The terms eczema and dermatitis are often used synonymously to mean an inflammation of the skin caused by the abnormal production of cells in the upper layers of the epidermis or top layers of the skin. The cells may be loose and thin or thick, often accompanied by weeping. The rash formed can be itchy and irritating while fissures or splits may appear. Normally it is caused by direct contact with an irritant or allergen or exposure to a material to which you are allergic or hypersensitive. Some common allergens include;

  • Oxidizing chemicals
  • Detergents, solvents, or highly alkaline solutions
  • Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac
  • Nickel or other metals
  • Medications
  • Cosmetics
  • Rubber
  • Fragrances and perfumes
  • Soap, shampoos, and hair dyes rich in alcohol

Some common symptoms are:

  • Itching
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Lesions or cuts
  • Rashes
  • Redness
  • The site may raw, scaly or thick
  • The area may drain or ooze

This condition can be treated or controlled in several ways depending on severity.

  • Antibiotics can be prescribed
  • Natural oils with herbal extracts can soothe the scalp and nourish the hair because they don’t contain any chemicals and are full of conditioning properties.
  • Some natural oils containing:
  • Lavender
  • Jojoba
  • Basil
  • Tea tree
  • Lemon
  • Chamomile
  • Rose
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Neem can help because as well as soothing the scalp and nourishing hair they are rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties as well as moisturizers.

Products containing Vitamins C and E are also beneficial as these

  • Normalize scalp exfoliation to prevent more flaking and dryness
  • Relieve redness
  • Stop itching
  • Provide a barrier against free radicals which cause oxidation
  • Gently acidify the natural skin pH balance
  • Stimulate natural collagen development to produce healthy skin cells.

Dye Dermatitis:

Dye dermatitis is a specific type of contact dermatitis which is an allergic reaction to permanent hair dye. It can occur in people who have used a product repeatedly as well as people who are using a product for the first time. The severity of the allergic reaction can vary from mild irritation and itching to intense symptoms such as burning, blistering, and swelling. In one extreme and very rare case, a 38-year-old woman suffered an anaphylactic shock shortly after changing her hair dye. At first, she developed a non-specific allergy-causing scalp itching after using her old hair dye for a while. She changed the dye, but anaphylactic shock developed and she died within an hour after applying it.

Since the risk of sensitization rises with the frequency of contact, it is essential that a patch test is performed every time the dye is used. If you are using a product for the first time a minimum of 10 days is required before you develop a specific sensitivity. For second and subsequent exposures 6-72 hours is enough.

If you developed an allergic reaction and a patch test was not performed prior to the coloring process you may be entitled to compensation for any extra medical or hair treatments that you required to remedy the problem.