Anyone dealing with scalp psoriasis knows how challenging the winter months can be. Cold temperatures and dry indoor air can trigger flare-ups and exacerbate symptoms. The end result is more itching, more scaling, and more frustration.
External treatments can't cure psoriasis, but they can help with managing symptoms and maintaining a healthy scalp.
Here are seven ways to keep your scalp psoriasis under control this winter.
1. Get a shower water filter.
Hard water contaminants and chlorine can wreak havoc on your skin. A shower filter will mitigate this, so your skin isn't being irritated on a regular basis. You'll also find that other treatments you use are more effective when they're no longer being compromised by your shower water.
2. Use a humidifier.
Dry air is not the cause of psoriasis, but it can make the condition worse. Don't wait until your psoriasis symptoms become severe; start using a humidifier early in the season. The added moisture will protect your skin from becoming excessively dry, so it's less susceptible to irritation and damage.
3. Experiment with shampoos for psoriasis.
Shampoos for managing psoriasis contain active ingredients to reduce scaling, flaking and plaques. However, these shampoos tend to be hit and miss, working well for some people, but doing little to help others. In some cases, these shampoos can be harsh on the skin, leading to further irritation. Experiment and note how your skin responds.
Also keep in mind that these shampoos tend to become less effective with continued use, as your skin adapts to the active ingredients. To counter this, you may need to rotate products every few months, e.g.: use a tar-based shampoo for a while, then switch to a zinc-based shampoo.
4. Experiment with natural oils and butters.
Natural oils and butters offer several benefits for managing psoriasis. They can soften plaques, reduce itching and dryness, soothe irritation, and promote overall scalp health. Options to try are:
Like shampoos, oils and butters tend to be hit and miss. For many people, they're a great way to ease symptoms naturally while avoiding unwanted chemicals. But they can also lead to a build-up on the scalp, which can make symptoms worse. Test out an oil/butter by applying some to a small portion of your scalp, and note how your skin responds.
5. Experiment with essential oils.
Essential oils like lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil have antifungal and antibacterial properties. They promote scalp health and protect your skin, which is especially important when you have plaques that are peeling or damaged skin.
On their own, essential oils can be irritating, so add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a carrier oil (like one of the oils mentioned above) before applying to your scalp.
6. Apply honey to your scalp.
Honey is soothing and moisturizing. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the severity of flaking and plaque formation. If areas of your scalp are damaged due to skin peeling or breakage, honey will help the skin to heal and protect against potential infections.
7. Giver your scalp an after-shampoo rinse with apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is known for its healing and cleansing properties. Giving your scalp a final vinegar rinse after shampooing can reduce itching and prevent psoriasis patches from spreading. However, don't use vinegar if you have skin breakage or open wounds on your scalp, as it will sting and lead to further irritation.
Lastly, maintaining good physical and mental health will help with keeping your scalp psoriasis under control, so don't neglect these basics:
Image Credits: peggychoucair from Pixabay
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.