Eczema on the Scalp: Difference between Psoriasis and Eczema, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments, and Prevention

eczema on the scalp causes

Scalp eczema is one of the most common capillary diseases in the world. It is not a very serious condition, and people can get treated with medications.

Eczema on the scalp is quite similar to dandruff and psoriasis. So, before we can proceed further and look into the various options that we have regarding its treatment, we first need to understand the difference between psoriasis and eczema.

Even when you go to a doctor, the expert will first carry out different tests and studies to diagnose the exact condition.

When you have scalp eczema, the oil glands are involved in the skin of your scalp.

These oil glands connect to the hair follicles, and their job is to produce enough oil to keep the scalp skin soft and to keep the hair dry and rough to the touch.

The term eczema refers to a desquamative process associated with itching that affects the skin.

Although the mechanisms involved in each type of skin condition are different, there is in each of them an alteration in white blood cells, which facilitates an abnormal immunological reaction to substances external to the individual.

In childhood atopic eczema, possible trigger factors, such as infectious processes and the consumption of certain foods, should be ruled out.

Difference between psoriasis and eczema

Psoriasis is a condition that primarily impacts the body’s autoimmune system, which results in an overproduction of the skin cells.

These dead cells appear in the form of white-flaky scales that manifest on the body. The skin around these white patches becomes reddened followed by severe itching.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis, and when people get diagnosed with such disease, they can only hope to control it.

This condition, more often than not, is the result of an adverse reaction to several harmful substances present around us such as dyes, soaps and other chemicals.

In eczema, there are no white flakes. The skin, however, becomes inflamed.

Swelling and pus-filled regions are also common. The bright side to this condition is that the treatment needed is pretty straightforward.

In this article, we will be focusing on the treatment of scalp eczema. To start, doctors might prescribe the use of anti-dandruff shampoos.

There are many high-quality shampoos available in the market, and you need to find the one that suits you the most because different people react differently to treatment procedures.

One point that you need to keep in mind is to make sure that your shampoo does not contain any harmful substances like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). That would only worsen your condition, so you need to be careful in that regard.

There are also some good organic cleansers present in the market especially the ones that contain extracts of lavender or coconut oil.

Experts had proven that such oil is very beneficial for your scalp. Also, it is important to note that you read the instructions carefully before you start any treatment.

Some ointments might be required to be applied before or after the bath so make sure you do as instructed.

People often say that using lukewarm water will help your skin in fighting against dandruff and eczema.

Several experts in this field advise treating both hair and scalp gently. There is no need to use shampoo every day unless stated otherwise.

Combing your hair using combs with fine teeth can also help remove the lodged dandruff particles in your hair. That will help cleanse your scalp and somewhat control eczema.

Antihistamines like Cetrizine and others can provide some relief to the patients in dealing with the itching issue by alleviating the problem. However, its effects are just temporary, and it does not help in curing the condition.

Fish oil tablets, like the ones that contain high concentrations of omega-3, are very beneficial for the scalp. They will help you in developing a healthier skin and prove to be very effective against scalp eczema, dandruff, and skin dryness, etc.

Whichever option you choose, it is essential that you stick with it until you are successful in ultimately subsiding or relatively eradicating this condition. Otherwise, it will just come back again in a few days.


The exact cause is not known, but the intensity of sebum production depends on different factors:

  • Constitutional genetic factors.
  • Age: it is more frequent in newborns, in the puberty, and in adults until the 25 years; Later its frequency decreases progressively, being very rare in the old age.
  • Hormonal factors: seborrhea gets stimulated by androgens (male hormones) and gets inhibited by estrogens (female hormones).
  • Hot temperatures.
  • Emotional factors: nervousness, anxiety, stress, etc. Can increase seborrhea.
  • Drugs: Some medications can increase sebum production.
  • Dietary factors: A potential connection to the patient’s diet relationship is under discussion although alcohol and tobacco may increase the secretion of sebum.


The skin lesions characteristic of the different kinds of eczema are reddish and desquamative plaques in different body areas and associated with substantial itching.

If in some cases a significant inflammatory reaction occurs, instead of circumscribed desquamative plaques, the presence of cysts with serous contents is also a possibility.


The suspected diagnosis of each form of eczema should be through the medical history.

In cases of allergic contact eczema, doctors should perform epicutaneous contact tests to determine the allergen responsible for the eczema plaques presented by the patient.


The treatment of allergic contact eczema will be to avoid the substance to which the patient is allergic.

In patients with atopic dermatitis, food that may be involved will likely get removed, and intercurrent infectious processes will get treated.

Also, once the triggers have been detected and eliminated, treatments such as topical or systemic corticosteroids, antihistamines, moisturizers, and antibiotics are indicated in case of bacterial superinfection.

In those patients with irritative allergic eczema, doctors should give recommendations to protect the affected areas. Homemakers, in particular, are recommended to use gloves to perform household tasks.


The primary measures that can help prevent the onset of eczema include:

  • Avoid contact with substances that may irritate the skin.
  • Use soft and fragrance-free soaps in the personal toilet.
  • Do not use hot water for bathing and be limited to showers with cold or warm water.
  • If you have irritated skin, avoid activities that can increase sweating since sweating increases the irritation of the skin.
  • Continue to take care of the skin even when eczema has disappeared.