Does Scalp Eczema Cause Hair Loss
Although scalp eczema or seborrheic dermatitis is not a direct cause of hair loss, itching and scratching can injure the scalp while damaging hair follicles. This, in turn, leads to brittle hair, resulting in some amount of hair fall and hair loss.
Scalp eczema is chronic and may last for years, but it is possible to manage your symptoms effectively. While home remedies are a boon for some, it is strongly advisable to consult your doctor to identify the nature of your scalp eczema and follow a suitable course of action.
How Is Seborrhoeic Dermatitis Treated
In infants, seborrheic dermatitis and cradle cap usually clear naturally within 6 to 12 months, but seborrhoeic dermatitis that appears during adolescence or adulthood can be a long-term condition, which may flare up from time to time.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis can often be managed effectively at home with over-the-counter treatments, including anti-dandruff shampoos when the scalp is affected. Crusting yellow sores, often found on infants with cradle cap, can be removed by softening them with baby shampoo or baby oil and warm water, and then gently wiping with a cotton bud, soft toothbrush or cloth. Sometimes the skin underneath the cradle cap can become infected. If the cradle cap isnt getting better or spreads to other parts of the body, speak to your doctor, local chemist or Maternal and Child Health Nurse.
For other areas, anti-fungal or corticosteroid creams may relieve symptoms. An exfoliating body or face wash containing salicylic acid may also help remove flaking skin. Treatments may need to be used frequently initially, and then occasionally when symptoms reappear.
Ask for help if symptoms persist, or if you experience a sudden increase in the severity of your symptoms, increased discomfort, or if your condition is causing anxiety or embarrassment, or if its interfering with your daily routine.
You can speak to your pharmacist or your doctor who may in a few cases refer you to a dermatologist.
Scalp Eczema Scalp Dermatitis Scalp Psoriasis Or Dandruff: In Conclusion
Although you already have an idea of how different these four scalp conditions are, its always best to consult a doctor to be 100% sure. Theyre easy to treat at home during the initial stage, but severe and chronic cases require prescription topicals, oral medications, or injectables and other medical-grade treatment methods.
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When You Need To Call A Doctor For Scalp Eczema
If you have tried a number of different treatments and theyre not proving to be effective, or you suspect that your skin is infected, then you should speak to your doctor. They may provide stronger prescription medication for you, or refer you to a dermatologist for expert advice on skin conditions.
You should also see your doctor if your condition is causing you anxiety, embarrassment, trouble sleeping or stopping you from continuing with everyday life.
What Is Scalp Dermatitis
Scalp dermatitis is a wide-ranging condition, according to Dr. Shani Francis, a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in hair loss.
“Scalp dermatitis is a very broad condition, and it has several diagnoses that are very common, and some rare diagnoses,” Francis said.
There are several different kinds of dermatitis, each caused by different factors and requiring different treatments. Seborrheic dermatitis can cause scaly patches, red skin and stubborn dandruff, while contact dermatitis typically occurs in a particular area, in response to an allergen or irritant. Other, less common types of scalp dermatitis can be caused by infections or even internal illnesses like cancer, according to Francis.
“Dermatitis is something you shouldn’t blow off,” Francis said. “It’s usually something that could be harmless, but there are also rare things that can present on the scalp that definitely need to be diagnosed by a board-certified dermatologist.”
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What Are The Symptoms Of Scalp Eczema
Symptoms of scalp eczema can vary depending on your age, general health, underlying cause, and severity of the condition. For some, the disease is just a mild nuisance.
For others, it can cause significant symptoms that interfere with daily life.
Depending on the condition causing their symptoms, people with scalp eczema often experience:
- Greasy patches of thick, yellow, pink, or red scales
- Flaky skin, or scales that flake off when they are scratched
- Crusty skin
- Blisters or bumpy rash
Scalp eczema may not be limited to the scalp.
Symptoms may appear on the head or hairline, on the sides of the nose and cheeks, on the eyelids, eyebrows, ears, upper chest and back, genitals, and underneath the breasts.
An infant with cradle cap may have symptoms on their scalp, face, upper chest, back, and sometimes in the diaper area or armpits.
People who have weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe cases, with symptoms of eczema appearing on multiple parts of their body.
