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psoriasis HAIR

Your dermatologist can recommend appropriate hair and skin care options

If you have plaque psoriasis, you've probably tried every shampoo and skin care treatment out there. Maybe you've even attempted some "home remedies." So, how can you tell if something will work for you before you try it? The truth is, you can't. But you can learn more about which products may be able to help.

Hair care: What to do when you have plaque psoriasis on your scalp

About half of the people who live with psoriasis have it on their scalp. Sometimes, researching the wide variety of available treatment options can leave you more confused than when you started. It’s best to ask your dermatologist for recommended shampoos and be sure to check with him or her before trying a new hair care product.

Some of the options for people with plaque psoriasis on the scalp include products made with coal tar or salicylic acid. Be aware that these ingredients may stain gray or white hair. If you notice that the shampoo you are using is making your hair too dry, talk to your dermatologist about other things you may be able to do. Conditioning your hair can help improve its appearance.

Of course, make sure you talk with your dermatologist before changing your hair care regimen.

Hair loss with psoriasis: It's more common than you think

If you have plaque psoriasis on your scalp, you may also be dealing with hair loss, which may make the plaque psoriasis on your scalp more visible. That's tough for anyone. Talk to your dermatologist about treatment options to manage the plaque psoriasis on your scalp, such as shampoos, phototherapy, topical steroids, creams, and lotions.

Ways some men cope with hair loss

  • Some men shave their heads. Taking it all off—or getting a buzz cut—may help you look more contemporary. Ask your dermatologist if this can also help the plaque psoriasis on your scalp
  • Many people wear hats. Try a number of different looks that match your own personal style

Ways some women cope with hair loss

  • Visit your hairdresser and explain your situation. He or she may suggest a new approach—perhaps a shorter cut or trendy way to style, part, or accessorize your hair
  • Hats can be a popular option, as well as a fashion statement. Try one that fits your personality
  • Wear scarves. Try a silk scarf in a colorful pattern or a solid scarf in soft cotton. Even better—choose several and coordinate with what's in your closet

Skin care: What can moisturizers do for your psoriasis?

A moisturizing agent can help keep your skin hydrated. When your skin is moist and lubricated, it is less likely to crack and flake. Skin care products can help soften and soothe dry, cracked, and irritated skin. There are three major types of moisturizers: ointments, lotions, and creams. A moisturizer will usually have both lubricating and hydrating properties. It may also have sunscreen to prevent UVA and UVB light from damaging the skin. Check with your dermatologist to make sure the ingredients in the sunscreen won't irritate your psoriasis, and use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Get tips for managing psoriasis in the sun.