Scalp Problems - Eczema
The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterised by one or more symptoms: redness, skin oedema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. With some GP’s, dermatitis and eczema are synonymous, while in other languages "dermatitis" implies an acute condition and "eczema" a chronic one. The two conditions are often classified together.
There are several variants of Eczema which can affect the scalp:
Atopic Eczema is an allergic disease believed to have a hereditary component and often runs in families whose members also have asthma. An itchy rash is particularly noticeable on head, scalp, and neck.
Contact dermatitis is of two types: allergic (resulting from a delayed reaction to some allergen, (such as hair dye), and irritant (resulting from direct reaction to a detergent or bleach).
Neurodermatitis (lichen simplex) is an itchy area of thickened, pigmented eczema patch that becomes worse as a result from continued rubbing and scratching. Usually there is only one spot located at the nape of the neck.
Treatment: There is not a cure for eczema, but there are highly effective in controlling or suppressing symptoms in most cases.
Such medications as oral corticosteroids or injections may also be prescribed in severe cases. While these usually bring about rapid improvements, they should not be taken for any length of time and the eczema often returns to its previous level of severity once the medication is stopped.
Once again there must be a continued trial of treatments to find the best one for each individual, a mixture of medication, emollients and lifestyle changes can control all but the most severe cases.