The Scalp and Skin Connection
The Scalp and Skin Connection
Did you know your scalp is skin? And just like the skin on your face and body the scalp requires care and special attention. Your scalp can also reveal important information about the skin on your face and other parts of the body. Keep reading to learn more about the scalp and skin connection.
The scalp has five layers, its outermost layer is the skin you see on the top of your head. Scalp skin is some of the thickest skin on the body, it carries more blood than the rest of your skin and contains many sebaceous glands, which produce oil, or sebum, that protects hair. The scalp can have many of the same skin disorders as those on the face and body including scalp psoriasis, eczema, and while less common acne. The biggest difference between the skin on your face and scalp skin is hair follicles. Your scalp has more hair follicles and sebaceous glands than the skin on your face and any other parts of the body (Harris 2013).
Facial Dandruff is Really a Thing
Dandruff is a condition directly linked to the condition of the scalp. When skin cells grow and die too fast the result is dandruff. The underlying cause of dandruff is a particular fungus that lives on the heads of most adults quite naturally but in some individuals causes white flakey specks that can itch and cause other disruptions to the scalp. Individuals suffering from chronic stubborn dandruff may also have an underlying skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis can affect the scalp, face, and body. Dandruff is one of the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, but dandruff does not only affect the scalp. It also can impact the face. Persistent flaky skin between the eyebrows, t zone and corners of the nose, itching and scaling on small areas of the face could be signs of facial dandruff. Typical treatment for dandruff of the scalp might include medicated shampoos, over-the-counter or prescription antifungals. Treatment for facial dandruff varies. Treatment could be a simple facial bar formulated for facial dandruff or a more advanced medicated solution (Mayo Clinic 2018). If you suspect you have facial dandruff see a board-certified dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Be Nice to Your Scalp
According to Catrice Usher McKinney Senior Cosmetologist at Studio IV in Greenbelt, Maryland “there is often a correlation between the condition of the scalp and the skin on the face.” Usher tells us, clients with scalp allergies often have allergies to various skin care products as well. She is an advocate for skin and scalp health among her clients and offers the following advice regarding scalp health. First, be mindful of adverse reactions and allergies to products you introduce into your hair routine. Even trace amounts of the wrong ingredients can cause irritation to your scalp and the skin on your face. Glue used during the installation of frontals and even trace amounts in gluten in some shampoos can cause irritation for individuals with sensitivity. Second, shampoo the hair every 7-14 days, and be sure to fully dry it to avoid breeding yeast inside of it. Third, see a dermatologist or trichologist for a scalp test and consultation for advanced conditions, you might need an antibiotic. Finally, she suggests taking vitamins, avoid using too much product, conditioning your hair not your scalp and choosing low fragrance products for a healthy scalp.
Harris, Dr. Christopher M. “Scalp Anatomy.” eMedicine 5/10/13 (Accessed 1/15/19) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/834808-overview
Part IV Diseases and Disorders. Chapter 30: Skin, Hair and Nails. (2018) Litin, Scott (MD), Mayo Clinic Family Health Book (5th Edition) Rochester, MN: Mayo Clinic