Psoriasis is a chronic and auto-immune condition that can affect even the scalp. This can be frustrating and unsightly, resulting in redness and flaking. Your scalp will also always be itchy! It is worse than dandruff as it is also painful. Fortunately, there is an easy way to provide a remedy against the symptoms – the use of the best shampoo for psoriasis.
A good shampoo will not treat scalp psoriasis. Similar to the other types of psoriasis, this is a condition that cannot be cured. However, with the use of the right shampoo, the symptoms can be lesser. It can provide relief, especially when used regularly. If you are not sure which shampoo will work the best, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn from some of our suggestions.
Our Top Picks for the Best Shampoo for Scalp Psoriasis
To start with, here are some of the top-rated products that you should include on your list, as well as some of the reasons why they are great.
#1. MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Conditioning
Among others, the benefits of using this psoriasis shampoo can be attributed to the fact that the main ingredient is 3% coal tar. It also has a maximum strength formula, which can provide you with the assurance of its effectiveness. Using this shampoo will prevent the recurrence of the most common symptoms of scalp psoriasis, which include scaling, itching, flaking, and redness. It also has an herbal fragrance, which will make the hair smell fresh after every wash. To achieve the best results, it is recommended that you use this shampoo twice a week.
#2. Neutrogena T/GEL Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula
This is a shampoo that is formulated for the treatment of dandruff, which will also work effectively for scalp psoriasis. From the first use, the results can already start to be evident. While it has coal tar, you can expect that it will remain gentle on the scalp and hair. Users of this shampoo did not report irritation. Also, the coal tar has been scientifically proven to relieve the itchiness and flakiness even hours after it has been rinsed off. The shampoo is also recommended by dermatologists, so there should be no reason for you to be hesitant about using it.
#3. Puriya Sulfate-Free Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Tea Tree Oil
If itching and flaking are common problems for you, this psoriasis shampoo can help. The secret to its effectiveness is the proprietary combination of its natural ingredients that are gentle on the scalp. These ingredients include tea tree oil, rosemary, arnica, and sage. They have antifungal properties that will allow the results to be quickly evident after just a few washes. It also provides hydration to the scalp through its moisturizing effect. In turn, this will improve the circulation of the blood on the scalp.
#4. Denorex Therapeutic Dandruff Shampoo + Conditioner
This is a two-in-one shampoo, which makes it provide the best value for the money. While it effectively gets rid of the stubborn flakes and itchiness, it also conditions the hair to make it softer. One of the reasons for the effectiveness of this product is the use of salicylic acid, which has been clinically-proved to reduce the symptoms that are associated with scalp psoriasis. It can get rid of the dead cells on the skin and prevent them from going back.
#5. Art Naturals Scalp 18 Shampoo
Using this therapeutic shampoo will be effective in moisturizing, hydrating, and soothing the scalp and the hair. These benefits can be attributed to the use of natural ingredients, which include lemon oil, cypress oil, and argan oil. With these ingredients, irritation of the scalp will be prevented while also making the hair soft and shiny. It will remove the dead cells on the top layer of the scalp and will prevent the new ones from appearing. It is also a cruelty-free product, which is perfect if you care about the environment.
#6. Tree to Tub Soapberry for Hair
Using this shampoo will provide you with soft hair and a scalp that is free of irritation. It has a pH level of 5.5, which is just exactly what the skin needs. It utilizes the gifts of nature as key ingredients, promising the best outcomes without the adverse effects. It has healing botanicals and essential oils, which allows the shampoo to deliver anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits. It does not contain parabens, sulfates, gluten, silicone, and artificial fragrances. It is also hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for people with a sensitive scalp.
#7. PsoriaTrax Anti-Dandruff Tar Shampoo
The main ingredient of this shampoo is 25% coal tar solution, which is equivalent to 5% of coal tar in a 12-ounce bottle. With the strong formulation of the shampoo, this is one that is directed towards those who are already suffering from a severe case of scalp psoriasis. Nonetheless, the strength of the shampoo can also be a disadvantage for people with sensitive scalp as it can make them prone to irritation. Before using this shampoo, it is recommended that you first make sure that you do not have a sensitive scalp.
#8. Dermarest Psoriasis Medicated Shampoo Plus Conditioner
This is made by a company known for its other psoriasis relief products, including ointments and creams. The medicated formula is one of the good reasons to choose this above all others. The good news is that there is no need for a prescription if you want to purchase this shampoo. It has zinc and Vitamin B5, two of the main ingredients that can be credited for the ability to soothe the irritation on the scalp. It also comes with a grease-free formulation to make your hair look great!
