When we think of summer we remember the heat, desire for coconut water or cold drinks, lassi, ice creams. And then we get terrified by the heat affects like excessive sweating especially in the scalp which brings back all the latent itching and other symptoms of the scalp.
Scalp is a sensitive area of the skin where we tend to ignore what is happening over it and assume anything that itches and flakes is just plain dandruff. Trying various chemical hair products such as anti-dandruff shampoos, salicylic acid products or salon treatments end up in having worst scenarios.
So let’s get an understanding on various common conditions that affect the scalp.
Seborrhoeic Dermatitis: (also known as seborrhea)
This appears as a severe form of dandruff with big yellow shaded flakes and excess oiliness of the scalp, associated with scalp itching and sometimes thick lesions at few areas due to severe inflammation of the skin. This is limited to the hair margins and can also be seen in areas other than scalp like on the T zone of the face, also on the beard area and chest, which has oil glands.
This condition occurs due to the excess production of the sebum from the oil glands. Later it can be infected from yeast, Malassezia. It gets worse during summers as the oil production gets more and sweat is profuse in the scalp during summer.
There are many over the counter products which help to give temporary relief from the itching. Definitely needs medical intervention in severe cases.
Contact Dermatitis: (Allergic scalp)
- This appears as itchy scalp with redness, flaking and lesions.
- This condition occurs due to the allergic reaction of the scalp from any hair products or hair dyes (usually the black color dye which has active component Para Phenylenediamine), hair sprays. Can also occur from any allergic materials used on the scalp for long time like wigs made from synthetic materials (Synthetic hair allergy).It can also be identified as contact urticaria.
- Sometimes the similar allergic reactions can be seen on the eyelids too.
- Atopic or allergic tendency of the skin can also be observed on the scalp.
- This can be aggravated during summers as the scalp is more sensitive during summers especially who wear wigs all the day.
When the allergy causing agent is removed from the contact of the skin, the skin tries to get back to normalcy but in considerable cases, medical interventions are needed.
Any infections of the scalp
Scalp can be the suitable area of the skin to have their habitat for few infective microorganisms.
Head lice, are very common parasites that infest the scalp-causing itching and when it is severe can cause eruptions and even oozing of the blood. There are products available in the pharmacies which can be brought over the counter, if still persisting then needed medical intervention.
Scalp Ringworm, it is a fungal infection causing severe itching and rash. Here the hair might be lost in that area causing alopecia with skin becoming a scar tissue. Need medical intervention.
Scabies, gives intense itching and small bumps on the rash. This usually will be seen on the other skin areas too. There are over the counter anti scabies lotions to apply. Better to have the physician’s advice.
Folliculitis, identified by having pimples on the scalp with pus and severe pain. Usually observed on the back of the scalp. If not treated, can also spread on the entire scalp area. This is very infective.
All the infections tend to grow more during summers as the skin generally is moist in the scalp due to excess sweating.
Lichen Planus: (Lichen planopilaris):
Though lichen planus is more common on the trunk and limbs, in few individuals it affects the scalp causing severe itching, redness and sometimes permanent loss of the hairs.
There are many theories why this happens but usually physicians believe it is an auto immune disease.
Need medical intervention.
Psoriasis of the Scalp
Very common type of psoriasis, initially starts as itching scalp with mild flaking and later on turns as thick lesions on the scalp spreading to all over the scalp if not treated. The skin has thick lesions raised around 1 mm from the skin surface, silver white flakes which are thick in consistency, itchy scalp and blood oozes when the crust of the lesion is removed.
- In summers there can be super added infections to the psoriatic lesions.
- Need long time scalp psoriasis treatment and regular washing of the scalp.
The dandruff is usually two types, powdery dandruff which is on the hair surface and the other type is scaly dandruff which is stuck to the scalp surface. There is mild itching of the scalp which gets relieved by regular head showers. If it is not relieved easily then it might be leading to any of the above mentioned conditions. So keep observing the symptoms and act at the right time to have healthy scalp and improve your self-esteem and confidence when you are in the public.
Homeopathy deals with the root cause, individualistic approach of the patient and improves the immunity and hence whichever is your condition, you can get the best outcomes from the treatment with homeopathy medicines. The medicines in homeopathy are safe, gentle, natural and holistic.