About a year ago I had my first scalp psoriasis flare up. Initially I thought it was residue from Got 2B Glue. I had styled my hair with a wig and my styler used Got 2B Glue. I would remove the plaque which was mostly located on the back of my head the next day it was back. I just thought that maybe I missed that spot. Soon it began to pop up in spots I was certain that I had removed it before. That’s when I became concerned, so I went to a dermatologist. That’s when she said it “you have scalp plaque psoriasis”. Ugh! I was not happy. According to the National Psoriasis foundation, about 45% to 56 % of people that have this skin condition develop it on their scalp. Psoriasis can vary from being mild with a thin layer to very severe plaque that covers the entire head. My problem started in an isolated area and soon spread to the entire head. My doctor prescribed me a scalp cream and instructed me to use shampoos that contains salicylic acid. Another fear crept into my head “umm but us curlies can’t use harsh shampoos”. So, what is one to do. The scales were so thick, itchy and painful. At night the scales would tighten up and I just couldn’t sleep. I would scratch, wash my scalp to get some relief. I just couldn’t ignore it, I had to be more proactive and diligent with my scalp care. Once a week scalp massage wouldn’t cut it. The pic attached to this blog is me at the airport trying to take a nice pic, it shows how flaky my scalp gets when I don’t tend to it. I was so into planning my trip to Brazil that I neglected to take care of my scalp. Boy did I pay for being careless. Let me share some of the steps and products that I use to get some relief.
Part your hair
Part your hair into different sections so more of the scalp will be exposed. You can concentrate on the affected areas with more ease. Also, you avoid getting medicated cream on your hair. If you get oil on your hair, it’s an added bonus. Andiroba oil is amazing oil for the hair as well.
Pre-treat your hair aka pre-shampoo treatment. You want to increase the benefits of your prescribed cream and shampoo do this. You’ll also protect your hair from any harshness that the shampoo may introduce. By applying Andiroba and covering your hair with a plastic cap, you’re helping soften the scales for easier removal. The prescribed treatment will penetrate a lot better and perform its job right. Andiroba oil is great for healing injured skin. The scalp is extremely sensitive and it’s easy to injure it. Injury to the scalp worsens the psoriasis symptoms. It’s also an natural conditioner and an anti-inflammatory.
I alternate between Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo and Daylogic Coal Tar Therapeutic shampoo. I let it sit on my scalp for about 5 to 10 minutes (this is why pre-shampoo treatments are important). The advice by professionals is to not scratch when shampooing because it can cause trauma to the scalp and make psoriasis worse. I personally feel that if I take a thin comb and very carefully comb my scalp to remove the scales, I get better results. Please be careful, you don’t want to cause trauma to your scalp and exacerbate the psoriasis. Talk to your Dr. or proceed with caution. These are my personal routine you have to do what’s best for you.
I didn’t know much about arnica until I arrived at my friend’s house in Brazil flaking everywhere and she told me about this great herb. I was so embarrassed. LOL! Basically, her instructions were to make a tea with arnica. Place it in a spray bottle once it cools and spray it on my scalp after every wash without rinsing it out. It has been very helpful, very cooling. Arnica contains the following properties. It clears sebum and debris on your scalp that block hair follicles. It also reduces inflammation that causes itching and irritation. The more you scratch the worse psoriasis gets.
As I mentioned above, I use a thin comb to remove the scales after shampooing, prior to using a hair conditioner. I try my best not to scratch or try to remove the scales while the scalp is dry. Not only is it extremely painful it’s just making the psoriasis worse during a process called koebnerization. I just spray my scalp with the arnica rinse I made and seal it with andiroba oil or the prescribed cream.
Prescribed cream. Talk to your dermatologist for the best option for you.
Keep your scalp moisturized
The dryer the scalp the worse the scales and the itching. As I mentioned above spray scalp with the arnica rinse, I made and seal it with andiroba oil or the prescribed cream.
I have a lot more to share so I’ll be sharing some more tips on how to get some relief from psoriasis.