Having an itchy scalp can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and frustrating, especially when it triggers other nasty side effects too. One particularly worrying side effect you may experience is hair loss.
So, how exactly can eczema cause hair loss and what can be done to treat it?
Understanding eczema on the scalp
There are two main types of Eczema you can suffer with on the scalp and both have slightly differing effects. Therefore, it’s important to receive a proper diagnosis before attempting to treat the condition.
The most common type of Eczema found on the scalp is seborrheic dermatitis. Some experts have argued this isn’t a form of eczema at all and instead is a totally different condition, but it is listed as a type of eczema by the National Eczema Association. It’s basically linked to a type of fungi and it doesn’t usually cause severe itching. Instead, you’ll notice flaky, red patches of skin.
Another type of eczema you can develop on the scalp is contact dermatitis. This is caused by an irritating substance, such as shampoo or hair styling products. Again, red, flaky and itchy skin tend to be the main symptoms.
The link between eczema and hair loss
There’s one main reason hair loss can occur when you’re suffering from eczema – irritation. When the scalp is itchy, the first thing you’re going to want to do is scratch it. However, by scratching the scalp, you’ll increase irritation, which in turn can damage the hair follicles. You could also simply pull out, or break the hair as you scratch it.
Topical treatments are usually given to treat the inflammation and in time the hair will regrow. However, if the condition was severe, it could cause damage to the hair follicles, which would result in a more permanent form of hair loss.
There may be treatments available depending upon the severity of the hair loss, so it’s important to seek help from a hair specialist. Medications like Minoxidil can really help to speed up hair regrowth, or specialist shampoos may be prescribed.
Overall, it is possible for eczema on the scalp to lead to hair loss, but there could be a wide range of reasons why the hair has started to shed. For this reason, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis so the correct form of treatment can be established.