Scalp eczema can be frustrating to treat. At times the itching can be unbearable – but it is manageable.
Here are a few tips to treat scalp eczema and dandruff:
- Avoid hair styling products:
If you’re a regular user of hair gels, mousse and spray, your scalp will thank you if you can start to use less hair products. Hair-styling products contain a lot of chemicals which have a tendency to dry the scalp, which can make itching and dandruff worse.
- Avoid overheating:
Be careful not to overheat; this also includes making sure not to take overly hot showers. Make it a habit to take lukewarm showers (babies should never be introduced to hot water, especially when they have eczema); overly hot showers can dry your skin out and exacerbate the symptoms.
- Shower quickly after sweating:
Sweat is a good thing, but for eczema sufferers, it can also be irritating to your scalp. In addition, sweat makes skin cells flake off your body more quickly. So after you exercise, try and take a shower as early as possible. It will also prevent itching.
- Change shampoos:
You can either use an over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo for eczema that’s natural (preferably), or one that is medicated with zinc pyrithione (to control fungus), salicylic acid (works as a scrub to remove dead cells), selenium sulfide (to reduce the speed of cell replacement), or ketaconazole (which eliminates a variety of fungi). You may need to try several shampoos before you find one that works sufficiently for your needs.
- Resist scratching:
It’s difficult to avoid scratching – but the less you’re able to scratch, the happier you will feel and the quicker it will heal. Practice relaxation techniques that will stop you from scratching, such as deep breathing (helps combat anxiety), and visualization in happy or relaxing situations. Also – keep in mind that when people tell eczema sufferers to stop scratching, it often does not help. Instead, it can enable them to scratch more because it can make them feel anxious.
- Bring in the tar: If you’ve tried all these measures and you’ve also used anti-dandruff shampoos for eczema without success, you can resort to the powerful stuff — tar shampoos. This is an old remedy that is effective at reducing cell turnover. However, this is often an extreme and last option, because it has a strong smell and it can discolor light-colored hair. (Lemon juice and cream rinse can be helpful in reducing the side effects of this).
For babies, you can use a gentle shampoo for eczema specially formulated for babies. This will help lift the scales and moisturize the skin. When you rinse the shampoo off, you can use a soft brush to get rid of unwanted scales and dandruff left behind.
Olive oil may also work as an addition to shampoo for scalp eczema. You can massage a small amount onto your scalp and leave it on for an hour, then after use your baby formulated shampoo for eczema to wash it off.
Follow these little tips for scalp eczema – and you’ll notice that small changes will make a big difference and help bring relief.