Does Sebum And Yeast Cause Scalp Sores?
Yeast and sebum can combine to cause bacteria, bacterial infections and scalp sores. These sore can lead to itching, inflammation and open wounds. Left untreated they can lead to patches of thinning hair and hair loss.
Sebum is oil secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin and scalp. Sebum protects skin, essentially making it waterproof. However, sometimes the sebaceous glands will produce too much sebum, making the skin and hair appear oily.
Although the hormonal changes in the body during puberty are known to cause an increase in sebum, other causes are uncertain. Sebum is secreted by hair follicles and when combined with too much malassezia, dandruff can result.
Malassezia is a yeast-like fungus that occurs naturally on the scalp. However, sometimes an overgrowth of malassezia occurs. The malassezia feeds on the oils, or sebum, secreted by hair follicles. If you have both too much sebum and an overgrowth of malassezia, dandruff can be the result.
The fungus irritates the scalp, and the immune system sends extra white blood cells to the irritated patches. This causes a buildup of skin cells on the scalp. As the extra skin cells die, they become clumped with the sebum from your scalp, causing the greasy, white flakes known as dandruff flakes.
Scalp sores associated with dandruff are usually the result of scratching the itchy, dandruff spots
. As you scrape away the skin cells, a sore forms. The sores can become infected, causing them to crust over. The infection can spread to other open scalp sores
as well. In addition to treating the dandruff, you should cut your fingernails so you are less likely to cause a sore from scratching. Preventing scalp sores
is the first step to insuring you don’t get an infection.
Using a shampoo and conditioner with Zinc or Zinc PCA - as found in Follicleanse
- reduces sebum secretions and oily build-up. Once scalp sores have occurred, using Follicleanse in conjunction with a daily application of Emu Oil (see below) can help heal sores, reduce itching and irritating, painful inflammation
Treatment Of Dandruff
There are several treatments for dandruff
, as well as some tips for keeping the scalp moisturized so that the dandruff patches do not itch as much while you are treating them.
There are many brands of medicated dandruff shampoo
available for sale. Most of these use tar, salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, or ketaconazole. Some of the products are used to reduce the production of skin cells, while others slow down the production of the fungus.
Many people find that while they may initially have good results with a particular product, the effect may begin to lessen with use. For this reason, you may want to change products periodically, or alternate a formula used to reduce production of skin cells, like tar, with one aimed at slowing down the growth of the fungus, like selenium sulfide.
Tips For Reducing Dryness And Itching Of The Scalp
Although medicated dandruff shampoos contain other ingredients aimed at soothing your itchy scalp, there are other things you can do to reduce the dryness, which increases itching. One thing to try is not rinsing your hair with hot water.
Hot water is more drying than warm or cool water and will dry out your scalp, making your dandruff patches itch more. You should also wash your hair frequently enough to limit oil buildup, which will irritate your dandruff patches.
Finally, avoid blow-drying and heat styling as much as possible. If you must blow dry your hair, use a warm or cool setting rather than the setting with the highest heat. In addition to these steps you should consider treating your hair and scalp with moisture rich products such as hot oil treatments as often as possible.