15 August 2008

Scalp Psoriasis

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Scalp psoriasis is a subtype of psoriasis manifesting on the hair covered area of the head. It may be severe or mild. It can affect the entire scalp or just certain areas. The symptoms are visible, thick, silvery layers of dead skin cells, soreness of the scalp, bleeding and a lot of itching, and a feeling of tightness of the scalp if large areas are covered. It occurs in patients that have an attack on the immune system, stress, or hormonal changes. Stress is a contributing factor of this disease, like all types of psoriasis. There are about three percent of Americans diagnosed with psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis is not contagious,-it is considered to be a hereditary disease. The affected areas are called plaques and may be localized to a specific part of the scalp or be spread all over.


Scratching the area can make the disease worse. It causes flaking of the skin much like dandruff and can be very embarrassing to the patient. Proper treatment of the scalp can help to manage it. The doctor prescribes steroid liniments, among other medicines. The pain caused by the disease can become very uncomfortable and the itching unbearable.

This disease can cause other problems with relationships, self-esteem and self-confidence. Constant itching and scratching is not very attractive to some of the people around you, and flaking and layers of “white snow” on the jacket is hard to handle for the victim. It can damage the self-perception because one gets very self-conscious of whether someone is watching your scratching or not, or even worse, the dandruff. It is disconcerting to imagine that this disease has no cure and may be a life long illness. However, the hope that you have is that there are treatments to manage the disease and help you to live a normal life.


Treatment

There are several different types of treatment that is accessible to patients of scalp psoriasis. A doctor’s visit may allow the patient to get prescription medication to assist in the healing of the scalp. However, medication could also be some kind of natural medicine depending on the severity of the disease. See also treatment for psoriasis by clicking here.

There are over the counter drugs that can help with treating the patient’s scalp psoriasis. The patient has to be wise in this decision. The pharmacist may be able to help, but it is better to see a doctor about this before taking that route. An anti-inflammatory medication (steroid liniment) may be suggested by the physician, which will help to reduce any itching and inflammation.

Treatments for scalp psoriasis may need to be continued over time to see the best results. Make sure you wash the hair regularly with specific shampoos that are made especially for scalp psoriasis disease.

A coal tar shampoo helps to remove the scaling from the scalp. After shampoo, add a cortisone lotion to the scalp. Keep up this routine until improvements are recognized. Brush and comb the hair on a regular basis to remove any scaling.

You can also use natural remedies and essential oils (see link above) as alternative ways to treat the disease. You can also fix chamomile tea, cool it and use as a hair rinse. Neem oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender are good natural products for healing the disease. Neem oil will help to stop the itching and the lavender acts as a soothing agent and stimulates hair growth. It also has anti itch properties.

Use natural sulphate free shampoos with wheat germ or jojoba oils. This will help to moisturize and keep the scalp healthy.

Mix water with tamanu oil, pour into a spray bottle and put on scalp. Or you can just massage the tamanu oil into the scalp drop by drop. You may also add the oil to your shampoo or conditioner.

Spending thirty minutes under a UVB light is a way to speed up the healing process, if the rays find access to the scalp skin .

There are many more remedies for scalp psoriasis. You have to find the one that works best for you. Hair hygiene is the ultimate plan of action to keep scalp healthy. If the condition persists, you should seek the help of a doctor.

Regular treatment with natural remedies should heal the condition. A combination of the herbal remedy, the essential oil and tamanu oil will do the trick.

Source: http://www.naturalskinrepair.com



Do babies get psoriasis?

It is exceedingly rare for babies to have psoriasis particularly if there is no history in the family. Rashes in the nappy area may be psoriasis or may be a straightforward nappy rash. Psoriasis in the nappy area will look red and shiny with little scaling, and it will be very clearly demarcated i.e. it will be clear where the psoriasis stops and regular skin begins.


How does psoriasis affect children?

The most common form of psoriasis in children is plaque psoriasis affecting the elbows, knees and lower back. The scalp can also be involved in children, along with the face and flexures (for example, the groin, armpit and behind the knees).
Guttate psoriasis is also more common in childhood and teenage years. This form of psoriasis often follows a throat infection and appears as a generalised rash of small, scaly patches up to 1cm in diameter. The patches often affect the trunk, limbs and occasionally scalp. Guttate psoriasis generally clears well, but this may take several weeks or months.


Why has my child got psoriasis?

Psoriasis is not yet a fully understood condition, however, around 30% of people with psoriasis have a family history of the condition, and certain genes have been identified as being linked to psoriasis. A trigger is still required for psoriasis to develop, regardless of a family link. Triggers include injury to the skin (a simple scratch or insect bite), the streptococcal sore throat, stress and emotional upset and puberty.


What treatments are available for children?

Moisturisers and emollients are vital in the treatment of psoriasis – they will help soothe, smooth and hydrate your child’s skin in order to keep it in good condition and help the active treatment creams and ointments work more effectively. There are lots of emollients and moisturisers to choose, from oils to put in the bath, to creams, lotions and ointments to put directly onto the skin. For some children, moisturisers and emollients are all they will require to manage their psoriasis. Other more active creams and ointments include coal tar based applications, vitamin D analogues, topical steroid treatments and dithranol.
If your child’s psoriasis becomes more severe, they may be referred to a dermatologist. Dermatologists are able to offer other stronger forms of treatment such as ultraviolet light (UV) therapy and tablets


Immunisations

All the usual immunisation procedures may be safely given but it is worth remembering that a patch of psoriasis may come up at any site where the skin has been injured e.g. following immunisation with BCG.


Helpful Hints

· Children should lead as normal a life as possible – psoriasis is only a part of who they are.

· Parents and children may have different views about treatments – it is important to talk this through and respect their views.

· Cotton clothing, underwear and bedding may be more comfortable for your child during a psoriasis flare.

· Inform your child’s teacher in case they need time off school to attend doctors appointments, or help in explaining the condition to their classmates – that it is not contagious.

· Establish a treatment routine, but don’t let it rule your or your child’s life.

· Have a small pot of moisturiser that will fit in a handbag or school bag to use when away from home – this can help soothe itchy skin that may be bothersome in the daytime.

Source: http://www.psoriasis-association.org.uk

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