. It is a noncontagious, chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by the rapid build-up of skin cells, leading to the formation of red, scaly patches on the scalp. These patches can vary in size and may sometimes extend beyond the hairline onto the forehead, neck, or ears.
Scalp psoriasis symptoms
Scalp psoriasis can present itself in various ways, but some common features include:
- Red, inflamed patches with silvery-white scales
- Noticeable flaking, which may resemble severe dandruff
- Significant itching, which can be bothersome and may lead to scratching and further irritation
- Burning or soreness in affected areas
- Temporary hair loss as a result of excessive scratching, inflammation, or harsh treatments
Scalp psoriasis causes and triggers
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, leading to their rapid growth and accumulation on the skin's surface. While the exact cause of psoriasis is not entirely understood, researchers believe that genetics and environmental factors play a role in its development.
Some common triggers of scalp psoriasis flare-ups include:
- Skin injuries (such as cuts, scrapes, or even sunburns)
- Medications (such as beta-blockers, lithium, or antimalarial drugs)
Scalp psoriasis treatment options
While there is no cure for scalp psoriasis, various treatments can help manage psoriasis symptoms and improve the skin's appearance. Some common psoriasis treatment options include:
- Topical treatments, including medicated shampoos, creams, or ointments containing salicylic acid, coal tar, or corticosteroids
- UV light therapy
- Oral or injectable medication to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation
- Lifestyle changes such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and managing stress to reduce the frequency and severity of psoriasis flare-ups
Scalp psoriasis can sometimes lead to hyperpigmentation, a condition where patches of skin become darker than the surrounding areas. This can be particularly distressing for individuals who have managed to control their psoriasis but are left with these lingering pigmented areas.
If you have a history of scalp psoriasis, Dr. Li offers laser hyperpigmentation treatments, including PicoSure and Pico Genesis, at Everest Medspa.
How does laser hyperpigmentation treatment help scalp psoriasis sufferers?
PicoSure and Pico Genesis are advanced laser technologies designed to treat various skin concerns, including hyperpigmentation. These lasers deliver ultra-short, high-intensity pulses of energy into the skin. The energy targets and breaks down the excess pigment, promoting the body's natural healing response, and the pigmented particles are eventually removed.
PicoSure uses PressureWave™ technology to shatter the pigment into tiny particles, which the body can remove more easily.
Pico Genesis targets hyperpigmentation with a dual-wavelength approach, using both 532 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths to address various types and depths of pigmentation, including those resulting from scalp psoriasis.
There are multiple benefits of laser treatments for scalp psoriasis-related hyperpigmentation. PicoSure and Pico Genesis are:
- Minimally invasive nonsurgical treatments that don't require incisions or cause significant damage to the skin
- Safe for various skin types, reducing the risk of adverse reactions or complications
- Effective results after just a few sessions
Both laser treatments come with minimal to no downtime and a reduced risk of scarring, thanks to the precision of the picosecond lasers.
Get treatment for scalp psoriasis-related hyperpigmentation in Havertown, PA
At Everest Medspa, Dr. Xiaobin Li helps patients identify and address the triggers of their scalp psoriasis and offers treatments to help reduce the evidence of past flare-ups.
If you're interested in safe and effective laser treatment to treat your psoriasis-related skin discoloration, schedule a consultation today at our office in Havertown, PA.