scalp inflammation hair loss
By Tamim Hamid Updated on 04/28/2024

All About Scalp Inflammation Hair Loss: Causes and Treatments

Hair loss from scalp inflammation is more common than you think. Many people lose hair due to dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. These conditions cause inflammation and irritation on the scalp, leading to hair fall.

In this blog post, we will discuss the various causes of scalp-inflammatory hair loss. We will also discuss symptoms like redness, itching, and scaly patches. Understanding the causes can help you identify and treat the condition early.

Most types of hair loss caused by scalp inflammation are treatable. There are many effective treatments ranging from medicated shampoos to immunomodulators. You can stop hair fall and regrow new hair with proper care and early treatment. Having a healthy, inflammation-free scalp is key to maintaining a good head of hair.

What is Scalp Inflammation Hair Loss?

Scalp inflammation, also known as scalp dermatitis or scalp eczema, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the scalp skin. It is associated with itchy scalp, redness, and sometimes flaking or scaling.

While not all causes of scalp inflammation can cause hair loss, some can still lead to hair shedding. The hair loss on the scalp may become permanent if left untreated.

A Look at Your Skin and Scalp

All mammals, including humans, have sebaceous glands on their skin. These secrete an oily type of viscous matter called sebum. Although this may not sound very appealing, sebum is essential for lubricating and waterproofing our skin. The waterproofing bit is essential for our furry companions. We have the advantage of umbrellas to protect us from the rain after all. However, it still helps to understand this in the context of laser hair therapy.

Did you know that the Chinese were the first to coat parasols with wax to deter rain? Sebum works the same way. It works as a protective, waterproof coating on your skin. It is particularly plentiful in our faces and scalps.

Symptoms of Scalp Inflammation

Scalp inflammation occurs when the skin on the scalp becomes inflamed, leading to a range of symptoms. If you're experiencing hair loss due to scalp inflammation, it's essential to recognize the signs and take appropriate measures to manage and treat the condition. Here are some of the most common symptoms of scalp inflammation:

Redness and Irritation

One of the most common symptoms of scalp inflammation is redness. The affected areas of the scalp may look reddish and feel irritated or itchy. This happens due to increased blood flow to inflamed areas.

Scaly patches

Inflammatory conditions like seborrheic dermatitis can cause white or yellow flaky scales on the scalp. Dandruff also leads to scaliness, but the flakes are smaller.

Hair loss

Chronic inflammation can damage hair follicles, leading to excessive shedding and thinning of hair. The hair loss is usually most noticeable at the frontal hairline and temples.

Tenderness

Sensitive and painful spots may develop on the inflamed scalp. Washing, brushing, or styling the hair can become uncomfortable.

Oily scalp

There may be increased oiliness and greasiness on the scalp due to the inflammation disrupting normal sebum production.

Burning or soreness

A constant, irritating burning or soreness is often felt on affected areas of the scalp. This tends to worsen when the scalp is touched or scratched.

What Causes Scalp Inflammation

The term “scalp inflammation” is never really associated with a positive outcome. After all, who wants to be inflamed? So let’s take a look at what causes inflammation in the scalp and how that impacts hair loss.

Several factors can trigger inflammation, and an overproduction of sebum is one of them. This can occur if you have a hormone imbalance. Sebum clogs your pores as it oozes out, leading to pimples on your face if you’re in your youth or scalp inflammation if you’re older. This is why teenagers get acne and mid-aged people go bald.

Other causes of scalp inflammation include conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, scalp ringworm, seborrhea, eczema, scarring alopecia, and a rare, genetically passed-on disease known as frontal fibrosing alopecia. You can potentially slow this type of temporary hair loss or permanent hair loss with certain medications, at-home treatments, and laser hair therapy. However, we need more clinical studies and research to fully test their efficacy.

Additionally, a fungal infection is also clinically proven to cause inflammatory responses. Unfortunately, it often resides between the epidermis and dermis junctions of the scalp, primarily affecting the hair root. Yes, you read this right. Fungus– the same kind that can spread in your toenails as athlete’s foot and can be caught with simple human contact. In fact, most people have scalp fungus and don’t know it.

If you’ve just reached for your mirror, please put it back because you can’t see fungus with the visible eye. You can only see its unfortunate consequences, which are dandruff, scaly patches, and an itchy scalp. What you can do, however, is eradicate the invasive species. In the case of nails, we look to an OTC medication (a compound called tolnaftate). In the case of hair, you are prescribed a synthetic antifungal medication in shampoo form. The three most effective ones belong to the azole family and consist of climbazole, ketoconazole, and miconazole.

Scalp Inflammation Hair Loss Treatment and Prevention

Various factors, such as dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections, and allergic reactions, cause inflammation. Here are some treatment options for scalp inflammation and hair loss to prevent and address the condition.

1. Maintain good hygiene

Wash your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo to keep your scalp clean and free from dirt and excess oil. Avoid using harsh shampoos or products that contain irritating chemicals.

2. Avoid triggers

Identify any potential triggers that might cause inflammation, such as hair products, hair dyes, or styling chemicals. Avoid these triggers and switch to hypoallergenic or natural products.

