Can Scalp Psoriasis Cause Baldness?

There are some health conditions that can affect the scalp of your head which then may cause hair loss or even some baldness spots. How about with scalp psoriasis? Well, it is a kind of psoriasis that affects scalp, as the name suggests. But does it have a potential to cause serious hair loss such as baldness?

What is scalp psoriasis?

It is one of common chronic skin conditions that can cause reddish, raised, and usually followed with scaly patches. It can cause some patches (multiple patches) or only one patch on the scalp of the head.

In severe case, it may cause large patches that affect the entire scalp. Even if left untreated, there is chance for the problem to spread to other areas such as behind ears, forehead, or back of the neck. The problem can be very bothersome, but it doesn’t spread to others (it is not contagious condition).

Like other kinds of psoriasis, there is still no clearly answer for the exact cause of scalp psoriasis. But many experts believe that an abnormality of immune system may play a key role.

In people with this skin disorder, the immune system disorder may cause skin cells to be produced and grow too quickly (much faster than normal). As a result, this abnormal mechanism makes build up as patches on the scalp.

There are some risk factors (conditions that can put you at greater risk of developing this skin problem). But having a family history of the same problem may be the greatest risk factor – though not all people with family history of the problem develop the same problem.

For other risk factors, visit this section!

What are the causes of baldness?

Medically, baldness is called as alopecia, a condition for absence of hair. It is commonly found & noticeable on the scalp. It is more common in men than in women.

Male pattern baldness may be the most common type of baldness. It takes about 95 percent of hair loss problem in men. There is also a condition called female pattern baldness, but this type is rare.

Pattern baldness is not easy to be treated since it is usually related with hereditary factor (genetic trait). Some medicines such as minoxidil can help, but they usually should be used continuously. Currently, hair transplant is still the most effective option to treat baldness.

Depending on the cause of the problem, other types of baldness include:

  1. Alopecia areata. It is usually marked by a condition of hair loss that occurs in one particular area. It is thought to be linked with immune system disorder, genetic factor, and allergies.
  2. Toxic alopecia. It can be triggered by other health conditions particularly such as thyroid disease. It is also common after giving birth. The use of certain medicines (such as retinoids, high doses of vitamin A, some medicines for cancer treatment, and thallium) may cause toxic alopecia. Fortunately, it is usually characterized by temporary hair loss.
  3. Cicatricial or scarring alopecia. Sometime scared area on the scalp (scaring can be triggered from X-ray therapy, injury, or burns) may prevent hair follicles from growing back. Scaring also can occur due to certain health conditions such as skin cancer, fungal /bacterial infections, or lupus.
  4. Hair-pulling disorder or medically called trichotillomania. See this section, for more detailed information about this disorder!

What are the symptoms?

As mentioned before, the patch of scalp psoriasis that affects the scalp can vary. In a few cases, it can cover the entire scalp, or only cause a small patch that can be easy to become invisible with hair.

image_illustration144In other words, the symptoms can vary. The following are some symptoms that may occur when you have this skin problem:

  1. The urge of scratching since the affected scalp can be so itchy. Even many sufferers report that dealing with itching can be the most challenging symptom during the flare-up. The intensity and severity of itching can vary. While some experience mild itching, this symptom also can be so intense that can interfere with sleeping & everyday life.
  2. Patches (commonly reddish patches) found on the scalp. They also can vary, as noted before. They can be barely noticeable or almost invisible, but sometime can be very thick, inflamed, and very noticeable.
  3. Dry scalp, particularly on the affected scalp. This can worsen other symptoms. For instance, dry scalp can increase the chance of developing the skin cracks or even bleeds.
  4. Scalp psoriasis is usually followed with dandruff that eventually may also cause a dry, silvery scale on the affected scalp.
  5. Bleeding. This can be one of complications from itching of the affected area. Scratching makes the affected scalp bleed, and can make the problem get worse even more (make the patches thicker and larger).
  6. The affected scalp also can burn. Sometime it can be extremely soreness. But there are some medicines that can help ease this symptom, consult more with doctor for more advice!
  7. Hair loss on the affected scalp may also occur.

Does scalp psoriasis cause baldness?

As written above, the problem can cause hair loss on the affected scalp. But can it cause baldness? And, how about with the prognosis of hair loss due to scalp psoriasis – will these hairs grow back?