Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes the skin to be red, and itch. Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of eczema that takes place on areas of the body that have a lot of oil producing glands. These glands are called sebaceous glands. Although seborrheic dermatitis can appear anywhere on the body, the most common areas affected is the scalp, hairline, back, and nose.

What are the causes?

The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. The triggers of seborrheic dermatitis are:

  • Genetics

  • Stress

  • Hormones

  • Fragrance

  • Hot, and cold weather

  • Soaps that are drying and irritating to the skin

  • Diet

When there is an excess amount of fungi, called Malassezia, living on the skin, it contributes to seborrheic dermatitis flare ups. Shampoos with anti- fungal ingredients help kill Malassezia.

These ingredients include:

  • Ketoconazole

  • Selenium sulfide

  • Coal tar

  • Zinc pyrithione

  • Salicylic acid

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis vary from one person to the next. Seborrheic dermatitis can look like psoriasis or other flaky scalp conditions. Sometimes, you can have more than one flaky scalp condition on the scalp. A dermatologist will be able to diagnose, your condition, and design a treatment plan for you.

With seborrheic dermatitis, your scalp may feel dry, and flake. You may notice the skin peels around the hair line and other areas of the scalp. The flakes will be greasy, white, or yellow in color.

In more severe cases of seborrheic dermatitis, a doctor could prescribe topical corticosteroids which must be used as directed.

How to treat the symptoms

Be careful how often you use anti-fungal shampoos because they can be drying on the hair as well as the scalp. Use anti-fungal shampoos when you have a flare up, and in between, use a normal shampoo that will not dry out your hair such as Wild Naturals Eczema and Psoriasis Shampoo. It has aloe barbadensis gel, which helps sooth the skin, and Cocamidopropyl betaine which is a gentle cleansing ingredient.

Use a pre-shampoo treatment for your scalp to alleviate itching and dryness. Philip Kingsley’s Stimulating Scalp Mask, has menthol, camphor, and peppermint which will help soothe the scalp. Apply this mask on the scalp before you shampoo. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse, and cleanse your hair with a shampoo of your choice.

Phillip Kingsley has a mask that can be used to gently exfoliate the scalp and control sebum. The Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask has zinc in it which helps combat flakes, as well as reduce sebum production. Betaine Salicylate is the ingredient that gently removes flakes without drying out the scalp. Betaine Salicylate moisturizes and leaves a cool feeling on the skin.

Sulfates can cause seborrheic dermatitis flare-ups for people who are sensitive to them. There are sulfate free anti – fungal shampoos. Help Hair Scalp Therapy Shampoo, is pH balanced, sulfate and paraben free. The active ingredient is 2% zinc pyrithione.

Try not to use oils to moisturize your scalp because seborrheic dermatitis flakes are greasy, using oils on your scalp will make the condition worse, and cause the scales to stick to the hair, making them harder to remove.

What products do you use to treat eczema of the scalp?

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