Psoriasis can flare up on any part of the skin. When it appears on the scalp, it’s known as scalp psoriasis. But wherever it appears, the cause is the same. It happens when faulty signals in the immune system tell the body to fight an infection (even if infection is not present). This releases inflammatory chemicals as part of the immune response, causing skin cells to reproduce quicker than usual. Typically, skin cells in a normal scalp will renew around every 21-28 days – it’s a natural process and is invisible to the naked eye. But if you suffer from psoriasis, they may reproduce up to 10 times quicker, causing plaques of excess skin cells to appear on the surface of the skin.
Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
There are some similarities between scalp psoriasis and the symptoms of dandruff such as flaking, itching and dry scalp but sufferers are also likely to experience;
- scaly, red, bumpy patches
- silvery-white scales
- burning or soreness
- hair loss
How is Scalp Psoriasis Associated with Deficiency of Zinc and Selenium?
Factors like stress, injuries to the skin or hormonal changes can aggravate the condition and have been shown to cause flare-ups in psoriasis sufferers.
Zinc is known to zinc contribute to the normal function of the immune system* and the maintenance of normal hair and skin.* Selenium also maintains normal hair.*
The relationship between occupational exposure, different skin diseases including scalp psoriasis and micronutrient deficiencies was studied by a team of researchers in Pakistan. Scalp hair and blood samples of patients who worked as manual labourers were analysed for zinc and selenium. These results were compared to those of office workers who did not have scalp psoriasis. The zinc and selenium levels were much lower (by 15-25%) in those with scalp psoriasis. The authors suspected that labourers had a poorer diet than the office workers and the labourers were given mineral supplements to increase their levels to a normal range.
Zinc and selenium food supplements and topical prescribed minerals applied to the skin are often used to help patients.
Zinc and Selenium from Altruvita
* GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS