The Common Causes And Treatments For Scalp Eczema

Scalp eczema is a common condition in which you have red and itchy rashes on the scalp. Also, you feel a booze kind of discharge sometimes that then crusts over, and the rashes become kind of scabby.

Eczema occurs due to disturbances in the body’s immune system and sometimes due to a parasite called Sarcaptus. Eczema affects the skin of the body. It can affect not only one place but any part of your body.

Many people don’t realize that eczema can also affect their scalps. If you have Eczema on your scalp, it’s very natural that you might perceive that it’s dandruff or dry flakes occurring because of your shampoo, conditioners, or hair dye.

However, your hair care products can play a role in triggering scalp Eczema, but only sometimes. Whatever may be the reason, it can spoil your daily routine. So why not be careful in advance?

Understanding 3 Common Types of Eczema

Let’s know about the different types of Eczema and their symptoms.

1. Atopic Dermatitis

It can occur due to weather changes and, most commonly, genetics. Weak or damaged skin barrier can also lead to trigger Atopic Dermatitis. While Atopic Dermatitis can affect anyone, children are most likely to have it.

Atopic Eczema comes up early in life, commonly in children between 2 months to 1 year of age. Atopic Eczema in infants mainly affects the face, neck, ears, and trunk. It also appears on the tops of the feet or next to the elbows.

Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis

Take a look at some well-known symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis:-

  • Red Rashes
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Hair fall

2. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition in which you have flaky, scaly, and itchy patches on your scalp. Overgrowth of Malassezia yeast, which is normally found in your skin, also triggers flakes, rashes, and inflammation in your skin.

photo of woman in white spaghetti strap top with her hands in her hair
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Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis

Here are the symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis:-

  • Dandruff
  • Itching
  • Skin peeling
  • Red rashes
  • Flakiness

3. Contact Dermatitis

In simple words, contact dermatitis is a skin rash caused when our skin comes in contact with certain things that trigger irritation. When the skin comes in contact with some irritating substances like soaps, detergents, bleach, etc., the skin cells go weak and damaged, causing rashes and inflammation.

Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of Contact Dermatitis:-

  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Peeling
  • Blisters
  • Dryness
  • Swelling

If you’re still not sure kindly consider consulting with any dermatologist or professional.

6 Common Causes Of Scalp Eczema

Causes of scalp Eczema include weather changes, hormonal changes, stress, harsh chemicals, sweating, etc. Here are the most common causes of scalp Eczema:-

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1. Malassezia Yeast

It is naturally found on the surface of our skin. Overgrowth of Malassezia yeast can also trigger acne, itching, and red bumps on your scalp. People with oily scalps are more likely to have excessive production of Malassezia yeast, which can provoke Seborrheic Dermatitis.

2. Genetics

Studies found that people with a family history of Eczema or other skin-related issues are more susceptible to having the same skin conditions. Their gene mutation can make their skin dry, irritated, and allergic.

3. Hormonal Imbalance

That hormonal imbalance, which occurs during pregnancy, puberty, or certain medical conditions, may act as a trigger for scalp Eczema. Stress hormones are equally likely to trigger an inflammatory reaction and Eczema symptoms.

4. Immune System

Research says that when your immune system reacts to certain triggers, it causes itchy, flaky patches on the skin. A weak immune system can also damage the skin barrier, making the symptoms flare up.

5. Harsh Chemicals

There is a strong connection between harsh chemicals and atopic dermatitis. Chemicals present in your hair care and skin care products might irritate. Shampoos contain a harsh detergent called SLS (Sodium lauryl sulfate), which is an Eczema irritant.

6. Medications

According to research by the National Institute of Health (NIH)(.Gov), Eczema can happen as a side effect of some medications, such as creams, ointments, and topical medicines.

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How To Prevent Scalp Eczema?

You can avoid setting off your Eczema symptoms, if you take care of the following points:

  • Avoid stimulants that worsen symptoms.
  • Do not take long baths.
  • Avoid staying so long in the bathroom, as it can make your skin more dry.
  • Use soaps Carefully
  • Avoid taking bubble baths.
  • Use moisturizer as much as possible.

