Scalp Psoriasis: Seeing Red
Last updated: September 2023
Managing scalp psoriasis is a challenge because the hair makes it hard to apply ointments and creams. Getting any of these medications applied and then needing to wash out your hair again is a whole new mission. There are many medicated shampoos out on the market. However, I am one of the unlucky ones since these shampoos do nothing for my scalp psoriasis.
Interestingly enough I find that treating my scalp psoriasis is very different from treating my everywhere else psoriasis. What works on my scalp, does not work anywhere else.
Seeing improvement after dyeing my hair
Many years ago I discovered through a friend who also had psoriasis, that box dye could possibly be beneficial to keep the lesions on my head under control. I started using hair dye and after a very rocky start and a few talks with my doctor and I actually started to see an improvement. There was less flakiness, less itch, and also less raised and angry lesions.
It worked for years. I would color my hair every 8 weeks, sometimes I would need to do it sooner, but, it always worked for me. As things go in life, they truly only work until they no longer do. Last year, out of the blue, hair dye no longer kept the lesions at bay, the itchiness returned and my scalp was often bloody, raw, and just unbearable. Within only a few weeks, there was absolutely no effect anymore.
Did the color choice have anything to do with it?
For months I kept trying new brands and shades of brown, to absolutely no avail. Nothing seemed to work anymore. I also circled back to a variety of shampoos to see if I could find any relief. I found that Head and Shoulder Menthol was the closest I came to relieving the itch. But none of them did anything for the actual lesions and severity of psoriasis on my scalp. My scalp was so flaky, it felt like I was leaving a trail of dust wherever I went.
After reaching for the usual color range I buy, I stood in the store with that box of red hair dye in my hand. It dawned on me, that is what I had changed inadvertently, the color. Somewhere along the line, I had changed from red to brown, and somewhere along that same line, the hair dye stopped working for my scalp psoriasis. Was is possible that the color choice had anything to do with it?
Not why it works, but it works
Lo and behold, I switched back to a red pigment in my hair color and the lesions started subsiding dramatically. My scalp is no longer so inflamed, and my itch is down a good percentage too. I have no idea why the red color box dye works for me, but it does. I can also switch to purple in between as it seems to have the same "ingredient" in it. I have not ever been able to pinpoint what it is exactly.
For now, the relief is immense and I am so grateful to have worked out such a silly little detail. Sometimes it truly just is the small things. Please always remember to consult with your doctor before using something like hair color on psoriasis. I'm not sure why this works for me, but it does.
Also, do a patch test, before pouring the whole container out on your head. This is helpful in case you should have a bad reaction it is just a patch to be treated and not your whole head.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?