Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

Seborrheic dermatitis hair loss is not a condition you hear every day.  A lot of people don’t embrace or deal well with hair loss. The most common causes of hair loss are due to genetics, hormones, infections, pregnancy, and stress. Seborrheic dermatitis hair loss is no different, though one cannot put a finger on the major triggers of this condition.

Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by a lipophilic yeast-like fungus Pityrosporum Ovale. This fungus is not active under normal circumstances; it inhibits in 90% of people. Lipophilic means it feeds on fats (lipids). Healthy skin produces sebum. Sebum is made of lipids. It is this very sebum the skin uses to defend its environs. Sebum protects the skin and, at the same time, acts as a primary food source for Malassezia (Pityrosporum Ovale). When factors that encourage the growth of this fungus are present, it thrives. Pityrosporum feeds on the secretions of the sebaceous glands, due to this it grows well on the face and scalp, because of the abundance of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. There are conditions where they can appear on the arms.  Affected parts are left scaly and itchy, and it is painful when touched. When conditions are not favorable, the body cannot monitor the fungus, and this provokes seborrheic dermatitis formation .

Causes Of Seborrheic Dermatitis

Several factors cause the growth and development of this fungus. A drastic change in climate, among other serious factors, like immune, hormonal or nervous system development may trigger its formation.

The abnormal secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands attached to the hair follicles is the primary cause of seborrheic dermatitis hair loss. It causes inflammation and loss of hair.

It is easy for a mother to transfer almost anything to their unborn child via the placenta, when androgens are passed on to the baby, they develop Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Obesity and extreme sebum secretion are also causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis hair loss

When the hair and scalp are not adequately cared for due to the use of heat styling tools and harsh chemicals, the natural scalp oil gets depleted causing the scalp to dry; it becomes itchy and scaly. Seborrheic Dermatitis persists due to the presence of itchy scalp.

Fluctuations of hormones during puberty or pregnancy triggers seborrheic dermatitis condition. In a few instances, head injuries and strokes might lead to Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Does Seborrheic Dermatitis Cause Hair Loss?

Unfortunately, it does, when it affects the skin, aside from it leaving the skin flaky and itchy, it profoundly affects the scalp, and this goes deeper into affecting the follicles. Once the follicles are affected, there is a temporary halt in the growth of hair; this results in thinning and loss of hair. The rate of hair loss is dependent on several factors, seborrheic dermatitis is, however, not a permanent condition, it can be reversed with the proper treatment.

Malassezia overgrowth further causes redness and irritation of the skin. The scalp can end up flaking because of oily patches and inflamed skin.  Seborrheic dermatitis doesn’t necessarily halt hair growth but rather it is the inflammation of the hair follicles that causes hair not to grow. The more itchy patches there are, the more severe the rate of hair loss becomes.

Also, because the condition comes with the secretion of excess oil, the hair follicles get clogged. When this happens, the follicle is no more suitable for hair growth, unless the amount of oil production is reduced.

How to Reverse Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis scalp hair loss can be reversed by directly attacking Malassezia fungus, which invades the hair follicles. Once the hair follicle is in good health, hair can grow.

Shampoos with Pyrithione Zinc

The most common antifungal agent against Malassezia fungus is Pyrithione zinc. Regular use of shampoos with Pyrithione zinc as an active content drastically reduces colonies of Malassezia on the skin restoring the health of the skin and the hair as well. A medical research proved that Pyrithione Zinc is the most potent remedy against Malassezia because its use encourages the proper formation of the outer layer of the skin and sebum production resulting in improved overall scalp health.

There is reduction of scaling and itching, and hair quality appears to be better. Decrease in hair thickness may occur due to regular shampoo use. However, there is a major improvement in new hair growth. Selenium sulfide present in some shampoos has an excellent effect in reducing the numbers of Malassezia.

Ketoconazole (Nizoral) for hair growth

It is believed that Ketoconazole is more efficient for the treatment of hair loss than pyrithione zinc. It also does a better job on hair in terms of combating premature balding.

These findings further prove it is a better option for controlling Malassezia and restoring natural hair growth than pyrithione. With regards to overall effectiveness for hair health, Pyrithione zinc is more preferred.

The Best Home Remedies For Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

Though conventional treatments usually offer a quicker solution to almost all skin disorders, home remedies have also proved useful, often, with no side effects.

  • Natural Oils: Cold pressed natural oils like olive, coconut, and almond do wonder to the scalp and the overall health of the hair. Due to their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties, seborrheic dermatitis is prevented.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Castor Oil: Ricinoleic, the active component in castor oil, is said to increase blood circulation. Castor oil’s effectiveness is improved with the addition of rosemary oil. Though there is no research backing this, a lot of people testify of its benefit.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Apple Cider vinegar: The flakiness that comes with seborrheic dermatitis scalp hair loss can be prevented with apple cider vinegar. Rinse the hair after shampooing with a mixture of two cups of cold water and two cups of apple cider vinegar. It can also be left in hair overnight and washed out the next morning.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera: Mix aloe vera gel with 20 drops of tea tree oil and apply topically. Leave on scalp for 15 minutes to soothe the scalp and eliminate flakes. The scalp, skin, and hair’s pH balance are maintained. The aloe vera reduces irritations and skin itching. Tea tree penetrates deep into the follicle and clears fungal infection and bacteria. It is also a germicide and a natural antiseptic.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Honey: Mix honey add just a little bit of water to make the honey lighter so it can be applied quickly. Apply to affected area and leave on for 3 hours. Daily use over a period of one week yields tremendous results. Honey with wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties effectively treats seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Garlic: From a whole clove garlic, extract the juice, dilute with warm water, and apply onto affected area. It is absorbed into the blood stream when left over night. The next day, wash scalp with warm water. You can also increase the intake of garlic in your daily diet. Garlic has anti-fungal properties

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Lemon: A topical application of lemon juice to the scalp treats seborrheic dermatitis. Apply onto scalp, leave for 15 minutes, and then wash with warm water.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Cucumber: It soothes the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. Blend cucumber, add a little curd, and apply to affected area.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Essential Oils: Majority of essential oils are known to have a significant effect on hair growth. Lavender, lemon balm, rose, and yarrow mixed with a carrier oil, like olive or coconut, when applied topically, treat affected areas and soothe the symptoms.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Flax Seeds:The consumption of flax seeds with water relieves the itching and irritations that come with seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Raspberry; This berry has zinc in abundance making it great for wound healing. It is rich in tannins; its astringent properties help heal seborrheic dermatitis. A mix of 5 tablespoons of raspberry with a liter of water relieves affected area, when left to stand for 15-30 minutes.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Chickpeas: These peas help cure the wound. It goes a long way to improving overall scalp health when eaten as part of a meal.  It can also be applied topically, when made into a flour and mixed with curd. Apply this topically to soothe the skin.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Loss: Cause, Treatment, and Prevention

At this point, it’s a big “Yes” to the question “Can seborrheic dermatitis cause hair loss?”. With the triggers of this condition still not understood, it is widely believed to be genetic, and its occurrence is prominent during hormonal imbalances or puberty. If you have suffered from seborrheic dermatitis scalp hair loss in the past, then the home remedies should be applied routinely, and your scalp will be as healthy as a baby’s one.

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