Home remedies for psoriasis on the scalp can help ease some symptoms, but they’re not proven cures. To help reduce psoriasis symptoms, it can help to combine home remedies with the right medical treatment.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes skin cells to quickly build up on the skin’s surface. For those who have lighter skin tones, it can appear pink or red with a silvery white scale. On medium skin tones, it can appear salmon-colored with a silvery-white scale. On darker skin tones, psoriasis could look violet with gray scale. It can also appear dark brown and difficult to see.
Rachael Zimlich, RN, BSNLIVING WITH PSORIASIS
When I was a child, I remember watching my grandmother struggle to hide the itchy, white patches of skin on her elbows. Flaking skin followed her every move. Read full article
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Psoriasis is also itchy, and sometimes the patches can be painful and may crack and bleed. Often, this condition affects the scalp, forehead, back of the ears, and neck. In this case, it’s called scalp psoriasis.
Scalp psoriasis is a chronic condition, meaning that it
tends to come and go over time. Often, it’s triggered or worsened by certain
factors such as:
- drinking alcohol
It’s important to treat scalp psoriasis and monitor symptoms
for other conditions. Research has linked scalp psoriasis with chronic inflammation, which
occurs with other health issues such as:
- insulin resistance
- high cholesterol
- heart disease
Most doctors recommend topical medications, light therapy, and medications that affect the entire body to treat scalp psoriasis, but some home remedies may also help.
The following home treatments are generally safe and may help you reduce mild to moderate scalp psoriasis symptoms. It would be best if you speak to your doctor before starting home treatment, especially for more aggressive forms of the condition.
Aloe vera is a plant known for
its skin-healing properties. Creams that contain 0.5
percent aloe can help reduce itching, inflammation, flaking, and
redness on the scalp. This cream should be applied up to three times per day to
keep skin moist. It may take up to a month to start feeling and seeing positive
Baking soda is a quick and easy
treatment for an itchy scalp. Take a small glass of water and stir in one
tablespoon of baking soda. Then use a cotton pad or washcloth to apply the
mixture onto the area of your head that’s affected. You can even pour the
solution onto your head to relieve itching and inflammation under your hair.
Chili peppers get their heat from a compound called capsaicin. German researchers
have found some evidence that products with capsaicin can help reduce the pain,
redness, inflammation, and flaking caused by psoriasis. But more research is
needed to understand exactly how it works.
Products containing capsaicin may sting skin. Avoid applying to open wounds and touching your eyes, genitals, mouth, and other sensitive areas after handling capsaicin cream.
Coconut or avocado oil
Coconuts and avocados are filled with healthy fats that boost skin health. Massage a few drops of either type of oil, cool or lightly heated, onto your scalp and put on a shower cap. Wait 20 minutes, remove the cap, then wash your hair as usual. This can reduce and remove some of the scaling associated with the condition.
Garlic has strong anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that improve skin condition, while preventing skin infections. While it has a strong odor, it does appear to reduce
Mix pureed or pressed raw garlic with aloe vera cream or gel in a ratio of 1-to-1. Put the mixture on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, rinse with cool water. This treatment is safe to use daily.
Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape)
Also called barberry or Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium is an herb that affects the body’s immune response. Because of this, researchers believe it may help treat scalp psoriasis by reducing inflammation and other symptoms. Look for creams containing
Adding a cup of raw ground unflavored oats to a warm bath
and soaking for 15 minutes may help reduce your scalp psoriasis symptoms. Oats
are especially effective for itching, inflammation, and flaking. Be sure to
keep the affected area fully submerged when bathing.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, taken in the form of fish oil and plant-based supplements such as flax may reduce inflammation. While the effects of omega-3s on scalp psoriasis aren’t proven, it appears safe and perhaps beneficial to take omega-3s daily.
Sea or Epsom salt
Soaking your whole body, including the affected part of your
head, in warm water with dissolved sea salt or Epsom salt may reduce scalp
psoriasis symptoms. Try to stay in the tub for 15 minutes and apply a
moisturizing cream to your affected skin when you get out of the tub.
There are many specially made, nonmedicated over-the-counter shampoos used to treat scalp psoriasis. The most effective include those that contain 2 to 10 percent coal tar or anti-inflammatory salicylic acid. Use as directed on the bottle.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree is a plant believed to treat inflammatory skin
conditions. It works as an antiseptic and can alleviate the inflammation and
redness associated with scalp psoriasis. Be aware that some people are allergic
and sensitive to tea tree oil, and the substance
has been linked to hormone changes in some people.
Turmeric is an herb well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Those with scalp psoriasis may reduce symptoms by taking a daily
Sunshine may help relieve some symptoms of scalp psoriasis.
Put on sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and spend 10 to 15 minutes in the
sun. Consider spending time outside in the morning when the sun is less
Talk to your doctor first if you’re taking medications for
your scalp psoriasis, as some may make you more prone to sunburn.
