Scalp eczema can cause all sorts of issues like dry skin, patches, redness and flaky dandruff. This can feel embarrassing and difficult to control for sufferers — especially if they affect a very visible part of your body like your head.
Skin conditions like eczema or scalp psoriasis can affect sufferers in a number of different ways, and in varying degrees of severity. Luckily, there are many different ways you can treat eczema on the scalp and help to prevent its symptoms.
In this guide by The Independent Pharmacy, we’ll be taking a closer look at scalp eczema in particular; including the signs and symptoms, as well as treatments and preventative measures. Read on to find out how best to treat and manage your scalp eczema.
You may also want to read our separate guide on how to deal with eczema on your face.
Scalp eczema is a type of eczema (a common skin condition) that mainly affects your scalp.
The most common type of scalp eczema is known as seborrhoeic eczema. In infants under one, it is known as cradle cap.
Seborrhoeic eczema causes patches of itchy, dry and inflamed skin to form on your scalp, and can sometimes develop on oily areas on the head, such as the sides of the nose, eyebrows and ears.
One of the most noticeable symptoms of scalp eczema is dandruff — sufferers may notice white skin flakes in their hair or on their clothes.
Scalp eczema is usually a long-term skin condition that persists for years (although it may disappear or reappear without warning).
Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of eczema on the scalp:
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.
Although the exact causes of eczema aren’t fully known, there are a number of risk factors and triggers that can increase your risk of developing scalp eczema or exacerbate the condition.
Here are the risk factors of scalp eczema:
Here are the triggers of scalp eczema:
Scalp eczema may also be caused by an overproduction of sebum (a natural oily substance secreted from your skin), which can encourage a natural skin fungus — called Malassezia — to multiply. This fungal overgrowth can cause the scalp to become irritated, which can lead to scalp eczema.
Seborrheic eczema is a chronic skin condition, which means there is no cure. However, there are many different methods for successfully treating eczema on the scalp.
The most common treatments for scalp eczema come under one of the below categories:
For some people, natural or home remedies may sufficiently subdue their scalp eczema. However, over-the-counter or prescription medication tends to be the most successful and effective method of combating scalp eczema symptoms.
Below we’ve listed the main types of scalp eczema medication.
Medicated, over-the-counter shampoos can help to treat milder cases of scalp eczema. Here at The Independent Pharmacy, we offer a range of shampoos that are designed to treat scalp dryness and eczema, including:
These shampoos contain a variety of ingredients that work in different ways to treat eczema symptoms (such as anti-fungal action), so it may take a few attempts to find the right solution for you. Some may also not be suitable for you (for example, if you are fair-haired or pregnant). If in doubt, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist to see which is best for you.
Steroid creams — also called topical corticosteroids — are used to treat moderate and severe cases of scalp eczema. Effective steroid creams for this condition include:
Steroid creams work by reducing swelling, redness and itching during eczema flare-ups.
They do this by blocking the release of inflammatory chemicals that cause the symptoms of severe eczema.
Steroid creams for scalp eczema should only be prescribed by a doctor or registered pharmacist prescriber.
If your scalp eczema is particularly severe or if regular treatment is ineffective, your GP may refer you to a dermatologist.
As well as using medication to treat scalp eczema, there are certain changes you can make to your lifestyle to prevent eczema outbreaks from getting worse or happening in the first place.
Here are some ways to prevent eczema on the scalp:
The eczema you find on your scalp is a type called seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhoeic eczema. In infants, this is known as infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis but is also called seborrhoeic eczema or, more commonly, cradle cap.
Eczema is the collective name for a group of skin conditions that give the sufferer patches of itchy and dry rashes. Other types of eczema include:
These are other main types of eczema; however, there are many different forms. If you think you may have eczema but you are unsure which form, you can always speak to your doctor.
If you have tried a number of different treatments (like the ones we’ve listed above) and they’re not proving to be effective, or you suspect that your skin is infected, then you should speak to your doctor. They may provide stronger prescription medication for you, or refer you to a dermatologist for expert advice on skin conditions.
You should also see your doctor if your condition is causing you anxiety, embarrassment, trouble sleeping or stopping you from continuing with everyday life.
Scalp eczema — also known as seborrhoeic eczema – is a type of eczema where dry, red, scaly patches develop on the scalp, as well as parts of the face including the nose, eyebrows and ears. This can result in dandruff, as well as patches of itchy dry skin, inflammation and discolouration.
There is no cure for eczema on the scalp, however, it can be treated quickly and easily using a range of effective scalp medications. The most common are Betnovate Scalp Application or Elocon Scalp Lotion, both of which you can buy from The Independent Pharmacy.
Finding the right treatment and taking preventative measures can make living with the condition much more manageable.
If you’re struggling with scalp eczema, you can contact The Independent Pharmacy for a free, online consultation. Our whole process is quick and easy, and you can even receive your eczema medication the very next day.
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