Home remedies for scalp psoriasis include medicated ointments, aloe vera, and various vitamin and mineral supplements. While they can help ease some symptoms, they are not proven cures.

Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes skin cells to build up on the skin’s surface quickly.

It can appear pink or red on lighter skin tones with a silvery-white scale. On medium skin tones, it can appear salmon-colored with a silvery-white scale. On darker skin tones, psoriasis could look violet with grayscale. It can also appear dark brown and difficult to see.

Psoriasis is itchy, and sometimes, the patches can be painful and may crack and bleed. This condition often affects the scalp, forehead, back of the ears, and neck. In this case, it’s called scalp psoriasis.

Most doctors recommend topical medications, light therapy, and medications that affect the entire body to treat scalp psoriasis, but some home remedies may also help.

The following home treatments are generally safe and may help reduce mild to moderate scalp psoriasis symptoms. It is best to speak to your doctor before starting home treatment, especially for more severe forms of the condition.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant known for its skin-healing properties. Creams that contain 0.5% aloe can help reduce itching, inflammation, and flaking on the scalp. You can apply this cream up to three times daily to help keep skin moist. It may take up to a month to start feeling and seeing positive effects.


Chili peppers get their heat from a compound called capsaicin. Some people believe that topical products with capsaicin can help reduce the pain, skin discoloration, inflammation, and flaking caused by psoriasis. However, there is limited evidence as to the clinical efficacy of these treatments, and more research is needed to understand exactly how it works.

Coconut oil

Coconuts contain healthy fats that boost skin health. Several topical psoriasis treatments use coconut and other oils to help soften thick plaques and soothe irritation.

Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape)

Also called barberry or Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium is an herb that affects the body’s immune response. Due to this, researchers believe it may help treat scalp psoriasis by reducing inflammation and other symptoms. Look for creams containing 10% concentration.

Colloidal oatmeal

Adding a cup of raw ground unflavored oats to a warm bath and soaking for around 15 minutes may help reduce your scalp psoriasis symptoms. Topical products containing oatmeal have also helped reduce psoriasis symptoms on application.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Many people living with psoriasis take omega-3 supplements as part of their lifestyle. These supplements may reduce inflammation and the severity of psoriasis symptoms. However, research is not conclusive on how much they help psoriasis symptoms.

That said, omega-3 supplements are safe to take in most cases and can help form part of an overall healthy, balanced diet.

Sea or Epsom salt

Soaking your whole body, including the affected part of your head, in warm water with dissolved sea salt or Epsom salt may reduce scalp psoriasis symptoms. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends bathing in warm, not hot, water and keeping all baths to 15 minutes or less.

Medicated shampoos

There are many specially made, nonmedicated, over-the-counter shampoos to treat scalp psoriasis. These often contain coal tar and moisturizers to lessen itching and salicylic acid to soften plaques. Use as directed on the bottle.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree is a plant believed to treat inflammatory skin conditions. It works as an antiseptic and may alleviate the inflammation and discoloration associated with scalp psoriasis. While it is a popular natural remedy, little research directly supports its use as a treatment for scalp psoriasis.


Turmeric is an herb well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Those with scalp psoriasis may reduce symptoms by taking a daily turmeric supplement or trying to incorporate more turmeric — fresh or powdered — into their cooking. Taking 1.5–3 grams of turmeric daily is considered safe and helpful.

Vitamin D

Direct sunlight exposure may help relieve scalp psoriasis symptoms in some people. Synthetic vitamin D supplements are also an option.

It is essential to practice good skin safety outside, such as limiting direct exposure and wearing a suitable SPF. Some people may also consider spending time outside in the morning when the sun is less intense. Talk with a doctor first if you’re taking medications for your scalp psoriasis, as some may make you more prone to sunburn.

Scalp psoriasis and other forms of psoriasis occur when the immune system doesn’t work properly. Skin cells grow too quickly, growing within days rather than weeks. The body can’t shed these skin cells quickly enough to match the new growth. They collect on the skin’s surface, causing psoriasis.

People with family members with scalp psoriasis are likelier to have the condition. Those with HIV, stress, obesity, and anyone who smokes are also more likely than others to have this condition.

Common triggers that may set off or worsen flare-ups of scalp psoriasis include:

  • infections, including strep throat or skin infections
  • skin injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, insect bites, or severe sunburn
  • stress
  • smoking
  • alcohol use
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • some medications, such as lithium, blood pressure drugs, antimalarials, and iodides

Scalp psoriasis and dermatitis are both common skin conditions affecting the scalp. They share some of the same treatments and symptoms, including discoloration and flaky skin. However, these conditions have different causes, and your doctor will be able to tell them apart.

Signs of scalp psoriasis could include silver, violet, salmon, or red scales, depending on skin tone. These scales often extend beyond the hairline, and there is itching and sometimes pain.

You may notice dandruff and itching with dermatitis, which will look different based on your skin tone. On darker skin, dermatitis rashes typically appear gray, purple, or a shade darker than your usual skin tone. On lighter skin, the patches will typically appear pink or red.

If you suspect you have scalp psoriasis, schedule an appointment with a doctor. They may examine your scalp to rule out other conditions before referring you to a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.

Scalp psoriasis is a chronic skin condition caused by issues with the immune system.

While it’s important to seek medical treatment for this condition to prevent complications, you can add home remedies to your treatment plan to reduce symptoms and better manage your scalp psoriasis.