What Are The Possible Causes Of Hair Loss
Hair loss that is caused by psoriasis is called psoriatic alopecia. Psoriatic hair loss can affect the hair on the head as well as body hair. Hair loss occurs most often on areas of the scalp where there are plaques. A smaller number of people experience more general hair shedding all over the scalp1.
When hair loss happens on the scalp, it is usually caused by removing the silvery scale covering the top layer of the plaque. Scratching the plaque, by combing the hair, for example, can pull off parts of the scale. In some cases, patches of hair may come out along with the scale. When the plaque on that area of skin heals, hair usually grows back completely and there is no scarring2.
Certain types of psoriasis treatments may also have the side effect of hair loss for some patients3. These include acitretin, which is a Vitamin A analogue, and certain kinds of biologic therapies. Patients who need to apply topical treatments to the scalp on a regular basis might also experience hair loss due to the friction of rubbing in the medication4.
Dealing With These Conditions Can Be Difficult Enough Without The Added Stress Of Losing Your Hair Luckily Any Loss Is Usually Temporary Heres How To Safeguard Your Strands
If youre one of the roughly 2 percent of Americans who have psoriasis, a chronic condition that typically causes raised, red patches of skin topped with silvery scales, theres a good chance that it has impacted your scalp. This also holds true for the more than 40 percent of people with psoriasis who also have psoriatic arthritis , a form of arthritis that can appear in combination with psoriasis.
Psoriasis causes skin cells to divide about 10 times faster than normal. The excess cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing scaly patches of itchy, dry skin. Known as plaques, these lesions often itch, burn, and sting.
What Causes Scalp Psoriasis
There are a few reasons why someone can suffer from plaque psoriasis, but the leading cause seems to be a weakened immune system. It can also come down to genetics. If one or more of your parents has scalp psoriasis, you have an increased chance of developing it, too.
Someone with the condition may be producing more T cells and neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. If too many T cells are produced, they can start attacking the healthy cells by mistake, which can lead to inflammation.
The risk of scalp psoriasis is also believed to be triggered by the following:
- Smoking can weaken your immune system, further increasing your risk of developing scalp psoriasis, and it can exacerbate an existing condition.
- Stress is unendingly bad for the body. High and toxic stress levels can trigger psoriasis and other skin conditions.
- Obesity and excess body weight have been found to interfere with some oral medications and prescription topicals used to treat psoriasis.
- Bacterial or viral infections can mean your immune system is compromised, which could also increase your risk of developing scalp psoriasis.
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Hair Loss From Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a condition that causes what appear to be scaly/raised patches on the skin. Psoriasis can be either mild or severe. When mild, it is hardly noticeable. When severe, however, the scaly patches become more pronounced and red in color. Sometimes, Psoriasis can even cause hair loss.
The type of Psoriasis that causes men and women to lose their hair is called Scalp Psoriasis. The condition typically begins on the top of the scalp, but it can also spread toward the back of the scalp and behind the ears. Though more pronounced cases of scalp psoriasis can be unsightly, the skin condition is not contagious.
What Else Is There To Know About Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can really disrupt someone’s life and overall well-being. While you might think it’s solely a condition that affects the skin, in some cases, psoriatic arthritis can occur especially if the psoriasis is left untreated. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, out of the 8 million people with psoriasis, approximately one-third of them will develop psoriatic arthritis, affecting the joints and the tendons. Having psoriasis doesn’t guarantee a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, but, unfortunately, the risk is higher. If you’re concerned, visit a rheumatologist to screen for the condition and catch it early if you can.
Keeping the scalp soothed and calm is integral to a healthy head of hair. Whether you’re dealing with scalp psoriasis or not, steering clear of astringent chemicals and highly perfumed products is the way forward. Invest in a hair wellness system that takes a gentle, natural and effective approach to maintain your mane and keep your crowning glory glossy and happy.
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Can Scalp Psoriasis Cause Hair Loss
Common signs of psoriasis include red, patchy skin covered with scales that may bleed or itch, ridged nails, and swollen joints. There is also the risk of developing other health conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. In the case of scalp psoriasis, a scaly, silvery buildup on the scalp can cause itching and discomfort. Scratching makes it worse and may result in temporary hair loss.
