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.
Scalp Eczema Vs Dandruff
Dandruff is a common skin condition with symptoms limited to the scalp, hairline, eyebrows, and facial hair.
It can result in an itchy scalp or scaly, crusty patches on the skin that flake off when they are scratched.
In general, dandruff causes small, dry flakes, but not the thick, greasy patches and flakes of scalp eczema.
However, there is some overlap.
Most dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, but occasionally, irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, or other skin conditions like ringworm or psoriasis cause similar symptoms.
Precautions When Treating Seborrheic Dermatitis
Experts warn that because dermatitis tends to be chronic, patients should be made aware that seborrheic dermatitis is usually recurrent and that the condition may cause outbreaks of symptoms from time to time even after successful treatment. Rather than simply assuming your symptoms indicate seborrheic dermatitis, its important to visit a dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis, since this helps with treatment.
Your doctor will be able to make a differential diagnosis between seborrheic dermatitis and other conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, Demodex dermatitis, atopic eczema, pityriasis versicolor, contact dermatitis and tinea infections. Knowing the specific type of skin condition you have, as well as what the underlying causes are, will keep symptoms from worsening or causing other untreated immune reactions.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Itchy white flakes of skin on your scalp . When scratched, the flakes come loose, mix in with your hair, or fall onto your neck and shoulders.
- Red scales on your skin.
- Crusty yellow scales on infants heads . Cradle cap shouldnt itch, but scratching may cause additional inflammation in the area and break the skin, leading to bleeding or mild infections.
- Pinkish plaques of scales on both sides of your face.
- Flaky patches on your chest and at your hairline that are shaped like a flower petal or a ring.
- Redness in the folds and creases of your genitals, armpits and beneath your breasts.
- Inflamed hair follicles on your cheeks and the upper half of your trunk.
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Diy Ways To Treat Scalp Eczema
Having the urge to scratch your scalp constantly is not only annoying, its distracting to those around you.
An itchy scalp could mean several things: scalp eczema or dandruff among other conditions. To know for sure, youll want to visit a dermatologist.
If youre looking to treat your scalp eczema at home using natural remedies, here are 5 DIY methods to try:
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Treatments For Cradle Cap
Cradle cap refers to seborrheic dermatitis that affects the scalp of infants within the age of 3 months. While medications are not recommended, the following treatments can help the condition:
- Gentle oil massage can loosen the crusty flakes on your childs scalp.
- This can be followed by a mild baby shampoo once a day to clear off residues.
- For severe cases of cradle cap your pedestrian can prescribe a low-dose Antifungal cream or a mild topical hydrocortisone.
Ginger For Scalp Psoriasis
What You Have To Do
How Often You Should Do This
Repeat this once or twice a week.
Why This Works
Shea butter is full of rich triglycerides that deeply condition and moisturize the scalp. Dead, flaky skin will be easily shed and the skin will be left supple and hydrated. This butter extracted from the nuts of the shea tree is also rich in vitamin A and vitamin E. It can be used for the treatment of scalp psoriasis and also general psoriasis patches on the rest of the body .
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How Is Seborrheic Dermatitis Diagnosed
Seborrheic dermatitis is an easy condition to diagnosis because of its appearance on the affected skin and where it appears on your body. No blood, urine or allergy tests are needed. Your dermatologist may perform a skin biopsy to rule out other diseases if your condition does not respond to treatment.
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Soften Scales With A Salicylic Acid
In mild to moderate scalp psoriasis, silvery scales can develop on the scalp. Some people might also experience thicker plaque-like scales. To treat, Garshick recommends using salicylic acid. “Salicylic acid acts as a keratolytic to help soften the scales and decrease the thickness of the plaques. Salicylic acid-based products, also known as scale softeners, are generally best to help soften and eliminate the scales,” she says. She adds that “daily washing of the hair can help to eliminate some of the dead skin.”
You can also leave the salicylic-based product on to let it penetrate deep in areas where thicker plaques persist. Let it sit for up to 10 minutes before rinsing. If this proves ineffective in breaking down the scales, a board-certified dermatologist can prescribe a stronger concentration of salicylic acid for relief.
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Oatmeal Helps Fight Inflammation
Oatmeal isnt just a great breakfast option its a major skin soother. An oatmeal bath is a popular at-home treatment for alleviating the itch and pain of rashes caused by poison ivy, chicken pox, and sunburn.
