Written on: Nov 26, 2019 By: Shari Hicks-Graham
Psoriasis is a relatively common condition that affects approximately 2-3% of people in the United States according to the National Psoriasis Foundation1, and that equates to a staggering number of almost 8 million Americans. One of the most common sites of involvement is the scalp, and for that reason, it may be easily confused with seborrheic dermatitis (SD). These two conditions are often viewed by dermatologists as being on a diagnostic continuum, with a more mild case being viewed as SD, and a more severe case being diagnosed as psoriasis. Nevertheless, the reasons why the conditions exist and have disparate features is important to understand.
As reviewed in the October 2019 LivSo blog post, SD often results in dry, itchy, flaky patches on the scalp and is associated with dandruff, but may also affect other body sites like the face (eyebrow regions, sides of the nose), and chest. Psoriasis also commonly affects the scalp, but typically also is found on the extensor surfaces of the arms (elbows), legs (knees), and lower back. The rashes, known as plaques, may be fairly small in size like a coin, or larger covering an area the size of a note card, or more. The plaques are usually scaly with a white or silvery sheen depending on the age of the lesion, and other factors like skin color. SD may affect infants, teens, and adults alike, and the common form is not typically correlated with any internal disease. Psoriasis usually begins in early adulthood, between age 15-25, and may also be associated with arthritis, which may develop later, between 30-50 years of age.
Seborrheic dermatitis is typically thought to be correlated with yeast levels (malassezia, sp.) and the inflammatory response to those organisms. On the other hand, psoriasis is thought to be caused by a dysregulation in the inflammatory systems that regulate our skin’s structure and function. With psoriasis, rapid cell production occurs - sometimes up to seven times faster than normal. The skin cannot shed these cells fast enough, so the skin’s top layer (stratum corneum) thickens and there are changes to the underlying layers of the skin - the epidermis and dermis, along with modifications of the blood vessels. These conditions, especially psoriasis, may be associated with other health issues beyond the expected skin discomfort.
It has been demonstrated that people with psoriasis have increased levels of inflammation internally which is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease. Mental health is also a concern in these patients because depression is found in higher rates among those with psoriasis, along with gastrointestinal, kidney, and metabolic disorders, and even some cancers2. For all of the above reasons, a correct diagnosis is of the utmost importance.
The symptoms associated with psoriasis and SD are not always easy to distinguish from one another and often requires the help of a dermatologist. A dermatologist can listen to the patient’s history, examine the skin including the scalp and nails (often revealing clues like nail pitting which may occur in psoriasis), and even do a skin biopsy if necessary. All of these steps are critical to establishing a proper diagnosis so that the most effective treatments can be initiated. In the case of psoriasis, proper treatment may prevent uncomfortable rashes and halt joint damage that can be irreversible.
Both psoriasis and SD can be treated with topical solutions including, antifungal shampoos, lotions, creams, ointments, and anti-inflammatory products and compounds that help remove scale and flaking while soothing the skin. However, more difficult cases of psoriasis, particularly with extensive skin involvement or joint pain require internal medications like methotrexate, apremilast, or one of the many biologic drugs that specifically target the signals in the body responsible for driving psoriasis (TNF, IL-17, IL-23, and others). Despite these efforts, people with psoriasis still need to have personal care products for routine grooming suited for their needs just like anyone else. When the condition is present on the scalp, it is important to cleanse and moisturize the hair while relieving dryness, flaking and itching. For this reason, people suffering from psoriasis may find products that are used to help with SD may also be helpful with psoriasis and vice-versa.
In summary, if you or someone close to you has a condition that seems like dandruff, but does not respond to typical treatments for seborrheic dermatitis or dry scalp, please see a dermatologist! It may represent something that is truly more than skin deep.
Live free & clear,
Shari Hicks-Graham, MD
2. Takeshita, et al. Psoriasis and comorbid diseases: Epidemiology. J Am Acad Dermatol 2017;76:377-90.
Of course, all of our products are carried here at livso.com. Alternatively, you can also purchase our products at the following retailers, salons, and barbershops. Check back frequently as our stocklist continues to grow.