What’s The Bottom Line With My Personal Skin Care Routine For Eczema
Youll notice that my products sound custom designed for someone with dry sensitive eczema-prone skin – like me. Youre right! I, like my patients and so many others, need exactly this mindful level of skin care.
I am a dermatologist who knows sensitive skin from the inside out. Add to that my 35+ years caring for people with the same problem but unique product preferences and lifestyles and I’ve had a lot of experience solving sensitive skin problems. Dry sensitive skin is common – over 60-70% of women and 50-60% of men have it – this is skin care for us!
Hanifin JM, Reed ML Eczema Prevalence and Impact Working Group. A population-based survey of eczema prevalence in the United States. Dermatitis. 2007 Jun 18:82-91. doi: 10.2310/6620.2007.06034. PMID: 17498413. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17498413/
Thomsen SF. Epidemiology and natural history of atopic diseases. Eur Clin Respir J. 2015 2:10.3402/ecrj.v2.24642. Published 2015 Mar 24. doi:10.3402/ecrj.v2.24642
Farage MA. The Prevalence of Sensitive Skin. Front Med . 2019 6:98. Published 2019 May 17. doi:10.3389/fmed.2019.00098
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Scalp Eczema: Symptoms Causes And Treatments
Scalp eczema is a form of eczema that affects up to 5 percent of the general population. Eczema of the scalp can show up in babies as young as 3 weeks old, when it may be referred to as cradle cap. Cradle cap can affect up to 70 percent of young infants. Although many infants and children outgrow scalp eczema, it can reappear during puberty and linger into adulthood.
This article will discuss the different types of eczema, the symptoms of scalp eczema, potential causes, and effective treatments that can help you get your scalp eczema under control.
How Do You Treat Eczema On The Scalp
Eczema is a skin condition that causes dry, itchy, scaly, red skin.
Eczema is a chronic condition that can worsen and also go into periods with no symptoms . Eczema on the scalp is treated with home treatments and medications.
Home treatment for eczema on the scalp includes:
- Moisturizing the scalp
- Apply emollient creams, lotions, or gels, or spray-on oils to the scalp
- Coconut oil or non-fragranced mineral oil
- Petroleum jelly
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When Should One Seek Medical Attention
All three agreed that if symptoms did not lessen after two weeks of over-the-counter treatment, patients should seek professional care. Francis also added that extreme symptoms, like bleeding, pain or hair loss, should be brought to a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Either a primary care physician or a dermatologist can give an initial assessment, but it’s likely that persistent cases will require attention from a dermatologist.
“If you’re not getting better, or it just doesn’t feel right, you should go to a dermatologist,” Francis said. “We have a wide range of options available to treat inflammatory conditions of the scalp.”
Prescription options include antibiotics, topical steroids, non-steroidal topical treatments and injectable drugs.
Can I Dye My Hair If I Have Scalp Eczema
Many hair dyes contain ingredients that may irritate the scalp or cause an allergic reaction. If you want to dye your hair, choose a product that is free of phenylenediamines, ammonia, and hydrogen peroxide. If you already have a flare-up, wait for a few days for it to subside.
Remember to do a patch test before you begin the hair-dyeing process. Deep conditioning your scalp with a hydrating conditioner at least two days before dyeing your hair ensures that the scalp does not become dry and flaky.
Hair does not react to dye, but sensitive scalps do. Consult with your doctor if you want to dye your hair.
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Which One Do You Have
Unsure if the issue is dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis? Check for simple signs. Dandruff will appear as white, oily flakes at the root of the scalp. In most cases, dandruff may not cause itching. So a pharmacist can prescribe a medicated shampoo. However, if the flakes come with scaly patches on the scalp, this could be a sign of seborrheic dermatitis. Red patches around the nose and oily, tender skin are other early signs. Some cases may need stronger treatment like a corticosteroid. Seek help immediately if these symptoms pop up.
What’s The Difference Between Seborrheic Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can mimic each other. Both are patches of red skin with flakes. Both can be found on your scalp and back.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease that affects 2% to 4% of the population. The scales of psoriasis are often thicker than that of seborrheic dermatitis. The edges of those scales are very well-defined. On the scalp, psoriasis scales are closer to a silver color than white or yellow.
There is a condition called sebopsoriasis where seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis overlap. In that case you have the symptoms of both: both white flakes and silver flakes, both on the scalp or back, both itchy.