#9. Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo
Your itchy, dry, and flaky scalp can be effectively addressed by using this shampoo, which is formulated for both psoriasis and eczema. It is 80% organic and 98% natural, providing you with the guarantee that it won’t cause irritation when it is used. Plus, it is also sulfate-free, which is why it is great even for people with a sensitive scalp. Its main ingredient is manuka honey, which can be found exclusively in New Zealand. The latter has anti-bacterial properties to heal the scalp. It is also perfectly balanced at a pH level of 5.5, making sure that it will not strip natural oils. It is effective as well in moisturizing the scalp.
#10. Healthy Hair Plus Anti-Fungal Shampoo and Conditioner
You will enjoy the best value for money when you buy this product as it includes not just a shampoo but also a conditioner. One of its main ingredients is emu oil, which is known for dealing with inflammation and redness to be effective against scalp psoriasis. It can kill fungi and bacteria that can cause scalp irritation. It also prevents the build-up of oil on the scalp. The shampoo and conditioner also contain coconut oil, which is great for its moisturizing benefits.
What is Scalp Psoriasis?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, scalp psoriasis can cause red patches, dandruff-like flakes, dryness, bleeding, burning sensation, itchiness, and even temporary hair loss. It requires a different approach to treatment compared to psoriasis on the skin. While the scalp is basically still skin, it is thicker and hair can get in the way, which is why it is important to address it differently.
The main causes of scalp psoriasis are similar to those that cause skin psoriasis. It can be caused by genetic defects that attack the immune system. New skin cells will form quickly on the scalp while the old ones will not shed. There are also environmental factors that can trigger scalp psoriasis.
Key Ingredients to Look for in a Psoriasis Shampoo
When looking for a shampoo that can be effective in dealing with scalp psoriasis, one of the ingredients that you should look for is salicylic acid. This is a medical-grade ingredient that can reduce inflammation of the scalp. It can be too strong for some, especially for those with a sensitive scalp. However, it is highly effective in making the scales softer.
The second ingredient that you should be on the lookout for is coal tar, which is derived from coal and wood. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, coal tar is effective in slowing down the formation of new skin cells. It can also be effective in the reduction of scaling and itchiness.
Look for a shampoo that does not contain parabens, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals that could damage the skin and the scalp. Essential oils and botanicals will be great, especially those that can deliver moisturizing benefits.
To improve the effectiveness of the psoriasis shampoo that you are using, the right application will be important. Make sure to massage it thoroughly on the scalp so that the ingredients can be absorbed by the skin. You also have to leave it on for five to ten minutes. Pay attention to the label when it comes to the frequency of use. When the condition is severe, you might need to use the shampoo regularly. In most cases, using it twice a week will already be enough.
Dealing with Scalp Psoriasis
Aside from using the right shampoo, here are other tips and tricks that will prove to be effective when addressing scalp psoriasis:
- One of the ways to treat scalp psoriasis is through exposure to ultraviolet lights with the right wavelength, which is about 313 nm. However, this can be difficult if you have thick hair. The strands of hair can block the UV rays and may not fully reach the scalp during the treatment procedure.
- There are also medications that can be injected or taken orally, although they are recommended only in severe cases of scalp psoriasis. Some of the oral drugs that can be prescribed include methotrexate, cyclosporine, acitretin, and apremilast. Meanwhile, the drugs that can be injected include adalimumab and etanercept. Be sure to consult with a dermatologist to know which one will work best for you.
- Taking Vitamin D supplements will also be helpful. It can calm the immune system to make the skin cells grow at a normal rate. This will make the plaques less scaly and thinner.
- Creams can also be used for dealing with scalp psoriasis, especially those that contain steroids. However, the problem is that they are greasy. They can make the hair look oily.
- Do not remove the flakes on the scalp by hand. It can be tempting to do this, especially when it is itchy, uncomfortable, and unsightly. However, removing the flakes can only irritate the scalp and may make the problem worse.
- Wearing hats and scarves will also help to hide the signs of scalp psoriasis. However, regardless of the headwear that you will choose, make sure that it is not too tight as it can worsen the irritation.
- It is also important to take note that most of the psoriasis shampoos available on the market are formulated for the scalp and not for the hair. With this, you might still need to use a regular cosmetic shampoo and conditioner to make the hair smoother.
- Having scalp psoriasis can be stressful. It can make people lose confidence and can significantly affect their quality of life. One good way to deal with it is to be a part of support groups. This can help to provide stress relief. In one report that has been published in the British Journal of Dermatology, it has been reiterated that psychosocial stress can increase the symptoms of psoriasis, which makes stress management important.
It can be frustrating to deal with scalp psoriasis! This debilitating condition can be frustrating, especially if you have already tried several methods of treatment and none proved to be effective. That being said, your best course of action is to use a shampoo with a special formulation, including those that have been mentioned above. With just a few washes, you can bid goodbye to the recurring symptoms of scalp psoriasis.