Scalp eczema leads to inflamed, dry, and itchy skin on the scalp. The most common form of scalp eczema is seborrheic dermatitis, with dandruff as its unwelcome sidekick.
Scalp eczema is classified into internal eczema and environmental eczema. Nummular, madiddans, ruburn, seborrheic and asterotic eczema are internal eczemas. Herpicum eczema, allergic reactions, and irritant contact eczema are the environmental forms of eczema.
The symptoms of scalp eczema include skin patches that are red and scaly, greasy or waxy, flaky, and/or very itchy. Scalp eczema may also lead to oozing or weeping lesions, blisters, ear discharge (if eczema reaches into the ear canal), and changes in the skin color after healing.
The triggers of scalp eczema are not fully understood, but it is believed that stress, genetics, and changes in the weather conditions could contribute. Other risk factors include:
- Very dry skin
- Other skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis
- Greasy skin or hair
- Family history of allergies like asthma, hay fever, and atopic eczema
- Exposure to an allergen or irritant
- Heavy sweating
Taking natural remedies, such as fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce the risk of scalp eczema. Doctors can prescribe corticosteroids for the condition. Another option is the use of medicated dandruff shampoo, which includes salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and zinc pyrithione. This shampoo can help ease the inflammation and stop the formation of flaky, scaly skin. Topical creams, sprays, or ointments containing corticosteroids can help with symptoms, too.
To further manage scalp eczema, do the following:
- Thoroughly clean the scalp by using a small dollop of mild shampoo and warm water. This will prevent drying of the skin.
- Avoid exposure to both known and suspected allergens and irritants.
- Clean your hair using mild shampoo after workouts that trigger heavy sweating.
- Keep your stress levels under control.
Scalp eczema normally responds to treatment, but there is always the possibility that it will return. If you live in the East Valley and have scalp eczema, see a dermatologist or a Mesa eczema specialist. You can also consult a Mesa allergy doctor if your scalp eczema stems from allergies. They can prescribe immunotherapy through shots or allergy drops. Immunotherapy can treat the source of the allergy for lasting results.