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Eczema is an itchy, prickly irritation of the skin that can be extremely annoying to those who are unfortunate enough to be affected with this malady. People can be affected with eczema all over the entire body, but one of the most common types of eczema is that which affects the scalp.
Where and When Does Scalp Eczema Begin?
When you have eczema of the scalp, the oil glands contained in the skin of your scalp are involved. These oil glands are connected to the follicles of the hair, and their job is to produce enough oil to keep the skin of the scalp smooth and supple as well as to keep the hair from being dry and rough to the touch. This involvement of the oil glands is why scalp eczema also goes by the name of either Seborrhoeic dermatitis, or Seborrhoeic eczema. This type of eczema affects the parts of the body that produce more skin oil than other areas are known to, such as the scalp, eyebrows, and sides of the nose.
Many times, scalp eczema starts at puberty, when the oil glands in the scalp began to produce more oil than usual because of the influx of hormones that have begun to flood the body. But, this disorder can appear on a person of any age. It seems to be a bit more common in men than in women, although females certainly suffer from it as well. Scalp eczema is known to be a chronic condition in that it can flare up seemingly for no reason at all, and then retreat, not to be seen again for months or years. Or, it can be an ongoing condition where the time without any symptoms is quite rare.
What Causes Scalp Eczema?
No one is exactly sure what the cause of scalp eczema is, but there are several theories as to why it occurs, such as –
Hormones, no matter what your age group
A skin fungus
Toxins in the body which seem to overwhelm the immune system
Stress, which in turn can further aggravate the condition.
Symptoms of Scalp Eczema
Scalp eczema can start out with very mild symptoms. In fact, many people are totally unaware that they have this skin condition until it has gotten out of hand. The first telltale sign is a slight case of dandruff which can quickly escalate to an unusually oily scalp with extremely itchy, red and irritated skin. Scaly patches of skin with a yellowish crust from the excess oil are also quite common often described as scaly scalp. Itching of the scalp of course causes scratching, which eventually breaks the skin and can create open sores.
Treatment of Scalp Eczema
There are a number of topical creams and ointments on the market which are manufactured to treat scalp eczema and help the itching, excess oiliness and flaky skin. Medicated shampoos are also helpful, and may be used on a regular basis to help control symptoms. Many times, doctors will prescribe hydrocortisone (also known as steroids) to treat scalp eczema, but studies have shown that this only masks the symptoms. The steroid treatment does nothing to get to the actual cause of the disorder, but merely helps to relieve the itching, which can allow the skin to begin to heal.
Scalp eczema has the maddening habit of recurring once you think you have it conquered and cease treatment. But beginning a treatment routine at the first sign of a flare up is the only way to keep a bout with scalp eczema from getting out of hand. You can use a variety of natural treatment including slight diet adjustments for a while and also by using natural oils such as hemp or neem and lavender to soothe and heal.
You can also do a lot to help your scalp by using products that are gentle on your skin instead of harsh cleansing ingredients found in most shampoos. To find a good shampoo for scalp eczema look for one that doesn’t contain sulphates (a harsh foaming agent called a surfactant) and instead contains natural surfactants like yukka or coconut.
Scalp eczema and other scaly scalp conditions can be eliminated by understanding what to avoid and what you can use at home to nourish and heal your scalp.
Latest page update: made by scalpeczema
, Jun 4 2008, 1:03 AM EDT
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