How to Pick a Psoriasis Shampoo That’s Right For You
To choose the right psoriasis shampoo you first have to determine what you want the shampoo to do. With Scalp psoriasis there are several symptoms; dandruff, plaque buildup, redness, dryness, scaling and itching. Scalp psoriasis is different for everyone and you may have one or all of these symptoms. The FDA lists two active ingredients that can be used in a product that is sold as a psoriasis shampoo treatment. The first is called coal tar and the second is salicylic acid. A psoriasis shampoo must contain at least one of these ingredients but may contain both. The FDA also requires a psoriasis shampoo to have a minimum and maximum percentage of these ingredients for it to be sold as an over-the-counter treatment for psoriasis. Lets take a look at both of these.
Coal Tar Psoriasis Shampoo
Coal tar is an ingredient that accelerates the bodies efforts to remove dead skin cells. For people who suffer with plaque psoriasis where the dead cells have created a thick layer on your scalp, a coal tar shampoo could be very beneficial. The biggest complaint most people will give about a coal tar psoriasis shampoo is that it has a very strong smell that some people find offensive. But if coal tar is the right match for your body then the smell will be easy to accept if it helps heal up your scalp.
Salicylic Acid Psoriasis Shampoo
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid also known for its ability to exfoliate dead skin cells more quickly. When we hear the word acid we often think this ingredient will burn. However, salicylic acid is basically the same as the aspirin we take that has the technical name acetylsalicylic acid. By following the FDA’s guidelines for the amount of salicylic acid used in a psoriasis shampoo you will find these treatments can be very beneficial yet gentle to your scalp. Since there is a recommended range for both of these ingredients you will find psoriasis shampoos that vary in concentration. The higher the percentage the more powerful the psoriasis shampoo. Depending on the severity of your scalp psoriasis you should choose a shampoo that is right for you.
What else should be in a good psoriasis shampoo?
Since all psoriasis shampoos start out on equal playing ground by the requirement of one or both of the active ingredients you need to look for other ingredients that are specifically designed for your scalp condition. If you suffer from a severe dry scalp you need to look for a shampoo that has a significant amount of moisturizing ingredients like aloe or protein. Some shampoos that provide extra moisturizing ingredients may be sold as a shampoo and conditioner together. Some shampoo’s may even look like a cream when it is dispensed in your hands. These are called cream based shampoos. If you color your hair you should look for a shampoo that is milder or more gentle. This will include ingredients such as herbal extracts, citric acid or other ph balancing ingredients. Often cream based shampoos are more mild and perfect for color treated hair.
If you have a significant amount of plaque build up you may need a scalp oil to go with your psoriasis shampoo. Scalp oils should be made from all natural vegetable or plant based essential oils that will naturally soften the scales so they can easily be removed when you shampoo your hair.
A good psoriasis shampoo with quality ingredients will often cost around $20 for an 8oz bottle. You will certainly be able to find cheaper products but it is likely they will contain the ingredients needed to soothe or moisturize your scalp. You may have to try several different products before you find the right one. Everyone’s scalp psoriasis and symptoms are different and how your body reacts to them will be different as well. The good news is that the majority of people who suffer with scalp psoriasis can find excellent relief with a psoriasis shampoo.