Treatment for Scalp Eczema in Black Hair Types
Are you suffering from scalp eczema with black hair? Believe it or not, this itchy skin condition is more prevalent in African American scalps than in other ethnicities. And here in this complete guide, you'll learn everything you need to know about scalp eczema in black hair types.
Eczema is a condition where the skin becomes irritated, itchy, blisters, and even weeps in some cases. It can appear anywhere on the skin, including the scalp. And it's nothing to be ashamed of! According to National Eczema Association, 31.6 million people in the US suffer from eczema.
With this many people affected there are tons of treatments and options to help heal your skin and maintain it without eczema breakouts. It can be even more difficult to deal with if you have African American or Black hair. Kinky hair is more delicate and needs a gentler touch when working with it.
A lot of people who suffer from a flaky scalp end up visiting a dermatologist where they can be prescribed steroid creams, ointments, and even injections in severe cases. Some people even decide to use natural treatments like coconut oil to help with some of the symptoms like dryness.
If you haven't already been diagnosed with eczema, here are some tips for figuring out if you just have a flaky scalp or something more serious.
Diagnosing Scalp Eczema in Black Hair: How to Tell if You Have it
Eczema on the scalp is called seborrheic dermatitis, commonly known as dandruff. Sometimes this is mistaken for a dry scalp, but they both are caused by different issues. If you have a dry scalp, this is because you're not producing enough oils. It can be caused by cold weather, irritation from hair products, and old age.
Seborrheic dermatitis comes from the scalp producing too much oil. This leads to the cells on your scalp to shed quickly and fall off in flakes.
Characteristics of Scalp Eczema
- Greasy scalp
- Patches of inflamed skin
- Red or discolored parts of the scalp
- Very flaky
- Blisters or lesions that weep
- Uncontrollably itchy scalp
What Causes Scalp Eczema in Black Hair Patients?
With seborrheic dermatitis, the skin is overreacting to malassezia, a fungus that lives on the scalp. The scalp produces too much of it and then tries to fix it by shedding rapidly. The root cause of eczema is a person by person basis, where it can be anything from genetics, stress, or environmental factors.
Other causes for eczema include:
- Health or skin conditions (psoriasis, rosacea, etc)
- Super hot or cold climates
Depending on the cause of your eczema, there are many different approaches you can take to heal your scalp.
How to Treat Scalp Eczema with Black Hair in Particular
Now - you should have a better idea of whether what you're suffering from is eczema or one of the other common itchy skin conditions. And now, we want to talk about what you can do to help calm your agitated scalp skin. Keep reading to learn how to treat scalp eczema with black hair in particular.
The most simple way to handle scalp eczema is by using dandruff shampoo. Since the uncomfortable, itchy flakes are caused by an excess amount of fungus, you should look for a shampoo that says antifungal and contains one of the following ingredients:
- Salicyclic acid
- Coal tar
- Zinc pyrithione
- Selenium sulfide
After continuous use of an antifungal shampoo, you should see a reduction in flakes and inflation of the scalp. Just choose your shampoo wisely, and avoid chemicals that cause hair loss in your shampoo of choice.
If the antifungal shampoo just isn't working, or if you know you'll need something a lot stronger to combat your scalp eczema, visit the dermatologist. They can take a look at your head and determine if you should try out a topical steroid.
It can come in the form of a shampoo or cream and will reduce all symptoms.
If you want to try out natural remedies before testing out any steroid creams, we got you!
- Aloe vera gel
- Apple cider vinegar (diluted with water in a spray bottle)
- Colloidal oatmeal
- Tea tree oil (diluted with water)
- Coconut oil
- Cade oil
These can all be applied before washing to help loosen up the flakes and soothe your scalp. Please proceed with caution before attempting to use any of these on your scalp and do your own due diligence on researching how they can affect your skin.
Moisturizing Your Scalp to Combat Eczema
Unfortunately, breakage is a common problem for people with Black hair. So trying to moisturize your scalp and hair while also dealing with dandruff can be difficult. But, there are products that aren't heavily fragranced that you can still use to keep away the dryness.
Whether you like to moisturize your scalp before or after shampooing, there are a few different products to handle this if you have eczema:
- Moisturizing spray
- Hair and scalp mask
- Leave-in conditioner
- Scalp oil
Using products like these in your wash-day routine can keep your scalp happy and healthy.
Other Ways to Treat Eczema on Scalp with Black Hair
The advice listed above should help you manage your ezcema on scalp with black hair. But if not, there are a few other remedies you can try - and one of these will even help you with hair loss.
There are other ways one can treat their scalp eczema besides using a topical treatment. Since some of the other causes for eczema include diet, allergies, and stress we'll take an inside look at each one and how you can combat it.
Change your Diet
What you put into your body affects you whether you realize it or not. For some people, their eczema can be caused by certain foods they eat. Dairy is one food group that is known to cause frequent eczema breakouts.
It's important to listen to your body and even keep a food journal. If you have a day where your scalp is itching even more than usual, you can look at what you ate for the day and notice if there's something different on that list. If you ate a slice of cheese pizza the day you are extra itchy, but no cheese the day before, that could be a sign that your body is reacting to the cheese.
What foods are bad for eczema?
These are more specific foods that typically cause eczema flare-ups. However, everyone is different and other foods can affect you as well. Learn more about the foods that promote hair growth in our blog.
Look out for Contact Allergies
Shampoos, conditioners, and detergents are often the culprit for eczema breakouts. Since your conditioner and other hair care products come in contact with your scalp, it's important to check that they aren't heavily fragranced. This can irritate your skin even more and never allow it to heal.
As for the detergent, a fragrance-free version is needed because it comes into contact with your bedding and your bonnet. Both of these fabrics touch and rub against your scalp, so the fragrance from laundry detergent can cause scalp eczema flare-ups.
Manage your Stress
This is much easier said than done, but if stress is the cause of your eczema then you have to try to control it. You can try taking walks every day, exercising, journaling, etc. Find the solution that works best for you to control your stress and relax your mind.
Even just talking about your problems can be healing and offer some relief to your eczema issues.
Does Scalp Eczema Prevent Hair Growth?
Eczema causes uncontrollable itching, which can lead to damage to the scalp. If you continuously scratch your head until it bleeds, you risk damaging the hair follicles. This can make trying to grow your hair very difficult because you have to wait until the follicles are healed to see any results. It's important to note the distinct differences between hair loss vs hair breakage. The hair shed you see from eczema is likely breakage caused by itching and irritation.
Any bald patches on your scalp or hair loss should be a temporary issue. Once your scalp eczema has cleared up, the hair should start growing again. To promote a healthy scalp and hair be sure to use a product that is designed for your specific African hair growth needs, like Allurium Beauty's hair serum. Find out firsthand what makes it one of the best hair growth products for African American hair.
Final Thoughts on Eczema on Scalp & Black Hair
We hope this complete guide has helped you feel more confident in how to manage eczema on scalp with black hair type. Remember - seborrheic dermatitis can typically be remedied with the help of shampoos or antifungal treatments. These types of skin conditions won't go away on their own - so act quickly to restore the natural oils to your natural hair. And to help achieve your healthiest hair ever, read our complete guide to taking care of black hair!