About 3 percent of US population is affected with psoriasis. It’s a chronic skin disorder that can appear anywhere on the body. This disorder occurs when your skin cells grow rapidly beyond the surface of the skin forming thick dry patches at different parts.
Most often parts include knees, elbows, legs, lower back, face, palms, fingernails, toenails and scalp. When psoriasis patches appear on the scalp, it is known as scalp psoriasis. This results in loss of hair and triggers rigorous itching.
Studies conclude that fish oil intake can reduce scalp psoriasis. Before dwelling deep into assorted elements in fish oil let me spell few more words about this chronic skin disease.
About Scalp Psoriasis
Most people confuse scalp psoriasis symptoms with seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. Unlike dandruff this disorder results in thick silver flakes. Psoriasis may extend beyond the scalp and appear on forehead and behind the ears. According to National Psoriasis Foundation, about half of psoriasis affected people have the infection on their scalp. (1)
Unfortunately mere cause of psoriasis is still unknown and there is no permanent solution for this disease. However, using natural and over the counter medicines you can reduce symptoms of psoriasis.
Nation Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states that, psoriasis is caused when T – cells mistakenly react with immune system and lead to inflammation and rapid growth of skin cells. Hereditary is another common cause of this skin disease. (2)
However, researchers don’t know why T cells trigger immune system and cause cell growth.
Also read: Neem oil for scalp psoriasis
Fish Oil for Scalp Psoriasis
Though scalp psoriasis is identical to psoriasis on face, experts recommend different treatments because the skin on scalp is thick.
Mayoclinic.org states that psoriasis is less in people who include cold water fish into their diet. Study carried out in 2011 concludes that omega-3 fatty acid supplement shown significant improvement in scalp psoriasis. Fish oil and krill oil are two major sources of animal based omega-3 fats.
Experts say that excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acid may increase psoriasis condition. But, excess consumption of omega-3 fat will reduce this skin disease as mentioned in the report. (3)
Omega-3s exhibit anti-inflammatory property, which helps to reduce inflammation caused by psoriasis. Apart from this, other nutrients in fish oil can improve your overall health condition. If you don’t eat fish you can replace it by flaxseed oil or avocado oil to reduce psoriasis.
To treat psoriasis you can directly apply fish oil over the scalp or consume it regularly. Dr. Wilson Liao, a dermatologist at University of California, recommends adding salmon to diet instead of omega-3 supplement.
For topical application of fish oil, one must initially clean sliver scales on the scalp to improve absorption of the oil.
- First method: Apply any oil to make the scalp damp, then using comb softly remove the scales. Rigorous combing can lead infection. Wash the scalp with shampoo to remove scales and then pat dry. When the scalp is still damp apply fish oil directly over it and leave it to dry naturally.
- Second method: You can mix cold pressed avocado oil and concentrated fish oil for scalp psoriasis. But, remember to patch test small area before trying.
- Take both oils in equal quantity. Initially, apply avocado oil after removing silver scales. Then apply fish oil on the same spot and leave it to dry naturally. (4)
Remove excess oil with a clean cloth. The oil penetrates deep into the skin and fights inflammation. Don’t expect over night results. It may take weeks to months to see positive results.
Along with topical application, you must consider internal consumption of fish oil. Else include oily fish to your diet.
- Avoid scratching your itchy scalp, it will worsen the psoriasis.
- Remember to be gentle while applying fish oil and other medications.
- While removing silver scales comb softly and use scale softener to clean the scalp before treatment.
- Don’t get depressed and stress yourself. Stress will increase psoriasis condition.
- Avoid food that can trigger psoriasis, like red meat, dairy products, fried foods and alcohol.