Dandruff or psoriasis?

For some time now you mechanically scratch your head … And only when you’re finished dusting your neck and shoulder, you notice you’re again full of white dandruff. Warning, you may have psoriasis!

How to recognize it?

Psoriasis reaching the scalp is characterized by red patches topped with thick whitish scales. These lesions cause itching, flaking and sometimes bleeding. Unlike natural desquamation, the psoriasis plaques are accompanied by the formation of thick films or “flakes”. The plates are thick in general, can form a real shell on the scalp, sometimes extending into the forehead, behind the ears and on the neck. The scalp psoriasis may be confused with seborrheic dermatitis, this condition can cause the same signs. It is therefore important that the diagnosis is made by your doctor, such a finding of a psoriasis plaque on the skin.

Consequences on everyday life

As for skin psoriasis, reaching the scalp is disturbing. Not only big films are deposited on your clothes but the itching is constant. Avoid at all costs scratching because the plates can then bleed, become infected, or hair being ripped off … When psoriasis involves the face, then it is difficult to “camouflage”. The psychological impact is important, which is added to the physical discomfort. The plates becoming stressful, himself a factor favoring the appearance of new plates, it is difficult to get out of this vicious circle.

A comprehensive care

Your doctor, once the diagnosis made, should seek to identify precipitating or aggravating factors of relapses and their impact on your life: for example, professional or family stress that you underestimate or repress may be in for the increase of your itching. Its aim should be to improve your quality of life, help you to live with this disease possible minimizing its effects. Psoriasis is a chronic, and discouragements are many. Your doctor will provide you with clear explanations, advice and treatment, local and / or general, suitable for you.

Local treatments

The derivatives of vitamin D, prescribed in the form of lotion, inhibit the proliferation of keratinocytes (cells responsible for plaque formation). This treatment, widely used, is effective in 30-40% of cases. A cortisone lotion may be associated initially, to act more quickly on inflammation. To be aware that phototherapy, conventionally used to regress skin plates, is ineffective on the scalp.

The general treatment of psoriasis

At these local treatments may be associated, in extended forms, disabling, a systemic treatment. Side effects are numerous, and the information must be strictly asked by your doctor. The reference treatment, due to its anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory and its possible association with all local treatment is methotrexate. Its effectiveness must not hide its toxicity, so it should regularly monitor its effects on the blood (NFS) and liver (liver function tests). Retinoids or cyclosporin may also be used. In addition, biologic therapies are available to treat moderate to severe psoriasis but these drugs are prescribed only specialized environment and are not devoid of side effects. Today, several biological agents are indicated in the treatment of psoriasis.

Finally, if your psoriasis is important, if you mine as to prevent you from being yourself, do not hesitate to ask your physician: a short-term psychotherapy can help you pass a course, accept yourself and move forward.

For some time now you mechanically scratch your head ... And only when you’re finished dusting your neck and shoulder, you notice you’re again full of white dandruff. Warning, you may have psoriasis

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