It is possible for eczema to cause hair loss. But first let’s delve deeper into what we are referring to when we say Eczema. Eczema is a broad category of irritated skin. Two of the most common types of eczema that people encounter are atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis.
When most people and doctors say “Eczema”, they are referring to atopic dermatitis, the dry itchy spots that occurs on the cheeks, elbows, knees and wrists, ankles and neck. This kind of eczema rarely occurs on the scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis is the form of eczema that causes greasy yellow scales on the scalps of infants and adults and also causes itchiness and flaking in the eyebrows, behind the ears, and causes redness in the fold between the nose and the cheeks.
Dandruff which entails mild flaking and itching on the scalp only, we should note, is extremely common and is a less intense version of seborrheic dermatitis.
When I think of hair loss the first location on my body I think about is on the top of my head.
But as we know, we have hair all over our body. And oh, cruel world, in the places we would like to have less of it sometimes there is too much and in the places we would wish for more we many times are lacking.
Generally, eczema (the broad term) leads to inflammation and itchiness, both of which can prevent hair growth and cause existing hair to fall out.
Luckily, hair loss from any kind of scalp or skin condition is usually temporary, and the hair will grow back once the rash is cleared.
How Can Eczema Cause Hair Loss?
All hair on the body grows out of hair follicles in the skin, and this growth can be interrupted by common eczema symptoms like irritation and itchiness.
It is difficult for hair to grow when the scalp and skin is irritated from eczema as the inflammation can hamper a healthy environment for hair follicles leading to less hair production, cause alterations in the hair shaft and may allow hair to prematurely fall out.
These stressors can lead to thinning hair as the hair that regularly falls out isn’t replaced. Plus, the friction associated with scratching and picking at an eczema rash on the scalp can cause hair to fall out and even damage the hair follicles.
It is important to note that the most common form of eczema on the scalp is seborrheic dermatitis, and more common yet, its subtype, the flaking only version called dandruff. It is theorized that the root cause of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis is the yeast called Malassezia.
The hair follicles in the scalp and the rest of the skin don’t just grow hair, however. They also secrete sebum, which is an oily substance that helps protect and hydrate the skin.
It turns out that this culprit (the yeast Malassezia), mentioned above, likes to eat the sebum which creates a cascade of events that leads to scalp inflammation in the first place.
Treating Hair Loss from Eczema
What can you do if you suffer from hair loss because of eczema?
Well it depends where your hair loss is. Managing eczema all over the face and body (atopic dermatitis) involves a careful regimen of proper skincare, including daily use of a gentle eczema shampoo and body wash for eczema, like Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash. This gentle product is a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, non-soap cleanser with a low pH, making it ideal to help soothe eczema symptoms. Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash also contains licorice root extract, oatmeal extract, and aloe vera to soothe redness and provitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid to moisturize hair and skin.
Critical to a proper eczema skin care regimen is moisturizing the skin twice daily with an irritant free moisturizing cream.
Managing eczema on the scalp (seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff) involves using an anti-dandruff and anti-seborrheic dermatitis shampoo and body wash that can tackle the source of the problem which is the yeast Malassezia.
Reach for a gentle, irritant free seborrheic dermatitis shampoo and body wash like Dr. Eddie’s Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash which can help eliminate scalp and skin scaling, redness, flaking, itching, and irritation associated with dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
When treating seborrheic dermatitis, once symptoms are under control with a medicated shampoo and body wash and use is tapered to only 2-3 times per week, you can use a gentle shampoo like Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash on the other days of the week. Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo can be used daily if needed.
Talk to your doctor about a personalized treatment plan for your symptoms.