Scalp Changes and Treatments

Scalp Changes and Treatments

The skin enveloping our cranium is an extraordinary tapestry, diverging in essence from the remainder of our corporeal canvas. Not only does it flaunt a profusion of hair follicles in splendid abundance, but it also plays host to an augmented congregation of sebaceous glands.

Nestled within the hair follicles themselves, and occasionally dispersed amidst hairless domains, these diminutive glands embark upon the secretion of sebum—an oily, nourishing elixir that bestows both hair and skin with its coveted luster. Consequently, the scalp evolves into an alluring sanctuary, beckoning microorganisms to seek refuge within its inviting folds, thereby unfurling an array of potential predicaments.

While dandruff claims sovereignty as the most recognizable scalp ailment, characterized by the precipitous proliferation of epidermal cells, cascading forth as ethereal flakes to grace our shoulders with a snow-white cascade, a plethora of additional scalp conditions exist that warrant devoted medical attention.

Scalp Conditions And Treatment

Scalp Changes and Treatments


A mere 1 to 2% of the general population falls victim to this condition, with its onset possible at any age, sparing no one. While psoriasis can affect any part of the body, an astonishing 45% to 56% of individuals with this affliction find their scalp under siege, as per the findings of the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Regrettably, scalp psoriasis stands tall among the most formidable variants to combat. Unlike its dandruff counterpart, it can be distinguished by the formation of scaly, parched patches, rather than oily accumulations. These patches tend to itch, cause discomfort, form crusts, and even bleed.

Visual cues of scalp psoriasis include pink plaques adorned with a silvery sheen. On individuals with darker skin tones, these plaques may manifest as dark red or purplish blemishes.


  • The primary course of action involves the use of topical steroids to rein in the inflammatory response, a widely employed therapeutic approach. In more resistant cases, biologic injections come into play, aiding in the suppression of the triggers responsible for flare-ups.
  • In instances where specific trouble spots refuse to yield to other treatments, the excimer laser emerges as a viable option, effectively targeting individual areas. Experts highlight the potential benefits of adopting a gentler hair care routine. Reducing the frequency of shampooing can diminish the occurrence of skin rashes, while the application of a therapeutic oil cream can also work wonders in mitigating symptoms.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Dubbed “seb derm” by most dermatologists, this condition stands among the most prevalent scalp afflictions. In infants, it is recognized as a cradle cap, while adults experience the emergence of red, itchy patches accompanied by either greasy scales or dandruff.

Although non-communicable, it is a chronic ailment that tends to fluctuate in response to triggers such as stress and seasonal variations, with the winter and early spring months usually exacerbating symptoms. Distinguishing it from dandruff, seb derm possesses the capacity to extend beyond the confines of the scalp, affecting areas like the face, nose, eyebrows, ears, and chest.


  • An anti-yeast shampoo with a potent prescription, ketoconazole, can provide relief. However, caution must be exercised as it can cause excessive dryness to the hair. To maximize its effectiveness, it is recommended to directly apply the shampoo to the scalp, allowing it to remain for 5 to 10 minutes before wetting the hair. Subsequently, focus on lathering only the scalp area, followed by thorough rinsing.
  • To counteract the potential dryness induced by prescription shampoos, particularly for individuals with coily hair types, it is advisable to utilize a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner specifically on the hair shaft.
  • In cases where the shampoo alone fails to yield satisfactory results, or when dealing with densely compacted scales, the dermatologist may prescribe a topical steroid, either as an alternative or in combination with the shampoo.


Folliculitis, a prevalent dermal condition, entails inflammation of the hair follicles. It manifests as petite pustules dispersed across the scalp, resembling acne, with the potential to spread. These bumps can occasionally be tender to the touch.

Visual description: Dispersed pustules. On individuals with darker skin tones, the bumps may adopt a dark red hue or display a light purple tinge along the edges.


  • Upon conducting a culture test to identify the underlying bacterial cause, your healthcare professional may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to address the issues plaguing your scalp.
  • In the absence of an infectious agent, anti-inflammatory medications, including topical steroid formulations, can prove effective in mitigating it.

Causes Of Scalp Changes

Stress: Chronic stress or emotional disturbances can contribute to scalp changes. Stress can disrupt the balance of hormones and immune function, potentially leading to scalp issues like excessive oiliness, dryness, or hair loss. changes can occur due to various factors, and identifying the underlying cause is important for proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some common causes of scalp changes:

Dermatitis: Scalp dermatitis refers to inflammation of the scalp and can be caused by conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), psoriasis, or allergic reactions. It can lead to itching, redness, flaking, and irritation of the scalp.

Infections: Scalp infections can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Common examples include scalp folliculitis (infection of hair follicles), ringworm (fungal infection), or viral infections like herpes simplex. These infections can result in redness, swelling, itching, and sometimes even hair loss.

Allergies: Allergic reactions to certain hair products, such as shampoos, conditioners, or hair dyes, can cause scalp changes. Contact dermatitis is a common allergic reaction characterized by itching, redness, and sometimes blisters or hives on the scalp.

Trauma: Physical trauma to the scalp, such as excessive scratching, tight hairstyles, or harsh brushing, can cause scalp changes. It may result in scalp irritation, redness, tenderness, and even small wounds or sores.

Hormonal changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur during pregnancy, menopause, or certain medical conditions, can affect the scalp. Hormonal changes may lead to increased oil production, dryness, or thinning of the hair.

Autoimmune conditions: Some autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata can cause scalp changes. In this condition, the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss and potentially affecting the scalp.

Scalp conditions: Certain specific scalp conditions can cause changes, such as scalp psoriasis, scalp acne, or scalp cysts. These conditions have their own characteristic symptoms and require appropriate medical management.

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