Seborrheic Dermatitis, also known as eczema on scalp is a manifestation of itchy, inflamed, flaky, dry, oily, greasy, and red blotches or patches on ones scalp. Being afflicted by eczema on one’s scalp is particularly irritable and uncomfortable, and as such sufferer’s main priority will be how to find a solution. Scalp eczema is an ailment with a wide range or contributing factors and causes, including one’s levels of stress, genetics, their climate, poor health and sensitivity to yeast which is common on the scalp.
What Causes Seborrheic Dermatisis?
The actual trigger for Seborrheic Dermatitis is believed to be caused by an overproduction of the natural oils secreted by sebaceous glands in the scalp, which are known as sebum. The greasy scaly patches of skin that this often causes can promote the overgrowth of the skin fungus Malassezia which can in turn also worsen one’s symptoms of dandruff. What actually triggers the itchy sensation on the scalp is not clearly understood by medical professionals, but as stated previously is hypothesized that changes in one’s climate or changing weather conditions, elevated levels of stress, and one’s genes and family history of itchy scalp are all factors in the itching of eczema on scalp.
It is widely known that those with weak or impaired immune systems are particularly vulnerable to Seborrheic Dermatitis, and as such instances of it are particularly elevated amongst those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Scalp eczema can strike people of any age or gender. Babies often get a similar inflammation of the skin, known as “cradle scalp”. It should be worth noting that eczema on scalp can spread to other parts of one’s body and that other skin conditions, such as allergic contact dermatitis and psoriasis may cause similar itchy scalp symptoms to eczema on scalp.
How Can I Treat Seborrheic Dermatisis?
Treat eczema on scalp and cradle scalp in your infants by applying baby shampoo to their hair as one normally does before proceeding to loosen the offending itchy scales with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush. The pediatrician that treats your infant may choose to prescribe corticosteroid cream or topical antifungal cream for those severe cases of eczema on scalp where it spreads to other parts of the body.
Alternative Treatments for Eczema
An alternative treatment for eczema on scalp which is better suited to adults is using olive oil. Olive oil can be utilized to loosen and subsequently remove the itchy scales on the scalp by applying warmed olive oil directly onto the scalp. One must then leave the warmed olive oil on the scalp for approximately one hour before washing it out with shampoo, preferably a mild one. Once the remaining olive oil has been washed away, brush away any and all remaining eczema on scalp scales with a brush.
While these are not direct solutions per se, there are steps one can take in “damage control” to lessen the irritation of one’s symptoms. Try to avoid taking long and hot baths and or showers because these often dry one’s skin to the point where an increase in itching can occur, and a general aggravation of the symptoms of eczema on scalp. In order to further prevent further aggravating one’s symptoms, it is also advisable to be avoid harsh hair products, soaps and shampoos as well as any hair products of any kind that contain fragrances and or alcohol as these also dry one’s skin and can increase one’s scalp irritation.
Try to keep your skin nice and cool to prevent itching and other forms of irritation. This means that is also recommended that if you are suffering from eczema on scalp you should limit partaking in any activities that make you sweaty and hot such as sports or working out. When you do, make sure to remember to shower your scalp with lukewarm water as soon after exercising as possible. Apply moisturizing cream or ointment to those scaly, flakey, dry, itchy or irritated areas to help to soothe the afflicted skin. Also keep in mind that oil-based moisturizers are considerably more effective at treating dry skin and eczema on scalp affected skin than water-based moisturizers.
Corticosteroid medications are yet another treatment for eczema on scalp. These, as well as topical immune-modifying medications have been very successful at curing scalp itching, particularly when used in combination with orally ingested antihistamines.
One can also take oral antibiotics to treat their scalp infections, which should be reserved for the more severe instances on eczema on scalp.
Treatment Varies According to the Cause of Eczema
If one is suffering from a persistent case of eczema on their scalp, which is often the case with those with a family history of eczema, undergoing phototherapy is an option. Eczema can sometimes be triggered by an exaggerated immune response, and supposedly exposure to certain UV light wavelengths can stabilize one’s immune functioning. UV radiation is exposed to the scalp for a period of time during phototherapy in order to accomplish this.
Eczema on scalp may also be triggered by an undiagnosed allergy, and as such visiting an allergist is highly recommended should other treatment methods fail. Allergies to nuts, dairy and shellfish in particular are known to trigger Seborrheic Dermatitis. Allergies to one’s environment are also known to trigger and to aggravate eczema on scalp. Taking prescribed allergy medications or an antihistamine will reduce one’s symptoms in such a case.
Always call your doctor immediately should you begin to notice signs of an infection, which includes contracting a fever, experiencing warmth and redness on the scalp, or blisters or pus-filled bumps on or near active eczema patches. Teenagers and children are at the greatest risk of contracting skin infections, simply because they are more predisposed to scratching the itchy areas which can lead to ruptures in their skin which can be contaminated by bacteria.
Seborrheic Dermatitis or eczema on scalp not only has a wide variety of causes but also a tremendous variety of solutions. Those suffering from scalp eczema must take care to ensure that they took the appropriate responses to preventing and treating scalp eczema and its irritating associated symptoms.