Do you have an itchy and dry scalp? Do you have inflammation in your scalp?
Most of us are always conscious about our hair but hardly pay attention to our scalp which actually supports our hair. This condition in which you have scalp problems is called Seborrheic Dermatitis.
Wondering what is this term? The answer is here.
What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic Dermatitis which is also known as seborrheic eczema is a chronic skin inflammation disease that looks quite similar to eczema, psoriasis or an allergic reaction. Mostly it appears on your scalp or may appear on the body as well.
The red itchy rashes on your scalp and even dandruff that you get on your scalp can be seborrhea where inflammation is not present. In infants, this disease is termed as cradle cap. It mainly affects the sebaceous gland rich areas of skin. It mainly affects the portions of head and torso.
Hair loss is one of the most significant and common side effects of seborrheic dermatitis. If flaking and inflammation occur on a large portion of the scalp skin then you tend to get a huge hair loss. The major cause of seborrheic dermatitis is by Malassezia fungus. This fungus is lipophilic in nature and it feeds off of lipids (fats).
Normal skin has sebum which is secreted from hair follicles to retain moisture and to protect itself from the environment. A significant part of sebum is made up of lipids. And here is when the problem arises as this lipid can be prime food for the Malassezia fungus.
This fungus disrupts the skin natural defence mechanism and invades the hair follicles roots which lead to hair loss. The degree of hair loss can vary from mild to severe. Mild forms are dandruff that most people are commonly affected. In severe cases, it is quite chronic with red scaly pimples. This problem is more prominent in winters.
Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis:
- The major cause of seborrheic dermatitis is lipophilic yeast Pityrosporum Ovale and Malassezia furfur fungus which feeds on the secretion of sebaceous glands and causes inflammation and hair loss. It mostly develops on face and scalp as a large number of sebaceous glands and hair follicles are present in these areas and these areas are prone to heavy sebum production.
- The cause of the activation of this fungus is nervous, immune or hormonal disorders.
- It may occur on the scalp because of stress or excessive exercise.
- Climate change can also lead to Seborrheic dermatitis.
- Newborn babies tend to get seborrheic dermatitis when androgens from the mother are passed to baby across the placenta.
- Weather conditions, improper care of scalp, unbalanced diet, using chemical based shampoos, use of chemical products, styling tools like the dryer, straighteners, wrong use of shampoos which wash out the oil from scalp leading to the dry scalp are causes of hair loss due to seborrheic dermatitis.
- Extreme sebum secretion, obesity, immune system disorders like HIV/AIDS and hormonal imbalances during puberty are few reasons for seborrheic dermatitis hair loss.
- Stress, neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and fatigue are common causes.
- Head injury or a stroke may also cause seborrheic dermatitis.
However not every individual suffering from seborrheic dermatitis face the problem of hair loss.
Seborrheic Dermatitis Symptoms:
- Hair loss due to abnormal secretion of sebum.
- White flakes or dandruff
- Itchy scalp with skin reddish patches.
- Causes scaly, itchy, inflamed skin that can be painful.
- Irritation of the hair follicles restricting hair growth.
- Inflammation can also be there on the face, arms, scalp, near eyelashes, sides of nose, upper back and forehead as well.
- Yellow scales on ears, scalp, armpits, eyebrows, scrotum, etc.
- Seborrheic plaques with dense scales glued with sebum if the disease is not treated.
- Skin peeling also called erythema which appears as macules with dry white or moist oily scales.
- Secondary bacterial infections can occur if bacteria proliferates inside the opening of skin or the dry patchy scalp.
Home remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair loss Recovery:
Using home remedies to treat this disease is a great idea as it does not cause any side effects and is easy to pocket at the same time. It is better than most of the chemical based shampoos and products to treat the problem. These remedies not only ensure that the problem is cured but also prevents it from reoccurring.
Listed below are few home remedies for Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair loss recovery.
Honey and water treatment
Honey is one of the best remedies for treating Seborrheic Dermatitis as it has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Because of these properties, it kills off the microbes causing seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Honey also keeps the skin moist and locks moisture to it helping to keep the skin supple.
The treatment with honey is a bit difficult due to sticky nature of honey. All you need to do is apply honey water to affected areas and leave it on for 3 hours. Simply wash the honey off.
Rather than rinsing your hair with regular tap water use 1 part of boiled water mixed with 4 parts of honey.
Tea tree oil/shampoo and Aloe Vera
Tea tree oil also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and a remedy used in various skin care and hair care products. Tea tree oil maintains the PH balance of scalp, skin and hair. It prevents infections. It penetrates into the hair follicle and clears bacteria out of it. It also works as a natural antiseptic and germicide.
Take 20 drops of tea tree oil and mix it with Aloe Vera gel. Apply the mixture on the scalp on regular basis for 15 minutes. It helps in soothing the irritated skin and takes flakes out. Aloe Vera gel eliminates skin itching and irritations and gives you a cooling effect on the scalp. Tea tree oil is too strong to be used on its own and can even damage head skin. Mix it with a carrier oil like olive oil, sesame seed oil or coconut oil.
You can also use pre-made tea tree shampoos available in the market. Look for a shampoo that contains tea tree oil and best ingredients like Shikai’s Tea tree shampoo.
