Shampoo & scalp treatments for psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis treatments are aimed at reducing the signs and symptoms and controlling flare-ups. Topical therapies are used as a first-line treatment; a topical therapy in this case would be a lotion, solution or gel specifically designed to be used for the scalp and hair bearing-areas. Topical medications may contain steroids (also known as corticosteroids). These need to be applied to the scalp daily for up to 4 weeks. When prescribed these treatments, the doctor/nurse should show you how to apply them properly.

Scalp psoriasis requires a treatment programme that is different to psoriasis affecting the skin on the rest of your body  this is due to hair. Treatment is aimed at reducing signs and symptoms and controlling flare-ups.If applying a steroid treatment to your scalp does not result in an improvement after four weeks, other treatments may be considered by your GP. This could be a different form of the medication e.g. a shampoo or mousse . It may also be a different medication, aimed at removing scaly patches of skin such as a salicylic acid, emollient or oil treatment. These types of treatments may be prescribed in addition to a steroid cream. Again, treatment should be reviewed after four weeks.

Other treatments that may be considered include Vitamin D preparations and coal tar treatments.

If your scalp psoriasis does not improve after a range of treatments, it may be that you are referred to a specialist for further advice. When looking at treatment options your doctor will take into account the severity of the condition, along with factors such as your age, how much it affects your quality of life, your views and other lifestyle factors.

Always seek advice from your doctor before embarking on a treatment regime.

Sources used in writing this article are available on request

Information written by the talkhealth team

Next review: 29 July 2022