Can Shampoo Make Psoriasis Worse? What You Need to Know

If you’ve dealt with psoriasis like me, you understand how hard it can be. You’ve probably seen that some shampoos and conditioners are great, while others can really hurt. This article is all about those shampoos, the bad ingredients, helpful medicated ones, and tips for keeping your hair and scalp healthy.

While most shampoos focus on keeping your hair clean and your scalp healthy, those with psoriasis on your scalp need special care. Medicated shampoos are designed to handle flaking, redness, and itching. Sometimes, simply using these shampoos might be enough to control psoriasis flare-ups. The main types of scalp psoriasis shampoos are coal tar, salicylic acid, and steroid shampoos.

Studies show that around 50% of people with plaque psoriasis will see it show up on their scalp. The good thing is, there are lots of treatments, including medicated shampoos and other topical treatments. Ingredients in these psoriasis shampoos can include coal tar, coconut oil, sulfur, clobetasol propionate, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and blue lagoon algae, which all fight scalp psoriasis symptoms.

Key Takeaways

  • Certain shampoo ingredients, such as harsh sulfates, fragrances, and dyes, can make scalp psoriasis worse.
  • Medicated shampoos with coal tar, salicylic acid, or corticosteroids can help by reducing scaling, itching, and inflammation.
  • Natural ingredients like coconut oil and tea tree oil may offer some relief for those with scalp psoriasis.
  • Being gentle with your hair, like not scrubbing your scalp too hard or using too much heat, can help prevent flare-ups.
  • Seeing a dermatologist is key for making a treatment plan that works for you and managing scalp psoriasis correctly.

Understanding Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis affects about half of those with plaque psoriasis, making it a common issue. This serious skin condition causes problems like itching, scaling, and redness. In some cases, it can even lead to hair loss.

Symptoms and Prevalence

About 50% of people with plaque psoriasis will see it spread to their scalps. The symptoms can get pretty rough. This includes seeing red or purple bumpy patches and silvery scales. It also brings along intense itching, burning, and soreness, sometimes with hair loss.

Different Types of Scalp Psoriasis

The third source gives us info on different kinds of scalp psoriasis. There’s plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, and inverse psoriasis. They each look different and need special treatments. For instance, plaque psoriasis shows as reddish patches with white scales.

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Can Shampoo Make Psoriasis Worse?

If you have psoriasis, picking the right shampoo is critical. It turns out, many common shampoo ingredients can actually worsen your symptoms. It’s recommended to use any medicated shampoo for psoriasis briefly, and don’t be too rough when you wash your hair. Rough scrubbing can make your psoriasis worse.

Another key point is to avoid harsh scrubbing on your scalp, even with psoriasis shampoos. This kind of harsh treatment can also make things worsen the symptoms. Always remember to be gentle. Let the special shampoo work without harming your scalp further.

IngredientEffect on Psoriasis
Coal TarHelps slow down the growth of skin cells, easing itching and improving the overall appearance of the scalp.
Salicylic AcidRegular use can result in a dry scalp and increased flaking.
CorticosteroidsPrescription-strength shampoos can quickly reduce redness, swelling, itching, and scaling.

It’s crucial to know what can irritate your scalp in shampoos. By learning how to use medicated shampoos right, you might keep your psoriasis from getting worse. Proper care can make managing the condition a bit easier.

Ingredients in Shampoos to Avoid

If you have scalp psoriasis, watch out for certain shampoo ingredients. Some common ones can make your symptoms worse. These are strong sulfates, fragrances, and dyes.

Harsh Sulfates

Sulfates are powerful cleaners found in many shampoos. They make a big lather but can be too harsh. For people with scalp psoriasis, they might dry out your scalp too much. This could cause more flakes, redness, and discomfort.

Fragrances and Dyes

Many shampoos add fragrances and dyes. They can upset already sensitive psoriasis skin. These extras might increase irritation and itching. It’s wise to use shampoos that are free of these, designed for scalp psoriasis.

