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How To Tell If You Have Eczema On Your Scalp

Scalp Eczema Vs Dandruff

How To Treat Your Scalp Condition || Seborrheic Dermatitis, Dry Scalp, Eczema.

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.

How Is Seborrheic Dermatitis Treated

In teenagers and adults, seborrheic dermatitis usually doesnt disappear on its own without treatment. Type of treatment depends on the area of the body that is affected and how severe your condition is.

The goal of treatment is to reduce the visible signs of seborrheic dermatitis and itching and redness. Treatment includes use of over-the-counter products and prescription products. Prescription products include topical antifungals, calcineurin inhibitors and corticosteroids. Ongoing maintenance treatment is often needed. You may need to use a combination of these treatments:

Scalp Treatment

  • Cradle cap usually clears up without treatment when the child is between eight and 12 months old. It may be treated daily with a mild baby shampoo.
  • Massage or brush the scalp with a soft brush several times a day and after each shampoo. Be careful not to cause a break in the skin, which can lead to infection.
  • If the problem continues, or the baby seems uncomfortable and scratches the scalp, contact your pediatrician or dermatologist. He or she may prescribe a prescription shampoo or lotion.
  • Other areas of affected skin may be treated with a gentle steroid lotion.

Adolescents and adults:

For moderate to severe cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe a shampoo containing betamethasone valerate , clobetasol , fluocinolone or fluocinolone solution . Shampoo your hair as directed. Some products are used daily, others are used twice daily for two weeks then two times a week.

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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When To Seek Medical Advice

You should see your GP or pharmacist if you think you may have discoid eczema, as the condition can take a long time to improve without treatment and it may keep recurring.

You should also seek medical advice if you think your skin may be infected, as you may need to use antibiotic cream or, in very severe cases, take antibiotics tablets.

There are many different preparations for each type of medication and it is worth taking time with your pharmacist to find the best one for you.

A range of emollient products, soap substitutes and some topical corticosteroids can be bought from pharmacies without a prescription. Some of them are cheaper to buy this way than with a prescription.

Ask your pharmacist for advice on the different products and how to use them. See your GP if your eczema does not improve after using an over-the-counter preparation.

How Do I Take Care Of Myself

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If you have seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, you can try some of the over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. If one shampoo doesnt work, look at the active ingredient and try another product with a different active ingredient . Shampoos should remain on your scalp for at least five minutes before rinsing off.

If you think you have seborrheic dermatitis on your face or body, see your healthcare provider or dermatologist. They will examine you to determine the extent and severity of your condition. You will work together to develop the best treatment approach to get your condition under control and manage flare-ups. Follow all instructions and never hesitate to call your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.

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These Are The 7 Types Of Eczema And Heres How To Tell Which One You Have

There are more than 31 million Americans with eczema, and yet no two patients experience the condition the exact same way. How is this possible? We know there are seven different types of eczema, but what makes each of them unique? We spoke with Dr. Peter Lio, assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University, and Dr. Jeff Yu, an expert in contact dermatitis at Massachusetts General Hospital, to get the details on the underlying similarities and differences between the seven different types of eczema.

What Causes Atopic Dermatitis On The Scalp

Atopic dermatitis is generally a complex condition with a variety of causes and risk factors, says Dr. Engleman. It’s often genetically inherited, she says, so if your mom or dad have it, you’re more likely to develop it too. Eczema also seems to be influenced by something called the atopic triad, she saysseasonal allergies, asthma, and eczema. People with eczema also often have genetic mutations that affect how effective their skin barrier is at protecting you from germs, irritants, and other pathogens, she adds.

No matter the cause, the end result is that people with eczema have super sensitive skin that overreacts to things that aren’t supposed to be irritating, says Dr. Engleman. In the case of the scalp, the eczema flareup just happens to occur on the scalp. Having an existing flare-up of eczema affecting large parts of your body can potentially eventually involve the scalp, according to Dr. Guttman-Yasky says.

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Scalp Eczema Vs Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp eczema and scalp psoriasis can look very similar, but a trained dermatologist or other healthcare provider will be able to tell the difference and suggest the correct treatment.

It sometimes requires a skin biopsy to tell the difference.

Patients with both conditions can have red, scaly skin, but those with psoriasis have thicker, drier skin, and silvery scales.

