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Do Over-the-Counter Shampoos Effectively Treat Scalp Psoriasis?

Living with scalp psoriasis can be difficult, especially if you’re not sure which treatment method is best. If you’re considering over-the-counter psoriasis shampoo treatments, here’s what you need to know.

Psoriasis Is Not Just Dry Skin

Unfortunately, many people believe that psoriasis is a cosmetic condition that can be treated with products designed to help heal dry skin. While products for dry skin may help ease some symptoms, psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that over-the-counter products designed for dry skin simply can’t effectively treat. In patients with psoriasis, inflammatory proteins cause an overproduction of skin cells. Without the necessary time to properly flake off, these skin cells build up and cause patches of excess skin buildup. As you can assume, an over-the-counter product for dry skin won’t have the desired effect on this condition.

You May Need to Rotate Treatments

While some people can find effective psoriasis treatment results with over-the-counter products, their success may be short-lived. In many cases, repeated exposure to a certain product or medication may reduce its effectiveness. This is especially true for any over-the-counter products, which can’t be sold with prescription-strength ingredients. Unfortunately, this may also make these treatments less than effective on your scalp. But if you do find an over-the-counter psoriasis shampoo that you like, be sure to keep a close eye on your condition’s progress. If you notice your scalp psoriasis getting worse or simply not improving, it may be time to switch up your treatment.

Check with Your Doctor First

Even if you’re investing in over-the-counter shampoos to treat your scalp psoriasis, it’s important to check in with your doctor about your purchase. Running the shampoo’s ingredients by them can help you better understand what they are. In addition, since they’re familiar with your condition and your skin, your doctor can alert you to how certain ingredients may affect both of those things.

Refrain from Washing Your Hair Vigorously

If you find an over-the-counter shampoo that works for you and helps with your psoriasis, it’s still extremely important to be gentle with your scalp. Your skin and hair follicles are already sensitive as a result of your condition, and irritating them further could cause hair breakage and even further irritation to your scalp.

Look for Products with Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid has been known to help with scalp psoriasis treatment. If you’re looking for an over-the-counter shampoo treatment, try to make sure there’s salicylic acid present. That being said, be careful when using scalp psoriasis treatments with this ingredient. Salicylic acid does help the outer layers of skin shed, but it can also irritate the skin and weaken the hair, which could lead to breakage. As we noted above, make sure you speak to your doctor before beginning any over-the-counter psoriasis shampoo treatments.

It can feel like a constant uphill battle to find a treatment that really works for your scalp psoriasis. If you have questions about an over-the-counter shampoo or you’re looking for a prescription-grade treatment, make an appointment to speak with a member of our team at SE Dermatology Specialists today.

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