How to Detect Psoriasis on the Scalp

 How to Detect Psoriasis on the Scalp

Psoriasis is a fairly common skin disorder that can affect large swaths of skin. But when your skin is covered by hair, how can you tell if there's a psoriasis rash? Here's what you need to know if you suspect you have scalp psoriasis.

Rule Out Dandruff First

Scalp psoriasis can be a serious issue for those who have it. If you suspect you're one of those people, it's important to rule out dandruff first. Dandruff can be caused by a number of factors, but most commonly it's the result of oily, itchy, or irritated skin. As a result of this irritation, dry skin flakes off and often lands on your hair or clothing. One key symptom to look out for here is dry skin flakes. Itchiness can also be a symptom of dandruff, but it shouldn't be accompanied by any redness or scaly skin. If you think you see either of those things, it's probably time to get checked out for psoriasis. In addition, dandruff often comes and goes. Keep track of how long you're experiencing symptoms -- if they're ongoing for more than a week or so, you could be looking at scalp psoriasis.

Look for Scaly Patches of Skin

The best way to look for this particular psoriasis symptom is to feel around on your scalp. You're looking for patches of skin -- particularly in areas you might not see in the mirror -- that feel raised, bumpy, or scaly in nature. These bumpy patches of skin are the result of overactive skin cell growth. It's believed that an autoimmune issue is the cause of this skin buildup. When skin grows so quickly like that, your body can't shed cells fast enough. If you feel small patches or large areas of scaly skin on your scalp, it's likely psoriasis.

Don't Ignore Redness and Skin Irritation

We already discussed that dandruff is often the result of some form of skin irritation, but psoriasis takes it a bit further. Skin irritation will often be accompanied by patches of red, dry skin on the scalp. It can be easy to dismiss this at first, especially when hair is covering your head, but the sooner you get it looked at, the sooner you can determine if you need psoriasis treatment or not. If you notice skin flaking off on your hair and clothing, make sure to examine your scalp for any patches of red, dry skin.

Be Aware of Itching or Burning Sensations

Another common symptom of scalp psoriasis is an itching or burning sensation around the affected areas. This can be a result of skin cracking or flaking. Whatever you do, don't scratch at your scalp if you feel these sensations. Doing so could irritate your condition further and lead to complications down the line. In addition, it could cause additional scalp soreness or pain.

Watch for Hair Loss

Scalp psoriasis itself isn't necessarily responsible for hair loss, but it's possible to lose hair as a result of scratching, picking, or otherwise further irritating the affected areas of your scalp. If you notice that you've been picking at, scratching, or otherwise irritating the skin on your scalp recently, make sure to check for hair loss and for signs of scalp psoriasis.

If you suspect you have psoriasis on your scalp, don't hesitate to seek out treatment. Whether you need a psoriasis shampoo or a diagnosis, please set up an appointment with one of our doctors at North Pacific Dermatology Specialists today.

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