Symptoms Of Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can cover the entire scalp. Symptoms of scalp psoriasis are less noticeable for patients who have thick hair.
Symptoms, which can be intermittent, include:
- Reddish patches: These patches are sometimes barely noticeable, especially if a patients hair is thicker or the patches are not too severe.
- Dandruff flaking: Psoriasis can mimic dandruff however, there is a key difference. In addition to being dry and flaky, psoriasis will cause the scalp to appear silver in color.
- Dry scalp, itching and bleeding: You may feel itchy because of the dryness scalp psoriasis can cause. Scratching will cause bleeding, and worsen the psoriasis patches by resulting in larger, thicker growth.
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When And How Does Scalp Psoriasis Occur
Psoriasis, including that of scalp, can pop up at any age, but it predominantly occurs in those under 20 or over 60. In general, psoriasis tends to plague a person’s body in fits and starts. It runs a chronic course, and then with treatment and time, it can start to dissipate, which offers some relief.
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What Is Scalp Psoriasis When Can Scalp Psoriasis Begin
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin that is estimated to affect about 2.2% of the adult population. In children, the onset of psoriasis can be before the age of one year but peaks around 5-8 years. Psoriasis produces scaly, itchingbumps on the skin. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to psoriasis. The genes affected seem to be involved with control of the immune system. Psoriasis appears as red scaling, slightly raised bumps that merge to form plaques. Psoriasis classically appears on the elbows and knees, but it can affect any part of the skin. The scalp is also characteristically affected in many people. Like psoriasis anywhere on the body, scalp plaques produce excess scale and can itch. Severe disease can cause a loss of scalp hair, which usually will return if the disease can be controlled. Scalp psoriasis somewhat difficult to treat when the scalp is covered with hair sufficient to act a barrier to the application of topical medications.
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How To Spot Psoriasis
Of all the scalp diseases linked to hair loss, psoriasis is the most easy to spot because of the symptoms dry, scaly, and itchy patches of skin on the scalp. These patches can appear on other parts of the body and they are often painful and can bleed if scratched excessively.
After the scaly patches dry up, they will turn white and scaly. Frequent scratching can also cause dandruff due to the dry skin flaking.
Why Scalp Psoriasis Could Cause Temporary Hair Loss
If your hair is falling out because of your psoriasis, rest assured that its only temporary. Its also a symptom that is likely caused by one of two things:
In other words, scalp psoriasis does not directly cause hair loss the way it causes plaque. Merely having this skin condition does not doom you to eventual baldness.
Rather, hair loss often occurs due to frequent scratching or the forceful removal of scales. There are also certain solutions that could make your hair more vulnerable to breakage. Medicated shampoos are common culprits, as they can damage or dry out your hair.
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Is It Possible For Eczema To Cause Hair Loss
Seborrheic eczema, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, is a chronic, mild form of dermatitis. Men, women, and children of all ages can be affected by the skin condition.
Seborrheic eczema typically manifester as red, inflamed patches of skin covered in white or yellow greasy scales.
The patches most commonly appear on sweaty. Or greasy areas of the body, such as the scalp, face, ears, and chest.
Although it is unknown what causes Seborrheic eczema, it is believed. That a yeast known as Malassezia plays a role.
Although the yeast appears on everyone skin, the immune system of those. Who suffer with the condition are sensitive to it, causing stress and inflammation of the skin.
If left untreated, Seborrheic eczema can lead to hair loss. This is because the follicles can find it difficult to grow in an unhealthy. And inflamed environment.
Those who have the condition tend to also pick. And scratch the scalp which can again, lead to hair loss.
At current, there is no cure for Seborrheic eczema, prevention is the best course of action. And taking care of your skin can help to minimize symptoms.
You should avoid picking and scratching inflamed patches on the scalp. As this is what can lead to the hair thinning.
If you think you have symptoms of Seborrheic eczema. You should consult doctor who may be able to assist you further.
