Scalp Infections

  • What is it? ‘Follicle’ refers to the hair follicle, and ‘-itis’ means inflammation. It is the inflammation of the hair follicle due to infection. It can appear anywhere that hair exists.
  • How does it happen?Folliculitis happens when you damage your hair follicles, like shaving, waxing, or even constant friction from wearing caps/tight clothing. When abrasion happens, germs and bacteria found on the surface of our skin get trapped in the follicles and cause infections.
  • What are the symptoms? – Inflammation from the infection looks like red, raised bumps surrounding the hair follicle that may have pus discharge. Excessive inflammation can cause hair follicle scarring that damages it and leads to male hair loss and female hair loss.

How Do I Treat Folliculitis?

Since the main cause is bacteria causing inflammation, a course of oral or topical antibiotics will help to kill excessive bacteria, depending on the severity of the condition. Medications like painkillers or anti-itching tablets help to relieve the pain and itching associated with infections.

  • What is it? – The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) identifies ‘seborrhea’ as a common skin problem that causes a red, itchy rash and white scales, and it is called ‘dandruff’ when it affects the scalp. 
  • How does it happen? – Dandruff is actually a milder form of a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis, formed at the stage before inflammation starts. It usually happens due to overproduction of sebum, or excessively dry skin on the scalp. 
  • What are the symptoms? – White flakes that come off easily from the scalp when the scalp is touched, itchiness, and may flare in cold or dry temperatures.

How Do I Treat Dandruff?

Since dandruff typically does not involve inflammation, milder treatment methods can usually help solve this issue. A medicated shampoo will be prescribed to normalise the levels of sebum on the scalp, and advice will be given on how to use it effectively. Mild cases of dandruff are usually temporary, easily treated, and do not cause hair loss.

  • What is it?Seborrheic dermatitis is a scalp condition that affects both adults and children. 
  • How does it happen? – Genetic studies show Caucasian populations are more susceptible. Other health conditions have also been associated with the onset of seborrheic dermatitis, such as dry skin, head injuries, psychiatric conditions, and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, one main factor of seborrheic dermatitis is the levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body. High androgen levels stimulate secretion of sebum, cholesterol, and fatty acids onto the scalp. This fatty mixture allows bacteria and yeast, especially the Malassezia family of yeasts, to flourish. When the overgrowth of a yeast occurs, the scalp becomes inflamed and itchy, resulting in flaky dandruff and crusty skin on the scalp. When a person scratches or picks at the crusty skin, there is the risk of damaging hair follicles and losing hair.
  • What are the symptoms? – Scalp skin becomes red and inflamed. Skin may also become crusty, ooze like blisters, and eventually form rough, leathery patches. Swelling can also occur, along with intense itching that can make a person scratch enough to make their skin bleed. Hair loss happens over the damaged skin areas over time.

How Do I Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis in Singapore?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a bit more complex than dandruff or folliculitis. Effective treatment needs to target multiple areas of scalp health:

  • Firstly Step: Clarifying Without Stripping

A scalp environment that is overly dry or oily can make things worse. A shampoo that contains selenium helps to reduce flakes caused by dandruff, and a scalp exfoliation mask also helps to regulate sebum levels. The treatment will help condition the skin to ensure that moisture levels are optimal without too little or too much sebum, to rebalance the scalp environment.

  • Second Step: Combating Yeast Overgrowth

The overgrowth of Malassezia yeast will require a shampoo that targets this. This shampoo contains stronger medication, and will not be advised for daily use.

  • Third Step: Bringing Down Inflammation

Scalps that have high levels of swelling, inflammation, and itching may require an applied topical corticosteroid lotion to bring down inflammation.

All these steps are important to control the condition and prevent further hair loss. The complexity and combination of lifestyle factors causing seborrheic dermatitis can mean that it can recur, even after efforts to control this scalp infection. Our doctors and professionals will continue follow-up care to ensure adherence to treatment for optimal results.

To proceed with the right direction in treatment, the right map needs to be chosen. 

This means that identifying the root cause of the scalp infection needs to be done first, before proceeding with a treatment plan.

The hair regrowth that happens along the way is a result of the right treatment plan being chosen! Hair loss that happens from scalp infections typically regrow once the infection is treated. A combination of scalp tonics, hair growth supplements, topical minoxidil application, or in-clinic scalp treatments will be prescribed by our hair restoration physician according to your needs.

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At Terra Medical

Terra Medical offers array of hair supplements that are clinically proven to improve your hair health. Do ensure to consult our medical practitioner if you’re unclear of which to take for optimal improvement.

Terra Medical offers array of hair supplements that are clinically proven to improve your hair health. Do ensure to consult our medical practioner if you’re unclear of which to take for optimal improvement.

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