People with psoriasis may experience soreness or pain as a part of their condition, and may find that their skin is more challenging to treat than those with eczema.

Tips For Reducing Outbreaks

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Here are a few ways to prevent eczema flare-ups and manage symptoms:

  • Apply cool compresses to your skin, or take a colloidal oatmeal or baking soda bath to relieve the itch.
  • Moisturize your skin daily with a rich, oil-based cream or ointment to form a protective barrier against the elements. Apply the cream right after you get out of the shower or bath to seal in moisture.
  • After you bathe, gently blot your skin with a soft towel. Never rub.
  • Avoid scratching. You could cause an infection.
  • Use fragrance-free detergents, cleansers, makeup, and other skin care products.
  • Wear gloves and protective clothing whenever you handle chemicals.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes made from soft fibers, like cotton.

You should also avoid any known triggers.

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If You Have Atopic Eczema

If eczema is present on other areas of the body, you may have atopic eczema. However, the scalp is rarely affected by this disease. You will need to ensure that there is no associated allergic eczema.

As a general rule, you should choose products with the fewest ingredients possible in order to reduce the risks of aggravating flare-ups or causing atopic eczema to spread. When choosing a shampoo, be careful to avoid those that contain fragrances or essential oils, as these pose an allergy risk. Organic or natural claims provide no guarantee against allergies.

Conditions They’re Linked To

Eczema usually comes along with dry, sensitive skin. You may have someone in your family who has it or has asthma or hay fever.

Psoriasis is linked to other serious health conditions. If you have it, you may also have diabetes, heart disease, or depression.

Whether it’s psoriasis or eczema, your doctor can recommend ways to get relief for it.

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Seborrheic Dermatitis Is Not Eczema

In infants, this condition is widely known as cradle cap. In adults, it is referred to as seborrheic dermatitis.These patches, which produce dandruff that is often white or yellow, are not eczema. In fact, what you have is inflammation which can also itch. However, the condition is caused by a fungus rather than by an allergic reaction, which is why the term seborrheic eczema is inappropriate.

What Causes Scalp Eczema

LIfescript: What Is Scalp Eczema? Symptoms, Causes ...

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory condition caused by the overproduction of sebum, the natural oils secreted by sebaceous glands in the scalp. It is not contagious.

Because seborrheic dermatitis is a condition related to the sebaceous glands, it can also appear in other oily areas of the skin, including the face , ears, upper chest, upper back, armpits, and genitals.

There is a strong association between seborrheic dermatitis and yeast of the genus Malassezia, which are normally present in the skin but often overgrown in people with the skin condition.

Scientists dont fully understand the exact connection between the yeast and eczema symptoms, but research suggests that a nonspecific immune reaction may be to blame. That is, some interaction between Malassezia, their metabolites , and skin and immune cells results in an inflammatory reaction.

Importantly, once someone becomes sensitized to Malassezia, the yeast will always cause an immune reaction.

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Symptoms Of Eczema On The Scalp

Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of eczema on the scalp:

  • Patches or areas of skin that are dry, scaly or flaky
  • Dandruff on your scalp or in hair
  • The skin may also be greasy or waxy
  • Redness
  • In more extreme circumstances, oozing or weeping lesions
  • Possible discharge from the ear if eczema has affected the ear canal

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then you may want to confirm a diagnosis of eczema with your doctor and start looking into medication that could help with your skin problem.

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 .

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Can You Have More Than One Type Of Eczema At The Same Time

For many patients, the challenging truth is that you can experience more than one type of eczema at the same time. Not only that, you can experience all of the different types of eczema, at different times, throughout the course of your lifetime. Dr. Lio explained that he frequently sees allergic contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis in the same patient. Its very tough to separate them sometimes, he said, but that is why patch testing is so important.

Knowing that each type of eczema has a unique profile, its especially important to connect with a dermatologist who can recognize and diagnose all seven types of eczema. Check out our summary of each type of eczema for more information about symptoms and triggers.

What Causes Discoid Eczema

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The cause of discoid eczema is unknown, although it is often accompanied by dry skin and is thought to be triggered by irritation of the skin.

Discoid eczema tends to affect adults and is rare in children. It is more common among men aged from 50 to 70 and women in their teens or twenties.

Some people with discoid eczema may also have other types of eczema, such as atopic eczema.

Read more about the causes of discoid eczema.

