Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis can present as dandruff, scaling or thickened silvery scales along the hairline or in the scalp itself. Untreated, it may cause hair loss in the affected areas. Scalp psoriasis is an easily treatable condition. Our Specialists at The Psoriasis Institute can diagnose and treat your scalp condition. In most cases, a marked improvement is seen after only one week of treatment.

  • Scalp psoriasis ranges from dandruff to thick scales
  • Effective treatments are available
  • New forms of Vitamin D lotions and gels work well in scalp disease

Scalp psoriasis can present in many different forms. Mild scalp psoriasis can mimic dandruff, presenting as dry flaky skin on the scalp. More severe cases can present as thick silvery scales that may bleed when picked. Some cases of scalp psoriasis can cause itchy, whilst other cases do not cause symptoms. Commonly affected areas on the scalp include the back of the ears, and the front of the scalp.

The cause of scalp psoriasis if unknown, however genetic factors play a role in the development of this condition. Stress and trauma, such as scratching the scalp can worsen this condition. Some shampoos which contain irritants such as fragrance and preservatives can worsen scalp psoriasis.

Using the correct shampoo and conditioner can lessen the signs and symptoms of scalp disease.

A permanent cure for scalp psoriasis can be difficult, but scalp psoriasis is a relatively easy form of psoriasis to treat. The condition often responds to treatment within 7-10 days. Once the scalp is under control, a simple maintenance regime written by your psoriasis expert can keep your scalp healthy and psoriasis free.

General scalp care for psoriasis patients forms the basis of treatment. Replacing irritating shampoos and conditioners is the first step, whilst minimizing trauma to the scalp with harsh brushes will help.

Vitamin D creams, lotions  and gels can be used in the scalp several times a week.

Vitamin A creams can be used in the same manner.

Tar shampoo and acids and olive oil extract.

Steroid creams can be used successfully, but only under medical supervision.

Tablets such as Methotrexate, retinoids and biologics usually provide the most success but side effects need to be considered.

Phototherapy may be beneficial if you have short hair, and can be used to treat the front and back of the scalp.

Absolutely! In fact we advise oatmeal shampoos for mild scalp psoriasis, and for more severe scalp disease with thick scales, we often customize a solution using natural olive oil extracts. A new solution containing vitamin D as a gel can also be extremely effective in treating scalp psoriasis.

A simple scalp and hair treatment regime can improve psoriasis.

In some cases fragrance, and foaming products can irritate and inflame scalp psoriasis.

We start treatments with simple non-irritating shampoos such as an oatmeal shampoo and conditioner. Replacing your hard brush with a soft plastic one can reduce trauma to the scalp.

In some cases we can formulate special creams containing olive oil extract to reduce scalp scale and redness. What we prescribe depends on the extent and severity of your scalp psoriasis.

An appointment with our psoriasis practitioner is partially covered by Medicare. A gap of $25 applies for the first consultation. Most scalp treatments are covered by the PBS - the average cost of creams is $22.

Call 07 3871 34 37 to arrange for an appointment time.

Scalp psoriasis is an easy form of psoriasis to treat. Most patients can see a marked improvement within one week of our regime. We use a combination of olive oil, natural acids and in some cases vitamin D creams. We limit the use of steroid cream as much as possible.

Once the psoriasis is under control, the use of anti-inflammatory shampoos, and lotions usually keep this condition under control.

Nigel Harris -  Specialist Psoriasis Nurse Educator


  • I can get an extra dose of phototherapy on Saturdays at the Institute, this really helps as I am at work during the week.
    - Mitch D. Sherwood