Can Hair Transplant performed on scalp psoriasis patients

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Hair Transplant is quite popular all across the world as the most effective hair restoration method with natural appearance. But, there are various challenges faced by surgeons performing hair transplant. One of such challenges is Psoriasis. It is a chronic and long-term skin condition that is most likely associated with a genetic predisposition. Although it is possible to perform hair transplant, there are still some risks that potential patients are required to be aware of, before undergoing a hair transplant surgery. For example: New lesions can develop after the hair transplant, which have to be treated before they lead to larger issues.

What is psoriasis 

Psoriasis is skin diseases with red scaly patches. Usually it is found on the elbows,  knees and scalp area, but it can appear on any other body common body parts which attribute to friction and rubbing. In scalp, Psoriasis appears as dry flakes or severe dandruff on reddish skin. 

Scalp Psoriasis and Hair loss:

Hair loss can happen due to scalp Psoriasis. The scalp psoriasis generates the intense itchiness in the scalp area and may also cause stress leading to hair fall. If a person itches the psoriasis area in the scalp, it can cause infection and hair loss.

Scalp psoriasis and hair transplant

Having psoriasis is not a criteria that will affect your candidacy for hair transplantation through FUE.  While it is still possible to undergo surgery, there are certain risks that potential patients need to be aware of.

Psoriasis can cause a phenomenon known as koebnerization. This is when new psoriatic lesions can develop on the skin due to trauma. Typically, the areas of the body which are most at risk include the elbows and knees which are more at risk for low impact injury.

Surgical wounds, like those created during FUT (Strip surgery) have higher chances of koebenerization as compared to Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) but overall the chances are minimal with inactive disease. Those having recent disease activity should receive treatment to control psoriasis first before going in for transplant.

Other triggers for koebnerization can include:

  • sunburns
  • allergic reactions due to medications
  • itching and scratching from dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis

Koebnerization can also occur with other skin conditions such as: vitiligo, lupus, and lichen planus.

Patients must also be aware of certain triggers which can initiate or worsen psoriasis flare ups. Here are a few examples:

(1) scratching/ itching of the skin

(2) stress and anxiety

(3) infections

(4) certain forms of medication

(5) excessive exposure to sunlight

(6) smoking

(7) alcohol

Following the Hair transplant the scalp must be kept as clean as possible. Special shampoo and lotions might be recommended in some cases. At DERMACLINIX we have done hair transplant in many cases of psoriasis without any difficulty but the treatment needs to be indivizualized.

Article by
India Dermatologist