Ambushed Salon - Gahanna, Ohio
Adrian Fanus Grooming - Brooklyn, New York
DTLA Cuts - Los Angeles, California
Downtown Dermatology - Columbus, Ohio
Ms. Melanin Beauty Supply & Salon - Canal Winchester, Ohio
Panache Hair Designs - Oak Park, Illinois
Skin Specialty Dermatology - New York, New York
Skin Wellness Center of Alabama - Homewood, Alabama
Willis Beauty Supply Co - Columbus, Ohio
W Style Lounge - Columbus, Ohio
If you are a professional stylist, barber, or retailer and would like to carry our LivSo products please email email@example.com
Yes! We offer samples for $2 each on our website. Each sample includes a 0.33 oz package of each of our three products. There is no limit to the number of samples you can purchase. You may require more than one sample depending on the length and thickness of your hair and how many times you would like to use each product. Samples are a great way to introduce friends and family to the product line as well!
We fulfill orders within 48 hours and once an order is shipped, shipping time is typically 2-3 business days.
Moisturizing Shampoo - Apply to wet scalp and hair, lather and rinse. Repeat once or twice as needed. Our gentle, sulfate-free formula is intended to effectively cleanse without overdrying your hair and skin. Massaging the scalp while applying is also recommended to improve circulation throughout the scalp. Use at least weekly for best results. Be careful to avoid direct contact with eyes. View a quick tutorial video here.
Moisturizing Conditioner - Apply to scalp and hair for at least three minutes, detangle or comb gently using a wide-toothed comb, then rinse out completely. Be careful to avoid direct contact with eyes. View quick tutorial video here.
Moisturizing Lotion - Apply to scalp after washing and conditioning, before drying & styling hair. May also apply to scalp daily as a moisturizer. This product also works well on the hair itself for extra moisturization to improve manageability. View a quick tutorial video here.
The products are designed to be used at least once per week but may be used as often as three times per week depending on your hair and scalp condition and moisturizing needs.
Yes! The Moisturizing Lotion is a versatile product. Although it is formulated to be a light moisturizer applied directly to the scalp to alleviate dryness and itchiness, many use it directly on the hair for additional hydration from the roots to the tips. Men also find it useful to moisturize their beards without leaving their hair with an oily finish or strong fragrance.
Yes. Although we did not do a unique test for color safety, we are familiar with all of our ingredients and have yet to receive feedback relating to issues with use on color treated hair.
Our independent clinical trial consisted of only adult participants. Please be advised that our products do not have a tear-free formula and they were not studied for use on children. Be careful to avoid direct contact with the eyes.
LivSo was designed for people with dry itchy scalp and curly or textured hair, regardless of ethnicity or gender. If you have a textured hair type that dries out easily with typical dandruff shampoos or sulfate products, this product is for you. Curly or textured hair, by nature, requires more moisture to prevent breakage, splitting and ensure its luster. The cuticle of curly and textured hair tends to be more ruffled as opposed to flat, which prevents oil from the scalp from wicking from the root to the tip of the hair causing it to look and feel drier.
Beyond those who have dry, itchy scalp, if you have dry curly hair, our products were expertly crafted to promote scalp health and meet your hair cleansing and moisturizing needs.
To our friends with straight hair and dry, itchy scalp, LivSo products are formulated to meet your needs as well. Our line of products may feel more moisturizing than alternative products without a focus on hydration, but they will still work to alleviate dry itchy scalp.
Creating products that are safe and gentle for your skin and hair without compromising efficacy is our highest priority. We include numerous natural ingredients in all of our products but we do not focus on being all-natural because natural elements and therefore natural products may not necessarily be safe and gentle. Our products are gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and are not derived from animals in any way.
Acetyl alcohol will not dry out your hair, in fact, it does just the opposite. Acetyl alcohol is a conditioning agent and a fatty alcohol, which actually has a moisturizing effect on the hair and skin as opposed to isopropyl alcohol, which is your common rubbing alcohol.
Glycolic acid is a valuable and effective ingredient included in our Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner and can increase photosensitivity on the skin. As such, we want to ensure that those with sun sensitivity are aware of its presence. We believe sunburn risk from using these products is still fairly low because the hair on the scalp protects the scalp from being exposed to direct sunlight. If you are wearing a protective style where parts of your scalp is exposed or if have a very short haircut, we advise that you apply sunscreen on any exposed areas.
Roughly two years.
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