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Scalp psoriasis: 10 ways to reduce hair loss

When psoriasis develops on the scalp, hair loss sometimes follows. While hair tends to regrow once the scalp psoriasis clears, there are things you can do right now to prevent further hair loss.

  1. Gently comb and brush away the scale. To treat scalp psoriasis, you must loosen and remove scale. To prevent hair loss, you should do this gently.

    Brush gently

    Forcefully removing scale often loosens your hair along with the scale.

    woman brushing her hair

  2. Avoid picking off scale. Picking can aggravate your skin, causing psoriasis to flare.

  3. Get the treatment on your scalp. For treatment to be effective, you need to apply the medicine or medicated shampoo to your scalp.

  4. Keep your fingernails short, and file your fingernails so that the tips are smooth. Scalp psoriasis can be itchy, making it difficult to avoid scratching your scalp. Short, smooth nails can prevent you from scratching so hard that you loosen your hair or cause your scalp to bleed.

  5. If you use a medicated shampoo, try alternating shampoos. To avoid overly drying your scalp and hair, try using a medicated shampoo one day and a non-medicated, gentle shampoo the next time you wash your hair. Dry hair is more likely to break, which can lead to hair loss.

  6. Use a conditioner after every shampoo. This can help your scalp feel less dry. Using a non-medicated conditioner can also help reduce the scent of a medicated shampoo.

  7. Let your hair air dry. When you have scalp psoriasis, your scalp is extremely dry. Blow drying can dry your scalp even more.

  8. Test your hair care products. Hair color, straightening products, and hair sprays can boost self-esteem, but they can also dry your hair and irritate your scalp. Before using a hair-care product, dab a small amount on your scalp and let it stay there a while. If your scalp feels irritated in a few hours, swap that product for something gentler. Be sure to test every product.

    Dry hair

    Dry hair breaks more easily, which can lead to hair loss.

    woman examining her dry hair

  9. Tell your dermatologist if the treatment for your scalp seems too harsh. Skin on the scalp is thick, so treatment for scalp psoriasis is often stronger than treatment applied to other areas. If your treatment seems too strong, tell your dermatologist. Your dermatologist may switch treatments or change how you use the current one.

    Medicated shampoo

    After you get good clearing, using a medicated shampoo may prevent scalp psoriasis from returning.

    Woman pouring shampoo

  10. Tell your dermatologist if nothing seems to stop your hair loss. People lose hair for many reasons. Your hair loss could be caused by something other than your scalp psoriasis. A dermatologist can look for the cause of your hair loss. 

If you have difficulty clearing your scalp psoriasis, be sure to make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist. It’s rare to have scalp psoriasis for long when you follow a dermatologist’s treatment plan. 

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