Having strands of hair fall off your scalp can be distressing. Witnessing the hair loss while being unable to do anything about it is even worse. While there are many forms of hair loss that are permanent, some only cause temporary hair loss. Once the disease/condition or the symptoms of it go away, your hair will start to grow back. Many people wonder if seborrheic dermatitis hair loss is permanent or temporary.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that can affect different parts of the body. Since it is a skin condition, it can affect the hair as well. Moreover, seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that can also affect infants. Before we learn about the link between seborrheic dermatitis and hair loss, let’s find out what seborrheic dermatitis even is and is it treatable?
What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis is a fungal skin condition that results in the formation of red, yellow flaky scales. It is also known as seborrheic eczema. These, in turn, form greasy skin patches that can cause irritation and inflammation. The overproduction of oil can cause intense itchiness. Commonly, the condition can occur on the scalp, where it can cause dandruff. However, it can also develop on the ears and the face.
If the condition isn’t treated on the scalp, it can cause damage to the hair follicles, which can result in seborrheic dermatitis hair loss. In severe cases, the damage to the hair follicles can even prevent new hair from growing. Therefore, it is important to get your scalp checked if you have seborrheic dermatitis.
A consequence of seborrheic dermatitis is the overgrowth of Malassezia yeast on the scalp, which is found naturally on the scalp. However, its overgrowth can result in inflammation of the scalp. This can result in even greater hair loss. Moreover, if a person has recurrent inflammation of the scalp, it can damage and scar the scalp. This can result in a lack of hair growth. You have to be very careful since the hair is weak. Even scratching it can result in breakage.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include the formation of red, greyish scales on the scalp. The overproduction of oil by the oil glands results in greasy skin. Skin inflammation and itchiness is another symptom. It can also result in dandruff or flakiness. This is not limited to the scalp. It can develop on your eyelids, armpits, groin area, the skin under the breast, beard/moustache, among other regions. Keep in mind that dandruff itself will not make you lose your hair. Seborrheic dermatitis will cause hair loss. However, it is possible that if the person has severe dandruff on their scalp, the intense scratching ends up causing injuries. This will, of course, prevent the growth of new hair.
What Are the Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis?
The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. It might be a result of the genetics and hormones of the individual. Some people end up having Seborrheic Dermatitis, while others aren’t affected by it at all. The research on it is ongoing. Some factors can trigger seborrheic dermatitis, such as dry, cold weather, stress, and overgrowth of Malassezia yeast. Some illnesses can also increase the risk of a person getting seborrheic dermatitis. For instance, if someone has depression, rosacea, eating disorder, psoriasis, or chronic acne, they might also develop this condition.
Some studies have found that there is a link between seborrheic dermatitis and HIV. Moreover, there might also be a link between mood depression and Parkinson’s disease. If someone has seborrheic dermatitis, it doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t clean their skin. Seborrheic dermatitis isn’t infectious or contagious, so another person cannot catch it. It is also true that this condition doesn’t have any serious health consequences.
Seborrheic Dermatitis or Cradle Cap in Infants
In infants, seborrheic dermatitis is usually known as cradle cap. Although it commonly develops on the scalp of the infant, it can affect other areas of the body. In infants, it is possible for seborrheic dermatitis to go away on its own without any need for medication. The doctor might recommend that the baby’s scalp is washed daily with a gentle shampoo so that the scales dislodge and wash away.
What is the Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Before the treatment, you need to get a diagnosis from a doctor, who might perform a biopsy to determine if the condition is seborrheic dermatitis. Over the counter treatments and medications are available for this condition which can help treat it. Medicated shampoos can help treat dandruff that results from overproduction of oil in seborrheic dermatitis. Make sure that the shampoo that you’re buying contains ingredients such as salicylic acid, pyrinthione zinc, selenium sulfide (it can cause discolouration) and ketoconazole, etc. If your condition is mild, a medicated shampoo might be enough. You might need to use it for a few weeks.
If the medicated shampoo isn’t working, your doctor might prescribe you oral or topical medications such as corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors (they have a potential cancer risk), or antifungals. Your doctor might not prescribe oral antifungal medication to you because it can cause many side effects. Moreover, it can interact with other medications.
Can You Lose Your Hair Due to Seborrheic Dermatitis?
The fungus that causes seborrheic dermatitis can cause a person to lose their hair. It can even end up killing the hair roots of the scalp. Moreover, the medications used for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis can also cause the weakening of the hair roots. It may even result in their death. Since the condition damages the hair roots, seborrheic dermatitis hair loss can occur. The itchiness due to overproduction of oil can make a person intensely itch their scalp due to dandruff. If a person constantly and harshly scratches their scalp or wherever seborrheic dermatitis has developed, it can damage the hair roots in the area.
Moreover, as the hair becomes too greasy and dandruff deteriorates the overall health of the hair follicles, a person might experience more hair loss. It also makes the skin of the scalp prone to infections and attacks by microbes.
The good news is that hair loss due to dermatitis is only temporary. It can get worse due to over scratching along with the spread of the fungus. Once the inflammation from seborrheic dermatitis goes away and the scalp clears up, your hair will begin to grow back.
What Are Some Natural Treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Certain ingredients can help with the inflammation that develops in seborrheic dermatitis. You can use tea tree oil on your scalp since it has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties, which can help reduce inflammation. Do not directly apply the tea tree oil to your scalp. Mix it with another oil, such as coconut oil. Before trying out this treatment, discuss it with your doctor.
You can even apply aloe vera topically as it can help soothe the skin with its anti-inflammatory responses. Do not apply too much of it. Make sure to discuss how to apply aloe vera to your scalp for SD. If you’re going to take supplements for it, talk to your doctor about it before taking it. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself by keeping the skin clean and washed.
Are There Some Other Treatments for Seborrheic Dermatitis for Hair Loss?
Since the condition can end up weakening your hair roots, it is recommended that you have platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to help promote the growth of new hair while strengthening the existing hair. PRP injections are a great way to boost the natural health of your hair.
If you’ve excessively shed your hair, even if temporarily, due to some illness or medication, PRP therapy can help in its regrowth. Therefore, for seborrheic dermatitis hair loss, you can consider getting PRP injections. Your doctor will let you know when it’s okay for you to get the injections. You might have to wait for your scalp to clear up before getting the injections.
Is Hair Transplant Possible for a Seborrheic Dermatitis Patient?
It’s always best to perform a hair transplant surgery on a healthy scalp. This will guarantee the best results. If there’s an active infection or wound on the scalp of a person with seborrheic dermatitis, the graft survival rate in the hair transplant surgery will decrease. The patient might end up feeling disappointed with the results. Low survival rates of the graft will directly impact the overall hair density that the patient can achieve after the surgery.
Longevita’s surgeons will make sure to discuss the expected risks that come with the surgery. However, it is important that the seborrheic dermatitis patient also understands that their skin condition makes it harder to perform a successful hair transplant surgery on them.
Summarising the Above
Seborrheic is a fungal skin condition that can make a person temporarily lose their hair. However, in severe cases, the patient can end up damaging their hair follicles. There are treatments available for SD, such as medicated shampoos and OTC medications. Seborrheic hair loss is distressing, and the patient can consider getting PRP therapy. For learning more about your treatment options, get in touch with Longevita’s experts right now.