We may not often think about the different scalp health conditions, unless we experience soreness, itchiness, and flaking. But scalp conditions go far beyond dandruff and can be more serious. The treatment depends on the severity of the issue.
It’s important to know the facts about medical problems of the scalp. Dryness and itchiness may not always mean what you expect, and dandruff can sometimes be the least of your worries. Some issues are easy to resolve, while others are quite complex. It can even reach the stage where your scalp is too sensitive to touch or comb your hair.
Sometimes dryness is caused by hair care products that block the pores, or the high temperatures from blow dryers. However, there are skin conditions that affect the wellness of the scalp, such as fungus (ringworm), eczema, and psoriasis. Some of these conditions cannot be cured, but the unpleasant symptoms can always be significantly eased. Life can be far more comfortable for you than it is right now.
Let’s take a closer look at many of the most common scalp-related conditions. Once you find out what is wrong, the right treatment can be used to provide instant relief.
Table of Contents:
We’ll start with Seborrheic Dermatitis, as it’s probably the most common medical condition that affects the scalp. You may know it better as dandruff – or at least, the cause of dandruff.
Most people will experience dandruff at some point in their lives, though some are more prone to it than others. For some, it even depends on the season and can occur year after year if the weather gets colder, and the air gets dryer. Dandruff can be an embarrassing. None of us want an itchy, dry scalp, but we particularly don’t want the white flakes that can cascade down from it.
Dandruff occurs when the scalp is either not producing enough natural oils, or too many natural oils. It’s important to know the difference in your particular situation with dandruff, to treat it most effectively. Aside from the weather, things like shampoos or frequent use of hair products can contribute to dandruff. They can either dry out the scalp or add too many oils.
Psoriasis can occur almost anywhere on the body, but when psoriasis occurs on the scalp, the dry, itchy, and scaly skin can feel almost unbearable. Dandruff might seem like a walk in the park compared to what goes with this condition.
It is an inflammation problem, and the unfortunate part about it is that it can flare up almost at any time. Things like blow drying or dying your hair can cause it to become worse. Dealing with psoriasis on the scalp can be one of the most difficult forms of the condition to treat. On the scalp, it can get hard, crusty, and even scab over, causing your scalp to bleed if you feel the need to scratch.
Chances are, you’ve heard of ringworm, but maybe you haven’t thought about it regarding the scalp. Though, ringworm is a type of fungus; an infection that can cause scaly spots to appear on the head. While it is more commonly seen in children, adults are not immune.
As unsettling as the idea of ringworm might seem, it’s one of the easiest scalp conditions to treat. The properties of these creams and shampoos will help to get rid of the fungus and provide soothing relief to an itching scalp.
When the hair follicles become inflamed and irritated, you may have a case of folliculitis. It is a bacterial infection that can arise from anything from shaving to certain types of hair conditioners. Just about anything that allows bacteria to grow and irritates the follicles of the hair could potentially cause the condition.
An antibiotic from your doctor can help to treat folliculitis. You should follow it up with a specific scalp treatment with antibacterial properties, like a leave-in conditioning solution. This will soothe the scalp and reduce inflammation.
While cysts can occur anywhere on the body, they are most common on the scalp. Most cysts are completely harmless, though if you notice consistent growth, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by your doctor to make sure it’s not a more serious skin condition.
You’ll notice cysts as small, hard bumps on the scalp, and occasionally they can cause slight itching, but other than that, they don’t typically pose a threat.
Treating a cyst is simply a matter of getting it removed by a doctor, which is typically for cosmetic reasons.
Men and women put their hair through a lot. From dying to bleaching and cutting, to experimenting with the latest and greatest in fads and styles, our hair certainly takes a beating. However, we may not realize until it’s too late that our scalp can be allergic to certain products.
Whether it’s a certain hair color, or specific chemical you’re using on your head, allergic contact dermatitis is more of a common scalp condition than most people realize. It can cause extreme discomfort, redness, and itching.
While the obvious solution is to discontinue your use of that particular product, you can also use a steroid gel or cream (yes, even an all natural one) to help alleviate the more painful, uncomfortable symptoms. They should subside in two or three weeks, and as long as your scalp doesn’t come in contact with the allergen again, the problem shouldn’t return.
Hair loss, commonly known as alopecia, can seem like a serious scalp condition. After all, no one wants to experience their hair falling out for any reason. Alopecia can arise from many different things, from genetic dispositions to hormonal issues, or even autoimmune diseases.
Stress can increase the overall effects of the condition and make it worse. Alopecia typically shows up as circular bald patches on the scalp, as the hair will fall out in a few concentrated areas.
When it comes to treating hair loss, your matter of perspective will probably decide whether it’s “good news” or not. Realistically, your hair will likely grow back on its own, but it will take the time to do so. Not everyone wants to walk around for an extended period with several bald spots.
Many alopecia treatments are catered toward women since women are more prone to the condition. With the right balanced nutrition, and a little bit of time, your hair will grow back on its own, and you won’t have to worry about embarrassing bald spots.
There are a wide variety of different scalp conditions. The treatments range from something as simple as changing shampoo to steroid injections. If you experience dryness, redness, itchiness, or any of the other symptoms, it’s a good idea to dig a little deeper and discover what might be happening. The sooner you diagnose the condition, the easier it will be to get it under control.