Scalp Psoriasis

Topical Treatments
Treatments applied right on the skin (creams, ointments) may help. Topical scalp psoriasis treatments can:
  • Help reduce swelling and skin cell turnover
  • Suppress the immune system
  • Help the skin peel and unclog pores
  • Reduce cell turnover and swelling.
For mild scalp psoriasis treatment, topical treatment may be all that is needed.
Topical scalp psoriasis treatment options include:
Coal Tar
Preparations containing coal tar (gels and ointments) may be applied directly to the skin, added (as a liquid) to the bath, or used on the scalp as a shampoo. Coal tar products are available in different strengths, and many are sold over the counter (not requiring a prescription).
Coal tar is less effective than corticosteroids and many other treatments and, therefore, is sometimes combined with ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy for a better result. The most potent form of coal tar may irritate the skin, is messy, has a strong odor, and may stain the skin or clothing. Thus, it is not popular with many patients.
Salicylic Acid
This peeling agent, which is available in many forms, such as ointments, creams, gels, and shampoos, can be applied to reduce scaling of the skin or scalp. Often, this type of scalp psoriasis treatment is more effective when combined with coal tar.
Clobetasol Propionate
This is a foam topical medication (Olux®), which has been approved for the treatment of body and scalp psoriasis. The foam penetrates the skin very well, is easy to use, and is not as messy as many other topical psoriasis medications.

Information on Psoriasis

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