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Home » Dermatology » Why you need to manage psoriasis of the scalp

Different types of psoriasis – including scalp psoriasis – can be physically and psychologically debilitating. That’s why good management is key to bring symptoms under control.

Psoriasis is a chronic, long-term and potentially debilitating skin condition, caused by an increased production of skin cells.

It’s defined by the appearance of red, itchy, scaly patches on the body. These are commonly found on the knees and elbows, as well as the base of the back and the scalp. Stress and hormonal changes can be trigger factors.

There are different types of psoriasis and characteristically, patches of psoriasis are raised, red around the edges and silvery on top. The problem with this condition is that it doesn’t just affect people physically. It may also affect them psychologically.

That’s why it’s so important to treat psoriasis and bring it under control whenever and wherever flare-ups occur.

This can be difficult with scalp psoriasis, however, where symptoms can range from one or two small disc-like patches, to coverage of the entire scalp.

Scalp psoriasis makes the head extremely itchy and flaky. Patches become visible because the skin becomes caught in the hair as it flakes off, so it can look similar to very severe dandruff.

Managing symptoms with effective treatments

A treatment, such as Sebco™, has mild anti-itch and antiseptic properties, and can be used for the removal of scaly skin. It is available over the counter and on prescription for those over 12 years old.

It’s especially designed for areas of hair growth, and contains coal tar solution, sulphur and salicylic acid in a coconut oil base.

This is an old formula based on an ointment which contains ingredients that have been popularly used by dermatologists and doctors for over 70 years.

Coal tar solution has the effect of slowing down over-production of the skin cell-rate and works with the salicylic acid and the sulphur to loosen and lift scale. The coconut oil acts as a moisturiser to bring the flare-up under control.

Don’t put up with psoriasis. Treat it, instead.

While there’s no ‘cure’ for psoriasis, symptoms can be managed so that patients are able to live with the condition.

Sebco is available from all good pharmacies and can also find more patient information on the above products from

SebcoTM Prescribing Information Presentation: Ointment containing coal tar solution 12%, salicylic acid 2%, sulfur for external use 4%. Uses: Treatment of common scaly scalp disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Dosage: Gently rub into scalp, leave in contact for approximately one hour. Wash out using warm water and mild shampoo. For severe scalp conditions, use daily for 3-7 days until improvement is obtained then intermittently as necessary. For less severe conditions such as dandruff use intermittently as necessary, e.g. once a week. If symptoms persist after 4 weeks consult your doctor. For children 6-12 years use under medical supervision only. Not recommended for use on children under six years. Contraindications: Skin infections of the scalp, or known sensitivity to any of the ingredients. Use in Pregnancy and Lactation: To be used at the discretion of the prescribing doctor. Warnings and Precautions: Instruct patients not to smoke or go near naked flames – risk of severe burns. Fabric (clothing, bedding, dressings etc) that has been in contact with this product burns more easily and is a serious fire hazard. Washing clothing and bedding may reduce product build-up but not totally remove it. Avoid contact with eyes, and any areas of broken skin. Coal tar may stain clothes and jewellery. Remove or protect these items during treatment. Side Effects: May cause skin irritation, folliculitis and rarely photosensitivity. In the event of such a reaction, discontinue use. Prescribers should consult the Summary of Product Characteristics in relation to other side effects. Pharmaceutical Precautions: Store below 25°C. Do not refrigerate. Replace the cap after use and return tube to carton. Discard tube no later than 4 weeks after opening. Package Quantities: 100g tube, 40g tube. Basic NHS Price: 40g £7.91, 100g £13.38. Legal Category: GSL. Marketing Authorisation Number: PL 19876/0001. Full prescribing information is available on request. Marketing Authorisation Holder: Derma UK Ltd, The Toffee Factory, Lower Steenbergs Yard, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2DF, UK. “Sebco” and “Derma UK” are registered Trade Marks. Date of Revision of Text: November 2019.

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