Many hair loss sufferers look towards hair transplant surgery as the ultimate solution to their problem. Slowly losing a part of your identity is painful enough. However, to think that after losing your hair, there is no way of growing it back again is just excruciating. People who suffer from various illnesses come across various hurdles when they’re looking to have hair transplant surgery. A person can’t undergo hair transplant surgery no matter what. There are certain cases in which surgery is not possible. Psoriasis and hair transplant comes in the category.
There are some skin conditions, such as folliculitis and psoriasis, which make it difficult for the surgeon to perform the surgery. Hair transplant surgery with scalp psoriasis is certainly complicated. What makes things even more difficult is that it isn’t a disorder that you can catch from other people. There are no exact causes given for it. Still, there are treatments available for it. This should instil hope in you that you can get a hair transplant if you have psoriasis, although it might not always be the case.
Some other conditions make it impossible for the patient to undergo a hair transplant. For instance, a woman who’s breastfeeding is not recommended a hair transplant since the anaesthesia and medications can impact the baby when the mother’s breastfeeding. Similarly, women who are pregnant are also recommended against having the surgery. The whole process can take a toll on the body of the woman. Moreover, she’s naturally losing her hair during the pregnancy due to hormonal changes, which is why it’s better to wait till after childbirth. People with HIV and Hepatitis C also should not undergo a hair transplant due to lower success rate.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disorder in which red, flaky patches form on the body of the person with a scaly, silvery appearance. The size of the patches doesn’t always have to be large. They can be small and appear on the elbows, scalp, knees, low back, torso, legs and other areas of the body. A person can develop these patches in their childhood. However, it usually develops when the age is less than 35. The condition doesn’t always persist. It can come and go from time to time.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune cells start attacking the healthy cells. What happens in psoriasis is that there is a build-up of skin cells. Skin cells turnover takes around 28-40 days. However, in the case of psoriasis, skin cell turnover takes 7 days. This results in the formation of crusty, red patches. The disorder can run in the family.
Many things can make psoriasis worse, such as showering. Bathing can further dry and irritate the skin that’s already dry and irritated because of psoriasis. Cold weather has the same effect. Other than that, stressful conditions, skin injuries (cuts, scrapes), sunburns, insect bites, throat infections can all act as psoriasis triggers. This is called the Koebner phenomenon.
Are there Different Types of Psoriasis?
There is a type of psoriasis that occurs more commonly on the scalp. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), almost 80% of people who have psoriasis suffer from “plaque psoriasis.” In this condition, the person experiences redness, inflammation accompanied by whitish, silvery scales. This is more commonly seen on the scalp, elbows and knees. Inverse psoriasis generally appears in the skinfolds such as the groin area, armpits, the skin underneath the breasts.
In pustular psoriasis, the patient forms white or yellow pus-filled pustules. This type usually appears on the hands and the feet. According to the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance, around 5% of people suffer from this type of psoriasis. It is likely to develop in those people who smoke, are under stress or had an infection. Rare pustular psoriasis of pregnancy (PPP) can also develop in women who are in their third trimester of pregnancy. It is dangerous for the health of both mother and the baby. It needs immediate treatment.
Although uncommon, there’s another very aggressive, even fatal type of psoriasis, called erythrodermic psoriasis. It can take months for pre-existing psoriasis to turn into erythroderma. People who already have plaque psoriasis are at a greater risk of developing this. The condition can affect the whole body as the skin peels in large sheets. It can be extremely itchy; the heart rate of the person increases with changes in the body temperature. It can result in heart failure. Infection, certain medicines and even sunburn can trigger this.
Is There a Treatment for Psoriasis?
Before treatment comes the diagnosis. For that, you’d need to go to a doctor for a physical examination. You might get a diagnosis through a physical exam, or the doctor might send a small piece of your skin, in a medical test called a biopsy, for testing in a laboratory. This can help the doctor determine the type of psoriasis that the person is suffering from.
Psoriasis is a chronic, lifelong condition. It has no cure. However, there are treatments available for it. Topical treatments including creams, ointments, topical corticosteroids, salicylic acid, and vitamin D analogues are part of treatment for many people with psoriasis. Some people also need to get injections or take oral medications.
Phototherapy or light therapy is also used when a person has moderate to severe psoriasis. The way it works is that it slows down the excessive growth of skin cells. Psoriasis can significantly impact the quality of life of a person. The appearance of the skin can also become a cause for low confidence among individuals with psoriasis. Different treatments can help them better manage their condition.
What Are the Different Phases of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis can come and go. There’s no fixed timeline for this. At one time, psoriasis can flare up, and at another, it can completely go away and clear up, leaving no symptoms behind. This is what’s known as psoriasis remission. You might not experience any symptoms for as long years. However, it can come back at any time.
For instance, some women notice that their psoriasis goes away while they’re pregnant. However, it can come back after childbirth. For some, the experience is different, where their psoriasis gets worse while they’re pregnant.
Having an idea of the triggers of your psoriasis can increase the psoriasis remission time. Smoking, skin injuries, infections, cold weather, prolonged exposure to the sun, and stress can all trigger this skin disorder. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict how long remission will last.
Psoriasis and Hair Transplant: Is That Possible?
People who have scalp psoriasis can easily assume it as an impossibility. But due to psoriasis remission, a hair transplant becomes a possibility for people who have psoriasis. Psoriasis can cause people to temporarily lose their hair, especially as they scratch their head due to itching. Trying to remove the scales can also lead to the breakdown of the hair.
The appearance of the patches can lower the self-esteem of many people. Those who have androgenetic alopecia or are losing their hair due to any other condition find it difficult to cover the different areas of the scalp with the red, inflamed patches. However, there are some tips suggested for scalp psoriasis. To make sure that the scalp doesn’t get dry, a conditioner can help. Similarly, avoid any products that can dry out the scalp. This includes various hair-styling products. Ice packs can also help with irritation on the scalp.
A hair transplant with psoriasis is possible if you’re losing your hair permanently. Only it can take place in the passive phase when the patches have cleared up, and you’re not experiencing any symptoms. One research in which hair transplant surgery was performed on patients with psoriasis, found that proper with “dermatological treatment”, psoriasis will not negatively impact the results of the surgery. Hair transplant cannot treat psoriasis since it is an autoimmune disease that’s inherited.
Psoriasis Hair Transplant Aftercare
In general, follow the aftercare instructions that your surgeon provides. You have to be extra careful in avoiding all those things that can trigger scalp psoriasis, such as infection, itching, smoking, stress, and prolonged sun exposure, etc. Other than that, the surgeon may prescribe you some corticosteroids to avoid a flare-up.
You should also wear sunblock. You might need to use a special shampoo, the usage of which you can discuss with your surgeon. We’ll closely follow your hair transplant psoriasis recovery. If any flare-up occurs, you should inform us. Make sure that you keep your scalp clean at all times.
You’ll be requested to share your pictures with our Aftercare team during your recovery. Our hair transplant surgeons can suggest you see your dermatologist if any psoriasis flare-ups occur. Looking after your transplanted areas well if you suffer from psoriasis is important in maintaining good results.
Hair transplant psoriasis is challenging, but it isn’t impossible. Those who’re dealing with this skin disorder while suffering from hair loss shouldn’t lose hope. You can book a free phone consultation with us right now to discuss your condition with our expert Patient Consultants. We’ll make sure to provide you with the best treatment plan customized to your needs.