Scalp psoriasis is a relatively common condition that can be very uncomfortable and often embarrassing for the sufferer. It can also cause a lot of difficulty when it comes to deciding on a hair style, as most people want to disguise their condition, which frequently rules out short hair or even up dos. What is psoriasis? Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes patches of itchy, red, flaky skin, usually starting on the scalp or elbows, although it can occur anywhere on the body. These patches can also be painful as well as itchy, causing a tight feeling on the affected area. The flakes can often fall off, which can be very embarrassing for the sufferer. What causes psoriasis? No one really knows the cause of psoriasis, although it is often thought to be genetic. It can be triggered however, by certain lifestyle factors such as stress, or by illness, infection or damage to the skin. It usually appears between the ages of ten and 30. Although we know the condition can be exacerbated by a poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle, it is unclear why it appears on certain areas of the body. What are the treatments for scalp psoriasis? The condition can be treated and kept in check by various medications that can be prescribed by a doctor, but unfortunately there is no cure for psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis can be treated by a hair loss expert, who can help you to manage the condition and will be particularly knowledgeable about the effects of psoriasis on the scalp. They may perform light-based treatments as well as applying ointments to the affected area to help keep flaking under control, and will offer advice on maintaining a healthy, stress-free lifestyle to help keep your psoriasis flare-ups at bay. Is scalp psoriasis linked to hair loss? As far as we know, the condition itself doesn't cause hair loss, but sufferers are often prone to picking at the affected area. If this is on the scalp, then picking at it can cause areas of thinning hair, as you may well pull out hair along with the flakes of skin. The stress associated with scalp psoriasis – both the stress that can lead to the condition, and that which the psoriasis itself causes – can also be associated with thinning hair, so although psoriasis of the scalp does not cause hair loss, there is certainly an association between the two problems.