Hair Loss Due to Eczema (Seborrheic Dermatitis)
For anyone who has spent a period of their life dealing with eczema, there is little need to convince them of the negative effects associated with the condition. Eczema is much more common than people think, with almost a third of the UK population suffering from it at some point throughout their lives.
In its most common form – atopic dermatitis – eczema leaves patches of inflamed, cracked and itchy skin all over the body that often need treating with steroid based creams and soothing topical ointments to help the skin mend. However, there are many different forms of the condition, and occasionally these can affect the scalp and growth of hair itself, but is there a cure for hair loss due to eczema?
Hair loss due to chronic eczema – or seborrheic dermatitis – can affect people of any age. If the condition occurs on the scalp, hair follicles can find it difficult to grow through the inflamed, damaged skin as well as become damaged from excessive itching. Luckily, it is entirely treatable.
What causes seborrheic dermatitis?
Despite how common this form of eczema can be, scientists are still unsure of its causes – although observations have been made that link the condition to a number of triggers:
- People who use harsh household chemicals and soaps have been known to generate patches of seborrheic dermatitis. It is therefore to find a decent shampoo and conditioner that a designed for sensitive skin.
- People who work in stressful environments, or are in the middle of a stressful crisis in their personal lives are known to be at risk of seborrheic dermatitis.
- People who are sensitive to climate changes, such as cold and dry weather can find themselves developing seborrheic dermatitis.
- Certain illnesses – of which there are too many to list – and hormonal changes can lead to skin becoming inflamed with seborrheic dermatitis.
- People who take the medications psoralen, interferon and lithium are also at risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis.
How does seborrheic dermatitis cause hair loss?
While seborrheic dermatitis isn’t contagious and mainly occurs in men, it can still affect anyone who is predisposed to its occurrence.
The condition leads to hair loss as a result of the skin on the scalp becoming inflamed and raw, causing itching that further increases the flakiness of skin. Similar to acne, seborrheic dermatitis occurs as a result of excessive sebum from the sebaceous glands in the skin. This excess then triggers an overgrowth of malassezia, which is a yeast that develops naturally on the surface of the skin.
When the product of malassezia gets out of control, it can further inflame the skin and the hair follicles are physically unable to push new hair through, causing thinning over time if it is not treated.
Hair loss can also occur as a result of excessive itching while suffering from eczema, as hairs are accidently ripped out and follicles become damaged.
How can seborrheic dermatitis be treated?
Thankfully, there are a large number of over-the-counter medicated shampoos – primarily designed for dandruff removal – that have been very successful when used by a patient. The active ingredients that help to mend the skin are pyrinthione zinc, salicylic acid, ketoconazole and selenium sulphide.
However, in many cases the condition requires a prescription from a GP. Patients can be prescribed with topical ointments such as hydrocortisone (steroids), fluocinolone, desonide and clobetasol, but due to their strength they can only be used for a period of no more than two weeks.
If these do not work, it is likely that you will be prescribed various forms of anti-fungal agents such as ketoconazole or ciclopirox. However, these are usually a last resort.
If you are worried that you are suffering from hair loss due to eczema, at the Hair Growth Studio, we will always be available to provide you with support as well as numerous effective therapies to help you recover. So, please book a consultation with the Hair Growth Studio if you’d like personally-tailored advice from an expert.
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