Skin conditions like eczema are difficult at the best of times, both for the sufferer and if they are very young, for their parents.
There are things that you can’t eat, can’t wear, bath products and creams you can’t use, and temperatures that you cannot cope with. Everywhere you turn there seems to be yet another thing ready to cause a flare-up. At best you are hot and itchy, at worst you are also scabbed, bleeding and self-conscious about your scars. Is there nothing worse than eczema?
You could have eczema on your head.
Eczema on your scalp comes with a whole new set of problems. Your hair follicles are just the start of it. Eczema on your head is harder to treat, harder to live with, and even harder to hide, than eczema on other parts of your body.
When my son was around two years old his head became completely covered by eczema. We were already dealing with it on his arms, legs, and torso, and felt like we get it under some kind of control. Fortunately, his hair was reasonably short.
It started as what I thought was delayed cradle cap, with red, scaly patches and flaky skin. But these could not be discouraged from forming, and very quickly all joined together to be one big hard super-scab. I knew that you dealt with eczema by putting on steroid cream and then thick, greasy moisturizer, but how to cope when these won’t penetrate the crust?
If you have dealt with this sort of problem, I have probably completely grossed you out. But if you have had eczema on your head before, I can imagine you out in the internet-verse nodding, and saying ‘Oh my god, yes!’
At this point, we had to take my son to the hospital (not his first trip for the skin condition) because it was becoming infected, and I didn’t know what to do. It turns out what you had to do was wet and completely soften the crust and rub it off his head, until the skin was red raw, and could be treated with the topical creams.
Needless to say, my little son despised this whole process and screamed the place down. It was heartbreaking, for everyone involved. I swore (not for the first time in his little life) never to let it get this bad again.
What if you are older, and have a head full of hair?
As eczema-sufferers get older their hair gets thicker and longer, and eczema of the scalp becomes harder to cope with. You will have an itchy head all of the time, which it is very difficult to ignore. The more you scratch, the more people around you wonder if you have head lice, or what else might be wrong with your head.
Repeated scratching lifts up flakes of skin, which then sift through hair as dandruff. The older you are, the more you become embarrassed about this flaking, and how your classmates or colleagues feel about it.
What is scalp eczema?
It turns out that scalp eczema, cradle cap, and dandruff are all related, so it is more common than people realize. Technically called seborrheic dermatitis, this is defined as a chronic, recurrent, inflammatory skin condition with flaking skin and a red rash. Some people will have it appearing in their eyebrows at the same time.
The symptoms include red, scaly and flaky patches, greasy or waxy spots, and blisters, oozing or weeping at times. If you scratch the spots repeatedly then your skin can change color upon healing, and may not tan or grow hair as well as other parts.
This condition, like most eczema, comes and goes. It is not contagious. A lot of people will find it flaring up in winter, because of constantly covering your head when outside, and too much humid air or central heating when you are inside. In the warmer months, you tend to give your scalp more fresh air and sunlight, which can help keep the condition under control.
Eczema on your head can be caused or flared by any of the following:
Air conditioning or central heating
Response to some medications
Stress or depression
Reaction to fabrics like wool
Acne or other skin conditions
Greasy hair or oily skin
Low Vitamin D
Hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause
It occurs wherever there are extra-active sebaceous glands on your scalp. Sometimes rash-like lesions form on the scalp ranging in delightful colors from yellow to pink to brown, which form crusts and cause the skin to stick to the hair.
While mostly it can be treated with natural or over-the-counter products, it can become infected. If the skin is cracked and weeping and starts to smell bad, it has become infected from secondary bacteria, which is when things get really concerning and you need to see a doctor and may need a course of antibiotics.
It is very common in babies, but most people will grow out of it at this point. For some lucky people, it shows up in puberty or in middle-age.
The joy of a haircut
Getting your haircut with this condition has additional stresses. One sufferer described having his hairdresser lift small pieces of scalp off at the same time as cutting his hair. A lot of sufferers find that keeping their hair short has benefits, however, as it is easier to treat. This means more haircuts more often, so maybe find one that deals kindly with conditions like yours.
