Eczema can affect various areas of the body (face, hands, elbows...), but also the scalp. In this area, as in others, it generates 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 No.1: Prioritise the use of gentle shampoos
- Advice No. 2: Gently dry your hair
- Advice No. 3: Avoid wearing headgear
- Advice No. 4: Do not scratch
- Advice No. 5: Capitalise on the cold
- Advice No. 6: Apply thermal water or certain essential oils and hydrosols
Advice No.1: Prioritise the use of 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 containing neither fragrance nor allergens. There are soothing and non-drying hair treatments, specifically formulated for people with atopic or sensitive scalps. If in doubt, seek advice from your dermatologist who can guide you towards an appropriate shampoo.
Advice No. 2: Gently dry your hair.
When drying your hair after a shower, we advise you to avoid using a heat-emitting hairdryer. Heat is indeed an exacerbating factor for itchiness and irritations. We recommend setting your hairdryer to a "non-heating" mode or alternatively, using a terry towel to gently absorb the moisture from your hair. Do not rub your scalp as this could cause additional itchiness, but rather pat it dry.
Advice No. 3: Avoid wearing headgear.
Wearing caps, beanies, and other hats is not recommended in cases 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 favoured, as they exert a strong strain on the hair fibres. This strain then impacts the scalp and can cause itchiness.
Advice No. 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, it's like a vicious cycle. If the urge to scratch is too overwhelming, gently massage your scalp to soothe it. You can also apply a special mask designed to alleviate irritations.
Advice No. 5: Capitalise on the cold.
The cold is an excellent soother and significantly reduces itching. To alleviate 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 No. 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 spraying it on if it comes in a spray form. The same goes for certain essential oils or hydrosols, which are very effective at easing itchiness. Thus, 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).