ZocdocAnswersDoes my scalp itch because I have psoriasis?

Question

Does my scalp itch because I have psoriasis?

I have a very itchy scalp. Is it from psoriasis? How do you get that and how would I know if that's what it is?

Answer

There are many reasons that can explain why your scalp itches. The most common cause is of course dandruff caused by a combination of oily skin and overgrowth of yeast. However, there are many other medical disorders and conditions that can lead to an itchy scalp. They include inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, infection, allergies, and head lice. Psoriasis, or a chronic inflammatory disorder from a dysfunctional immune system, is also a source of an itchy scalp, although the exact cause is unknown. Another autoimmune disorder called lupus may cause you to scratch your scalp more frequently. Another common source of your itchy scalp can also be caused by allergic contact dermatitis (i.e., allergy to chemicals in your shampoo). As you can see, there are my sources that may cause your condition. If you suspect psoriasis, do you have other accompanied symptoms? Usually people with psoriasis have irritated patches of skin, where the redness is most often seen on the elbows, knees, and trunk, but it can appear anywhere on the body. The skin patches or dots may be dry and covered with silver, flaky skin (scales) that is pink to red in color (like the color of salmon) and raised and thick. On the scalp there may be flaky patches that give you severe dandruff. In some cases, an itchy scalp can lead to complications, especially if there is severe scratching that leads to breakdown of the skin and consequently introduces bacteria or fungus into the layers of skin on the scalp to cause infections. I would suggest a consultation with a dermatologist soon who can evaluate you to establish an accurate diagnosis and help you with an appropriate treatment plan.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.