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Are dandruff and eczema the same or different? Let’s find out if these two conditions are connected.
When you scratch your scalp and notice flakes, “dandruff” is the first thing that comes to your mind. However, an irritated scalp does not necessarily mean dandruff, it can be a sign of scalp eczema as well. Figuring out what’s causing these flakes plays a vital role in helping you seek the right treatment. Considering they share similar symptoms, you may be wondering - are dandruff and eczema related?
Let’s find out.
Contrary to popular belief, dandruff does not occur due to dryness (dry scalp is a different condition altogether). Instead, you have to deal with yellowish-white, oily flakes because your scalp is producing too much sebum. Malassezia globosa, the microbe present on everyone’s scalp, feeds on the sebum and produces a by-product called oleic acid. Though oleic acid is harmless, some people are allergic to this by-product, making their bodies react to this irritant in the form of dandruff. Severe dandruff, also known as Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, is often triggered by stress, cold and dry weather, and hormonal changes.
When the eczema affects the scalp, it causes patches of skin on the scalp to become red, flaky, and itchy. It can also affect other parts of the body, such as the nose, face, eyebrows, and eyelids, and make the skin greasy, waxy, or blistered. Atopic Dermatitis and Contact Dermatitis are some of the most common types of eczema.
There aren’t any exact causes of eczema but genes, hormones, stress, and illnesses are known to trigger scalp eczema. The symptoms of eczema include:
• Flaking skin • Swelling • Itchiness • Burning • Redness • Scaly patches
Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a chronic form of eczema, that goes through remissions and flare-ups. When eczema is triggered, it can get worsened by a combination of otherwise normal skin properties. When your scalp produces more sebum, it causes an overgrowth of the skin fungus called Malassezia globosa that feeds on sebum. It irritates the sebaceous glands of the scalp and triggers an immune response that causes scaly rashes on the scalp. So, to sum it up, dandruff is a symptom of scalp eczema.
The treatment for dandruff and eczema depends on how severe the conditions are. It includes using the right hair products and making essential lifestyle changes that can actively keep the triggers at bay. Here’s what you should do:
Consult a doctor if the condition worsens or your scalp appears infected. The symptoms of infection include:
• White or yellow pus • Blistered skin • Severe itchiness • New burning sensations • Fluid drainage
Scalp eczema cannot be fully treated, but you can keep the condition in check with the help of these tips and products from Head & Shoulders.