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Scalp Eczema: Here’s What We Know About It

Scalp Eczema: Here’s What We Know About It

If you do have a scalp, which I’m guessing you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this (lame, I know), well, it’s going to itch at some point in your life. That’s just part of being human. However, if you find your fingers reaching for your scalp to scratch it more often than not and it makes you want to crawl out of your skin, well, you might have scalp eczema. I mean, yes, eczema on top of your head, out of all the places, it had to be the head. But you know, life is unfair and stuff, so never take your scalp for granted.

According to the Mayo Clinic, eczema is a condition that causes flare-ups of a red, scaly, itchy rash to appear on different parts of your body. Although it generally tends to show up in areas of the body such as hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, elbows, and knees, it can also make an appearance in your scalp. A lot of people think that you couldn’t possibly miss having eczema in your scalp, but a lot of people can be wrong since the condition can easily be mistaken for something else.

scalp eczema
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Let’s just say that dermatitis is a one-shoe-fits-all term for all skin inflammations. According to the Mayo Clinic (whom I trust with my whole body), eczema happens because of a gene variation that makes it hard for the skin to stay moisturized and provide protection from bacteria. This leads to the appearance of patches of dry, inflamed, burning, and itchy skin. And if you scratch them, they might even ooze liquid and crust over. A lot of people mistake scalp eczema for a bad case of dandruff, which more often than not leads to you deciding to wash your hair even more or using anti-dandruff shampoos, that in the end, makes the matters much worse for a couple of reasons.

If you do have eczema and you use a product that your scalp isn’t really feeling, you might be in for a ride of irritation and sensitivity. Plus, if you take long, super-hot showers, and use shampoo aggressively to battle what you think is dandruff, it can actually just worsen eczema.

scalp eczema
Photo credit: Shutterstock



People who suffer from scalp eczema may experience the following symptoms on their skin patches:

– Red and scaly

– Flaky

Greasy or waxy

– Very itchy or burning feelings

– Oozing or lesions

– Causing a discharge from the ear if eczema continues from the scalp into the ear canal

– Causing changes in skin color after healing

scalp eczema
Photo credit: Pinterest



Unfortunately, scalp eczema or any other type of eczema cannot be cured, however, there are both medical and alternative ways of treatment that can relieve the symptoms by removing the scaly buildup. The treatments against scalp eczema typically come in the form of a shampoo or a gel that can be applied directly in the scalp. The most famous and effective shampoos against scalp eczema include one or more of these ingredients:

– zinc pyrithione

– salicylic acid

– selenium sulfide

– ketoconazole

– coal tar


Not so severe cases of scalp eczema can even be treated with antifungal creams, ointments or sprays that contain coal tar of corticosteroids. They have proven to be effecting in helping calm the irritation and flaking.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition. 

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