It is very common for plaque psoriasis to occur on the scalp. It usually looks similar to plaque psoriasis on other areas of the body, but can be prone to quite a thick build-up of scaly skin, which may cause dandruff-like flakes to fall. Scalp psoriasis may also be visible around the hairline, on the forehead, neck and behind the ears. It can make the scalp feel itchy and tight. In severe cases, the thickness of the scale can cause thinning of the hair, but usually this is temporary and goes back to normal with effective treatment of the psoriasis.
Some shampoo treatments can be bought over the counter, however, if your scalp is covered with thick scale or doesn’t clear up, do consult your GP. There is a wide range of topical treatments that can be prescribed including coal tar, dithranol, salicylic acid, steroid creams and ointments, Vitamin D based treatments, as well as oils for moisturising the scalp, such as coconut or olive oil.
When applying treatments, it is important to make sure they are applied to the scalp itself, rather than just the hair. Scalp treatments often make hair greasy, so some people find it more convenient to apply at night and then wash their hair in the morning, if the instructions for use allow.
Have a look at our information leaflet on Scalp Psoriasis for more information on particular scalp psoriasis treatments, as well as advice on caring for the hair and scalp.