Scalp Yeast Infection: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
A yeast infection on the scalp is a common condition that affects many people. This condition is caused by the overgrowth of yeast, particularly Malassezia furfur, a type of fungus naturally found on the skin. (1) However, other fungus like Candida albicans can also be responsible for a scalp yeast infection.
When fungus overgrows on the scalp, it can lead to various symptoms such as itching, inflammation, and flaking of the scalp. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for scalp yeast infection, including an antifungal protocol that you can follow at home.
Symptoms of Scalp Yeast Infection
The symptoms of a scalp yeast infection may vary from person to person. However, some common symptoms include:
- Itching: One of the most common symptoms of a scalp yeast infection is itching. The itching may be mild or severe, and it can be constant or intermittent.
- Redness and inflammation: The scalp may become red and inflamed, and it may be tender to the touch.
- Flaking: The scalp may produce flakes of dead skin that can be seen on the scalp and hair.
- Scaling: The scalp may develop thick, scaly patches.
- Hair loss: In severe cases, hair loss may occur. (2)
Causes of Scalp Yeast Infection
The primary cause of scalp yeast infection is an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp. This overgrowth can occur due to various reasons, such as:
- Toxic Ingredients in Hair Products: Hair products that contain toxic chemicals can strip the scalp of beneficial microbes and create an environment that is conducive to the growth of yeast and other harmful microorganisms. This can increase the risk of developing a scalp yeast infection. (3)
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes can trigger the overgrowth of yeast. This is why women who are pregnant, on birth control pills, or going through menopause are more prone to yeast infections. (4)
- Hot and humid weather: Hot and humid weather creates a favorable environment for yeast to grow. This is why people living in tropical regions are more prone to yeast infections. (5)
- Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene can lead to the accumulation of dead skin cells and oil on the scalp, providing a breeding ground for yeast. (6)
- Weakened immune system: A weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to yeast infections. (7)
- Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, steroids, and immunosuppressants, can disrupt the natural balance of yeast on the skin, leading to an overgrowth. (8)
One of the biggest causes of a scalp yeast infection is an imbalance in the scalp microbiome. Just like our gut has a microbiome that is important for gut health, our scalp also has a community of microorganisms that help maintain our hair and scalp health.
Many of the microbes on our scalp are beneficial and play a critical role in maintaining the health of the scalp and hair. They can help to protect against harmful pathogens, support the immune system, and maintain the pH balance of the scalp. (9)
Hair products that contain toxic chemicals can disrupt this delicate balance and strip the scalp of its beneficial microbes. Many hair products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, contain ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances, which can be harmful to the scalp microbiome.
When the scalp microbiome is disrupted, harmful microbes such as yeast can overgrow, leading to a scalp yeast infection. This can cause a range of symptoms, including itching, flaking, and hair loss. In severe cases, the infection can also spread to other body parts, including the face or neck.
To prevent scalp yeast infections, it is important to use hair products that are free from toxic chemicals and support a healthy scalp microbiome. Natural and organic hair products that contain gentle, plant-based ingredients can help to nourish the scalp and support the growth of beneficial microbes.
Treatment for Scalp Yeast Infection
Treatment for scalp yeast infection typically involves antifungal medications, both topical and oral. Antifungal shampoos, creams, and ointments can be used to treat mild to moderate scalp yeast infections. For severe infections, oral antifungal medications may be prescribed. These medications work by killing the yeast and preventing its overgrowth.
Apart from antifungal medications, there are several home remedies that can be used to help treat scalp yeast infections. These remedies include:
- Apple cider vinegar: Dilute apple cider vinegar with water and apply it to the scalp. The acidity of the vinegar can help to reduce the overgrowth of yeast.
- Coconut oil: Apply coconut oil to the scalp and hair, leave it on for a few hours, and then rinse it off. Coconut oil has antifungal properties and can help to reduce the overgrowth of yeast.
- Aloe vera: Apply aloe vera gel to the scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing it off. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to soothe the scalp.
- Tea tree oil: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and apply it to the scalp. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties and can help to reduce the overgrowth of yeast.
It is important to note that while home remedies can be helpful, they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. If your scalp yeast infection is severe or does not improve with home remedies, you should seek medical attention.
Antifungal Scalp Protocol
In addition to the traditional treatments and home remedies mentioned above, an antifungal scalp protocol can be used to eliminate fungal overgrowth and support the healing process. This protocol focuses on eliminating yeast overgrowth both within the body, as well as yeast overgrowth on the scalp. Taking this holistic approach is likely to be more effective than addressing only the hair and scalp.
The protocol includes:
- Taking 1-2 servings of Candida Cleanse tonic daily
- Adding 1-2 servings of Fulvic Acid & Trace Ocean Minerals to your drinking water daily
- Washing your hair with our antifungal Organic Shampoo daily, gently massaging the scalp and leaving the shampoo in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing.
Our Candida Cleanse tonic contains a unique blend of several antifungal herbs. When taken internally, these herbs may help eliminate any yeast overgrowth within the body.
The primary ingredient in this antifungal formula is Oregon grape root. Oregon grape root is a natural antimicrobial and antifungal agent that has been used for centuries to treat various fungal infections, including scalp yeast infections. We also include grape seed extract, which contains compounds that can inhibit the growth of fungi and have antioxidant properties that can help to reduce inflammation and support the immune system.
In addition, this antifungal herbal tonic includes golden seal, which also has natural antifungal properties and can also help to reduce inflammation; echinacea, which is renowned for its ability to boost the immune system and support the body's natural defenses against fungal infections; clove, a powerful antifungal agent that can also help to reduce inflammation and pain; ginger, which has natural antimicrobial properties and can help to reduce inflammation; and ginseng, an adaptogen herb that can help to reduce stress and boost the immune system, which can be helpful in preventing and treating fungal infections.
As yeast is eliminated from the body, it can release harmful toxins that stress your immune system and may cause uncomfortable side effects. Fulvic acid is a compound that acts as a natural binder and may bind to the toxins eliminated by yeast die-off. (10) Fulvic acid also has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties.
Our Organic Shampoo is a non-toxic scalp microbiome shampoo that helps to create a healthy balance of microorganisms on the scalp. This shampoo includes soap nuts, a blend of exotic fruits and herbal extracts, enzymes, and probiotics from natural fermentation that can help to eliminate the overgrowth of fungi on the scalp and support the healing process.
By following this antifungal scalp protocol, you can support the elimination of fungal overgrowth both internally and topically. This can help to reduce the symptoms of a scalp yeast infection, support the healing process, and prevent future infections from occurring.
Preventing Scalp Yeast Infection
There are several measures you can take to prevent scalp yeast infection, such as:
- Practice good hygiene: Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo, and keep your scalp clean and dry. Using a scalp microbiome shampoo can also be helpful for the maintenance of a healthy scalp microbiome.
- Avoid using harsh hair products: Certain hair products, such as hairsprays and gels, can irritate the scalp and disrupt the natural balance of yeast.
- Wear loose-fitting hats: Tight hats and headgear can create a warm, humid environment that is ideal for yeast to grow.
- Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals can help to boost your immune system and reduce your risk of yeast infections.
- Manage stress: Stress can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to yeast infections. Practice stress-management techniques, such as meditation or yoga, to reduce your stress levels.
A yeast infection on the scalp can be an uncomfortable and unsightly condition. However, with proper treatment and preventive measures, it can be managed effectively.
Antifungal medications, herbal supplements, and home remedies can all be used to treat scalp yeast infections. By maintaining good hygiene, avoiding harsh hair products, and following a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of developing a scalp yeast infection.