Confused between dandruff and eczema? Let’s find out the connection between the two


Are dandruff and eczema the same or different? Let’s find out if these two conditions are connected.

Confused between dandruff and eczema? Let’s find out the connection between the two

1. What is dandruff?
2. What is eczema?
3. Dandruff vs. eczema
4. How to treat dandruff and scalp eczema?

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.

What is dandruff?

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.

What is eczema?

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

Dandruff vs. eczema

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.

How to treat dandruff and 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:

  • Choose the right hair products

    To prevent dandruff and keep eczema flare-ups at bay, you need shampoos that contain anti-dandruff active or selenium sulphide. Try Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Shampoo that gives you seven major benefits: fights dry scalp, relieves irritation, calms itchy scalp, reduces redness (associated with dandruff), great scent, controls flaky scalp, and leaves hair feeling great. Formulated using HydraZinc, this anti-dandruff shampoo cares for your scalp and leaves your hair feeling soft and manageable. Pair this shampoo with Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Conditioner to lock in the immense dandruff-fighting power and keep your hair clean and healthy.
    For severe dandruff that’s caused by eczema, you can try Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven Solutions Scalp Relief Shampoo that’s formulated with selenium sulphide to target severe, stubborn dandruff. Clinically proven to control itching, flaking and soothe an irritated scalp, this gentle formula shampoo is ideal for daily use.
  • Lifestyle changes

    There’s no permanent cure for scalp eczema but following certain lifestyle changes can help keep the flare-ups away. You need to identify the triggers that cause these flare-ups. The common triggers include certain foods, change in weather, stress, and certain hair products. Reduce the use of hair styling products as they can irritate your scalp. Also, keep your hair clean to prevent scalp build-up as it can worsen your hair care issues.
  • Natural remedies

    Tea tree oil, olive oil, and aloe vera are some of the common home remedies used to treat dandruff and scalp eczema. However, these remedies only offer temporary relief from the incessant scratching. You’ll need something stronger to prevent flaking and inflammation.

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.