Scalp Psoriasis. It Drives Me Menthol!
Last updated: March 2023
Psoriasis infiltrates every area of the body. Armpits, genitals, hands. This condition knows no bounds. Each place it impacts is labeled differently. Managing these specific symptoms looks different for everyone.
Of all the body parts and spaces that this chronic disease has invaded, I believe the scalp might be the most frustrating place to treat.
Getting to the root of the problem
There is just simply so much hair in the way. It's hard to treat what is prominently at the root. I'm not brave enough to shave my head, though I know many people who have. They have had great success in treating their scalp psoriasis with this approach. Goodness, I wish I had the guts just to take it all off.
Alas, I do not. I have been left to my own devices to find ways to get those inconvenient flakes combed and out of my hair. The most recent of my experimentations, if you will, is menthol shampoo.
Full transparency, I have no idea why I did not try this approach sooner. Honestly, logic should dictate that it makes sense and would be soothing. Clearly, I cannot always rely on my logic.
Trying a new approach
I was recently hit with one of the worst scalp psoriasis flares that I have had in many years. This was due to a lack of maintenance of hair dye and a trauma-induced flare.
So, I tried menthol shampoo for the first time. This is not something that I often look for, so I chose the popular brand, Head and Shoulders. Having heard the name float around in our community, I thought this might be a good place to start.
Off I went to the shower, armed with my menthol shampoo and a can-do attitude. There was some trepidation as I stepped into the shower and wet my already sore, itchy, and very uncomfortable scalp. Importantly, I had been warned that this could be either a pleasant experience or one that resembles fire and brimstone.
My experience with menthol shampoo
I believe it resembles more of an AHHHHHH moment than an AHA moment. Apply shampoo and lather the hair and scalp as they say on the bottle. Boy, oh, boy, did I do just that. I may have applied more generously than I would normally. Guess the excitement simply got the best of me. The smell was divine, and then it happened.
Was it a sting? A cooling feeling? A burn? My vote is simply a combination of all of them together. It may by far be one of the best moments of my psoriasis journey. I turned the water off and just stood there. Experiencing whatever it was that I was experiencing. I did not want it to end.
It was the most relief that I had felt in weeks. The itching ceased to exist at that moment. The pain was balanced out by various other sensations, and it was bliss. For the first time, I understood why people go on about some products like they do.
Finding relief for my scalp psoriasis
The problem is that I want to find just one thing that works. I want to use it once, and it must solve all my problems, kind of like a get rich quick scheme. We all know how well those work out.
Is my scalp psoriasis gone? Nope. Do I wish it was? Yes, oh yes, I really wish it was. So what is the point of it all then if it does not take my dreaded psoriasis away? For me, It is momentary relief.
This is obviously now my go-to shampoo. On days when I honestly just cannot take it anymore, I have an extra shower and wash and allow myself that moment of relief. Even if it is just for a moment, at that moment, it truly makes it all go away.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?