What is it?
Scalp eczema is the condition in which the scalp becomes dry, itchy, red and sore. It may develop at any age and any genders. The condition of itchy and flaky scalp in the babies is also called cradle crap.
- Ear discharge
- Hair thinning
- Itching behind ears
In severe cases, it spreads to the surrounding areas such as forehead, behind ears, external ears and down to face, neck and shoulders.
Exact causes are not known. However, there are some triggers which can flare it up. Managing the triggers can calm down the situation to some extent.
The National Society for Eczema recommends medicated shampoo for the treatment of seborrhoeic eczema. The medicated shampoo normally contains salicylic acid and tar. These shampoos should be used regularly unless the condition disappears.
The NSE also emphasises to leave the shampoo for at least three to five minutes on the scalp before washing it. It also recommends not to rub the scalp too hard during washing as it may aggravate the condition further.
If you opt for any medicated shampoo, it is always best to follow the manufacturer instructions.
Prolonged use of shampoos containing chemicals may not be very good for the scalp and may even cause damage to the hair. Some people have reported partial hair loss after using such shampoos for a long time.
Cream, lotion or ointment containing steroids are also effective in treating the condition. These normally cannot be obtained over the counter and a prescription may be required.
Medicated shampoos often contain the following chemical ingredients.
- Zinc pyrithione
- Salicylic acid
Some shampoos contain sodium laureth sulphate or SLS. It is a very harsh additive often found in health and beauty products. Avoid this as much as you can. It can even worsen the situation by further inflaming the scalp.
Check the ingredients and read the labels carefully. Even some so called non-medicated shampoos may contain SLS and other harsh additives.
Should You See a Doctor?
Before taking any self-treatment it is always recommended to speak to your doctor. Scalp eczema, skin infection and psoriasis may look similar. It may not be possible for a layman to differentiate these conditions. If you doubt that you have anything other than dermatitis, you must see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Once it has been diagnosed, you may talk to your doctor regarding a possible natural treatment.
Is it Contagious?
According to the Stevens Trichology Clinics, eczema on scalp, ears and face is not contagious. It can be acute or chronic. The Clinic further maintains that it is not curable but can be controlled.
So medically, it is not contagious and cannot be spread from one person to another. However, it is hereditary and can be passed down genetically.
Does it Cause Hair Loss?
According to WebMD, itchy conditions and excessive dandruff in the hair can cause hair loss. When the scalp is dry and flaky, the hair follicles grow weaker and the hair becomes thin. This ultimately cause hair loss.
Who is Affected?
Most scalp conditions develop in adulthood, but can also occur in younger children, toddlers, infants and babies.
In severe cases it can developed into infection and may look like psoriasis. However, as mentioned earlier, it is important to see a doctor to properly diagnose it.
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments
Normal shampoos or scalp washing lotions may further aggravate the situation because of some harsh ingredients. Some home and herbal remedies is a great natural way to eliminate the symptoms of itchy scalp.
Wash your head with herbal or baby shampoo with lukewarm water. Apply coconut oil to the roots of the hair and leave overnight. In the morning wash your hair again with some herbal shampoo and apply the coconut oil again but this time very lightly. You will see some positive results in a week time.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic apple cider vinegar with mother contains the ability to kill the fungus and bacterial growth. Mix a few drops of apple cider vinegar with castor oil and massage into your scalp. Mix a table spoon of apple cider vinegar in lukewarm water and wash your head.
Olive oil makes the follicles of the hair strong and nourishes the hair for maximum growth. It is anti-bacterial and contains many beneficial micro nutrients. Massaging your scalp with cold pressed organic extra virgin olive oil every night can improve the situation.
It is recommended to test a small amount of oil on a tiny area to note down any allergic reactions.
Progressive Health confirms that Epsom contains magnesium which blocks the inflammatory factors. It keeps the skin hydrated and helps in reduce inflammation and itching.
Mix a table spoon of salt in water and wash your scalp with it. Epsom salt naturally exfoliate and cleanses the skin and thus reduces inflammation.
I had it for years. I would always use anti-fungal cream prescribed by doctors. It worked but the results were temporary. I just shaved my head for religious reasons. I was surprised to see how dry and sore my scalp was. For the first time, I felt the cool soothing breeze blowing over my scalp.
I tried extra virgin oil and apple cider vinegar solution directly on the scalp and it helped a lot. When the hair grew back, it was difficult to for the solution to effectively reach the skin. I shaved it again.
Before I used to wash my hair almost daily, otherwise I would be scratching my had crazy. Now, I can easily tolerate it for around 4 days!
If you are a man, shaving your head helps a lot. In case of women, I know it is a bit unnatural to think about shaving your head.
Monkey Deit Says:
Which vinegar did you use? Is it the plain white one? Malt or others?
Not the plain white one sold in the super market. I did my research on vinegar and found that the one sold in the super market is no good at all. You will have to buy an organic brand which contains mother and should be made of cider.
For olive oil, it must be cold pressed and organic extra virgin. Again, supermarket is not the best place to buy this stuff.
Food allergies are the biggest enemies. I have noticed that some food aggravates my itchy scalp condition. I tried a few dietary changes and there has been a good improvement. Eliminating sugar and tomato sauce completely is my way. No sugar even in the most natural form. Avoid fruit containing sugar and go for alternatives.
Do not apply the vinegar undiluted as it may inflame or blister your skin. Diluting it is more advised.
I apply it undiluted on my skin without any reaction. However, you must not drink or swallow it without being mixed with water or juice etc.
Have you tried homeopathy. I love homeopathic products as they have no side effects. They are natural and work on the root causes.
Only those who support homeopathy says it have no side effects. My urologists strongly advised against using any homeopathic or so called alternative medicines as they could potentially harm us.
Conventional doctors do not believe in any alternative and homeopathy. They think these treatments are unscientific and based on anecdotal evidence.
Noble Queen Says:
Homeopathy either does not work or it works so slowly. It is said that it starts working after you have been dead and buried, 🙂
Try a blend of oils. Mix olive oil, aragan oil, castor oil and coconut oil in equal amount and massage into the root of your hair and see the results.
I had such a bad itching behind my ears. During extreme flare up it would even crack. I would go crazy while scratching them. It would bleed and drive me mad. My doctor’s anti-fungal cream would do the trick as long as I would use them.
I tried H-eczema homeopathic formula and it worked like a charm. No more itching behind the ears.
I am pregnant 8 weeks. I want to be very careful. What natural remedies can are safe during pregnancy for itchy scalp?
Best advice is see your doctor. Do not try any self-medication especially when you are pregnant.
I will show you something which is safe in all situation. It may sound somewhat daft, but trust me it helps.
Take some oats porridge in a bowl. I use oats so simple brand as it is cheaper and it works. Pour hot water into it and leave it for at least an hour so that it cools down and makes a thick paste. Cover your scalp and hair with the paste. Leave it for two hours and then wash. Please let me know how it goes.
Super Bowl Says:
Can anybody tell me where can I buy the homeopathic H-eczema formula?
Hi, super bowl, you can buy it here.