When you have an itchy head and scalp, it may be far worse than dandruff. Many people who have psoriasis or eczema on their arms and face or legs also have it on their scalp, and it is definitely uncomfortable. You have itchy, flaky skin that leads to uncontrollable dandruff, and you scratch and scratch until you have open sores or scabs all over your head! It’s painful, embarrassing and the itching will drive you nuts. What to do? Follow these easy tips to tone down your itchy scalp woes.
Most psoriasis on the scalp afflicts the back of the head or the nape of the neck the worst. Why? Because the head sweats massively and is the hottest part of your body (followed by the armpits and then the private area) and with the nape of your neck and the back of your head constantly absorbing the most heat, your skin condition is greatly exacerbated. To treat your poor injured scalp where it hurts the most it is important to keep this area (and your whole head) as dry as possible. Ladies, blow dry your hair or air dry it quickly- don’t just ball it up and call it good. That moist hair on your head will make psoriasis and itching worse. Guys, don’t just cover wet hair with a cap- dry it out first. Your skin will thank you.
Refrain from itching. Ha ha. Believe me, I know it’s easier said than done, but the more you itch, the more it itches. Ever notice it itches worse at night in bed? This is because as you fall into slumber you subconsciously just start scratching. To avoid scratching try sleeping on your side or stomach where your hands don’t have easy access to your irritated scalp. If you’re a back sleeper, you will scratch all night in your sleep.
To treat the psoriasis and insane itching, keep your scalp dry as possible as mentioned above, and try some herbal remedies to treat the condition. Adding pure peppermint oil or Aloe oil to your shampoos and conditioners is a great start, as peppermint and Aloe are natural anti-inflammatories and antibacterials and will provide a cooling element to your skin when you wash your hair, easing the itching so you don’t scratch. It also helps heal any preexisting sores from your scratching, and you can rub these oils directly on the nape of your neck after showering as well to prevent itching during the day.
Taking fish oil and Vitamin D supplements (plant-based Omega 3s work to replace fish oils for you veggies out there) helps strengthen the skin and hair shaft to your scalp within a week or so, allowing your skin to flake less often and for your hair to produce more oils to protect the hair and scalp. This causes less itching and will lessen your damaging scratching which is incredibly hard to stop.
Switch to milder shampoos or conditioners, like ones that are for babies. Harsh chemicals in even high-end products irritate your sensitive scalp, and make your condition worse. Switch to products that have oatmeal, avocado, or almond extracts in them, which are great for sensitive skin and ease your irritation.
Make an oatmeal paste and apply it to your irritated nape and scalp, or wherever it itches most. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Oatmeal eases the swelling and burning of your irritated skin and calms down outbreaks. Make sure to thoroughly dry your affected areas with a towel or blow dryer set on low heat or cool to prevent moisture making the condition worse.
Dead sea salt in your bath water or even swimming in the ocean has a major effect on psoriasis all over the body. Symptoms fade after being exposed to sea salt water for just a half hour. Try applying it to your bath time once a week for all over sensitive skin relief.
Also, the sun helps with skin conditions as well. Dry your hair in the sun prior to blow drying to allow the sun’s rays (full of Vitamin D) to heal your scalp. Don’t exceed 20 minutes of sunlight directly or otherwise without a sunscreen of some sort.
Above all, keep your scalp dry as possible during the day. If you sweat, wipe your scalp and nape of your neck with a cloth often to prevent irritating your skin and making your condition even worse. With a few simple changes you can keep your scalp psoriasis under control.