If you have sensitive skin/scalp then avoid using tea tree oil. To check if it works for your scalp, try it on a small patch of affected skin and check if any sort of irritation is there or not. If it works well for you leave it for 30-60 minutes and rinse it off with cool water.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar prevents the scalp from becoming flaky because it is made up of malic acid. This acid is a powerful agent against fungus and yeast causing seborrheic dermatitis. Not just it can apply topically but is also great for internal use. It can consume with or without food. It also restores the scalp’s natural acidic environment.
Use a 50/50 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water that is two cups of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water. After shampooing your hair, rinse your hair with this mixture. Use it either boiled or bottled. You can also apply it overnight and wash it next morning. If you feel a stingy sensation on the scalp quickly rinse off and try again using a more diluted solution with 75/25 ratio. There may be a smell of vinegar but it will after half an hour.
Natural oils and Essential Oils
Natural oils include coconut oil, virgin olive oil and almond oil which is really good for the scalp and keeps the scalp moisturised. These oils have antifungal, antibacterial, medicinal and antiseptic properties that prevent the problem of hair loss due to seborrheic dermatitis.
On the other hand, essential oils include oils of rose, lavender, carrot seed or lemon balm which has extremely great properties and are quite soothing for scalp and heals the affected areas faster.
Fusion of natural and essential oils can also be done in order to get great results. Borage oil is also known for its healing properties for the disease seborrheic dermatitis as it has all the essential fatty acids and its application on regular basis shows great results.
Massage your scalp and hair with warm oil with fingertips and prefer leaving it overnight. In order to steam your hair cover the scalp with the warm towel so that the oil completely penetrates into the scalp. Coconut oil has unique fungus destroying fatty acids that are lauric acid and caprylic acid. The duo of these two does wonder to treat seborrheic dermatitis.
Baking soda is a great preventer of seborrheic dermatitis as the alkalinity of baking soda is used to fight fungus. It works opposite to apple cider vinegar. If the environment is too alkaline fungus quickly dies and that is what baking soda does.
Mix half teaspoonful of baking soda with half a cup of water. Use this solution instead of shampoo for few weeks for effective results. Rinse off with cool water. After the wash follows up with a quick rinse of apple cider vinegar diluted with water to restore skin’s natural acidic state.
Garlic contains an anti-microbial agent called Allicin which is a potent fungus killer and fights bacteria to get rid of the disease seborrheic dermatitis. You can either include garlic in your diet or apply on the scalp on affected areas.
Extract the juice from one whole clove of garlic and dilute it with equal amounts of water. Warm the diluted solution and apply it on affected areas. Leave it overnight so that it can get absorbed into the bloodstream and rinse it off with cool water and apple cider vinegar. If you have a sensitive skin or scalp be careful using this remedy as it may cause irritation.
Aspirin is known to cure headaches. It is a very good ad effective remedy for treating Seborrheic dermatitis. It has salicylates which help to wash off the flakes on the scalp and dandruff due to seborrheic dermatitis. It helps you get rid of the itchy scalp.
Take two aspirin tablets and crush them. Mix them with your shampoo. Shampoo your hair and leave it on your scalp for few minutes before rinsing off the shampoo.
Milk of magnesia
Milk of magnesia has soothing properties and dabbing the affected area with the milk of magnesia will sooth the itchy red inflamed scalp. Regular usage for complete two to three weeks will help you recover from the problem completely.
Lemon juice is really good to fight against the problems like dandruff. It helps to prevent the conditions of the disease seborrheic dermatitis. Apply lemon juice on the scalp for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. Due to the citric nature of lemon, it’s great in fighting the fungal attacks as well. Regular usage gives maximum results.
However, if you have redness and inflammation on the scalp then avoid using it as it may cause burning sensation and cause irritation.
Neem leaves have anti-infectious and antiseptic properties which help to treat this problem of seborrheic dermatitis. Neem has medicinal properties and also prevents future occurrence of the disease.
Take neem leaves and ground them to form a paste. Mix one tablespoon sesame oil and a pinch of turmeric powder along with one tablespoon ground neem leaves and mix it well. Apply this paste on the affected scalp and wash it off after few hours. Daily usage of this paste offers excellent results and good cure.
Other home remedies for seborrheic dermatitis
- Topical oregano oil
- Probiotic cream or soap
- Thyme oil
- Hemp oil treatment
All these remedies can also be tried to recover seborrheic dermatitis hair loss, however, most of them are rare kitchen ingredient.
- Adjust your diet and consume hypoallergenic food which includes vegetables, grains, legumes and meat. Consume foods that are rich in beta-carotene and antioxidants.
- Take appropriate amounts of vitamin A, B, C, zinc and selenium.
- Use topical antifungal agents like miconazole and Nizoral as per doctor prescription.
- If the flakes are quite dense they may act as a barrier. Use pre-applications like ointments and oils as it may prevent the active influence of home remedies.
- During the treatment use only medical shampoos containing keratolytic components or zinc.
- Keep away from direct sunlight.
- Use dehumidifiers which are capable of reducing skin irritation and avoid hair loss.
- Apply mineral oil or olive oil to your scalp regularly to soften and remove scales from your hair.
- Products containing alcohol should be avoided as it can cause the disease to flare up.
- Avoid scratching the itchy scalp as it can increase irritation and risk of infection.
- In the case of infants gently wash the scalp and gently loosen the scales with soft bristled brush.