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Living With Pityriasis Amiantacea

The scalp disease pityriasis amiantacea is an inflammation in the scalp area that is characterized by the production of scales, often yellow in color, crusty, and quite itchy. Often mistaken as a fungal infection because of its synonym of tinea amiantacea, its definite cause has not yet been found although several hair problems have caused this condition to occur. Tinea capitis, which is a fungal infection of the scalp, rarely causes pityriasis amiantacea to occur.

Characteristic symptoms of pityriasis amiantacea

When afflicted with the condition pityriasis amiantacea, the skin of the scalp is found to be densely covered with scales, more specifically the ends of the hair where the follicles are found. It appears as clumps of scales that cause the hair strands to adhere to each other. The scales produced by pityriasis amiantacea are found to be arranged like shingles on a roof. Some may describe it like asbestos flakes, which gives it its name. The skin of the scalp commonly appears normal, under the scales, but it can also appear reddish and scaly.

Pityriasis amiantacea is frequently found to affect only a small part of the scalp. But there are some cases wherein the condition of Pityriasis amiantacea has involved the entire scalp. It has also been seen to be present in the skin behind the ears of young girls, as a localized condition of pityriasis amiantacea but it may also extend to the scalp area. It may also be seen extending from an infection of lichen simplex in the scalp.

Areas afflicted with pityriasis amiantacea may experience hair loss although hair may grow afterwards following extensive and continuous treatment of the infection. It is often caused by difficulty in combing the hair strands and separating them from each other since they are found to be clumped together with the scales caused by this condition.

Causes of pityriasis amiantacea

A definite cause for Pityriasis amiantacea has not yet been discovered. It is sometimes found even present without any exact origin or source. Pityriasis amiantacea is found to be associated with several scalp infections including seborrhoeic dermatitis, psoriasis, and lichen simplex.

Treatment of pityriasis amiantacea

The treatment of pityriasis amiantacea, like any other scalp infection, is quite messy and even smells bad, which makes it rather unpopular with those afflicted with it. Unfortunately, there is no other way but to go through this treatment for several weeks, at least, to get rid of the infection.

There are studies that concentrate on finding an effective cure for pityriasis amiantacea but at present, shampoos that contain either coal tar or ketoconazole may be used. Application depends on the degree of the infection. Sometimes, it may need to stay on the scalp for an extended period of time, just to make sure that the medication has penetrated the skin of the scalp. This is often seen in more severe cases. Steroids and lotions may help with the itch but does not remove the scales and there is a possibility of aggravating the inflammation even more.

Some may suggest getting a haircut although this also does not agree with everyone. Regular application of creams may also help in keeping the scalp free from scales.

Pityriasis amiantacea is an inflammation of the scalp which affects all types of individuals. It may result in hair loss if not resolved properly and quickly.