An itchy, flaky scalp is never a fun experience. Nobody enjoys sitting in a meeting or being out to dinner, only to reach up to scratch their head and have flakes of skin sprinkle down onto the table. 

As embarrassing as it might be for this to happen to you, please note that this is caused by a common condition known as eczema. It is so common that treating your flaky scalp can easily be done at home. 

If you’re tired of your itchy, flaky scalp, keep reading to learn more about eczema and what can be done to treat it. 

Eczema vs Dandruff

Eczema is a condition that causes patches of skin to become inflamed, which results in the skin turning red, flaking, and/or cracking. It can be extremely itchy and painful. Eczema can occur all over your body, including your scalp. Other symptoms of scalp eczema include waxy hair, oozing wounds, and a burning sensation. 

When eczema occurs on your scalp, it is known as seborrheic dermatitis—and one of the most symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff. Dandruff is white, oily flakes of skin that make your scalp feel itchy. Yes, when people refer to having dandruff, they likely have eczema on their scalp. 

It really isn’t that hard to see when you’re suffering from eczema on your scalp, especially when you start seeing flakes of skin on your clothing. At first, it’ll probably be more visible to you than to others. But if you don’t treat it, it could get worse and result in larger flakes of skin. 

Causes of scalp eczema

There are actually quite a few causes of scalp eczema. Hormonal changes are a common reason, especially for teenagers. Extreme weather changes, especially cold and dry air, can also cause your scalp to become flaky. 

Scalp eczema could also be a result of an allergic reaction. Some people have reactions to the harsh chemicals found in soaps and shampoos. If you’ve recently only started having trouble with flaky skin after changing your shampoo, your new shampoo is likely to blame. 

Certain conditions and medications can also result in scalp eczema. Those that suffer from other skin conditions, a nervous system disorder, allergies, depression, or HIV may find themselves struggling. 

Reducing scalp eczema

Scalp eczema can frequently be treated at home. Many people experience it coming and going for years at a time. Luckily, over-the-counter eczema shampoos can help during flare-ups. 

Eczema shampoos have ingredients within them that can help reduce redness, inflammation, and flaky skin. This can help rejuvenate your scalp so that you can stop feeling embarrassed about your flaky skin. 

Some eczema shampoos have harsh chemicals within them, but many companies are starting to turn to more natural ingredients. For example, there are certain blends of herbs that will hydrate your scalp to get rid of flaky skin. 

Whenever you’re looking at different shampoos, always check a source for trusted product reviews to see if others have had luck with that product. While not every product will work the same for everyone, product reviews can often allow you to narrow down your list of possibilities. 

If you’ve tried several shampoos and you’re still struggling with an itchy or flaky scalp, you may need to get a prescription shampoo from your doctor. You should also immediately contact your doctor if your scalp is so inflamed that it is regularly bleeding or if it looks infected. 

Preventing eczema flare-ups

Some people might find themselves repeatedly struggling with scalp eczema flare-ups. While it is always good to have shampoo on hand to help with flare-ups, there are also certain triggers you can avoid. As soon as you suspect a flare-up, start treating it immediately with your eczema shampoo. 

One way is to avoid any known allergens. If you know that you have reactions to a certain shampoo, avoid that shampoo. Look for gentle, natural hair care products that do not have any added chemical scents. 

When shampooing your hair, make sure to only use a dollop of shampoo and thoroughly rinse the shampoo out to prevent build-up. It is especially important to wash your hair after exercising. You don’t want excessive sweat lingering on your scalp.

Final thoughts 

An itchy, sore, and flaky scalp isn’t an enjoyable experience, but if you start treating it immediately with an eczema shampoo, you should find some relief. If your eczema gets worse or won’t go away after trying several shampoos, you may need to contact a medical professional for the next steps.


Published by Charlesa Gibson