Oatmeal can also help with inflammation associated with scalp psoriasis, says Jennifer Burns, NMD, a naturopathic doctor and founder of the Burns Integrative Wellness Center in Phoenix.
Mix uncooked oatmeal with water, adding a few drops of olive oil. Smooth the paste on your scalp and leave it on for at least 10 minutes. Rinse, shampoo, then condition.
Remedies And Treatments For Dry Scalp
When it comes to treating dry scalp, the remedies will vary depending on the root cause of the condition. Once youâve received a diagnosis from a physician, they can determine the best remedy for dry scalp. Below you will find some of the most common dry scalp remedies along with treatments for related conditions.
If your suspected dry scalp is actually dandruff, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend using one of the following kinds of medicated shampoo:
- Pyrithione zinc shampoos â Contains the agent zinc pyrithione, an antifungal and antibacterial agent
- Salicylic acid shampoos â Helps with healing scales on the scalp
- Ketoconazole shampoos â Kills fungi that are living on your scalp
- Tar-based shampoos â Slows the rate at which scalp skin cells start dying and flaking off
- Selenium sulfide shampoos â Contain antifungal agent to help rid the scalp of fungi
Let your physician know if you begin experiencing any of the following symptoms after trying a recommended product. They can be a sign that you are experiencing an allergic reaction:
- Problems breathing
Your doctor should be able to recommend an alternative product with more effectiveness and fewer side effects. They may also recommend that you try out a steroid lotion.
Scalp Psoriasis Treatment
If scalp psoriasis is causing you to experience dry scalp, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend one of the following treatments:
Scalp Eczema Treatment
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When To Contact A Doctor
Generally, most cases of scalp eczema will resolve using over-the-counter hair shampoos. However, also contact a doctor if you notice:
- itchiness, redness or gray coloration, and swelling in affected areas that worsens
- resistance to regular eczema shampoo
- evidence of bacterial infection, such as the formation of pus or crusting
Otc Medicines For Eczema
Over-the-counter eczema remedies are topical and oral medications you can buy without a prescription. You can find a range of OTC treatments that help with eczema symptoms such as itch, redness, irritation or rash. Other OTC treatments can help prevent flares and assist with sleep when night-time itch is keeping you awake.
Many OTC products are available in both brand-name or generic forms.
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Follow The Steps Above To Help You Stop The Itch
If you cant stop scratching, dont fret! The steps above are what I did to help restore my skin barrier, and stop the scratching that just comes with having eczema.
When you have a healthy skin barrier, flaky, dry, itchy skin will no longer be a problem for you. A healthy skin barrier retains water and moisture more easily, looks plumper and fuller, and has a natural shine and luster!
If youve tried creams and lotions before, and still cant find a way to stop itching, then I hope this article helps you lessen the itch.
Follow the steps above to help you strengthen your skin barrier and fix your skin from the inside out. This is one of the best ways to see long lasting results with your skin and eczema.
Have you experienced skin changes after doing any of the above? Did this article help you know more about how to fight itchiness from within? Leave a comment below and dont forget to share this article with a friend or someone who needs it!
PS: Dont know where to start? Sign up to my free series The Clear Skin Plan !
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What Causes Or Triggers Atopic Dermatitis On The Head
Like Atopic Dermatitis, Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition which is likely also to be genetic and linked to a compromised immune system. Rare in babies and children, Psoriasis most commonly effects adults and appears on the scalp. It is distinctive in appearance with inflamed skin overlaid by silvery scales. In severe cases it can cause hair loss. Find out more in Psoriasis.
Contact Dermatitis is caused by skin reacting to something external that it is, or has been, in contact with. Contact Dermatitis on the scalp is caused by a reaction to the chemicals in some shampoos, hair dyes or other hair grooming products. It may be that you are allergic to those ingredients or that they just irritate your skin.
Though not a skin condition, another common cause of an itchy scalp in children between the ages of three and twelve is head lice. Extremely contagious, lice are easy to treat and, once diagnosed , your pharmacist will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment.
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Risk Factors And Triggers
Although anyone can develop eczema at any age, symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis most often affect infants, or people 30-60 years old.
For adults, scalp eczema can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, exposure to cold or dry air or changing temperatures, certain medications, and exposure to strong fragrances, dyes, or other irritants.