Because hairdressers have seen everything before, you might find one who has some really helpful advice about how to treat your scalp, so don’t let self-consciousness stop you from getting your hair done when it’s needed.
How do you treat it?
Even if you have short hair, eczema is still treated with creams and greasy moisturizers, and often with wet dressings. Can you imagine smearing thick, oily creams through your hair, and then covering with a wet bandage, and then heading off to school or work? Although usually people only do this at night; you can massage oil into your scalp and then sleep with a silk cap on your head.
In order to be treated properly, you end up using enough greasy products to look like Ross in the middle seasons of Friends, like he had permanently stepped out of the shower.
Like we had to do with my son; you have to remove the crusts and dead skin to treat the skin underneath. You can’t just heal the gross stuff on top and make it stick back down like normal scalp. The crusts and flakes need to be removed from your scalp by softening, then exfoliating and exposing the clean scalp, which is then treated with ointment to reduce the irritation. Your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream to help you treat it, and you can also get prescription shampoos that really help.
Steroid creams are to be sparingly used on the scalp and face however as they can thin the skin in these areas.
While you may be tempted to avoid this, getting the flakes up off your head and out of your hair is actually good for you. It just doesn’t look that great. Try using a fine-tooth comb in the shower after you have shampooed and lift as much as you can off.
Eczema is very sensitive to most bathing products and you can’t use soap. Regular shampoos are out. You will need to try various products to find one that doesn’t irritate your scalp, and it is likely that the one that works is expensive, and doesn’t even smell that great.
Dandruff shampoos can help a lot of sufferers but can irritate others, so find that one feels gentle for you. Using dandruff shampoo two or three times a week can get it under control and relieve the inflammation, itch, and flakes. I like ArtNatural products, they are well known for making skin sensitive products that are 100% Natural. I buy mine from AMAZON, I’ve included a link for you.
Clean your scalp well often, but don’t use very hot water.
So what can you do?
Different things will work for different people. Some of the better ingredients to look for include:
Coal tar which contains salicylic acid, and works by softening the protein keratin on the skin and allowing the dead skin cells to lift off. It is oil-soluble and anti-inflammatory.
Tea-tree oil which is antifungal and antibacterial and can be used to wash the scalp.
Zinc which is another antifungal and antibacterial agent which has been shown to have great effects on a lot of people with scalp eczema
Apple cider vinegar, which you can pour onto your scalp after shampooing and massage in for about five minutes, then rinse. The vinegar rinse can be very good at getting out oil if you have soaked your head in this first.
Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods such as garlic, ginger, flaxseed, avocado, banana or apple cider vinegar
Reduce foods which can cause inflammation or flare up allergies including processed oils, fried foods, dairy, refined sugar, trans fats and refined wheat products
Drink more water and reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine
Increase your intake of coconut water, green tea, and homemade juices
Are there any positives to life with eczema-head?
Of course! Besides the oddly therapeutic power of removing your own satisfying scalp flakes, often your partner will love doing this for you too! While at times it may feel like all you can see, the people who love you will not see it or be bothered by it, except be sad to know that it is annoying you. It is never as bad from the outside as it feels like from within.
Washing well, especially with natural products, will leave you clean, fresh and sweet smelling. You might find you are a lot more huggable and kissable when you smell this good.
My son, and after him my daughter, both suffered from eczema as little ones. The scalp eczema cleared up after they were toddlers, but we are halfway through elementary school now and we are still dealing with it all over their bodies. While I’m sure it is testing for them at times, I find that they are turning into lovely-natured human beings because of it.
Their levels of kindness and empathy know no bounds. When they see other children with any kind of affliction, big or small, I can explain it as ‘That’s like your eczema.’ Then they know the other child is not contagious, sometimes has a hard life dealing with his affliction, but is a friendly person despite it. Who most likely just wants to play with them.
