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Psoriasis on head?

HobbleHobble Posts: 77
edited 9. Apr 2018, 04:39 in Living with Arthritis archive
Sorry for the title,
I'm just after a little advice with a problem I've had off and on for a while with my scalp. I get what I can only describe as a sore raised and itchy patches on my scalp. More often then not they tend to remain in the same area, back of the head, top of the head, around the crown and infrequently around the hair line. I can only feel them so can't give a visual description. To me the areas feel scaby and also itchy. They only feel hot when I've scratched them (naughty I know but they drive me mad) yet remain painful even without scratching. I don't have dandruff but do get some dry bits of skin after scratching. I've suffered from eczema since childhood and also had psoriasis as a child, fortunately not severe. They also flare up after appearing to calm down, so the dry patches aren't always visible. I know I need to get it looked at and need to have it seen when the dry patches are there but wondered if anyone has experienced similar and if there's anything I could do to ease the itching.

Again sorry for the topic

Hobble

Comments

  • kathleenTkathleenT Posts: 3,180 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If it were me, I'd mention it to my rheumy or nurse as soon as possible. Take care. xx
    “I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
    Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If you have Psoriatic Arthritis and have had psoriasis previously that is likely to be the culprit (My Mum had scalp psoriasis) but please don't just take my word for it. See a proper doc.

    In the meantime you could ask your local pharmacist for advice. I know there are shampoos which claim to be for scalp psoriasis but I doubt most are of much use. Your pharmacist will be able to direct you to the decent ones.

    As KathleenT says, though, do let your rheumatology team know as the psoriasis might mean that your DMARDS need tweaking.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've a lovely patch of psoriasis on my scalp and bubbles of it on the backs of my hands; I use an ointment prescribed by my GP (I think it's called Dovobet) and it eases the itching but the P itself is slow to clear. Despite the double immuno-suppressants I take it still breaks through every now and again because it can. :roll:

    You may find that once the meth starts getting properly to work it will clear but certainly mention it when you go for your injection 'training'. In the meantime try Sudocrem, it's mucky on the scalp but I find it soothes things for me: I apply it at night and wrap my pillow in a bath towel to protect the bedding. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    In addition to my scalp my fingernails have snapped off, all within a few days of each other: this is par for the course with me. Although I care for them with Avoplex oil and Nail Envy strengthener they fall apart every three months or so, possibly due to the meds or possibly due to the PsA. I'm not that bothered because it doesn't hurt, it's just a nuisance. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • littlemimmylittlemimmy Posts: 111
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have psoriasis (but not PsA), and get it on my scalp a lot. I've had some specific scalp ointments, etc, prescribed in the past, one of which burned my scalp terribly! I'm now prescribed Capasal therapeutic shampoo, which is great and just about keeps it under control.

    Like DD, my psoriasis still flares up sometimes despite the DMARDS (definitely related to stress for me), and I too love Dovobet, but also have a strong steroid cream prescribed for flare ups.

    I second the recommendation to speak to your rheumy team about it, as increasing my DMARDS is helping to control the psoriasis (I was already taking methotrexate when I was diagnosed with RA!).

    Oh, and I recommend trying a cold, slightly damp flannel on your scalp when it's itchy and painful. I have also once wrapped an ice pack in a towel and slept on it!
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If you have psoriasis, littlemimmy, has it never been suggested that yours might be PsA not RA? I know they originally kept trying to make mine into PsA just because my Mum had psoriasis. The meds are the same but I think there can be occasions when it's best to have as accurate a diagnosis as possible.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • HobbleHobble Posts: 77
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your replies, very much appreciated

    I see the GP in a few days and the rheumatology nurse in two weeks for the methotrexate injection instruction and will definitely mention it to both.
    I will try the cold flannel as that sounds like absolute bliss!
    Have also filled an ice cube tray, hopefully it won't take too long.
    Had to nip into Saintsbury's so I asked the pharmacist they have there and he was reluctant to advise a product without knowing if it was eczema or psoriasis.
    He did however, suggest a head to toe baby wash by oilatum to try and sooth and help the hard dry patches as its mild.I'll give it a whirl while waiting for the GP appointment, who will no doubt pass the buck to the rheumatology nurse :roll:

    Thank you all again
    Have a merry Christmas

    Hobble x
    christmas05
  • bubblesbubbles Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Hobble,
    Definitely one to mention to the GP and all the advice from our forum friends is invaluable.

