If scalp psoriasis is mild, the only symptom may be small scaly patches. But some people develop severe psoriasis, and symptoms may include itching, flaking, and red bumps on the scalp. Some people may even feel a burning sensation on their scalp. Scalp psoriasis may spread beyond the scalp to the ears, neck, and forehead.
Complications from scalp psoriasis may develop if the condition is severe. One possible complication is hair loss. When hair loss occurs, it is usually only temporary.
Hair loss does not stem not from the condition itself. Instead, it tends to occur as a result of picking at the dry patches or from vigorous scratching. If a person scratches excessively, bleeding and infection may result.
Other skin conditions can cause similar symptoms. For example, seborrheic dermatitis causes a patchy, red rash, and this can develop on the scalp.
The condition is common in babies and is referred to as cradle cap. The patches associated with seborrheic dermatitis tend to look greasy or moist, while with scalp psoriasis, the patches are scaly and dry.
Ringworm can also cause a crusty, red rash on the skin and scalp. The rash from ringworm tends to form in the shape of a ring or a circle.