Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease in which skin cells replicate at an extremely rapid rate. New skin cells are produced about eight times faster than normal which causes cells to build up on the skins surface. This causes thick patches or plaques to form causing red sores covered with flaky, silvery-white dead skin cells. Psoriasis at its mildest can be itchy and sore, but at its worst it is painful, debilitating, disfiguring.

Psoriasis can affect people at any age, but it most often strikes those between the ages of 15 and 35. There are five forms of psoriasis, all of which occur most frequently on the scalp, among other places including the elbows, knees, back, face, palms, and soles of the feet. Psoriasis may also affect the fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, discoloration, or tissue buildup around the nails.

Symptoms

Scalp psoriasis is a skin disease that may cause itchy, red skin with silvery or powdery dry scales. It can range from mild, with only light scaling to severe, with thick and crusted scales covering the entire scalp. Scalp psoriasis can appear in small patches on the scalp or move down along the hairline from the forehead to the back of the neck.

It can also appear around the ears. Psoriasis often first appears when a person is between the ages of 15 and 35 years of age. Psoriasis is not contagious or life threatening, but it can be uncomfortable and make the sufferer feel self conscious about their appearance.

Causes

While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, it is suspected to be heredity. This means that there isnt anything the person suffering from the disease did to cause the condition. Psoriasis may be caused by an abnormal immune response in the body, but it is still not known if psoriasis is a chronic condition and while it cannot be completely cured, it can be controlled.

Psoriasis of the scalp is sometimes confused with seborrhea dermatitis or dandruff. Symptoms of scalp psoriasis may include red and raised scalp lesions, dry and silvery or powdery scales, scales and red lesions around the ears, and an itchy scalp.

Side Effects

People with psoriasis are often plagued by others staring at their skin or asking insensitive questions. They often also have scaly and silvery layers of dead skin cells clinging to the top of the lesions. Unfortunately for sufferers it is more difficult to hide this condition when it appears on the scalp. The type of psoriasis that most commonly appears on the scalp is psoriasis seborrhea.

This is the same strain that causes cradle cap in babies and minor dandruff in teenagers and adults. Psoriasis symptoms of this kind include an intense itching of the scalp. Scalp psoriasis can be treated, but the patient needs to be aware that it can be reappear at any time. Sufferers of any type of psoriasis need to realize that support is essential. Not only is psoriasis painful and unpleasant, the appearance of the skin often makes the patient experience feelings of depression.