Psoriasis is a common, chronic, inflammatory, multisystem disease of the skin and joints. Scalp is the first site of involvement in up to 25% of the patients of psoriasis. Up to 79% of patients of chronic plaque psoriasis may have scalp involvement. It can be mild to severe, and often itchy, cosmetically embarrassing and affects the quality of life adversely.
Scalp psoriasis can be very mild, with slight scaling. It can also be very severe with thick, crusted lesions covering the entire scalp. Psoriasis can extend beyond the hairline onto the forehead or the back of the neck.
Other skin disorders, such as seborrheic dermatitis, may look similar to psoriasis.
How to differentiate between scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp?
A combination of treatment (shampoo, lotion, UV light) will be advised to a person with scalp psoriasis, sometimes the treatment will be rotated since it becomes less responsive to medications after repeated use. Systemic medication may be used if psoriasis is present elsewhere on the body and/or the scalp psoriasis is moderate to severe.
Dr.S.Nagakeerthana is a consultant dermatologist and dermatosurgeon.