How to Prevent Eczema on Scalp
Scalp eczema, is a type of eczema that causes redness, itching, flaking and the development of oily, scaly patches on the scalp. Scalp eczema can be caused by either seborrheic or atopic (inherited) dermatitis. It is also known as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, seborrheic psoriasis, and (in infants) “cradle cap.” These types of dermatitis may also cause eczema on the face, chest, back, under the arms, and in the groin region. While they can cause discomfort and embarrassment, these types of dermatitis aren’t contagious, and they aren’t caused by poor hygiene.
Scalp eczema can be a stubborn condition that persists for years. It can come and go without warning, and it can disappear on its own. Symptoms of scalp eczema can be effectively managed, but the condition cannot be cured completely.
Although scalp eczema cannot be cured, medical treatment can bring relief by removing the scaly buildup and reducing itchiness. Treatments for scalp eczema usually come in the form of a shampoo or a cream or gel to apply to the scalp. Shampoos that are most effective against scalp eczema include those that contain one or more of the following ingredients:
– zinc pyrithione
– salicylic acid
– selenium sulfide
– coal tar
In mild cases of scalp eczema, antifungal creams, ointments, or sprays can be effective. Typically, these contain coal tar or corticosteroids that help calm the irritation and stop the flaking. In more severe cases, a mild corticosteroid can calm the inflammation. Doctors may prescribe topical corticosteroids to treat an active flare-up marked by redness, itching, and flaking. Corticosteroids are not suitable for use over long periods.
Alternatively, natural remedies like tea tree oil, olive oil and aloe vera can help relieve the symptoms of scalp eczema in some people. Keep your skin cool to prevent irritation and itching. Showering with lukewarm water immediately after exercising and applying moisturizing ointment to dry, itchy or irritated areas will help soothe the skin. Oil-based moisturizers are more effective at treating dry skin and eczema than water-based moisturizers.
Scalp eczema tends to affect babies under the age of 3 months. It usually clears up completely between the ages of 6 months and 1 year, but it can return during puberty. In adults, scalp eczema tends to start during late adolescence. It most often affects adults between the ages of 30 and 60. In some cases, scalp eczema can clear up without treatment. More often, it lasts for years, and comes and goes without warning. Treatment is often necessary to control the itchy and scaly symptoms.