Psoriasis Scalp Care

Psoriasis may cause thick, adherent scales that pile up on the scalp. This makes it difficult for topical medications to reach the scalp skin. The thick scales are difficult to remove. Scalp psoriasis may respond much more slowly than psoriasis in other areas, requiring special treatment. The following ideas are a good strategy for daily scalp treatment for psoriasis:

  1. In the morning, wash scalp with a commercial psoriasis shampoo followed by any conditioner. Your doctor may also recommend a medicated shampoo.
  2. While the hair is still wet, another great treatment option is to massage a prescription cortisone solution into the scalp skin. Often this is done nightly (as to not inconvenience hair styling during the day) or twice a day.
  3. At bedtime, massage in a scale-softener or removing solution such as coconut or mineral oil, or other. Your pharmacist may also mix 3% salicylic acid in mineral oil. Note: a combo option to use a cortisone (topical corticosteroid) a peanut oil mixture called Derma Smoothe (fluocinolone). Other great topical cortisones are fluocinonide, Clobetasol, or taclonex solution.

Note: The patient generally only has to use either Derma Smoothe oil or Fluocinonide. or Clobetasol or Taclonex (which is Betamethasone Dipropionate solution [a cortisone that is near equivalent to Fluocinonide] mixed with Calcipotriene [a vitamin D solution]) and not 2, 3 or all of these at a time. Derma Smoothe, a medium strength cortisone, is a great hydrating vehicle while Fluocinonide, Clobetasol and Taclonex are strong topical cortisones. Use one of the four solutions 1-6 x per week at night depending on the severity (or twice daily if desired).

Taclonex has a topical vitamin D solution to synergistically work with a strong cortisone. Both are very effective treatments though approximately 75% of “work” is being done by the cortisone. Taclonex is very costly but coupons and/or insurance may make it more reasonable. Often a prescription for Clobetesol or Fluocinonide is given along with a topical vitamin D (calcipotriene solution) which you can mix 1:1 (make a Taclonex equivalent). If the calcipotriene is not covered (expensive in the solution form) simply use the topical Clobetesol, Fluicinonide or Derma Smoothe oil l-2x a day l-6x a week as needed. Lastly as the Derma Smooothe is an oil and works in a different manner, some patients prefer this some days and then use the Clobetesol, Fluocinonide (with or without the calcipotriene mixed in) or the Taclonex on other days. You are welcome to modify the treatment as you see which things work.

After the scales have decreased, this strategy can be done l-3x a week. If you need to wash the hair in between treatment days, you may use a commercial shampoo followed by conditioner. Do not attempt to remove the scales by excessive brushing, scrubbing or combing. This may result in scalp irritation or injury.

* Shampoos or creams with tar help with redness and irritation. Shampoos or creams with salicylic acid help remove the scales. Products with tar include: T gel, DHS. You may also speak to your local pharmacist. As psoriasis can also cause inflammation inside to the body, please tell your provider if you have any new joint pain.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at: (801) 768-8800

Googling Dermatology disorders

The 20 Most Googled Diseases (Hint: Dermatology issues are in there)

Research shows that about a third of American adults have gone online to self-diagnose their medical condition. About double that go online just to search for health information. Clearly, we trust our Google skills, even when it comes to life and limb.

Google recently released data showing the 20 most Googled diseases, and interestingly, there are four in the top 20 that dermatologists usually take care of: shingles, psoriasis, herpes and scabies.

Googleing disorders or performing a digital diagnosis can be helpful or harmful. Typically, Googleing a disease for symptoms similar to your own will add more stress to the situation. Some become convinced that they have a serious disease, when in actuality they don’t.

On the other hand, some people Google diseases and symptoms and decide that the pictures and descriptions don’t match what they are feeling. This can be even more dangerous than getting stressed out over your condition, because it leads people to avoid getting medical advice from a trained professional. Ignoring symptoms is never a good idea. Getting a second opinion from someone who’s trained for years in recognizing and diagnosing diseases is a good idea.

That said, it’s always good for patients to be informed about their health. Learn all you can about possible diseases related to your symptoms, so you can ask Dr. Myers questions and get the answers you want. Finding trustworthy sources can be tricky. Medical associations and medical journals can be good, but confusing to understand. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a good place to start.

If you have questions about shingles, psoriasis, herpes or scabies, check out the pages on our site.

And just for fun, here is the complete list of the 20 most Googled diseases.

1. Diabetes
2. Depression
3. Anxiety
4. Hemorrhoid
5. Yeast infection
6. Lupus
7. Shingles
8. Psoriasis
9. Schizophrenia
10. Lyme disease
11. HPV
12. Herpes
13. Pneumonia
14. Fibromyalgia
15. Scabies
16. Chlamydia
17. Endometriosis
18. Strep throat
19. Diverticulitis
20. Bronchitis

Google reported in 2016 that 1% of Google searches are related to medical symptoms. Considering the billions of Google searches, 1% is a lot.

Source: Google, 2017

Cyberchondria: Obsession with perceived medical symptoms, even though you’re healthy. This condition centers around repeated internet searches and worsening anxiety, to the point that it influences relationships and work.