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Sebaceous Glands And Oily And Itchy Scalp

Sebaceous glands are small, oil producing glands that are attached to hair follicles and hair. They are found on every mammal on all parts of the skin except on the soles of the feet, palms, lower lip and on top of feet. These glands are not evenly distributed all over the skin but are more prevalent on the face, scalp, chest, neck and groin.

Sebaceous glands are responsible for the production of an oily substance, sebum, on the skin. Sebum is responsible for the protection of the skin from excessive loss of moisture protecting it from excessive dryness and it also forms an anti-bacterial cover on the skin.

The production of sebum is hormone stimulated. Androgens are a major controlling factor of sebum production. In teenagers the sebaceous glands are enlarged and there is more production of sebum due to androgenic stimulation. This will typically lead to onset of oily hair during adolescent years for girls and boys. Left untreated or inflamed by dirt and yeast, excessive oiliness can also lead to itchy scalp bumps resembling scalp acne.

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When there is excess production of sebum by the sebaceous glands it causes excessively oily skin and hair, this condition is known as Seborrhea. It is important to note that excess production will be dependent on the age and gender of the individual. Since the largest number of sebaceous glands are located on the face and scalp these are the first areas that will be affected by seborrhea.

Seborrheic dermatitis is the condition where the scalp is excessively oily. An excessively oily scalp may be caused due to fungal or bacterial infection of the scalp. Similarly if the scalp was initially excessively oily this can be a likely factor.

An excessively oily scalp can be unsightly therefore it would be recommended that you take care of it before it progresses. Mild seborrhea dermatitis can be treated by frequent shampooing, especially with a quality shampoo for itchy, oily scalp and hair, while severe seborrhea dermatitis has to be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.

Sebaceous Glands And Itchy Scalp

When the sebaceous glands do not produce enough sebum, the scalp and skin becomes less moisturized and consequently dry and itchy. Dry hair and dry scalp are directly related as a reduction in the production of this natural oil causes the hair to be brittle and the skin will be tight and itchy.

The reduction in production of sebum may be due to blockage of the sebaceous glands. This condition could lead to epidermal cysts. However not all itchy scalps are due to sebaceous gland malfunctions. Sometimes the scalp may be itchy due to contact with allergens. Contact dermatitis is caused by irritants in soaps and shampoos. The difference is that contact dermatitis occurs immediately after contact.

The role of the sebaceous glands in oily and itchy scalps cannot be ignored. Although there are many causes of itchy and oily scalps the role the sebaceous glands play is fundamental. In the event that you have itchy scalp using moisturizers on hair and applying natural oils to the scalp will help check dry hair and itch. Keeping away from direct sunlight for long periods of time will help reduce an itchy scalp and keep your skin more elastic and moisturized.
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