Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that leads to the rapid build-up of skin cells. This build-up of cells causes scaling on the skin’s surface, accompanied by inflammation and redness around the scales. While psoriasis is most commonly associated with patches on the knees, elbows, and torso, it can also significantly affect the scalp, leading to hair thinning or loss in severe cases.
Symptoms: On the scalp, psoriasis may present symptoms such as:
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales.
- Dry scalp that may crack and bleed.
- Soreness, burning sensation, or itching.
- Temporary hair loss due to scratching or removing scales.
Causes: Psoriasis stems from an overactive immune response, causing inflammation and flaking of skin. It’s not entirely understood why the immune system malfunctions. Factors potentially contributing include:
- Genetics: A family history of psoriasis increases the likelihood of developing the condition.
- Stress: High stress can trigger or worsen a flare-up.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes, particularly during puberty and menopause, may trigger psoriasis.
- Medications: Certain medications, including lithium and high blood pressure medicine, can trigger psoriasis or make symptoms worse.
- Infections: Infections like strep throat can trigger a type of psoriasis.