Scalp issues can be uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, It creates room for itching, uncomfortable rashes, flakes, bumps, hair loss as well as sores or red spots. But they are common and often treatable. If scalp issues persist or worsen despite using over-the-counter treatments, it’s important to consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and tailored treatment. They can prescribe stronger medications or therapies to address specific scalp conditions.
Here are some common scalp problems and ways to treat them
1. Dandruff: Dandruff is characterized by flaky, itchy scalp. It can be caused by dry skin, sensitivity to hair products, or a yeast-like fungus. Anti-dandruff shampoos containing ingredients like zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, or selenium sulfide can help manage dandruff. Regular washing and moisturizing the scalp can also prevent dandruff.
2. Psoriasis: Psoriasis on the scalp leads to red, scaly patches. Medicated shampoos, topical treatments containing coal tar, salicylic acid, or corticosteroids can help manage psoriasis symptoms. In serious cases, a dermatologist may prescribe oral medications or light therapy.
3. Seborrheic Dermatitis: This condition causes red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. It is often found on the scalp but can also affect other oily areas like the face and chest. Medicated shampoos containing ketoconazole, coal tar, or selenium sulfide can help control seborrheic dermatitis. Avoiding harsh hair products and managing stress can also be helpful.
4. Scalp Acne: Scalp acne can occur due to clogged hair follicles, excessive oil production, or bacteria. Using a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo, avoiding oily hair products, and keeping the scalp clean can help prevent scalp acne. Topical treatments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can be effective.
5. Scalp Sunburn: The scalp is often exposed to the sun and can get sunburned. Wearing a hat or using sunscreen specifically designed for the scalp can prevent sunburn. Aloe vera gel or over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help soothe sunburned scalp.
6. Fungal Infections: Fungal infections like ringworm can cause itching, redness, and hair loss. Antifungal shampoos or creams containing ketoconazole, ciclopirox, or selenium sulfide can help treat fungal infections. It’s necessary to keep the scalp clean and dry.
7. Hair Lice: Head lice infestations can cause intense itching. Medicated lice shampoos or lotions are available over-the-counter to treat lice. It’s essential to follow the instructions carefully and wash all bedding and clothing in hot water to prevent re-infestation.