Dandruff, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis are just a couple of the conditions that affect our scalp. Problems can be hail from something as simple as a new hair product the skin doesn’t like, or can sometimes be a signifier of deeper health problems. Finding the right treatment is all about discovering the root cause, understanding what’s wrong and working out the best way forward for you.
With the area normally visible for many, it can be difficult to cover up scalp problems. Issues can be as simple as temporary irritation of the scalp, or can sometimes be an indication of more serious illness. There are multiple causes and symptoms of scalp-related issues, but some of them might include:
Dandruff is an extremely common complaint, with over half of us suffering from it at some point in our lives. It is characterised by visible, white flakes of dead skin on the scalp and varies in severity considerably.
Although not posing any significant health risks, the condition can make the scalp feel extremely dry and itchy with many patients finding it unpleasant and embarrassing. There are multiple factors that can cause dandruff to occur, with the most common coming down to incorrect products being used or washing the hair too much/too little. It can sometimes be a sign of a more serious illness or deficiency in the body, making it important to speak to an expert if the problem persists or if you have any concerns.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis (also known as seborroeic eczema) is a common inflammation of the skin affecting around 3-5% of adults. It commonly appears on the scalp in the form of either dandruff or red-sore patches, and it also appears on the face, chest and skin folds. It is chronic, meaning it will never go away as such, but it is controllable with treatments available to stop the symptoms and signs.
Thought to affect around 1-2% of the world population, Lichen Planus is a non-infectious skin rash that can cause the scalp to have red patches around clusters of hair. While the condition is chronic meaning it will never fully disappear, treatment tends to be relatively simple with the use of creams or ointments. If left untreated, the condition can cause permanent hair loss through scarring.
Eczema and Psorasis
It’s easy to forget that our scalp is an extension of our skin, and conditions that affect the rest of our body can also affect the top of our head too. Eczema on the scalp (the most common form being Seborroeic Dermatitis as mentioned above) tends to be characterised by red, flaky areas which may be scaly or particularly greasy. Scalp Psorasis is fairly common, which causes the skin on the scalp to appear raised, red and scaly. It can appear in lone areas or across the entire scalp, sometimes spreading to the forehead, back of neck or behind the ears.
It is hard to know the difference between the various forms of scalp conditions. This is why it’s always crucial to see the right expert to address the issue.
Treatment is always an individual journey and there is no set path for any specific condition. However, depending on your symptoms and cause, your personalised scalp treatment plan may consist of anything from a bespoke diet/nutrition schedule and specially formulated shampoos, to medication or scalp massage.
Dandruff can commonly be treated with the use of specially designed shampoos or scalp creams, though you may also be advised to use a steroid cream or lotion depending on your case. If your dandruff is related to Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, you will commonly be advised on medicated shampoos containing specific ingredients for your needs, or you may be required to consider corticosteroid gels or lotions for a short period of time.
The most important part of your treatment plan is always understanding what is causing your scalp issues, which is why we only work with some of the UK’s most highly regarded trichologists and dermatologists.
Our team work with you to uncover the cause of your scalp problem and provide suitable treatment to address any underlying conditions. Their aim is to always provide you with the right plan and treatments to ensure you achieve the results you need.
Our Medical Team
We are proud to work with some of the UK’s leading trichologists and dermatologists, all of whom have extensive experience and expertise in scalp problems. They include:
- Trisha Buller in Harley Street and London City
- Jane Mayhead in Harley Street and London City
- Lisa Gilbey in Birmingham, London City and London Harley Street
- Deborah Chester in London City and Harley Street
- Nicola Hemsley in Bristol
- Dr Ingrid Wilson in Manchester
- Jacqueline Davidson in Glasgow
- Denise Knight in Leeds
- Dr Noor Almaani in London
For those who have experienced permanent hair loss as a result of their scalp problem, we also provide in-house hair transplants at our London Harley Street, Birmingham and Leeds clinics, performed by some of the most recognised surgeons in Europe.