Do you find yourself constantly fighting an itchy, flakey scalp? Do you suffer from thick, swollen red patches that are more than your typical case of dandruff? What you are battling is likely a form of psoriasis referred to as scalp psoriasis.
You are not alone.
125 million people worldwide suffer with psoriasis. At least half of those people are affected on the scalp or surrounding areas. Scalp psoriasis can also spread to around your ears, down your neck and even on your forehead.
So, the big question. What can you do about it that actually works?
There is no cure, but there are affordable and accessible treatment options. The simplest, often most easily accessible, being in your hands and in your shower.
A simple shampoo swap can put you on the fast track to relief. Shampoo is so more than just clean hair and nice smells, you know.
Keep reading for a comprehensive list of what makes for the very best and the absolute worst over-the-counter shampoo options for treatment.
Scalp Psoriasis: The Basics
Before you can effectively treat your disease, it is best to gain a basic understanding of what is happening inside your body that is causing your symptoms. Only then can you seek a product that contains ingredients known to combat the root cause, not just symptoms.
Scalp psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. To put it simply, your immune system sends incorrect signals to your brain and your skin cells produce too quickly for your body to keep up. When skin cells produce rapidly, they build up and create those scaly, flakey, painful patches known as psoriasis.
One thing is constant regardless of your chosen plan of attack, be it prescription, over-the-counter, or a combination of the two. Focus on treating your skin and the underlying condition, but it is also imperative that you keep your skin and scalp moisturized.
Now that you understand what scalp psoriasis is, you can arm yourself with the knowledge of how to vet product ingredients. Knowledge of ingredients gives you the power to be an informed consumer and shorten your successful treatment timeline.
No Nonsense Ingredients
You want to have key ingredients to ensure proper healing, but you also want to avoid ingredients that are not only not needed for effectiveness but are also known to cause harm.
Although these ingredients are controversial topics whether they are safe or not and everyone's body is different, it is best to avoid them when possible.
Harmful ingredients include, but are not limited to:
- Sulfates - found in many daily used products, drying, potentially cancer-causing in the right environment (when combined with other ingredients or introduced to heat)
- Parabens - used as a chemical preservative, potentially cancer-causing
- Phthalates - endocrine (hormone) disruptors, used in many cosmetic products, often listed as "fragrance" ingredient
- Phenoxyethanol - included as an anti-bacterial, can affect the nervous system, known to potentially cause skin irritation and blistering
- Formaldehyde - often used in skincare and cosmetics, a flammable gas, known human carcinogen
- Certain alcohols - cause an intense inflammatory response, drying
- PEGs - drying, speeds up the absorption of both good and harmful ingredients, can cause toxicity in the human body
There is much more to learn about these known, FDA recognized, common allergens and what they do to our bodies. You can see from their documented effects why they are considered counter-productive when seeking relief from scalp psoriasis. Now onto what you should look for.
A Formula for Success
Keep in mind that the goal is to treat the root of the problem, not only the symptoms or even the hair itself. When combined, salicylic acid and coal or wood tar are a match made in heaven for controlling scalp psoriasis.
Salicylic acid is a powerhouse ingredient. It works as the first step by breaking down and removing the itchy and often painful plaques and scales from the skin.
With the skin prepared, coal or wood tar takes over. It works by penetrating and slowing down skin cell growth and reducing inflammation. Thus resulting in the reduced regrowth of plaques and less itching and scaling.
Hydrocortisone is not always, but often, added in shampoos for comfort. Just as you would use a cortisone cream for an allergic reaction, hydrocortisone alleviates itch and provides comfort while aiding in the healing of your scalp.
So you understand what you're looking for. Where do you find a safe and effective shampoo?
Enter, our PsoriaCare Therapeutic Shampoo. Our formula includes all of the best, healing ingredients and none of the ingredients you want to avoid.
It is made in the USA in an FDA registered, cGMP certified facility. The best part is, it's safe and gentle enough for everyday use and keeps working for hours after application.
We also offer a therapeutic bundle that includes our PsoriaCare Therapeutic shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment for optimum, faster results. To view and purchase our entire collection of products, visit our shop!
On the Road to Repair
We know it is easy to become frustrated, but remember that you are not alone. The support and knowledge available is endless and ever-evolving. With the right resources and products, flare-ups will be few and far between.
For more surprising and simple ways you can combat your scalp psoriasis by healing yourself from the inside out, while continuing your hair regimen, check out our blog!
As always, be sure to consult your general practitioner or dermatologist before starting or stopping your current treatment plan. We are not offering medical advice.