It’s best to avoid harsh shampoo ingredients. Go for ones that are gentle and made for psoriasis care. These have ingredients that soothe and help your scalp feel better.

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Medicated Shampoos for Psoriasis

Medicated shampoos are key in managing scalp psoriasis effectively. They target the root causes and symptoms. The main types are coal tar, salicylic acid, and corticosteroid shampoos.

Coal Tar Shampoos

Coal tar shampoos are a well-known choice for treating psoriasis. They help reduce scales and skin toughness on the scalp. By slowing skin cell growth, coal tar tackles a key psoriasis issue. Remember to let the shampoo sit on your scalp for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing.

Salicylic Acid Shampoos

Salicylic acid shampoos are effective for scalp psoriasis. They work by breaking down and removing thick scales. This ingredient encourages the scalp to shed dead skin cells. Using it twice weekly is usually advised.

Corticosteroid Shampoos

In serious cases of scalp psoriasis, corticosteroid shampoos might be needed. These powerful shampoos help with redness, swelling, and itching. For both kids and adults, corticosteroids are often the go-to treatment. Research supports daily use of a shampoo with clobetasol propionate for four weeks.

But, be cautious. Only use these shampoos for a short time and as your doctor directs. Misuse could make your psoriasis worse. Always carefully read and follow the shampoo’s directions. Be very gentle when you apply them on your scalp.

Natural Shampoo Alternatives

Do you have scalp psoriasis? Consider natural shampoos that are kinder to your skin. Look into coconut oil and tea tree oil shampoos.

Coconut Oil Shampoos

Coconut oil shampoos might not cure scalp psoriasis. But, they could ease its symptoms. Coconut oil fights inflammation and keeps your scalp moist. This helps lower itchiness and dry skin.

Tea Tree Oil Shampoos

Tea tree oil shampoos can also help. Tea tree oil is an anti-inflammatory. It could help soothe your skin. Using this shampoo might make your psoriasis flare-ups less severe.

Choosing the right natural shampoo is key. Avoid harsh chemicals like sulfates and strong scents. Pick gentle, natural shampoos to keep your psoriasis under control and your skin healthy.

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Managing Flare-Ups and Triggers

Handling managing psoriasis flare-ups can be tough as psoriasis triggers are hard to predict. By changing your lifestyle, reducing stress, and adjusting your diet, you can lower the chance of flare-ups.

Lifestyle Changes

Being careful with daily habits is key. Always avoid getting cuts or bug bites on your skin. This helps stop new psoriasis patches from showing up in about 10 to 14 days. Also, try not to expose your skin to very dry or cold weather. This can make your symptoms worse.

Stress Management

Stress can make your psoriasis flare-up. So, it’s important to reduce stress. Talking to a therapist or joining a support group is a good start. Relaxation techniques like mindfulness or light exercise can also help lower your stress level.

Diet Modifications

Some people see an improvement by avoiding sugar, white flour, and caffeine. While the evidence is not clear, a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water are good for your skin. They might also help in managing your psoriasis flare-ups.

Use these strategies and work with your doctor to manage your triggers and flare-ups. This can improve your life and skin health.

Scalp Psoriasis Treatment Options

Struggling with scalp psoriasis? You have many treatment options that can help. These include medications you apply to your skin, light therapy, and medications you take by mouth. Each type of treatment has its pros and cons.

Topical Treatments

The first step for many is to use topical treatments. These can be strong corticosteroids, vitamin D products, or a mix of both. There are also very strong corticosteroids and coal tar based preparations. You can find these as lotions, gels, foams, or shampoos made for the scalp. Vitamin D analogues come as ointments, gels, foams, or lotions and are used once or twice daily.

Light Therapy

Light therapy might help some people with scalp psoriasis. Excimer lasers can treat the scalp area. This treatment slows the growth of skin cells and lessens inflammation.

Systemic Medications

If other treatments don’t work, your doctor might suggest systemic medications. These can include biologics, oral retinoids, methotrexate, and cyclosporine. They are taken by mouth or as shots. Systemic medications treat psoriasis across the whole body.

