Managing Scalp Psoriasis: Why your daily routine matters
Scalp psoriasis can be downright annoying. As if the itch wasn’t enough, shedding flakes of skin can cause significant embarrassment.
Scalp psoriasis can present in various ways. It can be dry and flaky all over, or form thick, dry and stubborn patches.
Either way, scalp psoriasis can be managed with a great topical routine (including exfoliants and nourishing oils) in addition to managing triggers such as reducing alcohol, managing stress, avoiding scratching (much easier to do after treatment) and itch-promoting foods such as hot spices and refined sugars.
Whilst it is important to have a good treatment protocol to keep your psoriasis in check, it is equally as important to have a good maintenance protocol when your skin is clear. After all, we want it to stay that way!
During psoriasis remission, many people tend to fall off the ‘treatment wagon’ and go back into old habits. This can include a few extra Uber Eats per week, that extra glass of wine, a late night Netflix binge and/or perhaps going back to that old faithful generic shampoo.
But why should it matter if your scalp psoriasis is in remission?
Maintaining remission involves surrounding yourself in an environment which supports healthy skin function. Psoriasis can be sensitive to multiple triggers from our environment, including chemicals, weather changes, skin injury amongst others. By using skin care which helps to nourish our skin barrier with phytonutrients, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, we can ensure that our skin stays strong and healthy and more resistant to future triggers.
Think of your skin barrier as a castle wall – the stronger the wall, the better your defense against environmental triggers.
So what ingredients help to create the best shampoo for psoriasis prone skin?
- Sulphate-free formula – Don’t get us wrong, sulphates have their use in certain psoriasis treatment due to their natural keratolytic (scale removing) action, however this is more useful during the treatment phase. A sulphate-free formula is a more gentle way to maintain everyday scalp and hair health.
- Natural anti-fungals – The scalp is an oil-rich environment thanks to our sebaceous glands. This means it can be a breeding ground for fungal overgrowth. This can not only cause dandruff but also aggravate scalp psoriasis. Ingredients such as Rosemary Essential Oil and Piroctone olamine are regarded as effective anti-fungals
- Anti-oxidants – herbal extracts rich in antioxidants can help provide the skin protection against pro-oxidants such as pollution and chemicals.
- Circulation promoters – essential oils such as rosemary and peppermint not only smell amazing but have the wonderful quality of promoting circulation. This is of particular importance when it comes to the scalp (it’s not easy making blood go upwards!). Not only does this improve delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the scalp skin but also the hair follicles, meaning they are also known to help stimulate hair re-growth.
Is it time to reassess your everyday shampoo routine?