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Can Scalp Inflammation Cause Hair Loss?

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When it comes to hair loss, there are a number of things that come into play. The varying causes and treatments are all relevant to your situation. But there are a few things that are universal when it comes to hair loss, like the effect that scalp inflammation can have, or the role of hormones.

Most cases of hair loss for men over 35 result from genetics. Specifically, male pattern baldness, which is characterized by a receding hairline and bald spot on the crown of the head. However, hair loss can also be caused by a variety of other factors, including:

  • Scalp inflammation
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Autoimmune disorders

Treatment for hair loss will vary depending on the underlying cause. However, there are a few general things that can be done to help promote hair growth and prevent further hair loss.

Scalp Inflammation and Hair Loss

As with other autoimmune disorders, scalp inflammation is a major factor in the pathogenesis of alopecia areata. It’s known that the body’s immune system starts attacking the scalp from the outside, and then eventually moves inward to the hair follicles.

But this isn't the only cause of hair loss associated with scalp inflammation. When the follicles are inflamed, they stop producing keratin, which is essential for hair growth. As a result, the follicles begin to shrink and eventually die.

What Causes Scalp Inflammation?

There are many possible causes of scalp inflammation. Common causes include infections, allergies, and irritants. The following list includes some possible causes of scalp inflammation:


Infections: Bacterial or fungal infections of the scalp can cause inflammation. These infections can be difficult to treat and may require oral antibiotics or antifungal medications, but they usually respond well to treatment.

Symptoms of a scalp infection include redness, itchiness, flakiness, and crusting. Treatments include medicated shampoos, creams, or ointments.


Seborrheic Dermatitis: Seborrheic dermatitis is an itchy, scaly skin condition that affects areas of the head and body where there are a lot of oil-producing glands, such as the scalp, face, chest, back, armpits, groin, and under the breasts. It can occur at any age, but is most common in infants and young adults.

When it comes to hair loss, the most common cause is seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, which can lead to temporary hair loss. The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include itching, redness, flaking, and scaling of the skin. In severe cases, the skin may crack and bleed. If the condition is not treated, it can lead to permanent hair loss.

Treatment for seborrheic dermatitis includes over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos, medicated creams or ointments, and prescription oral medications. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend light therapy.


Allergies: Allergic reactions to hair products, dyes, or other substances can cause inflammation of the scalp. Allergic reactions can be treated with antihistamines, steroids, or other medications.

When it comes to allergies, it is important to identify the allergen and avoid exposure to it. You can do this by reading labels carefully, avoiding certain products, or patch testing before using new products. If you suspect you have an allergy, you should switch out your current products for hypoallergenic ones and see if your symptoms improve. If they don't, you can see an allergist for further testing.


Irritants: Certain chemicals, such as those found in some hair dyes, can irritate the scalp and lead to inflammation. Other irritants include certain shampoos, conditioners, and styling products.

To avoid scalp irritation, it is important to read labels carefully and avoid products that contain potential irritants. If you are unsure about a product, you can patch test it before using it.


Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes the overproduction of skin cells. This can lead to the formation of plaques on the skin, which can be itchy and painful. Psoriasis of the scalp can cause inflammation, flakiness, and itchiness.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment. Treatment options include medicated shampoos, creams, light therapy, and oral medications.


Eczema: Eczema is a chronic condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, and inflamed. Eczema can affect any area of the body, including the scalp. Symptoms of scalp eczema include redness, flakiness, and itchiness.

Eczema is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment. Treatment options include medicated creams, ointments, and oral medications.

Can Scalp Inflammation Cause Hair Loss?

The skin of the scalp is a very complex system. The hair follicles, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, and blood vessels all work together to keep the scalp healthy. However, when one of these systems is not working properly, it can lead to scalp inflammation. Scalp inflammation can be caused by a variety of things, and often leads to hair loss.

But why would having some inflammation cause your hair to fall out? There are a few reasons.

First, when the scalp is inflamed, the hair follicles can become damaged. This damage can prevent the hair follicles from growing new hair, which leads to hair loss. This is the case for both men and women. In addition, when the scalp is inflamed, it can produce substances that can damage the hair follicles, which also leads to hair loss.

Second, inflammation can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil than usual. This excess oil can clog the hair follicles and prevent new hair from growing. Third, inflammation can cause the sweat glands to produce more sweat than usual. This excess sweat can also clog the hair follicles and prevent new hair from growing.

Finally, when the scalp is inflamed, the blood vessels can become more dilated. This increased blood flow can damage the hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Increased blood flow can also cause the scalp to be more sensitive, which can lead to itching and flaking.

Scalp inflammation is a complex issue, and there are many factors that can contribute to hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

What Does An Inflamed Scalp Look Like?

An inflamed scalp can look like a number of things depending on the underlying cause. For example, if the inflammation is caused by dandruff, the scalp may look dry, scaly, and flaky. If the inflammation is caused by psoriasis, the scalp may look red and have thick, white, scaly patches. If the inflammation is caused by eczema, the scalp may look red, itchy, and cracked.

Inflammation can also cause the scalp to feel hot, swollen, and painful.

How Is Scalp Inflammation Treated?

Scalp inflammation is typically treated with a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Over-the-counter options include anti-dandruff shampoos, anti-inflammatory creams, and corticosteroid solutions. Prescription options include antifungal medications, corticosteroid injections, and immunosuppressant drugs.

The treatment will depend on the cause, which is why it is important to get a diagnosis from a doctor. Hair loss due to scalp inflammation is typically temporary, and the hair will grow back once the inflammation is treated.

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This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.

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