Scalp Skin Problems
The scalp not only contains hair, but is covered in skin just like the rest of the body. This skin can become irritated and affected by skin disorders as well. Some of the scalp’s skin problems are treatable using special products and medicines that a dermatologist can prescribe, while others can be more difficult to treat. It is important to fully understand the symptoms of different scalp skin problems so that you will know how to treat them.
The scalp can sometimes become afflicted with a variety of problems, many of which have similar symptoms. The most common symptoms of a scalp skin problem are itchiness, flaking skin, soreness and burning. Flaking skin can include small, dandruff-like flakes and large, psoriasis scales. Usually if there is flaking, itchiness is also present. Once the flaking is brought under control, the itchiness usually subsides.
These symptoms can have many causes, so it is important to ask your doctor about what type of scalp skin problem you may have. The most common ailments are psoriasis, eczema, head lice, insect bites and alopecia. When you visit a doctor or a dermatologist, they will take a skin sample to determine what the scalp condition is.
Depending on what type of scalp skin problem you have, there will be treatments that will help relieve the itching, flaking and soreness involved. For psoriasis, the doctor can prescribe a coal tar lotion and soap, along with cortisone creams to help with the itching. For eczema, you can use conditioning and anti-itching shampoos. Head lice usually require a topical treatment that will kill off the bugs and their eggs. For alopecia, a regime that involves relieving stress and improving diet is usually suggested.
Once the scalp starts to improve, the flaking and itching will begin to disappear. It is important to continue to treat the scalp even when the symptoms have gone into remission, as the conditions will usually reappear if treatments are stopped suddenly.
There are ways that some scalp skin problems can be avoided, but others are hereditary and must be managed to ensure that the condition does not flare up again. Psoriasis, for example, is a lifelong condition and requires application of topicals in order for it to become un-symptomatic. According to the University of Michigan, allowing the head to receive a few minutes of sunlight per day can help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema on the scalp. Reducing stress has also been suggested as a possible preventative measure.