3. Protect your scalp from the sun

Protecting your scalp is one of the best scalp inflammation hair loss treatment options since exposure to the sun can exacerbate inflammation. If you'll be spending time outdoors, wear a hat or use sunscreen specifically formulated for the scalp.

4. Manage stress

You must practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or regular exercise since chronic stress can contribute to inflammation.

5. Avoid scratching

Scratching the inflamed scalp can worsen the condition and lead to infection. If you have itchy scalp and feel the urge to scratch it often, apply a cold compress or use an anti-itch cream instead.

6. Use medicated shampoos

Depending upon the underlying cause of inflammation, you may use medicated shampoos containing ingredients like coal tar, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, or zinc pyrithione. Avoid shampoos with harmful ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and formaldehyde.

7. Consider dietary changes

Consider dietary changes as part of your scalp inflammation and hair loss treatment. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients can support scalp health and reduce inflammation. Incorporating foods high in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, can help combat inflammation.

8. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is an important part of treating scalp inflammation that can lead to hair loss. Drinking plenty of water and fluids like herbal tea helps to keep your scalp moisturized and prevents dryness and flakiness, which can contribute to inflammation. Keep a water bottle with you as a reminder to drink frequently throughout the day.

Diet To Treat Scalp Inflammation

Diet can play a significant role in managing inflammation in the body. Scalp inflammation can be caused by various factors, including skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and eczema, as well as fungal infections and allergies. While dietary changes alone might not completely resolve these conditions, they can support overall skin health and potentially help alleviate some inflammation.

To treat scalp inflammation and hair loss, you should opt for an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and whole grains, which can help reduce systemic inflammation. Also, go for omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Avoid foods that can trigger inflammation or allergies. Also, reduce consumption of sugars and processed foods, which indirectly impact the skin.

What this Means for You

To summarize, any scalp inflammation, regardless of its causes, exacerbates female or male pattern hair loss and damages hair follicles. This is where using your laser hair growth caps/helmets comes in since laser hair therapy has been proven to decrease inflammation and restore each individual hair follicle for maximum hair regrowth. To fight off and treat scalp inflammation and increase the efficiency of your laser hair loss treatment sessions, it is thus crucial to incorporate a shampoo regimen that addresses all inflammation and fungus issues properly when purchasing the Theradome LH80 PRO.

Make the excellent decision to start at-home hair loss treatment sessions by investing in the Theradome. No more messy creams, no more visits to hair restoration clinics. Pressing the button of your laser hair growth helmet twice a week is all you need to do for your laser hair therapy to work at its best. Right? Not Exactly.

Why settle for good results when you can achieve fantastic results? What other tools should you arm yourself with for male pattern baldness and hair thinning on top of your laser hair growth helmet? Let’s examine this question more closely.

Elevate your life with Theradome. Order your laser hair growth helmet and elevate your hair game to new heights. Regain the thick, lush hair you've been longing for and elevate your self-esteem along the way.

FAQs

Can scalp inflammation cause hair loss?

Yes, scalp inflammation can potentially lead to hair loss since it can disrupt the normal growth cycle and contribute to hair loss in several ways:

  • It can damage healthy hair follicles which are responsible for producing new hair strands.
  • It can disrupt the natural cycle of hair growth, causing more hair to enter the telogen phase and fewer hair follicles to produce new hairs (anagen phase).
  • Severe and prolonged inflammation can lead to a condition known as cicatricial or scarring alopecia which involves the destruction of hair follicles. It replaces scar tissue which can result in permanent hair loss in affected areas.
  • Inflammation can also lead to telogen effluvium and diffuse hair thinning, and an overall reduction in hair volume.

Will hair grow back after scalp inflammation?

Yes, hair will grow back after scalp inflammation once the underlying cause is treated and the inflammation subsides. However, it may take some time for the hair to regrow fully, and the regrowth speed can vary depending on the individual and the condition of the inflammation.

How do you get rid of an inflamed scalp?

To help an inflamed scalp, use a gentle shampoo without harsh chemicals and apply creams your doctor gives you. Also, avoid scratching your head.

Can scalp irritation cause hair loss?

Yes, scalp irritation can lead to hair loss. Continuous inflammation and irritation of the scalp can disrupt the hair growth cycle, resulting in thinning hair or patches of hair loss.

Does inflammation destroy hair follicles?

Yes, inflammation can damage hair follicles. The swelling presses on follicles, limiting the blood and nutrients they need. Damaged follicles shrink, so new hairs are thinner. Stopping inflammation can help follicles heal and regrow hair.

What vitamins help with scalp inflammation?

Certain vitamins can help with scalp inflammation. Vitamin E, known for its antioxidant properties, can aid in reducing inflammation. Additionally, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with promoting scalp health and reducing inflammation.

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Tamim Hamid

Tamim Hamid

Inventor and CEO of Theradome

Sayyid Tamim Hamid, Ph.D, is the inventor of the world’s first FDA-cleared, wearable phototherapy device to prevent hair loss and thicken and regrow hair. Tamim, a former biomedical engineer at NASA and the inventor of Theradome, brings with him more than 38 years of expertise in product development, laser technology, and biomedical science. Tamim used his laser knowledge, fine-tuned at NASA, and combined it with his driving passion for helping others pursue a lifelong mission in hair loss and restoration. He is now one of the world’s leading experts.