Psoriasis is more of a chronic skin disease. It occurs with the building up of skin cells in different parts of the body. Now, these excess skin cells when seen on the scalp look like a lump of dandruff-like thing all over your head. Forming silvery patches that could be flaky, itchy, and cracking as well as end up bleeding too. 

The one that affects the scalp is known as scalp psoriasis. It is more like a common issue. Many go to the doctors for treatments while some opt for home remedies. Though some of the home remedies could be a blessing in disguise. It is rather more in conjunction with medical treatments. In this article, we will learn in detail about scalp psoriasis. 

What causes psoriasis of the scalp?

More of an immune system disease, scalp psoriasis occurs when your immunity system is overreacting. This tends to cause inflammation followed by the growth of new skin cells at an alarming rate. 

Usually, new skin cells grow over 28 – 30 days. People suffering from scalp psoriasis have the growth of new skin cells every four to five days. The build-up of the new skin cells tries to replace the old ones that this causes the buildup in the scalp. The issue is mainly running in families but what triggers it actually, is pretty complex. 

Is psoriasis of the scalp contagious?

No, it is not contagious. You cannot spread scalp psoriasis from one person to another even if you are coming in contact with the skin. It is an autoimmune disease. In simpler words, the body tries to be in defense mode to the overreaction or reaction at the wrong intervals. This tends to impact the body inside out. 

What does psoriasis of the scalp look like?

Also known as plaque psoriasis, scalp psoriasis looks like thick, swollen red patches on the scalp that have defined edges. On top of the affected area, it is covered in silvery-white scales. It looks flaky and itchy, much more like a pile of accumulated dandruff. You may easily knock them off but it will result in bleeding. 

Does psoriasis affect the scalp?

Scalp psoriasis has this outlook of thick, rough, discolored plaques which are even dry and itchy. This discoloration appears all around your scalp and around the skin surrounded by it. They can be itchy as well as painful. Furthermore, you may even suffer from excessive hair fall or alopecia. 

More than anything else, scalp psoriasis worries you about how you might look. It will not only affect your behavior but also your mental health. You might even suffer from anxiety, stress and depression. 

Does psoriasis of the scalp cause hair loss?

More than 509% of people tend to suffer from scalp psoriasis. And yes, it leads to hair fall/loss even. Now, this depends. You may experience hair loss for a temporary period until the psoriasis of the scalp clears. If you have chronic suffering, it might even lead to alopecia. 

Psoriasis of the scalp vs dandruff

Let’s give you a detailed review of the same so that you can understand the difference – 


It is a common skin problem suffered by all. It is in the form of flakes that tend to fall off your scalp. It clings to your hair or sticks to your clothing. You may even suffer from an itchy scalp. 


Malassezia is a fungus in the form of yeast thriving on the natural oil from your scalp. 

  • If you have an oily scalp and do not shampoo too often, it may lead to dandruff. 
  • People with dry skin all suffer from flakes. 
  • Male hormones are more susceptible to dandruff in comparison to females. 
  • People with weakened immune systems may even have dandruff. 
  • Some hair care products might not suit your scalp which may lead to contact dermatitis resulting in dandruff. 
  • Seborrheic dermatitis tends to have an oily, itchy scalp that turns into flakes. It may even occur in your eyebrows, chest hair or groin area. 

Scalp Psoriasis

When your immune system overreacts, it leads to scalp psoriasis. It might lead to red, scaly patches with silver-whitening covers on them that look more like a pile of dandruff. 


  • It is long-lasting, unlike dandruff. 
  • It is rather scaly. The silvery powdery patches might turn into flakes. 
  • Combing your hair becomes serious as it may result in bleeding. 
  • It may even spread to other areas of your body. This could start from your hairline to your forehead, the back of your neck, skin as well as the skin around your ears. 
  • It is an autoimmune disease. 


Right with your symptoms, it is understandable whether it is dandruff or scalp psoriasis. To be more sure, a small piece of the skin from your scalp may be taken under a microscope or sent to the lab. 


Treating dandruff is pretty easy. You may opt for a good hair care routine that will suit your hair type and use a gentle shampoo. Some shampoos help control dandruff, you may use that as well, Opting for home remedies could even give you results like using tea tree oil. 

People with mild scalp psoriasis may opt for coal tar and salicylic acid are beneficial for you. Topical creams, ointments and foams help in reducing skin buildup. Rest you need to consult your doctor for more. 