Hair Loss Prevention And Treatment
Preventing a flare of scalp psoriasis before it starts is the best way to avoid hair loss.
Getting proper treatment is crucial to prevention. A dermatologist can provide medical treatment that can ease a flare quickly, before symptoms become severe or cause complications.
The following sections look at treatment options in more detail.
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Is Your Solution Part Of The Problem
It will probably take some trial and error to strike the perfect balance between soothing scalp psoriasis and nurturing your hair.
Medicated shampoos tend to be hard on your hair. Psoriasis can be a challenging skin condition, and the products designed to combat it often contain harsh ingredients. This is especially true for medicated shampoos. The skin on your scalp is thick, which means it requires aggressive solution.
Another culprit might be an over-the-counter product containing salicylic acid. This is an acid that breaks down scales but also causes breakage in your hair.
If you think your scalp psoriasis solution might be to blame for your hair loss, talk to your doctor about alternative options.
Common Psoriasis Triggers & Causes
Cold and/or Dry Weather
Unfortunately, a psoriasis flare is stressful itself so that can prolong an outbreak as well.
Both types of weather can lead to dry skin, which exacerbates and triggers psoriasis. Sufferers tend to find that hot and sunny weather often helps to control their symptoms.
Some prescription drugs such as beta-blockers for high blood pressure and heart disease, lithium for bipolar disorder, anti-malaria medications, etc. can trigger psoriasis symptoms.
Differing studies argue whether smoking triggers psoriasis or just makes it worse and last longer but its definitely a factor.
A variety of medical conditions like tonsillitis, strep throat, HIV, etc. may trigger psoriasis flares.
For some people, something as simple as a bruise can trigger a psoriasis outbreak known as a Koebner phenomenon. Other flare-causing skin issues can be cuts, burns, bumps, vaccinations, tattoos, scrapes, severe sunburns, etc.
Heavy drinking can trigger a psoriasis flare.
Vitamin D Deficiency
A 2011 study indicates that Vitamin D can help immune system regulation concerning psoriasis so its believed that a deficiency can also trigger a flare-up.
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What Causes Hair Loss In Psoriasis
Temporary hair loss occurs as a result of scratching the scalp, because it loosens the plaques that cause the hair to fall out. When plaques flake-off, the hair can sometimes come out in tandem. Again, psoriasis does not cause hair loss, hair loss typically comes from aggressive brushing or scratching the scalp.
Special shampoos containing chemicals like salicylic acid are used to treat it and can also cause the hair to fall out. After treatment, when the skin clears, the hair grows back.
After Psoriasis Has Cleared Up
Scalp diseases that are linked to hair loss, such as psoriasis, can be treated easily, but the hair loss might be permanent. If youve suffered from permanent, or even temporary, hair loss following a case of psoriasis, Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists offers a number of treatment options.
A hair transplant takes your existing hair and grafts it to the areas on your scalp affected by hair loss for natural-looking results. Depending on the severity of hair loss you can have either a micro-graft of three to four hairs or a maxi-graft of four to six hairs. No one will be able to tell the difference and the results are indistinguishable from your natural hair.
For patients who are fatigued with medical procedures following treatments for psoriasis, or if the hair loss is just temporary, we also offer hair systems that combine natural and synthetic hair.
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What Are Treatment Options For Hair Loss
An effective way to treat hair loss is to prevent it, by treating the psoriasis plaques that can cause hair to fall out. Products made from coal tar and salicylic acid can work well on scalp psoriasis that is milder. Other topical treatments for scalp psoriasis include anthralin, Tazorac , Taclonex and Dovonex 3. More severe scalp psoriasis may need to be treated with or stronger medications such as systemic or biologic treatments that affect the entire body to reduce psoriasis symptoms.
Itching on the scalp is very common for people with scalp psoriasis. It is important to treat the itch because itching leads to scratching, which can cause hair loss if scales on the plaques are removed. There are various medical shampoos available that can help reduce itching. They are usually rubbed into the scalp and left to sit for a while so that the treatment can penetrate the scalp through the hair. Over-the-counter antihistamines taken by mouth can also help to relieve itching.