But how can you treat scalp eczema? The symptoms of scalp eczema can persist over time if left untreated, so finding appropriate treatment is an important step in caring for your scalp. Scalp eczema treatments can include:
- Shampoos with active ingredients such as coal tar
- Topical corticosteroids
- Self-care techniques
You can find more information on these treatments below.
If you are experiencing eczema on your scalp, an over-the-counter shampoo may provide relief. There are a few active ingredients which can help to target the symptoms of scalp eczema. Shampoos containing coal tar, like Polytar, have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties and can cleanse and soothe the scalp. Other ingredients which are thought to help include zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid and ketoconazole.
Emollients come in lots of forms; lotions, sprays, creams, ointments and soap substitutes. They are designed to be applied directly onto the skin and have hydrating and soothing properties, locking moisture in under a protective film. Emollients can be used to relieve dryness, itchiness and scaling.
Emollient lotions in particular are effective for areas of skin which are covered with hair, so you may find that applying an emollient lotion helps with the symptoms of scalp eczema.
As with emollients, corticosteroids can be found in different forms, including lotions, gels and creams. Most are only available with a prescription and they vary in strength. Corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory properties and can ease itching and redness, allowing the skin to heal. Steroid lotions are thought to be the most suitable for the scalp area.
Outside of the topical treatments listed above, there are also lifestyle changes you can make which may help in managing your symptoms. Using a cool-mist humidifier in your home can add moisture to the air, which means your skin doesn’t have to work as hard to stay hydrated. Showering with lukewarm water may also help, as very hot water can strip the skin of moisture. Other tips include keeping fingernails short and using cotton bedding and gloves at night. Some people also find relief by substituting scratching for another action, such as clenching fists.
If you think you might have a scalp condition such as scalp eczema, a healthcare professional will be able to provide more information and guidance on how best to tackle your symptoms.
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