Certain chronic diseases put you at higher risk for developing eczema:
- Wool, polyester, nylon, and nickel
- Hormonal changes
Those who regularly work with chemicals or come into contact with cosmetics, nickel, harsh soaps, fragrances, or poison ivy are also at risk for irritant or allergic contact dermatitis.
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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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How To Help Prevent Scalp Eczema Flare
The severity of seborrheic dermatitis may be lessened by controlling risk factors and triggers, and taking care of the skin.
To manage scalp eczema and help prevent flare-ups, do your best to follow these recommendations:
- Avoid exposure to any suspected irritants and allergens.
- Clean your scalp thoroughly, but avoid drying it out by using only a quarter-sized dollop of a gentle shampoo and warm, never hot, water.
- Manage stress well.
- Shampoo your hair after sweating heavily, such as after a workout, since perspiration can be a trigger.
Scalp eczema often responds to treatment, but it also often returns. For some people, exposure to the sun may improve symptoms.
Be on the lookout for signs of a flare-up and start treatment right away.
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How Do I Know If I Have Atopic Dermatitis On My Scalp
If you or your child have red, itchy skin on your head and already experience Atopic Dermatitis on other areas of your body then it is likely that the symptoms on your scalp are linked. Atopic Dermatitis is especially common in babies and children but many adults have it too. You can find out more in Atopic Dermatitis and babies, Atopic Dermatitis and children and Atopic Dermatitis and adults.
If you or your child do not have Atopic Dermatitis, then there are several other types of Dermatitis that are also common on the scalp and which present similar symptoms. These include:
A common condition in babies where it is known as Cradle Cap. Thought by many scientist to be a type of fungal infection typical symptoms are thick, crusty, yellowish flakes of skin on the infants scalp, though it can also appear on the eyes and nose. Unlike Atopic Dermatitis, It is rarely itchy. Most children grow out of it as they get older and are normally symptom free by the age of three. You can find out more about Seborrheic Dermatitis in general here.
Seborrheic Dermatitis is thought to be the underlying causes of dandruff in adults. There are two different types: greasy dandruff and dry dandruff . As with Atopic Dermatitis, skin often itchy and looks red. Dry dandruff is much more common in adults than children with up to 50% of the adult population suffering for it at some time. Read more about it in Dandruff.
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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:
Make A Homemade Natural Remedy
Youre going to use coconut oil and other essential oils to make this homemade recipe. Coconut oil alone contains fatty acids with high levels of antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. The oil helps reduce fungus, excess yeast, and microbes that can cause scalp dryness, irritation, and excessive oil. To make the natural remedy, simply combine four ounces of coconut oil, one teaspoon of honey, six drops of tea tree oil, eight drops of rosemary oil, and eight drops of cedarwood oil together.
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Whats 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.
What Foods Trigger Seborrheic Dermatitis
While there is a lack of medical research stating a certain type of diet as a trigger factor for seborrheic dermatitis, the elimination of yeast/mold-based diets can benefit those with the condition.
Hence, it is advisable to avoid the following foods to prevent triggering your seborrheic dermatitis:
- Fried foods coated with breading
Also fatty, sugary, oily items and dairy products should be avoided as per Ayurveda.
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How To Get Rid Of Dandruff
Follow these lifestyle tips to ease or prevent an itchy scalp:
- Reduce stress. Believe it or not, your mental health affects your physical health. Stress can make your dandruff symptoms worse.
- Eat a healthy diet. A diet filled with zinc, B vitamins, and certain fats may prevent dandruff.
- Keep your hair clean. Gently shampoo at least daily to avoid an oily scalp. Try to cut back on hair styling products.
Several medicated shampoos are available over the counter. Different ones fight itchy scalp caused by dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis. What they do depends on which ones you buy. So, before you buy one, check to see if it contains any of the following:
- Zinc pyrithione, which is both antibacterial and antifungal
- Selenium sulfide, an antifungal medication
- Salicylic acid, an agent that rids the scalp of scales
- Ketoconazole, an antifungal medication
- Coal tar, which slows down the rate at which skin cells die and flake off
See your doctor if your scalp continues to itch after you try these home remedies or if:
- You cant sleep or work because of the itching.
- You see lice in your hair.
- Itchy spots are sore to the touch.
Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical ResearchComplementary Medicine Research