If youre concerned about whether you have psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, consult your healthcare provider. Treatment for one may not work as treatment for the other.
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What Should You Do
If you have successfully identified the triggering agent, such as a hair dye for example, simply avoid any hair dyes containing the same allergen in order to prevent future allergic reactions. The same allergen, however, can be found in various products, which can make total avoidance difficult. A dermato-allergologist will be able to advise you on how to track down and avoid the allergen. The consultation will include several questions on your habits as well as allergy tests .
Finding The Right Hair Stylist
One of the first things I would check in with when choosing a hairdresser is if they have worked with clients with sensitive skin before. This is something that you can contact them about ahead of time through email or over the phone just make sure that they are someone who can work with you and be very cognizant of avoiding harsh chemicals and processing as much as possible. To a degree, there will be some irritation no matter what because we need to strip some of the proteins in your hair to get it light enough to show the hair dye as truly as possible. So it’s not completely without some level of discomfort, but it can be greatly minimized if your hairdresser is willing to work with you.
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What Is Scalp Psoriasis
The hallmark of this condition is the appearance of purplish or silvery-red scaly patches or plaques with well-defined edges or borders. These can also spread or extend to the forehead, hairline, nape, and back of the ears.
Scalp psoriasis can also manifest yellow or white flakes, itchiness, dryness, and burning sensation. Some may also experience bleeding and temporary hair loss due to frequent and harsh scratching.
The Top Medications For Treating Eczema On Your Scalp
There is no cure for scalp eczema or seborrheic dermatitis, but medications can help reduce and prevent symptoms.
For example, you can usually treat irritation and an itchy scalp with a medicated, over-the-counter dandruff shampoo.
The chemical ingredients in these shampoos can help ease the inflammation and get rid of flaky, scaly skin when used two or three times a week. Look for these items:
Topical creams, ointments, or sprays made from these ingredients can also be applied to help calm the irritation and stop the flaking.
If you have severe scalp eczema, your doctor may prescribe products containing stronger doses of the aforementioned medicines or medicines containing other ingredients, such as corticosteroids, ciclopirox, sulfacetamide sodium, Protopic , or Elidel .
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What To Do About Hair Loss
No matter how much or how little hair you’ve lost, you have options. You dont have to live with thinning hair or bald patches. At Hair Club, we understand that its about more than just your hair. Its about matching your outside to who you are inside. Thats why we offer a comprehensive suite of proven solutions that can help men and women of any age with any level of hair loss.
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What Can Be Done To Treat Scalp Dermatitis At Home
For many, home remedies might be the first step towards treating scalp dermatitis. According to Dr. Hooman Khorasani, the chief of the division of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the most common over-the-counter solution is a shampoo with selenium sulfide, a medication that can treat dandruff and some scalp infections. The medication can be found in shampoos like Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue and others.
“The important thing that people need to know is that you have to leave the shampoo on for usually five or six minutes so it actually works,” Khorasani said. “Especially when you have dermatitis, there’s a thick layer of dead skin, and it’s hard for the medications to kind of penetrate that layer… Anything with selenium sulfide has the ability to take care of it, but the key is to leave it for at least five minutes before rinsing it off.”
Natural remedies like tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar can be used to treat scalp dermatitis, Wattenberg said. Francis added there are also herbal treatments available for those looking to avoid traditional medication. Depending on the type of scalp dermatitis, these topical remedies may not eliminate the root cause.
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What Treatment Options Are Available
Treatments for scalp eczema will vary based on the type you have. You may be able to treat it at home with different hygiene practices and by changing hair products, or you may need to see a doctor to clear up and manage your symptoms.
Keep in mind that seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis can be lifelong conditions. Contact dermatitis should go away once you remove the element causing your symptoms.
Do Not Scratch The Itchy Patches
It is difficult to keep yourself from scratching especially when your scalp feels itchy. However, if you want to get rid of eczema on scalp fast, you have to refrain from the temptation to scratch the itchy patches. Every time you feel like scratching your scalp, try to find something else to do. Scratching the affected areas not only cause irritation, it can lead to bleeding. You can also develop secondary infections when you scratch your scalp excessively. You should also resist the urge to touch your scalp to prevent infection.
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