Eczema Shampoo Options That'll Keep Your Skin Happy and Healthy
Some people pick the shampoo they think will provide the best volumizing benefits, others prioritize moisturizing qualities. For people with eczema, simply finding a formula that won't spark an intensely itchy scalp can supersede all else.
They're up against a pretty frustrating issue. "Eczema is a genetic skin condition that results in the inability to retain moisture," says Purvisha Patel, M.D., dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. "This results in the skin getting dry and cracked." Those pesky cracks expose nerves in the skin to air, which can create the sensation of itchy paper cuts, and scratching the itch can cause additional inflammation, redness, and peeling, says Dr. Patel.
"Because [eczema] is a genetic condition — often associated with asthma and allergies — this phenomenon can occur anywhere on the skin," says Dr. Patel. That means that in addition to affecting your scalp, unsuitable shampoos "can lead to irritation in the skin as they run off from the hair onto your body," says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
People who are prone to eczema are better off avoiding shampoo containing essential oils and/or fragrances, which can be more irritating to your skin if it has those aforementioned cracks, according to Dr. Patel. "I am most cautious with [recommending] shampoos that contain fragrances as well as clarifying products which tend to contain more harsh surfactants than other shampoos," adds Dr. Zeichner. (The latter are often labeled "clarifying shampoo" right on the bottle.) Instead, "ultra-gentle, fragrance-free shampoos," are ideal, says Dr. Zeichner. Another helpful indicator you're choosing a suitable shampoo? "Many products also contain the seal of the National Eczema Association, which definitely is not a must, but tells you that the product is appropriate for people with eczema-prone skin," says Dr. Zeichner.
With those criteria in mind, these are some of the best shampoo options for eczema-prone skin. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Eczema, According to Derms)