When sebaceous glands in the scalp produce too much “sebum” (oil), greasy scales can develop that cause an overgrowth of an otherwise normal skin fungus (Malassezia). As the Malassezia fungus irritates the sebaceous glands of the scalp, the body’s immune response is triggered, and flakes of skin on the scalp (dandruff) appear. When viewed in a larger picture that includes “seborrheic dermatitis” (scalp eczema), dandruff is only the most noticeable symptom. Scalp eczema can cause patches of the scalp to become red, flaky, itchy, greasy, waxy, and even blistered. While the cause of scalp eczema is not fully understood, shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, or coal tar, as well as corticosteroids or antifungal creams, are possible treatments. Visit www.docfreeman.com to schedule your appointment now.
P.S. Scalp eczema affects up to five percent of the population, slightly more men than women.