A woman disheartened, scratches at her inflamed and irritated scalp eczema.

How I Handle Scalp Eczema

Scalp eczema is an incredibly painful type of eczema to have. When I have had a lot of itchiness on my scalp, I remember as a child having a lot of oozing, open wounds, and scabs form there and it got so sore. Sometimes it hurts just to lay down my head on my pillow to go to sleep. It always made me super self-conscious back then to have so much of my hair stick to my scalp from all the blood and ooze that would come out of it when I was not on top of my hygiene, diet, and lifestyle.

Finding online eczema support

Thankfully, today we have a lot more accessible information on this topic because of the internet and communities like AtopicDermatitis.net to help guide us more specifically and hear stories of people going through this and healing from it.

Tips for handling scalp eczema

When I have scalp eczema there are a few things that I do to help me handle both the itch and any potential aftermath from scratching. Here are my top 4 tips for dealing with it:

1. Positive thinking

Avoid panicking as much as possible. What this looks like for me is stopping my thoughts. Or only having positive, encouraging, coaching sorts of thoughts like “this can be relaxing,” or “this is just temporary,” or “this is not a big deal.” If you've been scratching a lot for a long time this might sound like complete insanity and like I am some sort of delusional sicko, but I swear to you, thoughts are powerful. These have worked for me and they can for you with genuine practice and belief in it. “Fake it till you make it,” as they say.

2. Breathing exercises

Exhale. Exhale as much as possible and use your thoughts to think of exhaling as exhaling out the itch. This is a literal and symbolic letting go so that you avoid holding your breath, holding on to the itch and essentially magnifying the sensation making it seem a lot bigger than it is or has to be. If you have to, even add some singing or growling to it to enhance the releasing feeling.

3. Avoid breaking the skin

Practice harm reduction and avoid breaking the skin as much as possible to avoid potential secondary infections. But whatever you do, do as little damage to your skin as you can. Sometimes just putting some pressure on the area is enough to satisfy and sensation of itchiness. I have heard of some people wearing compression gloves or compression socks to help with that. Maybe wearing a slightly tight beanie/hat could help? If you want some extra tips on itch management, I do have a few videos on it on my YouTube channel Eczema Phoenix.

4. Using organic scalp and hair products

And my final tip is to use hair care products that are organic, don't contain any irritating ingredients like alcohol, perfume, mineral oil, petroleum, etc. or anything else that you know that you are allergic to, and contain natural herbs and ingredients that help with itchiness like peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus. Those particular herbs are also antifungal, antibacterial, cooling, and drying which will help with any oozing, swelling, or information that has developed on the scalp. If you have dandruff/dry scalp, then ingredients like rose, slippery elm, and marshmallow root will also be beneficial. If you are not allergic to it, rosemary is another good herb to promote circulation and increase hair growth which is important for people who have scalp eczema that leads to hair loss.

What do you do when you have scalp eczema?

Hope that you find these tips helpful! Have you dealt with scalp eczema before? And if so, what did you do to help deal with the itchiness? Would love to hear your stories and tips in the comments below!

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