It’s essential to team up with your doctor. Together, you can create a plan that’s right for you. This plan should aim to give you the best results.

Click here to learn how to manage and eliminate psoriasis naturally.

Hair Care Tips for Psoriasis

Handling scalp psoriasis means taking good care of your hair. Use gentle brushing and combing. Avoid heat styling. Use products that moisturize.

Gentle Brushing and Combing

Don’t scrub or scratch your scalp. This can make psoriasis worse. Brush and comb gently. Lift your hair when using scalp treatments.

Avoiding Heat Styling

Heat styling can make psoriasis symptoms worse. Air-dry your hair if you can. Try not to use blow dryers too much. Let your hair dry on its own to soothe your scalp.

Using Moisturizing Products

Moisturizing is key for psoriasis care. Use conditioner every time you shampoo. It helps keep your scalp from drying out. Applying olive oil at night and a shampoo with salicylic acid can also help.

These tips can make your scalp feel better. Always check with a dermatologist for the best help.

Seeking Professional Help

If over-the-counter treatments don’t control your scalp psoriasis, seeing a dermatologist is crucial. They are experts who can create a custom treatment plan for you. This might involve stronger medications and special therapies.

When to See a Dermatologist

If self-care methods aren’t easing your scalp psoriasis, it’s time to see a dermatologist. They can give you a full check and suggest better treatments. This is especially important if your psoriasis is serious or covers a large area.

Importance of Proper Diagnosis

Scalp psoriasis varies, which means treatment should be unique. A dermatologist will check you thoroughly and run tests if needed. This step is crucial to create a plan that fits your condition exactly.

Getting help from a dermatologist leads to the right and most effective treatments. This can help you manage your symptoms better. It will also support the health of your skin and hair.


The info we’ve covered shows some shampoo ingredients might make scalp psoriasis worse. But there’s good news. Medicated and natural shampoos could help ease the symptoms. It’s vital to treat your scalp with care and steer clear of things that irritate it.

Working with a skin doctor to create a tailored treatment plan is key. This includes knowing what causes the condition and how to manage it well. Following these tips can help make your hair and scalp healthier.

The conclusion highlights a key point: managing scalp psoriasis needs a thoughtful approach. This involves picking the right shampoo, gentle hair care, and teaming up with a dermatologist. By tackling the causes head on, you can get relief and boost your scalp and hair’s health.

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Can shampoos make psoriasis worse?

Yes, certain shampoos can worsen scalp psoriasis. Ingredients like harsh sulfates, fragrances, and dyes are the culprits. It’s crucial to avoid these and opt for shampoos made for this condition.

What ingredients should I look for in a shampoo for psoriasis?

Look for ingredients like coal tar, salicylic acid, and corticosteroids in medicated shampoos. These can reduce scalp psoriasis symptoms. Alternatively, shampoos with coconut oil and tea tree oil may also help.

How do I properly use a medicated shampoo for psoriasis?

Use medicated shampoos as your doctor advises, for only a short time. Don’t scrub your scalp hard. Gentle is the key, as tough scrubbing can make things worse.

What are the different types of scalp psoriasis?

There are three types of scalp psoriasis: plaque, guttate, and inverse. Each looks different and might need different treatments.

How common is scalp psoriasis?

Half of those with plaque psoriasis will face scalp issues. This can show how big of a problem it is.

How can I manage psoriasis flare-ups and triggers?

Stress and diet can affect psoriasis. Being gentle with your hair, reducing stress, and eating right may help control flare-ups and triggers.

What treatment options are available for scalp psoriasis?

There are many treatments, from lotions and creams to light therapy and strong medications. A dermatologist can create a plan just for you.

When should I see a dermatologist for my scalp psoriasis?

If over-the-counter treatments don’t work, see a dermatologist. They can offer treatments not available at the store and help you better.

Click here for proven methods to help you manage psoriasis.

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