Eczema will show you a greater understanding of the world, and a greater appreciation of people who really love you for you. And it’s very hard to feel bad about that.
This website and blogs provides general information and discussion about and medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this website or blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare workers, GP or Doctor.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.
Having Eczema is no fun at all and trying to find Eczema products that help is a hard task.
The products in this article have been sent into us by supporters and followers from our FACEBOOK group, ‘Eczema support group’ please feel free to CLICK THIS LINK to join our group. It’s great to have someone to talk to and share your experiences with. No one knows more about what you’re going through than another Eczema sufferer or carer.
As a man who’s had Eczema for over 46 years and a carer for my son with very bad Eczema for 19 Years, I know exactly what it’s like to try different product’s without any improvement, wasting time and money. So any help and advice were always appreciated, and some Eczema products really helped.
Not everything for treating Eczema is about Creams or lotions, Many products can help that you might not have heard of or tried before. We hope you find this information helpful and I hope you find ways to help your Eczema or to help someone you care for.
Caring is sharing and together we can cut out all the marketing talk and give you real advice and recommendation from real people who have used the Eczema products.
The award-winning Laundry Egg is a complete replacement for washing detergent. Just pop it in the drum of your washing machine – no powder, liquid, tablets or gels required.
The two types of mineral pellets inside the egg get to work, producing powerful – but natural – cleaning foam which powers through the fibers lifting off the dirt and grime.
Independently, laboratory proven to perform just as well as regular detergent, our innovative Laundry Egg is a real alternative to harsh chemicals – giving great results, naturally.
Great for sensitive skin
Supported by Allergy UK and the National Eczema Society, the Laundry Egg is dermatologically tested and perfect for even the most sensitive skin.
Long-lasting: under 3p per wash
Our 720 wash Laundry Egg lasts for 720 washes; that’s 3 year’s worth of laundry for the average family – imagine the money you’ll save not having to buy detergent for the next 3 years! Each load works out to be just under 3 pence per wash.
Available in Soft Cotton, Spring Blossom or Fragrance-Free.
Watching a young child, toddler or baby scratching at Eczema, psoriasis or any itchy skin rash is heart-breaking. Suffering a sleepless night thanks to baby eczema and then finding abandoned scratch mitts where your little one wriggled out of them frustrates even the most experienced parents. There’s also the damage your child can do by scratching and opening the skin to infection.
• Effective Scratch Mitts designed specifically for older babies and children, available in sizes from birth to 5 years.
• Cardigan design ensures ScratchSleeves stay firmly in place and makes them quick and easy to put on.
• Body cotton, Mitts Silk
• Natural silk mitts protect delicate skin from even the most vigorous scratching. Loose-fitting, cotton sleeves ensure kids stay cool and sensitive skin is not irritated.
• It can be used day or night and worn over or under regular clothing.
• Machine washable at 40 degrees using non-biological detergent. It can be tumble-dried.
We found these pack of 6 on Amazonat a really cheap price with free delivery only £5.99
Eczema is a skin condition defined by inflamed, itchy, red patches that appear due to dermatitis reacting to some sort of factor. Occasionally this reaction may be related to allergies, although genetics and environmental influences are also often the culprit.
No matter the severity of the reaction the result is often uncomfortable and interrupts your daily functions, including sleep.
Since sleep is a critical part of the healing process, it is important to address the triggers that may cause these reactions to ensure that your lack of sleep is not a cause. To help get the rest your body needs for recovery. Therefore eliminating the risk of Allergies when sleeping seems a sensible thing to do.
Read our latest blog on Eczema and AllergiesCLICK HERE
#5 Room Temperature monitor
One of the best ways to aid sleep for an Eczema sufferer is room temperature and humidity. So monitoring the room temperature is vital, You may think the room is fine but just guessing can be a bad decision.
Whilst you may not be able to control temperatures outdoors, the range of temperature indoors is usually within your control.
To keep your home cool, you should try air conditioning. In addition, keep your thermostat settings low to avoid dry air from getting to your skin.