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How To Know If You Have Eczema On Your Scalp

Learn the triggers and treatments for seborrheic dermatitis, a chronic form of eczema that causes red, itchy skin on the upper back, nose or scalp.. If you are experiencing symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor to get the correct .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 (also .Check your scalp itchiness symptoms in real time with our Symptom Checker!. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the. Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, .Check your scalp redness symptoms in real time with our Symptom Checker!. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the. Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, .

Wash Only With Gentle Shampoos And Conditioners

Eczema is often triggered or worsened by irritant or allergic reactions, including reactions to harsh hair- or skin-care products. Its possible for anyone to get this type of reactionwith or without eczema, Dr. Bailey says. But if you do have eczema, you are more susceptible to these reactions and they can trigger your eczema symptoms.

If a hair product might be causing contact dermatitis that worsens your eczema, your doctor will likely recommend that you ditch it and see where that gets you, New York City dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., author of Beyond Beautiful, tells SELF. Theyll likely suggest gentle shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products that wont strip your scalp of moisture or otherwise make your eczema harder to handle.

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Articles On Psoriasis Symptoms

Maybe you’re settling into your easy chair for a little Sunday siesta. Or you’re heading out the door for a day of fun in the sun. Either way, you stop and pause, because you’ve got an itch that just won’t leave you alone — along with blotches of red on your skin. What gives?

Your doctor needs to make the final call, but psoriasis or eczema could be the problem. Both are skin conditions with similar symptoms, but there are ways to tell them apart.

How Is Scalp Eczema Treated

Can You Have Eczema Only On Your Scalp

Despite the fact that scalp eczema cannot be cured, there are ways to manage life with it. The most effective and combative thing to use to fight against scalp eczema is shampoo. If one suffers from this form of eczema, it is highly recommended to use a shampoo with the following ingredients

  • Zinc Pyrithione
  • Ketoconazole
  • Coal tar
  • If the seborrheic eczema is in the mild stages, antifungal creams, sprays, and or ointments are quite effective. These remedies generally have coal tar or corticosteroids in them which help decrease irritation and slowly decrease flaking over time. Sometimes, doctors may find it necessary to prescribe non-corticosteroid medicines in the form of topical drugs that suppress the immune system. The most common one is called calcineurin inhibitors. This can be used for extended periods of time until improvements are seen. In cases of scalp eczema become extremely severe, doctors prescribe oral antifungal medications to provide quicker relief.

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    Living With Seborrheic Dermatitis

    Seborrheic dermatitis is considered chronic. Also, it is a life-long condition. It comes and goes, and it can be controlled with treatment. The negative effects of living with the condition are additional fungal infections and emotional distress. Most people who live with seborrheic dermatitis feel embarrassed and have low self-esteem.

    What Are The Causes Of Seborrheic Dermatitis What Aggravates It

    Researchers arent sure of the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis. They think there may be many causes. Factors that are thought to play a role include:

    • A type of yeast called Malassezia, which is present on everyones skin, but overgrow in some people.
    • An increased level of androgens .
    • An increased level of skin lipids.
    • An inflammatory reaction.
    • Family history .

    Other factors that trigger or worsen seborrheic dermatitis include:

    • Stress.
    • History of other skin disorders, including rosacea, psoriasis and acne.

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    Reasons Your Scalp Itches And How To Get Relief

    When your scalp itches, it can be difficult to think about anything else. You may feel that the itch will never stop, but relief is possible. Getting rid of the itch begins with finding out why your scalp itches. Here are 10 reasons for an itchy scalp along with dermatologists advice on what can bring relief.

  • Dandruff. If your scalp is dry and itchy and you see flakes on your hair or clothing, you may have dandruff.

    How to get relief: If you have dandruff, using a dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments can help. You can find out how to get the best results from these products by watching the short video, How to treat dandruff.


    Dandruff often causes visible flakes on the scalp.

  • Hives. These are red, raised, and very itchy bumps that can form anywhere on the skin, including the scalp. Hives tend to come and go within a few hours. Sometimes, hives go away and come back. If hives come and go for longer than 6 weeks, theyre called chronic hives.How to get relief: Hives often go away on their own, but if theyre long-lasting, treatment can help. Dermatologists frequently treat hives.


    When hives form on the scalp, you’ll often have a rash of itchy red bumps that look like the ones shown here.


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