Scalp and other forms of psoriasis occur when the immune
system doesn’t work properly. Skin cells grow too quickly, growing within days
rather than weeks. The body can’t shed these skin cells quickly enough to match
the new growth. They pile up on the skin’s surface, causing psoriasis.
People with family members who have scalp psoriasis are more
likely to have the condition themselves. Those with HIV, stress, obesity, and
those who smoke are also more likely than others to have this condition.
Common triggers that set off or worsen flare-ups of scalp
- infections, including strep throat or skin
- skin injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, insect
bites, or severe sunburn
- alcohol use
- vitamin D deficiency
- some medications, such as lithium, high blood
pressure drugs, antimalarials, and iodides
Scalp psoriasis and dermatitis are both common skin conditions affecting the scalp. These conditions share some of the same treatments and symptoms, including redness and flaky skin. However, these conditions have different causes, and your doctor will be able to tell them apart.
Signs of scalp psoriasis could include silver, violet, salmon, or red scales, depending skin tones, which often extend beyond the hairline, with itching and sometimes pain. With dermatitis, you may notice reddish skin covered by white or yellow scales, along with dandruff and itching. Treatment for psoriasis is often more aggressive than that for dermatitis.
If you suspect you have scalp psoriasis, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor. They may examine your scalp to rule out other conditions before sending you to a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.
(Video) How to Get Rid of Psoriasis – Natural Remedies for Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis is a chronic skin condition caused by issues with the immune system. While it’s important to seek medical treatment for this condition to prevent complications, you can add home remedies to your treatment plan to reduce symptoms and better manage your scalp psoriasis.
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For a DIY treatment, combine Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts (either the finely grained or slightly coarse kind) with olive or coconut oil. Gently rub a small amount of this paste into your scalp anywhere from once a week to once a day, depending on psoriasis severity, then rinse, recommends Dr. Burns.What is the best home remedy for scalp psoriasis? ›
For a DIY treatment, combine Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts (either the finely grained or slightly coarse kind) with olive or coconut oil. Gently rub a small amount of this paste into your scalp anywhere from once a week to once a day, depending on psoriasis severity, then rinse, recommends Dr. Burns.What is the fastest way to cure psoriasis on the scalp? ›
Corticosteroids: This is the #1-prescribed treatment for scalp psoriasis in children and adults. Corticosteroids work quickly to reduce redness, swelling, itch, and scale. This makes it more effective than any other treatment that you apply to the scalp.How I cured my scalp psoriasis permanently? ›
Injecting steroids into the affected skin regions can help treat scalp psoriasis. Phototherapy with laser or non-laser light is considered an effective way to cure scalp psoriasis permanently.How I cleared my scalp psoriasis? ›
Tar shampoos, gels, ointments and creams are commonly used to treat scalp psoriasis and can be used on the hairline, forehead and around the ears. They may be combined with other medications, such as salicylic acid or coconut oil, to help remove scale.What deficiency causes scalp psoriasis? ›
Severe psoriasis has been associated with nutritional deficiencies because of an accelerated loss of nutrients, in particular of vitamin D, from the hyperproliferation and desquamation of the epidermal layer of skin [62–64].What does apple cider vinegar do for psoriasis of the scalp? ›
Because of its antiseptic properties, apple cider vinegar may help soothe the itching or irritation from psoriasis, especially on the scalp, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Those who support its use suggest applying the vinegar directly to the scalp several times a week.How do I get rid of psoriasis ASAP? ›
- Take daily baths. ...
- Keep your skin moist. ...
- Cover the affected areas overnight. ...
- Expose your skin to small amounts of sunlight. ...
- Avoid scratching. ...
- Avoid psoriasis triggers. ...
- Stay cool. ...
- Strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
According to the dermatologists we interviewed, the best shampoo for psoriasis contains either salicylic acid, coal tar, or a combination of the two. Dr. Ilyas recommends the brands Keralyt, MG217, and DHS, while Dr. Campbell suggests Neutrogena T/Sal or Nizoral (all of which are included on our list).Should I wash my hair everyday if I have scalp psoriasis? ›
“If you are experiencing significant buildup, you may have a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which is similar to cradle cap or dandruff, or a form of scalp psoriasis (sebopsoriasis), so you may need medicated shampoos and topical medications to help control the condition. Daily washing is not the answer.”
- Fish, lean protein or plant-based proteins such as tofu or tempeh.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Legumes (beans and lentils)
- Nuts and seeds.
- Olive oil.
- Small amounts of low-fat dairy.
- Whole grains.