Medicated Treatments For Scalp Eczema

While Eczema can not be cured permanently, some medicated creams and tablets can help control it. Here’s the list of treatments you can try:-

1. Use Antibiotics

Consult a specialist to control Eczema and get complete treatment. They can suggest antibiotics or topical steroids according to your scalp condition.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Avoid fragmented soaps, shampoos, and hair dyes. Check your hair care products before buying to see if they contain harsh chemicals or not. Visit a dermatologist to get prescribed haircare products that suits you well.

3. Keep The Skin Moisturized

Use natural oils or doctors-prescribed creams to deal with dryness. Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized can speed up the healing process.

5 Easy Home Remedies for Scalp Eczema

Consistently using these home remedies can help you manage Eczema on your scalp and give you a temporary treatment. Here are some home remedies you should try:-

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can manage the production of Malassezia yeast. The antioxidants present in ACV help you to ease inflammation. Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water and apply it on the Eczema-affected area of your scalp.

2. Coconut Oil

The fatty acids and vitamins in coconut oil help reduce sebum production and keep your scalp moisturized. If you have an oily and want to avoid greasiness, then leave the coconut oil on your scalp for just 10-15 mins.

If you have a dry scalp, an overnight treatment will be good for deep nourishment. It can also help reduce dandruff and flaky patches.

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3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most effective essential oils for treating a dry, itchy scalp. One easy way to use it is to add some drops to your shampoo or try a shampoo that already has tea tree oil in it. It can give you a cooling feeling on the scalp. You can also mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil in your hair oil to moisturize your scalp.

4. Aloe Vera

Mix aloe vera gel in your shampoo to make it even more moisturizing. Using it overnight helps you to moisturize and improve hair elasticity. It can help reduce shedding.

5. Manuka Honey

This honey contains powerful antibacterial properties that treat many skin infections. Mix it into tea, or use it topically to heal Eczema.

Lifestyle Changes To Cure Scalp Eczema

Changes in lifestyle, like stress reduction and exercise, will control Eczema symptoms. Here’s how:-

1. Reduce Stress

Make some time every day to do some deep breathing exercises and yoga to manage your stress. You can also go walking, take a soothing bath, or do something that makes you happy.

2. Get Enough Sleep

If you’re suffering from Eczema, you might be tossing and turning on your bed because of itching and burning. Get a good night’s sleep by wearing loose clothes with a comfortable fabric.

3. Keep a Journal

Notice which things are triggering your Eczema symptoms. It can be a fruit, vegetable, drink, or any shampoo or conditioner that you have started using recently. Keep note of those things and try avoiding them as much as you can.

4. Avoid Heat and Sweat

Due to sudden changes in temperature and humidity, the affected area may feel itchy, but you have to be cautious about avoiding scratching it further.

Dietary Changes To Treat Scalp Eczema

There is no such diet made especially for treating scalp Eczema, but avoiding some foods that trigger your symptoms and adding flavonoids instead might help you. Let’s know what foods you should avoid and add to your diet.

1. Foods to Eat

Flavonoids have proved to come in handy to fight skin problems like Eczema and inflammation. Add those vegetables and fruits that contain anti-inflammatory properties to your diet. Here’s the list of foods to add to your diet that help scalp Eczema:-

  • Fatty fish
  • Probiotics fruits
  • Berries
  • Pineapple
  • Manuka honey
  • Bone Broth
  • Vegetables

2. Foods to Avoid

Paying certain attention to the foods that you should avoid can also save you from scalp Eczema. So, if you want to be cautious, take note of the following foods that you should avoid:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Citrus
  • Tomatoes
  • Gluten
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Peanuts
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Talk to a Professional

Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to talk to a dermatologist if you’re not finding comfort. They’ll examine your scalp and suggest treatments and diagnoses according to the severity of your condition.

Scalp Eczema is a condition that makes your scalp itchy, dry, and inflamed. You feel a burning sensation, oozing, skin thickening, and crust all over your scalp. Changing some lifestyle and dietary habits, using chemical or fragrance-free shampoos, and consistently applying medicated creams and home remedies can help treat scalp Eczema.

In most cases, it can be controlled by these minor changes, but kindly consult a dermatologist if you’re not noticing any improvement. Keep your scalp moisturized and yourself hydrated to reduce or prevent dryness, itching, and flaky patches. Notice the things that trigger your symptoms and try avoiding them.

Seek professional advice, as they can suggest diagnosis and treatment according to the severity of your condition.

Last Updated on by Icy Health Editorial Team


Ayushi Jindal
Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology
Dr. Lehri Srivastava

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