Scalp is Skin…
Skin all over the body is made up of various layers, but skin in certain places feels and behaves differently. Our scalps are made up of five layers with only the outer layer actually being skin. The first three layers: skin, connective tissue and the layer where muscles attach, are bound together as a single unit. The next layer is only loosely connected and allows our scalps to move around on our heads as well as creating a space for blood vessels and nerves to pass. The last layer lines the bones of our skulls.
Is Scalp Skin Different?
Scalp skin is some of the thickest skin in the body as it carries more blood than skin in other places. This abundance of blood vessels is why we bleed so easily when something injures our scalp.
In addition to growing head hair, scalp skin is different because it has more sebaceous (oil) glands than other skin areas. This increased amount of oil can cause a range of scalp conditions such as: sebaceous cysts, scalp acne, seborrhea dermatitis or dandruff.
- Sebaceous cysts are non-cancerous pocketed bumps that are filled with fatty material called keratin and old cells. They can be extremely tender and possibly need to be drained or removed if they become enlarged.
- Scalp acne can be caused by a variety of reasons including: stress, hormones, diet, heredity, and excess caffeine in addition to poor hygiene and excess oil accumulation. One of the concerns of having scalp acne is that it can contribute to hair loss. Use of oil based hair products can aggravate scalp acne.
- Seborrhea dermatitis is thought to be caused from excess skin oil along with an overgrowth of a yeast called malessizia. White or yellow scales develop on the scalp that flake and are extremely itchy. Seborrhea dermatitis can resemble scalp psoriasis so must be evaluated by a dermatologist to decide treatment.
- Dandruff is caused by a combination of both an oily and dry scalp and similarly to seborhea dermatitis may involve the over growth of yeast or fungus but it is a much milder condition. White flakes of old cells are sloughed off from the scalp but there is no formation of scales like in seborrhea dermatitis.
So if you are having problems with your scalp, will the products you use to wash & style your hair make a difference?
It comes down to the overall issue you are having but genuinely using products that have been specially developed with the skin of the scalp in mind are going to be supporting the skin, rather than just bombarding it with chemicals to make the hair lather up & smell good.
Think like this, would you just pick up any old cleanser to remove the grime of the day from your face? I expect not, most of us have a skin care routine for our face & neck so why not think the same of your hair. If anything your hair is bombarded everyday with styling products, grime, sweat & anything else that is floating in the air these days.
Next time you’re picking up the same old bottle of shampoo, stop & think how your hair has been recently, have you been torturing it with the straighteners, over using the dry shampoo, etc. Make sure the product you chose is going to gently cleanse, replenish & strengthen the hair. After all why wouldn’t you want the right product for your beautiful locks……
Who can I see?
Scalp skin is truly different than skin in other places and problems may develop that can be hidden or are aggravated by the hair on our head. If you are having problems, it is best to have your scalp seen by a dermatologist or trichologist to decide which condition you have and the best treatment.
We are of course here if you would like us to suggest the right products to try or are having issues with your scalp, we are happy to help.
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