Yellow flakes on scalp

By Dr. Eddie Valenzuela

If you see flakes on your scalp you might just assume it’s dandruff and move on. However, not all scalp flakes are the same, and the color of flakes can tell you a lot about your scalp’s health.If your scalp has yellow flakes, you are most likely suffering from a condition called seborrheic dermatitis.

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Why Do I Have a Yellow Crust on My Scalp?

Seborrheic dermatitis, usually called “cradle cap” in babies, is the most probable cause of a yellow crust or yellow flakes on the scalp. It is an inflammatory skin condition that causes symptoms, including:

  • Yellow flakes
  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Oiliness
  • Scaling

In the simplest terms, seborrheic dermatitis is an extreme case of dandruff. But, unlike its other flaky relative, seborrheic dermatitis can appear on the eyebrows and nose and behind the ears in addition to on the scalp.

The exact cause of this common skin condition isn’t known, but specialists think overactive sebaceous glands and a fungus called Malassezia are involved. The skin is full of sebaceous glands that secrete an oil – sebum. The glands can become overactive and secrete too much sebum, which in turn causes the yeasts that live on the skin to release irritating byproducts that can contribute to the inflammation that causes seborrheic dermatitis.

Malassezia is a yeast-like fungus that lives on the scalp and consumes excess skin cells. If there is too much Malassezia on a scalp eating too many skin cells, the skin will go into overdrive and make more cells. And if there are too many skin cells on the scalp, you get yellow, crusty flakes.

Is it Dandruff, Cradle Cap, or Seborrheic Dermatitis?

It’s common for people to confuse dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis as they are related. However, you tell the difference between dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis by their symptoms.

Seborrheic dermatitis causes yellow, crusty flakes and red, scaly, peeling, and inflamed skin, while dandruff causes fine, white flakes or scales without any other inflammation or redness. Also, this condition can pop up almost anywhere on the body, including behind the ears, in the neck folds, around the eyebrows, and in the diaper area on babies. But dandruff, on the other hand, generally sticks to the head and eyebrows.

You generally can’t control if you or your baby get seborrheic dermatitis, but you can help clear it up with a shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis flakes.

Fight Back Against Yellow Flakes

Though seborrheic dermatitis and its yellow flakes aren’t dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Luckily, you can relieve these symptoms with a seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff shampoo.

Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash is a shampoo for cradle cap flakes specifically designed to be tough on seborrheic dermatitis but gentle on sensitive skin of all ages. This 95% natural shampoo and body wash features FDA approved active ingredient zinc pyrithione to clear away flakes, provitamin B5 to hydrate, and licorice root to soothe redness.

Use Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash to fight back against yellow flakes and possibly prevent new flakes from forming.

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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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Are yellow flakes on my scalp dandruff?

No, dandruff usually appears as white or gray flakes. These fall off from the scalp. If you are experiencing yellow or brownish flakes on the scalp, you might be experiencing seborrheic dermatitis

How to clean these yellow flakes on my scalp?

To clear the yellow flakes on the scalp, wash your hair daily with a mild medicated shampoo for cradle cap or dandruff shampoo. These can help in removing the scales and prevent future buildup.

Why do I have yellow flakes on my scalp?

The most common reason for having yellow, crusty flakes on the scalp is seborrheic dermatitis, also known as cradle cap in babies.

Can these yellow flakes on the scalp cause hair loss?

No, these yellow flakes or seborrheic dermatitis do not cause hair loss. But scratching and picking at these flakes can cause some hair to fall off.

Are cradle cap and seborrheic dermatitis different?

Cradle cap is another name used for seborrheic dermatitis in babies. It usually appears on the baby’s scalp, which is why it is known as cradle cap. When an adult experiences it, it is known as seborrheic dermatitis, as it can also appear on other parts of the body.

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