What is The Best Shampoo for Psoriasis Sufferers

young woman soaping her head with psoriasis shampooWhen it comes to shampoo for psoriasis, you have a wealth of different options on the market. If you are diving into purchasing shampoo for the first time, we understand that the choice can be a little bit overwhelming. This is why we decided to put together this guide. We wanted to point you to the various shampoos for psoriasis on the market, as well as the pros and cons of each of them. Before that, though, we want to give you a bit of advice on ensuring that the shampoo works for you when treating your psoriasis.

Bathing With Psoriasis Shampoo

Your first consideration should be the type of shampoo that you are using. As you are going to discover later on here, there are several shampoos. Some of them are often touted as the best shampoos for psoriasis, but you really will want to look at the pros and cons of each of them to ensure that what you end up with is something that is going to be incredibly effective for you. My suggestion is to ensure that you stay as natural as possible when you purchase a psoriasis shampoo.

The reason why you want a natural shampoo for your psoriasis is to ensure that you are not adding a ton of chemicals to your head. You must remember that chemicals can cause your condition to flare-up, which is never going to be a good thing. Sure, some natural products may cause a reaction on your scalp, but the chances of this happening are so rare that you don’t really need to think about that too much.

great for all familyIn our opinion, Puriya Scalp Therapy is a Natural shampoo with potent ingredients such as Arnica, Tea Tree, Rosemary and Sage that work synergistically to effectively and naturally promote healthy scalp and hair (16 oz).

About Puriya Scalp Therapy:

  • Ideal for Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • Perfect for all ages and hair types, great treatment for the whole family!
  • Effectively stops scalp itching and flaking
  • Deeply hydrates scalp and hair
  • Completely and gently removes residue and build up
  • Naturally derived ingredients
  • 180-Day money back guarantee
  • Made in USA

Read here customer reviews of Puriya Scalp Therapy.

Most people will shower at least once per day when they are suffering from psoriasis. You can do this. However, you must remember that showering will dry out your scalp. This could potentially make your psoriasis worse. Our suggestion is to shower when you need it. If you do that, then you should be fine. You are not going to be drying your scalp out too much, or at least one would hope not. So, if you notice a build-up of plaque on your scalp then it is probably the right time to shower. Basically, you will want to ensure that you get the balance right as this is really going to help you when it comes to dealing with your psoriasis.

You will also want to ensure that the water that you shower in is not too hot. So, for example, you will want to ensure that that the water is lukewarm. When the shower is too hot, you will be drying out your scalp even further which is going to lead to even more issues that you probably do not want to deal with.

Be gentle on your scalp when you shower too. Do not scrub too hard or you will be making the problem worse by irritating the scalp. In addition to this, you will want to ensure that when you are drying your scalp, either let it to naturally dry (this is the preferred option), but if you towel dry then you should be as gentle as possible. You should absolutely avoid using a hairdryer to dry your hair as this is probably going to make the problem worse for you.

Each shampoo will be used in as lightly different way. We will tell you a little bit about that as we go through this page.

Do Coal Tar Shampoos work?

This is probably the oldest type of shampoo used to treat psoriasis. It has been kicking around for 100 years or so. It can be very effective, although it does have some downsides. We are going to talk about a few of those downsides in a short while.

Coal tar, as the name suggests, is made from tar. This means it is thick and black. Nobody actually knows how it works, we just know that it can work to help combat psoriasis. In fact, it is very effective in that area. It can help to reduce the following:

  • Scaling
  • Hardening
  • Thickening of the skin on your scalp.

In addition to this, it will slow down the rate at which the skin cells grow which, ultimately, will make your skin so much healthier. If you are suffering from inflammation in your scalp then there is even a chance that the coal tar shampoo will reduce it. This, ultimately, will reduce the itching associated with the inflammation. This is often going to be instant relief for you.

In our opinion, there are three very good shampoos available from Amazon:

1. PsoriaTrax 25% Coal Tar Solution (Equivalent to 5% Coal Tar), 12 oz bottles.

About PsoriaTrax:

  • 5% Coal Tar, Maximum strength for controlling the symptoms of Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • Most effective psoriasis shampoo on the market
  • Clears plaque psoriasis faster than any other coal tar shampoo
  • Use 3-4 times a week until symptoms disappear. Usually 5-7 days. Repeat these directions when symptoms return.

