SEVERE SCALP PROBLEMS AND THEIR TREATMENTS
Explore our guides for scalp conditions like scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, with tips and advice from our experts.
A vital part of hair care lies in scalp care. A happy head of hair is impossible without a healthy scalp. But we often tend to forget about it and focus all our attention on hair problems. Due to the negligence, we often end up with severe scalp problem like Seborrheic Dermatitis, Scalp Psoriasis and Scalp Scabs. These conditions not only effect the scalp but also often become a constant source of irritation in one’s life. Here are some severe scalp problems and treatments that can help in curing the conditions.
Seborrheic dermatitis is essentially a more intense or extreme form of dandruff. It’s a skin disorder that affects areas of the body where sebum is secreted. This natural oil is produced by sebaceous glands that are present all over the body. But they’re found in higher quantity on your:
- Upper torso
It’s caused by the same factors that are behind dandruff - excessive oil production and fungus. When your scalp starts producing more sebum or oil, this can lead to a build-up that accelerates the growth of a naturally occurring fungus. This fungus, known as Malassezia Globosa, breaks down the oil that has built up and creates an inflammatory effect on the skin.
The effect can be mild or can lead to intense bouts, which are characterised by thick, greasy patches of skin which start to scale and crust. The similarity with dandruff is in the form of severe itching, redness and flaking of the dead skin cells. The tricky part of seborrheic dermatitis is that it is long lasting and can flare up suddenly.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment
This condition is affected by various other factors, some beyond your control. Seborrheic dermatitis can be aggravated by obesity, external pollution, stress levels, hot-cold weather changes, reaction to certain medications and even hormonal fluctuations. Understanding this allows you to understand the solutions.
Since the cause of seborrheic dermatitis is similar to what causes dandruff, anti-dandruff shampoos can have a significant impact on reducing your condition. You might even require medicated scalp shampoos.
In addition, keeping your scalp clean, reducing stress levels, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol based cosmetic products, and being aware of your scalp health, can help you curb the effect of this ailment.
You might want to visit the doctor for a correct diagnosis - if it does not improve with shampoos, if the itching gets worse, or if the redness starts to increase.
Psoriasis is a rare genetic condition causing dry, scaly skin that affects just 3% of people around the world. It is classified as an auto-immune disease caused by a hyper-active immune system, which triggers a build-up of cells on your skin. This takes on the form of raised red patches that have a scaly look. It can either be one single patch or a collection of multiple patches.
It is usually mild and hidden from view. But it can turn severe quite suddenly and lead to crusted sores on your body. Psoriasis is generally accompanied by dry scalp, flaking of skin cells, horrible itching, burning or stinging sensation, and silvery looking scales. It is also associated with temporary hair loss, but that has more to do with you scratching your scalp.
Like dandruff, it causes an accelerated shedding of skin cells – usually grey or silver flaky patches on the skin, which are red and irritated underneath. Symptoms are quite similar to Seborrheic Dermatitis, but the flaking is much less and the appearance of scales is more pronounced. Another aspect is that it also affects other parts of your body, not just the places with the most sebaceous glands, such as:
- Upper torso
Psoriasis has a genetic link and tends to run in families – about 30% of people with a close relative who has psoriasis develop the condition. It is not contagious and can be treated.
Scalp Psoriasis Treatment
This condition can be controlled with the use of medicated shampoos, creams, lotions, ointments, and soaps. The usual answer is to apply topical corticosteroid medication. You should also try to control the triggers for scalp psoriasis, like stress, alcohol, sudden temperature changes, certain foods and even infections.
Always visit a doctor for a correct analysis. They might recommend oral medication in addition to the topical creams. Phototherapy is also used for certain people, wherein UV light is used to curb your psoriasis.
Your scalp can develop blisters, sores or scabs which can be quite painful. This is usually associated with a bout of scalp itching that can lead to even more damage. Scabs are usually formed when new skin cells are being produced, almost like a covering for a wound. So if you end up scratching, it can lead to bleeding on your scalp.
Scalp scabs are usually a sign of some underlying condition. It could be scalp psoriasis, acne, contact dermatitis, folliculitis, infections, lice, dandruff or even eczema. Understanding the root cause is vital in identifying the right treatment.
Most often, your scalp scabs are the result of contact dermatitis. This is a scalp condition that is caused by a reaction to irritants or allergens. These could be shampoos, soaps, perfumes, or cosmetic products. It could even be a reaction to certain foods, plants, jewellery, or different materials - It all depends on what your body reacts to.
Scabs on scalp treatment
Scabs are usually harmless and should clear out after a while. You can use Over the Counter medication (OTC) to accelerate this process. You could also try:
- Aloe Vera gel
- Tea Tree oil
- Omega 3 fatty acids
These might help with your scabs, but you’re always better off going to a dermatologist. If the scabs don’t reduce or the pain increases, you should check whether it is anything serious. In general, keeping your scalp clean with shampoos and a good hair care regimen should help reduce the occurrence of scalp scabs.