Make sure that whatever you are using to lower the temperature of your environment does not dry out your skin. Therefore, do not cool your skin with sources of dry wind. Try cool mist humidifiers instead.
Many people who have Eczema or other dry skin conditions find that chlorine is harsh and abrasive on their skin. Some people avoid swimming entirely as it can lead to Eczema flare-ups. The chlorine in swimming pools can strip the skin and hair of its natural oils and proteins. This can lead to tight, red, itchy skin and dry hair. Severe Eczema flare-ups can be very painful and uncomfortable. Chlorine fumes can also be inhaled into the lungs, aggravating asthma symptoms, which are commonly connected with Eczema.
If you have Eczema and you find that your condition gets worse when you go swimming, then we highly recommend that you do not expose your skin to chlorine in your bath or shower.
In the UK, this chemical is added to all of our municipal water supplies to kill bacteria and this can aggravate your skin condition. These filters reduce the amount of Chlorine when showering. Most can be fitted simply to existing showers.
For more details and prices please click the link to go through to AMAZONwhere we found on at a low price
Gloves can be used in many different ways for Eczema sufferers. You can use them to prevent contact with daily irritants. To prevent Children from scratching.
You can also put gloves on after creaming to allow the cream to soak in. They can also be used to apply the cream by a carer.
A simple but effective way to care for Eczema on the hands. These are essential eczema products and a must-have.
Many types and materials are available, cotton and silk seem to be the best ones recommended by our friends andEczema groupfollowers.
We found these on Amazonwhich provides free delivery and low prices.
If you have Eczema you know dry air during the winter months only makes your skin feel worse. You may be suffering more than necessary if you aren’t using a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air in your home and office will make a big difference in the feel of your skin and nasal passages. In fact, a humidifier is an essential tool to help you manage Eczema. It’s the same reason moisturizing Eczema treatments like wet wrap therapy work for Eczema. Dry skin has more cracks just like a desert landscape, but add in moisture and the skin barrier will become smoother, keeping allergens out and lessening the chance of an eczema flare.
I know only too well how messy bedding can get after a child has scratched all night and washing the bedding every night is impossible! So try a Mattress and Upholstery vacuum. They have Allergenic filters and will help aid sleep. Loose skin can be easily vacuumed with these hand help cleaners. Handy in and around the bed/cot. As we know Eczema has many trigger points dust, allergens, etc. This will help reduce the risk of contact with some of these and thus help sleep and make our life easier! I’ve tried many Eczema products but this one is very handy to have.
#10 UV-C Portable Wand – kills 99% of bacteria, viruses and mold
No matter where you live, what you do for a living, or who you surround yourself with, you are prone to run into germs and other microorganisms every single day. While there are plenty of ways to deter the transfer of anything truly nasty to you and your families such as hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial sprays, are those really the best ways to go about removing vast quantities of germs and bacteria from areas such as bathrooms, kitchen counters, and any other environments which are highly trafficked and susceptible to being a breeding ground for these microorganisms?
There is another potential way to eliminate microbes from the environments that you and your family spend the most amount of time in. Sanitizing wands are relatively new when it comes to using it in the home, but the technology behind them has been used in hospitals, food processing plants, and water treatment plants for quite some time. Does this technology actually work though when sold as a consumer-grade UV-C wand?
In short, the answer is yes, however, individuals buying these products must know the proper way to use them. While they are generally simple to use, there are several variables that must be known prior to use a sanitizing wand on a given surface. The wand must be held in the right position, for the proper amount of time, and the surface must be nearly perfectly smooth, otherwise, the microorganisms have the ability to hide from the UV-C rays.
How will you know if the wand is working properly? Unfortunately, similar to chemical cleaners that are used to disinfect surfaces in the home, you will not be able to tell visually if the wand is working. However, as with chemical cleaners, you will begin to be able to feel if a surface is disinfected, as well, any organic smells that were the result of dead or dying microorganisms will begin to disappear.
