Eczema can affect various areas of the body (face, hands, elbows...), including the scalp. In these areas, it produces several bothersome symptoms, among which are itching. How can these be alleviated and the scalp soothed? Here are some tips.
Eczema and scalp itching: how to alleviate it?
- Advice #1: Favor gentle shampoos
- Advice #2: Gently dry your hair
- Advice #3: Avoid wearing headgear
- Advice #4: Do not scratch
- Advice No.5: Leverage the cold
- Advice #6: Apply thermal water or certain essential oils and hydrosols
Advice #1: Favor gentle shampoos.
To avoid itching, it is recommended to space out your shampoos. Depending on the nature of your hair, one to three shampoos per week are sufficient. Opt for a gentle and non-irritating shampoo, preferably free of fragrance and allergens. There are soothing and non-drying hair care products, specifically formulated for people with atopic or sensitive scalp. If in doubt, seek advice from your dermatologist who can guide you to an appropriate shampoo.
Advice #2: Gently dry your hair.
When you dry your hair after showering, we advise you to not use a heat-producing hair dryer. Heat is indeed a factor that exacerbates itching and irritation. We recommend setting your hair dryer to a "non-heating" mode or turning to a terry cloth towel to gently absorb the moisture from your hair. Do not rub your scalp as it may cause additional itching, but rather pat it dry.
Advice #3: Avoid wearing headgear.
Wearing caps, beanies, and other hats is not recommended in case of scalp itchiness. Indeed, these head coverings cause friction on the scalp, which exacerbates the itchiness. Similarly, high or tightly pulled hairstyles should not be favored, as they exert a strong strain on the hair fibers. This strain then impacts the scalp and can cause itchiness.
Advice #4: Do not scratch.
Easier said than done, but scratching only serves to prolong the itchiness. The more you scratch, the more the itch intensifies, creating a vicious cycle. If the urge to scratch is too strong, gently massage your scalp to soothe it. You can also apply a special mask designed to alleviate irritations.
Advice No.5: Leverage the cold.
Cold is an excellent soothing agent and significantly reduces itching. To relieve your scalp, you can apply a cold compress to your head for about ten minutes. Ice cubes wrapped in a clean cloth can also do the trick. However, be careful not to apply the ice cubes directly to your scalp. This could greatly irritate it.
Advice #6: Apply thermal water or certain essential oils and hydrosols.
The use of natural products can also help you soothe scalp itchiness. Thermal water is particularly popular due to its healing and soothing properties. Rich in minerals and trace elements, it can be applied directly to the scalp by massaging it in or by spraying it if it comes in a spray form. The same goes for certain essential oils or hydrosols, which are very effective for relieving itchiness. For instance, you could try the tea tree essential oil (INCI: Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil), the true lavender essential oil (INCI: Lavendula Angustifolia Oil), or even the Roman chamomile hydrosol (INCI: Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water). These three ingredients are renowned for their calming properties.
YEUNG J. & al. Diagnosis and treatment of pruritus. The College of Family Physicians of Canada (2017).
LEINS L. & ORCHARD D. Eczema management in school-aged children. Australian Family Physician (2017).