Coal tar has been used in treating psoriasis for years. Coal tar promotes the softening and loosening of the crusty plaques. Shampoos with 1-2% coal tar are often the first scalp psoriasis treatmentt recommended.
A number of coal tar shampoos can be bought over the counter without a prescription. Patients often see an improvement within days of starting treatment; however can lose effectiveness over time.
The disadvantages of scalp treatment for psoriasis containing coal tar are: irritation, strong smell, possibility of staining.
Psoriasis scalp treatment with salicylic acidShampoos containing salicylic acid are another option often recommended.
Salicylic acid is best used when combined with other scalp psoriasis treatment as it softens the overlying scales making their removal easier, and allowing medication to reach the underlying layers of skin.
Those treating psoriasis with salicylic acid are warned not to apply too much salicylic acid at once as it may reach toxic levels. Shampoos containing approximately 3% salicylic acid are said to be safe to use.
Coconut oil is sometimes cited as a natural preventive psoriasis scalp treatment. While it is not recommended for treatment of active psoriasis in the scalp, it can help relieve itchy, flaky skin and possibly prevent a further outbreak. The recommended scalp treatment for psoriasis with coconuut oil is application to the scalp before bedtime.
Another psoriasis scalp treatment is vitamin D based ointments applied to the scalp. Preparations with activated vitamin D are a commonly recommended treatment for psoriasis.
The method of applying a scalp psoriasis treatment can be as important. To make sure that all affected areas are covered, you should part the hair in sections, and apply the treatment preparation to each section.
Some scalp treatments for psoriasis have nothing to do with the scalp - or rather, aren't applied directly to the scalp. There are systemic treatments used to treat psoriasis that will help alleviate scalp lesions as well as any lesions on other parts of the body.
These include supplementing with vitamin D, vitamin B and folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E.
There is also a lot of evidence to support the addition of fish oil supplements because psoriasis is associated with inflammation and therefore anti-inflammatories like fish oils with Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help in many cases.
Other recommended treatments for scalp psoriasis include changes in lifestyle to reduce and manage stress, treatment with UV light, and getting enough sunlight.
Seawater and sunlight have long been a recommended treatment for psoriasis, with the combination of sea salts and sunlight hitting on two of the most important points of psoriasis treatment: loosening the plaque scales, and promoting vitamin D production. The Dead Sea is actually famous worldwide as a treatment for psoriatic patients. If you're lucky, maybe you can get your doctor to prescribe a month at a Carribean resort as a scalp psoriasis treatment.
Failing that though, some homepathic specialist recommend dissolving 1 to 4 pounds of sea salt in a warm bath and soaking in it. Added bonus, it should also help reduce the stress level in your life - another proven effective treatment to lessen the severity of psoriasis attacks.
As you can see, some options for scalp psoriasis treatment try to help the symptoms, while others try to help and address the underlying disorder and the triggers that spark psoriasis attacks.