Can You Get Eczema On Your Scalp?
In babies, eczema on the scalp is known as cradle cap, and in adults, some people refer to it as dandruff. The most common symptom of seborrheic dermatitis, or eczema of the scalp, is white skin flakes being shed from the scalp. Sometimes the skin will even be inflamed, irritated, and itchy like other forms of eczema.
Eczema on your scalp can be very stubborn and last for years, coming and going with no warning, and even disappear by itself. While this condition can not be completely cured, it can be managed quite effectively. Eczema on the scalp affects almost 5 percent of the population and appears slightly less in women than men.
Scalp Eczema Risk Factors
There are many factors that come into play with eczema. Your hormones, stress, genes, diet, and health issues can all be affected if your scalp develops eczema.
Illnesses that weaken your immune system and allergies can also make you more prone to eczema. Some more factors that are linked to developing scalp eczema are lack of sleep, sweating, stress, greasy hair, dry skin, and irritants.
Symptoms of Scalp Eczema
There are many symptoms that can tell you if you may have scalp eczema.
- Patches of the skin on your scalp become flaky, itchy, and red when suffering from eczema.
- Other parts of your skin that tend to get oily may also be affected, such as your eyebrows, eyelids, nose, and face.
- Your ear canals can also be affected, which will cause your ear to have fluid discharge.
It is possible that your skin will become blistered, greasy, or waxy. The skin can become infected and may have fluid discharge from the affected areas. Once the skin has healed, it may still have some discoloration.
Tips for Treating Eczema On the Scalp
Eczema cannot be completely cured, but there are a few things that you can do that will help you to manage your symptoms, such as the itchiness and scaliness, and improve your quality of life while living with eczema.
There are treatment methods like creams, gels, and shampoos that can help lessen flare-ups and symptoms. The shampoos that are most effective at combatting scalp eczema usually contain ingredients like salicylic acid, coal tar, ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, or selenium sulfide.
If your eczema is a more mild case, then sometimes sprays, ointments, or antifungal creams can work well to resolve the majority of the issues.
If your case is more severe, then you may try a mild corticosteroid to help calm any inflammation. Your doctor may even prescribe you some topical steroids. Topical steroids tend to help active flare-ups that are itchy, flaking, and red, however, they are not good for long-term use.
If you need something more long-term for your eczema, then your doctor may prescribe you an oral antifungal medicine or a topical drug called calcineurin inhibitors. Calcineurin inhibitors can be used longer than corticosteroids, and they work by suppressing the immune system.
There are a lot of different things that can help if you suffer from scalp eczema. Some people even use natural treatment methods to help their symptoms such as olive oil, aloe vera, and tea tree oil.
Sometimes dietary supplements like vitamins B, D, and A, zinc, probiotics, and omega-3 are effective as well. Things work differently for everyone, so the best method is going to be trial and error to see what works for your skin specifically.
What Causes Dandruff?
So you're dealing with flaking, or maybe you're concerned about how much scratching you've been doing to your scalp. Regardless, dandruff can be a frustrating thing to deal with. Especially if you feel like you're constantly itchy and get tired of sweeping off the flakes taking over your shirt.
When the air dry it's common to notice your flaky scalp getting worse if you suffer from dandruff often.
While the exact cause of your unhappy scalp can be a little tricky to pinpoint, the most common causes include:
1) Seborrheic Dermatitis - a skin condition that is a more severe form of dandruff featuring an oily and irritated scalp.
2) Malassezia - a type of yeast that causes excessive skin cell growth and aggravates the scalp.
3) Contact Dermatitis - this happens when your skin is introduced to an irritant which could mean the products you're using on your scalp is irritating it to the point of making it itchy and red. Try to choose chemical-free shampoos.
4) Lack of Shampooing - If you aren't washing your hair enough, the scalp typically accumulates skin cells and results in itching and flaking.
In addition, certain illnesses can also put people at higher risk for oily hair, which can result in itching. Dandruff is not particular in terms of what age it can become a problem, but men tend to have it more often than women.
Address Your Dry, Itchy Scalp
When you have a dry scalp, it can feel like the worst thing in the world. The persistent urge to itch, and constant 'checking' of your shirt for flakes. Consider addressing the dryness with a moisturizer.
There are a variety of options to address your dry scalp but coconut oil has been a scalp-saver for many people. It includes antibacterial properties, aside from being a great moisturizer, so it may be worth trying; you have nothing to lose, except for maybe the flaking!
Natural Soap for Eczema
We have had customers that used our Honey & Oatmeal eczema bar soap on their scalp and found some relief from their scalp eczema. Our soap contains natural ingredients and was actually created for eczema-prone skin, but has helped many people of all skin types.