    Polytar used to be available to help with Ps and other flaking scalp conditions. That has now been discontinued which is a shame, as it was very effective.
    You can buy exorex lotion, but it is expensive, to apply to itching flaking areas. If the GP would prescribe it, that would save you a good deal ( I think it is about £30 a bottle)

    Dead sea mineral shampoo, from most health stores, like Holland and Barrett etc, is a good every day shampoo, that calms an irritated scalp, I swear by it.

    Childs farm sensitive moisture cream is another good one, 98% natural, can be used from newborn onwards. A lot of people have had great success using it as an aid to helping with their Psoriasis. Boots sell it.

    I sound like sales assistant, sorry, just going through the bathroom cabinet and medicine cupboard.

    Take care X Aidan
    XX Aidan (still known as Bubbles).
  • littlemimmylittlemimmy Posts: 111
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If you have psoriasis, littlemimmy, has it never been suggested that yours might be PsA not RA? I know they originally kept trying to make mine into PsA just because my Mum had psoriasis. The meds are the same but I think there can be occasions when it's best to have as accurate a diagnosis as possible.
    Hi Sticky,
    It was considered, but my symptoms didn't match up and then it turned out I'm seropositive, so it's definitely RA. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed (haha, as if I can cross my fingers!) that I don't end up with both!
  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,427 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well you learn something new everyday! I was told it was skin damage caused by the sun, the nurse has been attempting (unsuccessfully) to burn it off by spraying with some icy stuff!

    I have been avoiding shampoos!
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Airwave, there are many kinds of skin and scalp troubles and this is one worth mentioning to your GP: mine was finally diagnosed by dermatology. It's an auto-immune disorder and caused by the skin renewing itself too quickly leading to the raised and scaly skin plaques. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,427 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, thats it, I'll have a chat next time I go in.
  • HobbleHobble Posts: 77
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Bubbles, thank you for your reply
    I've noted down the items you mentioned, glad of any advice that can help. Since I last posted it is slightly worse :roll:

    I saw the GP on Wednesday and did mention it him, he agreed with the advice of the pharmacist and told me to tell the rheumatology nurse, (I see them next week)I thought that might happen. He told me that my last blood tests showed an elevation in the inflammatory markers. Not sure if that might have any bearing on the scalp issue.

    Hobble
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It may well do - if disease activity is not under sufficient control then other malarkeys can happen: despite my being generally well-suppressed I missed some meth and humira when I had that recent nasty cold hence my nails breaking and my scalp misbehaving: the PsA took its chance to have a snap at me. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    A thought struck me in the early hours - sunshine helps. Even in this cold bright weather I rarely wear a hat so my scalp can absorb whatever benefit is available. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • HobbleHobble Posts: 77
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You hit the nail on the head DD
    Rheumatology nurse grabbed my consultant and yep it's psoriasis. Been advised to use a tar based shampoo, lovely aroma!!
    Oh the joys of PsA !
  • JJE239JJE239 Posts: 24
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I realise this post was a few months ago now so you may have moved on but for what it’s worth I had/ have something very similar which started when I was pregnant. I have find that giving up gluten has helped, but gluten stays in your system for months so it takes quite a long time to show an effect. I was diagnosed with OA in my 20s and don’t believe that I could have developed a ‘wear and tear’ disease so young - I hadn’t been much more active than most- so I’ve often wondered whether there has been a link betweeen my arthritis and gluten intolerance. I’ve posted on here about it before but no one really seems to know. Worth a try, but give it at least 3 months before deciding whether it works
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