There is nothing like having an itchy scalp especially when you just got a fresh sew-in from your beautician. Trust me, you would not see me doing that crazy head pat out in public nor in private. Whether you are a naturalista or someone who likes to relax, color, or wear weaves up her tresses having an itchy scalp, flakes, inflammation or dandruff can be rough and embarrassing if you don’t get a handle on what is going on with your body.
Did you know that nearly 56 percent of people who have psoriasis also have scalp psoriasis? The National Psoriasis Foundation says psoriasis affects more than 3% of the US population which is equivalent to 7.5 million people. Psoriasis can be quite tricky to identify because most people have mistaken it for dandruff leading this skin condition to be left improperly treated.
So I know you are wondering what is psoriasis and how do I know the difference between it and dandruff? Well, psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes inflammation within the body. When the immune system becomes overactive it causes the skin cells to speed up in growth and pile up on the surface of the skin. With normal skin cells, they grow and shed slowly over a month but with skin psoriasis the overactive immune system causes this process to occur in a matter of three to four days.
Because the overgrowth skin cells pile up on the skin, psoriasis would appear fine scaling and white like dandruff but psoriasis has a powdery look with a silvery sheen. Seborrheic dermatitis can also resemble psoriasis but it has a yellowish and greasy look which is similar to cradle cap within infants.
Scalp psoriasis can appear in unusual areas on your body such as, in your scalp, on your eyelids, genitals, lips, hands, feet, nails, hairline, back of your ears and neck and along your forehead. The symptoms of psoriasis can begin at any age and affect any gender but it also impacts many people of color.
The cause of psoriasis is still unknown at this time, but scientists say the immune system and genetics play a part in its development. Stress is stated to be a trigger for psoriasis in some people, but this skin condition can vary from person to person. Other possible triggers for psoriasis are injuries to the skin; such as sunburn, bug bites, anything that can affect the immune system, humidity, cold weather, and vaccinations.
If you think you may have scalp psoriasis make sure you schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist or dermatologist because your symptoms may be an indicator for psoriatic arthritis.
The good news is psoriasis is not contagious and there are many treatment options available to those who are living with this skin condition. Although it may be difficult to treat because many people react differently to various treatment options but hopefully our list of over-the-counter treatment options can provide you with much-needed relief.