Scalp psoriasis symptoms

Symptoms tend to vary. People suffering from mild scalp psoriasis might have small or thin scales and flakiness. It will be looking more like dandruff. 

Moderate or Chronic ones are different – 

  • Raised, discolored type of plaques with a silvery-white dead skin cell surface on it. 
  • Plaques covering most of your scalp
  • It even runs to your hairline, forehead, skin behind your ear and back of your neck. 
  • Skin flakes
  • Dryness
  • Itching and inflammation
  • Redness
  • Fissures
  • Bleeding

Home remedies for scalp psoriasis

Aloe Vera

Having skin healing properties, aloe vera-based creams or even the gel helps in reducing itching, flaking, inflammation as well as scalp redness. It should be applied to your scalp times a day to see results faster. 

Baking Soda

The best treatment for itchy scalp. Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda in water. With the help of a cotton pad apply the mixture to the affected area of your scalp. It will heal the itching and inflammation. 


The heat that chili pepper gets from this component. This component helps in reducing pain, redness, inflammation and flaking. Make sure that you are not applying this on your open wounds, it may burn badly. 

Coconut oil 

Having healthy fats helps in boosting skin health. Take a few drops of the oil, heat it and massage it on your scalp. Leave it overnight or 20 mins and use a gentle shampoo to remove some of the scalings. 


Having strong anti-inflammatory properties, garlic is rich in antioxidants. It helps in improving skin issues. Puree the garlic, mix it with aloe vera gel, and apply it to the affected area for 20 min. Rise with cold water. 

Omega-3 fatty acid

You may take a supplement or fish oil, they help in reducing inflammation. You can take the supplement every day as it is good for your health as well. 

Epsom Salt 

Soak the affected part of your scalp or bath in Epsom salt water. It helps in reducing scalp psoriasis. Try to soak more of it in to reduce the scaling. 


Medicated shampoos are there for treating scalp psoriasis. The best ones have 2-10 percent of coal tar or anti-inflammatory salicylic acid. Use them as mentioned in the packaging. 

Scalp psoriasis treatment

You can use medicated shampoos, topical creams, gels, lotions, foams, ointment and soaps. Make sure that they are prescribed by the doctor. Some of the products have  – 

Salicylic acid as it acts like a peeling agent. It softens scales and makes them easier to remove. 

Coal tar-based products are available in all forms mentioned above. Just massage it to the affected area for 10-15 min and rinse out well. 


Only see a doctor, if the case is severe. Medication will work but it will have its side effects. It might even result in lung disease. So a close and competent watch is recommended. You may even try to seek medical help beforehand to work better. Do not stress yourself as it could worsen it more. 


How does psoriasis of the scalp start?

The triggers are complex. Sunburn, medication and other inflammatory health conditions may trigger this. It could also be passed through the family. 

Is psoriasis of the scalp curable?

This is not curable. It might flare up and go down. Treatment will provide you relief, this might even be through UV radiation, medication or injections. 

How do you get rid of psoriasis on your scalp?

One of the best treatments that help with scalp psoriasis is Corticosteroids. It helps in reducing swelling, itching and scaling. It is more effective than any other treatment as well as safe to use. 

What deficiency causes scalp psoriasis?

It is more because of nutritional deficiency. It could be due to vitamin D mostly. 

How do you tell if I have psoriasis on my scalp?

You will have inflammation and redness all over your scalp running down to the back of your neck, forehead, and skin of your ears. It becomes red and scaly covering it with a thick layer of silvery-white powered flakes. 

Can scalp psoriasis go away?

If you are undergoing regular treatment from the doctor, there are chances of treating your scalp psoriasis. If you have a chronic issue, you need to consult the doctor ASAP. 

Does scalp psoriasis weep?

Yes, they do. It might become flaky, scaly and itchy too. 

How do you grow hair on the scalp psoriasis?

Follow the regular hair care routine. Make sure that you are using medicated products which are doctor-prescribed and FDA-approved. 

What is psoriasis of the scalp with worms?

There is this mold-like fungus that sustains in the hair of your scalp and that might result in severe scalp psoriasis with worms. 

Why is my scalp psoriasis wet?

The rashes caused on the scalp are inflamed skin and it becomes quite moist to the touch. You will feel irritation and it will worsen if you do.

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