Read here customer reviews on Amazon.


2. T/Gel by Neutrogena, Original Formula, 2% Neutar (Equivalent to 0.5% Coal Tar), Pack of 2 8.5 oz bottles.

About the product:

  • Neutrogena T/Gel treats all types of scalp conditions (Psoriasis, Seborrheic dermatitis, Dandruff)
  • T/Gel products are strong enough to relieve itching and flaking for hours after rinsing, but gentle enough for everyday use.
  • Scientific tests prove that the active ingredient in T/GEL Shampoo Original continues to work for hours even after the shampoo is rinsed off.
  • This shampoo helps maintain a healthy scalp and leaves hair clean and manageable.

Read here what customers think about T/Gel.


3. Triton Consumer Products MG 217 Coal Tar Shampoo for Psoriasis, 8 oz bottles. Equivalent to 3% Coal Tar.

About this shampoo:

  • Maximum strength formula
  • Fights irritation, itching, scaling and redness
  • Treats psoriasis, dandruff, and seborrheic dermatitis
  • Helps prevent psoriasis symptom recurrence
  • Slows down production and controls build-up of new scales on scalp
  • Leaves hair clean and manageable with a fresh, pleasant herbal fragrance
  • Contains Coal Tar Solution USP 20% (equivalent to 3% coal tar)

Read here customers feedback on Amazon.

As we mentioned previously; there are a couple of downsides to using coal tar shampoo to treat your psoriasis. The ‘major’ one is that your skin is going to become a lot more sensitive to sunlight. We do not know how well-versed you are in psoriasis triggers, but sensitivity to sunlight is one of the ‘big ones’ here. This means that you may actually end up making your psoriasis a lot worse when you use coal tar shampoo. Always wear sunscreen. Sunburns inflame your skin and can lead to a psoriasis flare.

In addition to this, some coal tar shampoos have an awful smell to it. Even when you are done showering, you are going to have a lingering smell. It is not going to be so bad that people can’t stand to be around you, but it is going to be a touch on the awful side and you may not like it.

Finally; coal tar shampoo is very dark in color. It is absolutely not something that you should be using if you have light colored hair because you are going to end up staining it. If you leave a small amount in your hair, then you will also run the risk of staining the clothes that you are wearing, as well as the towels you are using to dry your scalp.

In order to use coal tar shampoo for psoriasis, you will want to ensure that you leave it in your hair for somewhere between five and ten minutes before you wash it out. You can wash it out with your normal shampoo, although make sure that shampoo is natural. You do not need to cover your whole head with the shampoo, just need to cover the scalp as that is where the psoriasis is.

How Does Salicylic Acid Shampoo Work?

If you have ever suffered from acne, then you will have heard of salicylic acid. It is a compound which can help your body to shift dead skin. This is important because, essentially, the scales that have appeared on your head as a result of your psoriasis will just be dead skin cells. The salicylic acid will help to soften them up which will help you to remove them.

In our opinion, T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo, by Neutrogena is one of the most popular salicylic acid based shampoos on the market. Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (3%).   4.5 oz, 2 Pack

About this product:

  • Contains maximum strength 3% Salicylic Acid
  • Breaks down crusty, flaky scalp build-up
  • Gentle enough for everyday use.
  • Alcohol free. Fragrance free. Color free. Preservative free.
  • T/SAL Therapeutic Shampoo Scalp Build-Up Control is a dermatologist-recommended treatment to clear crusty scalp build-up while relieving itching and flaking associated with severe scalp conditions.

See here what customers say about T/Sal


Using salicylic acid shampoo is easy. You just do it in exactly the same way you would use any other shampoo. You will not be using it every single day, however. Instead, this is a shampoo that you should be using around twice per week. You should not be using the shampoo if you have any sort of open wound on your scalp, or anywhere the shampoo will come into contact with for that matter, as this could lead to severe amounts of pain.

