Does scalp psoriasis cause hair loss?

Scalp psoriasis and hair loss

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition affecting about 3 % of the world. The skin, hair, nails and joints are affected. We are also now learning that individuals may also have increased risks of cardiovascular disease. About 50 % of patients with psoriasis have scalp involvement so psoriasis is a common issue in the hair clinic. For the majority of those with scalp psoriasis, psoriasis does not cause hair loss. 


When does hair loss occur?

Even though most individuals with scalp psoriasis do not experience hair loss as a direct result of their psoriasis, severe psoriasis can cause shedding (telogen effluvium) and rarely even a scarring type of hair loss. Some individuals with psoriasis have scalp itching - and repeated itching can cause hair breakage and subsequent hair loss.

The photo to the right shows the typical white powdery scale of psoriasis. It is easily mistaken for the scale of seborrheic dermatitis. The scale of seborrheic dermatitis, however, tends to be more yellow and greasy rather than white and powdery.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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