A high daily dose of vitamin D3 is a safe therapeutic option in managing psoriasis.Why do I only have psoriasis on my scalp? ›
Doctors believe it comes from something wrong with your immune system that causes skin cells to grow too quickly and build up into patches. You may be more likely to get scalp psoriasis if it runs in your family. On light skin, scalp psoriasis may show up as pink or reddish patches with white scales.Why do I have crusty scabs on my scalp? ›
What can cause sores or scabs on the scalp? Sores or scabs on the scalp are often harmless and clear up on their own. However, they can sometimes be a sign of a condition that may require treatment, such as psoriasis, contact dermatitis, or head lice.Which hair oil is best for scalp psoriasis? ›
Coconut oil for psoriasis
It's widely regarded as a gentle ingredient. Because of this, it's often recommended as a treatment for scalp psoriasis. The oil moisturizes the skin and scales. When used alone, coconut oil doesn't typically cause any side effects.
Without treatment, the symptoms of psoriasis can worsen, and it can lead to other complications, such as psoriatic arthritis and diabetes. Psoriasis causes the body to produce new skin cells in days rather than weeks. These cells accumulate on the skin's surface, producing thick and scaly patches that can be itchy.What vitamins get rid of scalp psoriasis? ›
Vitamins are no replacement for conventional psoriasis treatments, but vitamins A, E, D, and C may help to reduce symptoms and prevent severe flare-ups.Can vitamin D make psoriasis worse? ›
Vitamin D may also influence keratinocytes in the skin, which are the most abundant cell in the outer layer of the skin. Low levels may cause these cells to proliferate and lead to the development of thick, scaly plaques that are a common symptom of psoriasis.What is a home remedy for psoriasis on hair? ›
Apply Aloe Vera to Scalp
Green finds that the soothing properties of aloe vera cream can have some healing properties for people with mild to moderate scalp psoriasis. "Aloe vera creams that contain 0.5 percent aloe can help reduce itching, inflammation, flaking, and redness on the scalp," she says.
According to the NPF, baths with Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, oil, or oatmeal may help remove psoriasis scales and soothe itchy skin. Remember to take warm, short baths; rinse and pat your skin dry; and follow up with moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
Baking soda is a quick and easy treatment for an itchy scalp. Take a small cup of water and stir in a tablespoon of baking soda. Then use a cotton pad or washcloth to apply the mixture to the affected area of the head.What essential oils get rid of scalp psoriasis? ›
Tea tree oil, chamomile, and bergamot oil are examples of essential oils from plants that people have used to manage psoriasis. In particular, many non-prescription commercial skin products contain tea tree oil. It is available in shampoos that some people use for scalp psoriasis, for example.What helps itchy scalp from psoriasis? ›
- Treat your psoriasis. The best way to get rid of the itch is to treat psoriasis.
- Limit shower time. ...
- Use moisturizer. ...
- Try an itch-relieving product. ...
- Moisturize instead of scratch. ...
- Use warm water.
- Apply a cool, damp washcloth.
Mild cases often benefit from medicated shampoo designed to treat the scalp and ease itching. Ingredients to look for in OTC medicated shampoos include salicylic acid and tar. If that doesn't help, or your condition worsens, see your doctor. Severe cases may need topical or injectable steroids.How do you get rid of hard scabs on your scalp? ›
- Keep the area clean.
- Use petroleum jelly to help keep the scab or wound moisturized.
- If possible, cover the area with a bandage and change it daily.
- Use sunscreen or keep the scalp covered to prevent browning or reddening of the scab.
DON'T use hot water
Like the rest of your body, the scalp can be negatively affected by hot water. It can also be counterproductive for your condition, drying out your skin and making you more prone to having a flare. For scalp psoriasis, I recommend using lukewarm water, as a nurse once suggested to me years ago.
What causes scalp psoriasis? Scalp psoriasis is an immune system disease. Your immune system overreacts, causing inflammation, which leads to new skin cells growing too fast. Typically, new skin cells grow every 28 to 30 days.What drinks are good for psoriasis? ›
Drinking water may help to reduce psoriatic skin symptoms, at least to some degree. Moreover, people with psoriasis should avoid sugary beverages like sodas and even fruit juices. Too much dietary sugar, especially refined sugars, has been linked with an increased inflammatory response.What is the best carrier oil for psoriasis scalp? ›
Argan carrier oil for psoriasis
Argan oil may work on psoriasis because it's both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. This means that the oil has properties that help to reduce redness, dryness, swelling, and itchiness.
Spread the oil over your scalp, focusing on scaly areas. Gently massage the oil into the scales. Wrap your scalp in a towel or shower cap. Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes, or overnight.
Ingredients such as aloe vera, jojoba, zinc pyrithione, capsaicin, and others are frequently used to moisturize, soothe, remove scale or relieve itching for people with psoriasis.Does Benadryl help with scalp psoriasis? ›
Scratching can further abrade the skin, break down its barrier, and cause even more inflammation. For itchiness that persists, daily allergy medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra in the morning and Benadryl at night can help reduce the need to scratch.Is it bad to scratch scalp psoriasis? ›
No matter how bad the itching gets, try not to scratch or pick at your plaques. Scratching can make you bleed and worsen your psoriasis.