The problem with salicylic acid shampoo is that it can dry out the scalp even more. This will result in even more flaking. In addition to this, since it is an acid it can irritate your skin. This can cause illness. In fact, there are some people who get quite nauseous as a result of the shampoo, which is never going to be a good thing!

Ideally, if you are going to go down the route of salicylic acid shampoo for psoriasis then you will want to ensure that you only use it in the area where the psoriasis is. The risks will go up if you coat your whole scalp.

Is It Safe to Use Shampoo with Steroids?

You will not be able to purchase this directly from your pharmacy. In most cases, you will need a prescription from your doctor. You will only be able to use shampoo with steroids for a few weeks at a time too due to the risks that it poses. Basically, this is going to be given as an absolute last resort.

While it is effective, shampoo with steroids can cause havoc on your head. It could dry out your scalp and cause baldness. It could make the problem a lot worse in some cases.

You should use shampoo with steroids as directed by your doctor. In most cases, you will apply it to your scalp when the hair is dry. You will then leave it in place for fifteen minutes. When the fifteen minutes has passed, wet your hair and wash it out.

The main issue you will run into is getting it on your ears and your face. The skin is very thin here. You really do not wish to run the risk of your body absorbing the steroids. This leads to all sorts of issues. Thankfully, you are unlikely to ever run into a time when you need to use steroids unless your psoriasis is very severe.

Did You Know That…

Psoriasis is a skin condition which can cause itching, flaking and nasty red patches on just about any area of the body. For some, this condition really does rule their lives. They can become withdrawn and have terribly low self-esteem. This is because it can turn up on patches of skin that are visible to other people and if it’s particularly inflamed, people feel it looks unsightly.

Whilst you can use your favorite shampoo for psoriasis, it is worth trying some home remedies. There are many of them out there and whilst not all of them will work for you, if you stick with it you will eventually find methods that work for you. Listed Below is some of the more popular options:

  • Taking Epsom salt baths is really effective and you can relax at the same-time. After you have finished soaking in your bath, try applying some olive oil to the parts of your skin that are especially irritable.
  • Seawater is well-known for its healing properties, after all, why do people visit the Dead Sea? You can get various seawater products you can add to your bath and if you’re lucky enough to live near the sea, try taking a dip as often as you can.
  • Coconut Oil. This has proven to be an effective treatment for several skin conditions, including psoriasis. You could apply the oil directly to the affected skin or ingest it through a number of products.
  • This one may surprise you. All you need is some juice from a bitter gourd mixed with a little lime juice and drink it once a day before you eat. This is not one the fastest of methods in terms of results and it may take up to 4 to 6 months to help your Psoriasis go away. The aim with this remedy is to stick with it and perhaps use it along with Psoriasis shampoos mentioned here.
  • Did you know cabbage leaves can help with Psoriasis? All you have to do is remove the veins, make sure you wash them thoroughly and use them as a compress over the areas of your skin that are affected.
  • Believe it or not sunlight can help because the UV rays contain vitamins that are good for your skin. Do remember, however that you should protect the healthy parts of your skin from the sun and don’t sit in it for too long.
  • A mixture of castor oil and wheat germ oil are also known to help with Psoriasis. Simply mix the two together in a little cup of sunflower oil and use as a lotion.
  • Garlic oil and Aloe Vera gel are also two other options you can use and these can be found at any good herbal store. As with the point above, you can use this as a lotion. 


In addition to the above, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol and quitting smoking can help you to avoid psoriasis.

These are just a few home remedies which together with your shampoo for psoriasis can help you naturally reduce the symptoms of this nasty skin condition and in some cases, make it go away completely.

The one thing you should make sure you do is keep a diary of your flare-ups. This will help you pin-point what’s happened to cause a flare-up. Stress is a known trigger so think about what might have happened recently to make you feel less than relaxed. Perhaps you have had an argument with someone, or you’re more busy than normal with work? Pin-pointing the issue is the first step, once you know the cause; you can set about making sure you get your psoriasis under control.

If you’re at the end of your tether and are totally fed-up with constantly scratching at your scalp and having to brush dandruff away from your clothes, you could try a different shampoo for Psoriasis (see above).

For more useful information please read:

Foods you should eat and avoid with Psoriasis

Home remedies for Psoriasis: Do they work?