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Vitiligo in hair and scabs on the head, is there a connection?

Vitiligo, a condition characterized by the loss of skin pigmentation, can also affect the hair, causing patches of white or depigmented hair. Additionally, scabs on the head are a common concern, leading to questions about whether vitiligo in hair can cause scabs and if either condition contributes to hair loss. Let’s talk about these conditions, their potential connections, and their impact on your hair health.

What is vitiligo in hair?

Vitiligo occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing pigment in your skin, are destroyed. Patches of your skin lose colour. When vitiligo affects your hair, it can cause similar depigmentation, resulting in white or grey patches in your scalp hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and even your body hair. The exact cause of vitiligo is not yet fully understood, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder where the body mistakenly attacks its own melanocytes.

What causes scabs on the head?

Scabs on your scalp can result from various conditions:

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis: A chronic form of eczema that causes red, flaky, and itchy patches.
  • Psoriasis: An autoimmune condition leading to thick, scaly patches of skin.
  • Folliculitis: Inflammation of hair follicles often due to bacterial or fungal infections.
  • Eczema: An inflammatory skin condition that causes red, itchy, and scaly patches.
  • Infections: Bacterial or fungal infections can cause sores and scabs.

Does vitiligo in hair cause scabs?

Vitiligo itself does not cause scabs. The primary characteristic of vitiligo is the loss of pigmentation in your skin and hair. However, if you have vitiligo you may be more susceptible to certain skin conditions due to compromised skin integrity and immune response, which can indirectly lead to issues like scabs. For example, the lack of pigment can make your skin more sensitive to sunburn, which can result in scabbing if you don’t manage it properly.

Do vitiligo and scabs cause hair loss?

Vitiligo in your hair does not directly cause hair loss. The condition does not damage the hair follicles themselves. However, scabs on the scalp can potentially lead to hair loss, especially if they are associated with conditions like severe psoriasis, folliculitis, or infections that damage hair follicles. And sunburn.

If you scratch or pick at your scabs, you can cause further irritation and potential damage to hair follicles, resulting in temporary or permanent hair loss. Additionally, severe inflammation from conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or eczema can affect your scalp’s overall health, potentially leading to hair thinning or loss.

Managing vitiligo in hair

– Topical treatments, such as corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors help manage pigmentation loss.

– Phototherapy, such as UV light treatments can help stimulate pigment production.

– Camouflaging with cosmetic products blends depigmented hair with pigmented hair.

Managing scabs on your head

– Medicated and non-medicated shampoos developed for healthy scalp containing salicylic acid, coal tar, or ketoconazole to manage conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

– Topical antibiotics to treat bacterial infections causing folliculitis.

– Hydration and moisturization to keep your scalp hydrated to prevent dryness and flaking.

If you know the cause and treatment for your condition you maintain healthy hair and scalp, even when dealing with vitiligo and related scalp issues. Regular consultation with dermatologists and proper scalp care routines help you manage these conditions effectively.