Could you have eczema of the scalp? If you have been searching tirelessly for a dandruff cure, you may actually have scalp eczema. Learn natural ways to banish that flaky scalp.
One of the most common web searches is “Eczema on Scalp”. When you think about the pollutants in the air, chlorinated water, and chemical laden shampoos and conditioners, it’s not at all surprising that your scalp is suffering.
What Does Scalp Eczema Look Like?
If you have a severely flaky scalp, it’s a good chance you have some form of scalp eczema. There are a few main types.
Seborrheic Dermatitis- This form of scalp eczema is characterized by very itchy patches or scales on the scalp and neck. The scales are often white, yellow, red, or brown. Unlike most eczema, the skin usually looks oily. Seborrheic dermatitis can also spread to other parts of the face and can sometimes be found in your eyebrows, underarms, and in patches on your face. Another common place is inside your ears. This form of eczema is caused by overactive sebaceous glands (oil producing pores), and then yeast or bacteria grows in the excess oil. Because of this, it has the potential to spread anywhere. Common places on women are under your breast, underarms, hairline, and bikini area.
Seborrheic Psoriasis- Often mistaken for Seborrheic Dermatitis, this condition has a few different characteristics. The dry patches of Psoriasis are usually whiter than dermatitis. Often the affected areas are also thicker and tougher. If rubbed or scratched, they will also bleed more easily. Unfortunately, it is possible to have both types at once.
Cradle Cap- A very common form of eczema in babies, it’s often called baby dandruff. Usually appearing in the first few months of life, cradle cap is usually not serious. Your baby may have a flaky scalp, but again, it’s because the scalp is secreting too much oil. This causes dead skin to crust and stick to the scalp. This can be attributed to the fact that the baby still has some extra hormones circulating in his system from mom, and will usually resolve itself over time. The best treatment is to spread a natural vegetable oil on the scalp for a few minutes (sweet almond oil works great), then gently rub the scalp with a baby brush. This allows the flakes to come off easily.
Now that you know what eczema of the scalp looks like, what are the reasons for getting it?
The Most Common Scalp Eczema Causes
- Having a family history of eczema increases your chance of developing it yourself
- This can be from food. Wheat, eggs, and peanuts are the most common culprits. Synthetic materials are also a major cause. Harsh shampoo, mineral oil based hair oils, irritating headwear or bed linens.
- Having very oily skin or hair
- Living in a dry weather climate
- Using abrasive chemical based shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers, especially ones that have alcohol. This is one of the main scalp eczema causes
- Poor Hygiene
Scalp Eczema Remedies
Eczema of the scalp can range from mild to severe, but there is a dandruff cure. Here are some ways to beat your condition. The first step is to identify the trigger for your eczema. Then experiment with some of the following to see what works for you.
My #1 recommendation for healing any type of eczema is Emu Oil. This oil extracted from the native Australian Emu bird penetrates fast, has antibacterial properties, is anti-inflammatory, and works wonders to heal and soften skin.
Identify any immune system deficiencies. Often outbreaks of various kinds are a result of our weakened immune system, which is then unable to fight bacteria and infection properly. There are various natural supplements that will help correct an immune deficiency. Adding vitamins B6 and B12 can help.
Get tested for food allergies. Wheat and dairy are both common culprits. You can often correct your condition by eliminating them form your diet.
Switch to natural shampoos, conditioners, soap, and laundry detergent. Do not use anything with sulphates, a harsh industrial detergent found in many body care products, but also used in industrial cleaning supplies. Often eczema of the scalp is brought on by household products you use every day. Not only can you reverse your eczema, but you will be increasing your overall health.
Drinking and rinsing you scalp with green tea. Green tea has anti-inflammatory agents that we know help fight cancer. It also helps reduce the rapid cell growth that causes the thick scaly patches in eczema and psoriasis. If you have eczema of the scalp, drink green tea twice a day or rinse daily for best results. For very stubborn cases, pine tar soap from your health food store may help speed healing. Invest in an Aloe Vera plant to sooth eczema and brighten up your windowsill.
Aloe Vera gel is cooling, soothing and healing. Break of a piece of the plant and apply the pulp twice a day.
Increase your omega fatty acid intake. This beneficial fat is an anti-inflammatory and can be found in fish oil or flax seed oil. I personally find flax seed oil taken regularly to be very beneficial.
Have a practitioner evaluate your hormone levels. A hormone imbalance can wreak havoc with many of the body’s systems. Common reasons for an imbalanced body are pregnancy, menopause, stress, and lack of sleep. This can lead to a host of problems, including eczema of the scalp.
Purify your diet. Often illness is our body’s call for help. We ingest so much toxic, genetically engineered food, that our body has a hard time processing or even expelling it as waste. Introduce more whole foods and vegetables, especially leafy greens to your diet.
Reduce stress. Don’t underestimate the mind/body connection. Stress leaves the body’s defenses severely weakened and allows all types of ailments to set in. I personally became ill with Lupus during an extremely stressful time in my life. Reducing stress factors and taking up yoga did wonders to aid in my recovery. Eczema of the scalp can be a very irritating condition, due to the actual symptoms, as well as the damage to your self-esteem. But by correcting your inside, your outward appearance will follow.