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Psoriasis Basics:

Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis can occur exclusively on the scalp, however, it commonly presents as part of a widespread condition involving other areas of the body. Although a common area of occurrence, the psoriatic lesions on the back of the scalp are especially thick and resistant to treatment. Psoriasis of the scalp is often accompanied by involvement in the gluteal fold of the buttocks. In some individuals, there is lichenification or thickening of their psoriasis because of rubbing and scratching that can promote infections to start.

Key Points:

  • Dry scaly patches are scattered on the scalp and resemble those seen elsewhere on the body
  • Mild involvement makes it difficult to separate this condition from seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff
  • For mild cases, confirmation of the diagnosis requires examination of other parts of the body, such as the elbows, knees, lower back and nails
  • Scalp psoriasis can extend onto the forehead or the skin beyond the hairline
  • Persistent lesions can eventually lead to thinning hair or even hair loss in the affected areas
  • Early onset is linked to more extensive and severe scalp psoriasis, whereas late onset is associated with a pattern of scattered plaques
  • Various intensities of itching can be experienced
  • Severe cases can be difficult to treat