Scalp psoriasis is a manifestation of plaque psoriasis characterized by raised, red areas of skin (“plaques”) covered with a silver or white layer of dead skin cells that occurs in the hair-bearing area of the scalp and sometimes extends to the forehead, back of the neck, or behind or inside the ears. Patients with scalp psoriasis commonly have plaques on other areas of the body as well.
Scalp psoriasis plaques are identical to psoriatic plaques on other areas of the body, however topical treatment of scalp plaques is complicated by the difficulty of delivering topical drugs under the hair. As with psoriatic plaques on other parts of the body, psoriasis on the scalp is often itchy and is sometimes painful. Scalp psoriasis can also be associated with hair loss, likely due to damage to the hair follicle from excessive scratching, rubbing, or combing of the affected area.