It is important to note that while these products are extremely useful in regards to cleaning and disinfecting a home, proper cautionary measures need to be taken when using them. Always follow the instructions.
We found this one on AMAZONclick below for more details and prices.
Everyone has their own opinions about these Salt lamps and the benefit for Eczema sufferers but we have received many comments from people who believe it really can and has affected Eczema for the positive.
Here are some of the benefits they claim to have.
It has been acknowledged worldwide that the following Himalayan Salt lamp benefits are derived from Himalayan Salts:
1 It helps with dry skin problems e.g. eczema and psoriasis
2 Aids in faster healing of wounds
3 Aids in tissue alkalization
4 Helps with the relaxation of deep tissues
5 Helps cleanse and detoxify
6 Aids in one’s well being and energizes the body
7 Aids in the positive mood swings
8 It aids in balancing the endocrine system
9 Enhances more energy bringing about a sense of well being
10 Aids in the rejuvenation of the body
11 Helps absorption good nutrients for the body and eliminated toxins
12 Himalayan Salt is a much better and healthier alternative to table salt
13 It has also proven that salts provide a soothing and calming effect on the body
14 Helps with achieving good sleep
15 Himalayan Salt dispels stress
16 Himalayan Salt is a natural ionizer ridding the air from dust mites and bacteria, therefore helps with the better quality of air that we breathe
17 It helps replace harmful ions from electrical gadgets and helps balance with healthy negative ions
18 Himalayan Salt aids in one’s concentration
19 Himalayan Salt had been known to have 84 mineral & trace elements
20 Himalayan salt helps and aids in rebalancing the bodies frequencies and vibrations
We have one in our living room and my wife swears by it, I’m not convinced but it’s certainly not harming me or my Eczema and it looks nice!
Always work with your doctor to find the right treatments. Your symptoms, age, family history, other health problems, and lifestyle help you find treatment’s that work. Most Eczema treatments give you short-term relief, But any relief no matter how short is a good thing.
For more great articles and information please visit our main website. Our Eczema Story.com >>> Click Here <<<
We also have a FACEBOOK Eczema support group, CLICK HERE. Please feel free to join and post questions and read posts from people in similar situations to yourself.
Are you having a baby? Consider Skin Testing for Atopic Eczema
Would you like to help researchers at The University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester understand how our skin develops from birth and identify early risk factors for developing eczema by conducting Skin Testing for Atopic Eczema.
What are we trying to find out?
Following birth, our skin takes a number of years to mature before it gives us the protection we need from our environment. Without adequate protection, our bodies are exposed to irritants, allergens, and bacteria that cause a range of skin problems including eczema. We would like to look carefully at the skin of a group of 150 babies during their first year of life to see how it matures, and identify whether we can predict early on which babies are most at risk of developing eczema. The early identification of these high-risk babies opens up the opportunity to stop them from developing eczema in the first place.
Why have I been invited?
You are being invited to join because you will shortly become, or have just become, a mother who lives in the local Sheffield community.
What will happen if I take part?
During the first 12 months following birth, we will perform harmless procedures on your baby’s skin. The first of these will be conducted on the maternity ward before you go home. The same procedures will be performed at your home at 4 weeks and around 12 months after your baby’s birth. We will arrange a convenient time with you during the day for us to visit you.
We will arrange to call you approximately 6 months following your baby’s birth to ask questions about you and how you have cared for your baby’s skin in general.
In addition to this, we will ask you to keep a daily diary (first month) and a weekly diary (months 2-6) on how you care for your baby’s skin and whether you observe any skin problems, such as red rashes.
Will I need to change the way I look after my babies skin?
No. We simply want to look at how your baby’s skin develops the following birth normally. This means that you can decide how you care for your baby’s skin.
This study is organized by researchers at The University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester and is funded by the Leo Foundation. The study has been reviewed and given a favorable opinion by North West – Preston Research Ethics Committee (Ref: 16/NW/0848), and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (Ref: STH 19479).