Scalp Psoriasis (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is scalp psoriasis?
- What is the cause of scalp psoriasis?
- What are scalp psoriasis symptoms and signs?
- How is scalp psoriasis diagnosed?
- What are topical treatments and home remedies for scalp psoriasis?
- What are office treatments for scalp psoriasis?
- What are systemic treatments for psoriasis?
- What is the prognosis of psoriasis? Is there a cure for psoriasis?
- Are there support groups for individuals with psoriasis?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are office treatments for scalp psoriasis?
Rarely, it may be of benefit to inject triamcinolone acetonide directly into psoriatic plaques. Aside from the pain involved, the benefit only lasts about six weeks at best. Ultraviolet light in wavelengths near 313 nm (narrow band UVB) is effective in psoriasis. The hair, however, can pose a barrier to effective administration unless it is removed or sparse. The excimer laser puts out laser light in these UV wavelengths also and can be of benefit if the amount of scalp involvement is limited.
What are systemic treatments for psoriasis?
If the scalp is involved as part of severe psoriasis deemed too extensive to be treated practically with topical medications, then medications delivered orally or through the skin may be necessary. All these medications comprise more risk when compared to topical medication. They include oral drugs like methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), cyclosporine (Sandimmune), acitretin (Soriatane), and some of the so-called biological drugs that are administered by infusion into a vein (infliximab [Remicade]) or by injection into the deeper layers of the skin like etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), and ustekinumab (Stelara). Regular laboratory work is required to monitor for the toxicities associated with these systemic therapies.
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