Scalp Psoriasis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2020

Scalp psoriasis is a manifestation of psoriasis in the scalp. Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition.

Signs and symptoms of psoriasis in general include plaques of thickened, scaly skin that may take on a silver-white appearance. When it affects the scalp, associated symptoms and signs can include

  • scaly, red, bumpy patches,
  • silvery-white scales,
  • dandruff,
  • dry scalp,
  • hair loss,
  • severe itching, and
  • burning or soreness of the scalp.

As with other forms of psoriasis, the symptoms tend to come and go over time and may vary in severity.

Causes of scalp psoriasis

An autoimmune reaction (a process in which the body's immune response mistakenly attacks its own tissues) likely causes psoriasis. Environmental influences are also likely involved in the development of psoriasis.

Other scalp psoriasis symptoms and signs


Psoriasis causes the top layer of skin cells to become inflamed and grow too quickly and flake off. See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.