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Seborrheic Eczema: Can it Cause Hair Loss?


Leonora Haroon Examination MediumSeborrheic Eczema, also known as Seborrheic Dermatitis or Serborrhea, is a mild, chronic form of dermatitis which can affect men, women and children of all ages. The condition presents itself as patches of inflamed skin which are usually red and covered with white or yellow greasy scales.

Patches most commonly occur in areas of the body that can become sweaty or greasy, such as the scalp, face (particularly between the eyebrows and around the nose), ears, chest and in skin folds. The condition is often mistaken for dandruff, and although it appears similar, the greasy nature of the patches differs from the dry, flaky appearance of dandruff.

Can Seborrheic Eczema cause hair loss?

Left untreated, Seborrheic Eczema can cause hair loss because the follicles find it difficult to grow in an unhealthy, inflamed environment. In addition, many people with the condition feel the urge to pick and scratch at their scalp. If this gets out of control, it can cause or exacerbate hair loss.

What causes Seborrheic Eczema?

It’s not known exactly what causes Seborrheic Eczema, or why it affects some people and not others, but a yeast known as malassezia is thought to play a role. Whilst this yeast appears on everyone’s skin, the immune system of a Seborrheic Eczema sufferer is sensitive to it, causing inflammation. Stress, tiredness or being unwell can also trigger symptoms. The condition isn’t contagious and is not caused by diet or poor personal hygiene.

Prevention and treatment

Whilst there is no cure for Seborrheic Eczema, prevention is the best course of action and taking care of your skin can help to minimise symptoms. Avoid picking at or scratching inflamed patches on your head as this could cause hair loss or thinning hair. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner with lukewarm, not hot water. Medicated shampoos can be helpful to loosen scales and counteract itching, as can brushing your hair and scalp gently using a natural, soft bristle brush. Some people find that staying hydrated can help keep symptoms at bay, so make sure you drink plenty of water.

You should visit your GP if you think you have symptoms of Seborrheic Eczema, and if hair loss is a concern it’s a good idea to see a hair loss specialist straightaway to explore your options for repairing any damage. You’ll usually be prescribed a medicated shampoo containing ingredients such as salicylic acid which softens scales and can reduce yeast growth. Short-term use of corticosteroid cream on your scalp can also be helpful.

The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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