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A Guide to Choosing an Effective Shampoo for Psoriasis

Scaly, red, and itching skin are all symptoms of a chronic dermatological condition known as psoriasis. There are several challenges with psoriasis, one being it can appear on virtually any part of the body to include arms, legs, back  and chest, but also under finger and toenails and on the scalp. Because of this, treating this condition can be a little tricky.

Another challenge is that when psoriasis involves the scalp, it leads to another problem, dandruff. The primary treatments for psoriasis include Anthralin used to treat dry, flaky skin, corticosteroids, and creams and lotions that contain a relatively high level of vitamin D. However, when the scalp is involved, the goal is to choose the most effective shampoo for psoriasis that is available.
Now, the good news is that several quality shampoo brands are sold over-the-counter but for more severe cases, an individual might need to see a doctor to get a prescription for a medical shampoo. Below are some suggestions regarding effective shampoo for psoriasis with each having been shown to provide relief from all the associated symptoms but also prevent an outbreak in the future.


Coal Tar Shampoo

One of the best choices when looking for effective shampoo for psoriasis is a product made with coal tar. With this condition, skin cells buildup on the skin’s surface, which in turn causes irritation and inflammation. The benefit of using shampoo made with coal tar is skin cell growth slows. As a result, redness, irritation, itching, and flakiness calm down or stop altogether.


The exact concentration of coal tar in the shampoo would depend on the level of severity. In other words, an individual with a severe case of psoriasis would need to choose a shampoo with a greater concentration of coal tar,  whereas someone with a mild case would need less concentration. Keep in mind that the highest level of concentration is 5%, which is considered safe but anything greater than that could pose risk of cancer.


Shampoo with Salicylic Acid

Another effective shampoo for psoriasis contains salicylic acid. This very ingredient is the same one found in many of the best medications used to treat acne and other skin conditions. The way this shampoo works is by causing any infected areas of the scalp to shed dead skin cells. Because of this, it would be common for a person to experience a brief period of intensified dandruff but within a few weeks, the flaky, dry skin would completely heal.


Keratolytic Shampoo

Someone living with psoriasis of the scalp might also consider shampoo that contains this ingredient. Interestingly, of all skin on the human body, skin that covers the scalp is the thickest since it plays a key role in protecting the brain. Because of this, if an individual has a severe case of this condition, it would be imperative to choose a much more potent shampoo for psoriasis.


Keratolytic has a similar effect on the skin as shampoos that contain salicylic acid.  Keratolytic causes dead skin cells to shed, followed by a short period of heavy dandruff. When you compare shampoo made with salicylic acid and keratolytic, concentration levelsin keratolytic shampoos have a higher level. Therefore, rather than finding this ingredient in lotions, creams, and gels used as topical treatments for other parts of the body, it is usually added only to shampoo products to treat psoriasis of the scalp.


Herbal Shampoos

Today, many people have turned away from conventional over-the-counter shampoo products because so many contain harmful toxins and harsh chemicals. Unfortunately, some of the ingredients used in commercial shampoos have been proven to cause a variety of illnesses, even cancer. For this reason, there has been significant interest in herbal hair care products that work very well.