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So my niece's scalp is basically falling off...HELP!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

My niece is 3 1/2 and has always had a bit of a flakey, peeling scalp but in the last few months it has become insane.  It is not just a few scabs here and there, it is like large guppy chunks and she even said that it seems to ooze at times.  She has been using tee tree oil shampoo to try and clear things up to no avail.  For me, knowing that my niece is dairy sensitive in a way very similar to myself-eating dairy=prompt yeast overgrowth-I think that this sounds like a food sensitivity issue.  But her dairy consumption has not increased along side the worsening of symptoms so it is very confusing.  


Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing?  Any ideas? TIA

post #2 of 12

Hey there have you tried different shampoos?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

My sister was using tee tree oil shampoo but I am thinking that that may be too intense and stripping.

post #4 of 12

That sounds horrible! Poor kid!


No other skin issues at this time? I'm wondering if she might be reacting to the tea tree oil shampoo ingredients? It sounds a lot like contact dermatitis to me. I don't know when she started that shampoo or what she was using prior. My skin and my son's are very sensitive and reactive to lots of soaps/shampoos/lotions. Some of the natural ones are the worst offenders here. My skin does what you describe with certain products. I'd switch to a mild and hypoallergenic shampoo (my son and I handle California Baby Super Sensitive soap/shampoo (only the supersensitive part of the line for me...I react to the rest)..the hypoallergenic baby shampoos might be mild enough and more accessible depending on her area) and if that doesn't clear it up what you describe would make me want to see a doctor I think to make sure there isn't underlying infection no matter what the original cause.

post #5 of 12

i cannot put tea tree oil on my skin, it reacts/burns. what about if she just washes with water?

post #6 of 12

My scalp is really sensitive- I get itching, but no rashes/flakes. I can't use any mainstream shampoos or conditioners, including hypoallergenic and baby shampoos. I can use some hfs hair products- for a long time I thought the problem was fragrance, but I started reacting to a conditioner I previously was able to use.


I would try the following:

-a hypoallergenic shampoo from a hfs. I like Dermamed Baby stuff a lot. I can even use the body wash on my hair with no problems.

-I had luck for a long time using just conditioner to "wash" with.

-I recently discovered that using liquid aloe (the kind you can drink) mixed in water soothes my scalp. I use it alone, instead of shampoo/conditioner, or after mild hfs shampoo.

-I use nothing but water on ds's hair- has her mom tried that?

-grapefruit seed extract is supposed to be great for killing yeast. This is just anecdotal, but when ds had thrush, I used a really dilute gfse mixture in his mouth a few times, and it was gone in a couple of days.

post #7 of 12

A little massage with finger dipped in apple cider vinegar helped my DDs scalp.  She had crusty areas but no open sores.  At the time her eczema was clearing up due to further food limits (she has IgE allergies).  Her scalp just would not get better but the ACV helped and it has stayed clear.

post #8 of 12

Is it cradle cap?

post #9 of 12

plain mineral oil?

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you all so much for your replies!  We have figured out a few things that we hope will help. 


-My sis was on antibiotics recently during a time when my niece's dairy consumption was unusually high over thanksgiving

-Because my niece is an older nursling we weren't considering the dairy exposure from her breastmilk snacks

-My sister thinks that the tee tree oil could be making it worse and is stopping that

-I suggested cultured coconut kefir for probiotis and coconut oil for scalp massage since it is both super moisturizing and pretty antifungal as well


We are hoping these things will help but we are still definitely interested in suggestions!

post #11 of 12

It sounds to me like Psoriasis, I have it really bad on my scalp

post #12 of 12

Hi, been meaning to reply but been swamped by everything. I hope things are better, and if not, please do consider going to another doctor. If you think it may be yeast/fungal related, you have to lay off all the oils because it will aggravate the growth, and also cut down drastically on sugar intake, as well as work on immunity.


I had a similar fingerprint size patch on my neck for years - it came and went, came and went - and I saw many doctors for it over the years. Most of them gave me medicated creams for it, some steriods, some anti-fungals, and I also tried many natural remedies and oils including tea tree oil. Nothing work for long. Over the years I have noticed that it flares up during periods when I am chronically lacking sleep.


 I've had a very hard year and been in a bad shape this year, and some months ago it flared up big time and it was as you described - great flakes, enlarged inflamed areas, even sometimes oozing. I also had a ear infection which I never had in my entire life. The doctor gave me a medicated shampoo that I reacted badly to. The only thing that worked was a month of Sporanox (so expensive). This may not be suitable for young children, but it destroys the fungus from within your body. The doctor does not advocate creams or oils on the scalp, natural or otherwise - his reasoning is that the moisture favours the fungus and renders the medication ineffective. He does use medicated creams in his practise, but according to him, creams usually don't work when it's scalp related. From my personal experience, I find that he is right. He is the most experienced doctor I've come across when it comes to skin infections and we've seen many because of ds2's eczema. He gave me Sporanox together with a Q10 to boost immunity and energy level. I also had to make sure that I get at least 6 hours sleep or I would see a deterioration in two days' time.


I understand if the parent is hesitant about taking drugs. I was as well, but I simply could not find a better alternative that I could count on to work quickly to arrest the situation and I trusted this particular doctor. For young children, he will also give oral medication to lessen the itching in order to break the itch-scratch cycle which will lead to infection. I hope your niece finds relief soon. It is really something that is better sorted out quickly before it spreads further or gets infected.  


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