Do You Need More Than a Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo?
Scalp psoriasis is an auto-immune disease that causes the body to over produce skin cells. Our bodies naturally produce new skin cells every day. The normal function is for dead skin cells to naturally be replaced by new skin cells. This occurs in normal circumstances over about a 14-21 day period. In people that suffer with scalp psoriasis the replacement skin cell process occurs faster than the body can naturally remove dead skin cells. When this happens a buildup of dead cells occurs that can cause flaking, dandruff or may even appear looking like grey or silver plaque buildup. Psoriasis in general can occur anywhere on the body. Statistically, if a person has body psoriasis they are 50% more likely to also suffer with scalp psoriasis. The typical treatment for people with mild to average scalp psoriasis is to use a medicated scalp psoriasis shampoo. But just using a scalp psoriasis shampoo may not be enough to get your condition under control.
Why Isn’t Your Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo Working?
Let’s face it, these days’ humans always seem to be in a rush to do everything. The directions on most medicated scalp psoriasis shampoos say you should leave it on your scalp for a minimum of 2-3 minutes. The next time you wash your hair try to time how long you actually leave your shampoo on your scalp. Most likely 2-3 minutes will feel like a lifetime. You may have noticed that many toothbrush manufacturers have started putting timers on their battery-operated brushes. They tell you to brush until the toothbrush turns off. These timers have come as a result of our active lives. People are not brushing long enough and they are not getting the full benefits from the toothpaste or the shampoo. The same thing is true with scalp psoriasis shampoos but unfortunately there is no way to put a timer in a shampoo! In addition, many people don’t want to replace their daily shampoos with a scalp psoriasis shampoo. The result is that they end up only using the scalp psoriasis shampoo a few times a week. This causes two problems. First, people with scalp psoriasis need a shampoo that is going to provide moisture and condition the scalp. Most daily shampoos have ingredients that will dry your scalp. Second, if you don’t use a scalp psoriasis shampoo daily at least until you get it under control then you will never fully see the benefits of the medication.
What to Look for In a Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo
Shampoos that are labeled for the treatment of scalp psoriasis, dry itchy scalp or dandruff problems are considered over-the-counter drug products (OTC). The FDA provides specific guidelines for the manufacturing, labeling and active ingredients that can be used in all scalp psoriasis shampoos. To verify if you are using an OTC scalp psoriasis shampoo just look at the back of the bottle. You should see a “Drug Facts” box that lists the active ingredients in the shampoo. If you only see a regular ingredient list on the back than you are not using an OTC scalp psoriasis shampoo. The most common active ingredients in these shampoos are salicylic acid, coal tar and zinc pyrithione. Deciding which scalp psoriasis shampoo is right for you will really depend on how your body responds to the active ingredient. This may involve some trial and error testing shampoos with different active ingredients until you find the one that works for you. In general, you should start with a salicylic acid shampoo. If this doesn’t help you next try the zinc pyrithione and last but not least the coal tar. The reason salicylic acid is listed first is because it tends to be the gentlest and also most common ingredient that works for more people. The reason coal tar is listed last is because coal tar does not smell very good. A scalp psoriasis shampoo that contains coal tar will often also have to have a fragrance to mask the smell. Often the ingredients found in fragrances can also have drying side effects. But if coal tar is the active ingredient that works best for your body then you should not hesitate to use this type of OTC scalp psoriasis shampoo.
You May Need More Than a Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo
Because we lead such fast paced lives and we choose to use fragrance shampoos over medicated ones it is very likely your scalp psoriasis may need some extra help to get it under control. There are two types of products you should consider adding to your routine to help your scalp psoriasis shampoo. First, consider adding a psoriasis cream. A psoriasis cream can be applied to the scalp after you get out of the shower. You should apply it very carefully using your fingertip to apply a small amount to the problem areas on your scalp. You should continue to use the psoriasis cream until your scalp psoriasis starts to heal and your scalp looks normal again. If you have really bad scaly buildup, then you may want to consider using a scalp oil. Scalp oils are usually made with a blend of essential oils and herbal extracts that are formulated to soften the dead skin cells so they can more easily be removed. A scalp oil can be applied at night before going to bed to give it extra time to soften the scales.
This all may sound like a lot of work but it is not something you will have to continue to do forever. If you use the scalp oil and cream together with the scalp psoriasis shampoo you should start to see your scalp psoriasis improve pretty quickly. In fact, after 30 days you will likely be able to stop using the scalp oil and shortly thereafter reduce or stop using the cream. You will have to continue to use the shampoo if you want to control your scalp psoriasis because there simply is no complete cure at this time. You should always monitor your condition and if your scalp psoriasis starts to flare up or is not staying under control just with the use of the scalp psoriasis shampoo then simply add back in the cream or scalp oil. After you start to learn more about your scalp psoriasis condition you quickly be able to identify when you need more than just a scalp psoriasis shampoo.