Psoriasis mainly involves the skin and nails. The most common form is plaque psoriasis, which affects 90% of people with psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is characterised by red, raised scaly patches with well-defined edges. The plaques can vary in number and size and affect any part of the skin surface, including the scalp.

 

Scalp psoriasis is common

 

The scalp is one of the most common sites to be affected by psoriasis, with red, raised, scaly plaques extending beyond the hairline and behind the ears, with the entire scalp covered in the most severe cases.

 

Symptoms of scalp psoriasis

 

Psoriasis can be dry and itchy, making the scalp feel tight and uncomfortable. Other symptoms include flaking of the scalp, a burning sensation and soreness. Some people with scalp psoriasis report a persistent itch, which, when scratched, can lead to bleeding. In very severe cases there may be mild temporary hair loss. Scalp psoriasis can cause social embarrassment due to the visible flaking, which often makes people feel self-conscious about their condition.

 

Diagnosis of scalp psoriasis

 

Getting a diagnosis is important. Most cases of psoriasis are diagnosed by GPs, who are best placed to give advice on how to manage and treat your condition. Sometimes, however, referral to a dermatologist may be necessary.

 

More information

 

For more information about psoriasis or to download our booklet, ‘What you need to know about Psoriasis’, visit the Irish Skin Foundation (ISF) website on irishskin.ie or contact the ISF Helpline for one-to-one information and support on 01 486 6280