Ask the Diva

Ask Savvy Derm Diva – February 2022

Dear Savvy Derm Diva – My scalp has been incredibly itchy and dry these past few months! I use an OTC anti-dandruff shampoo, but nothing seems to be helping. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. John H. – Seeking Itch Relief

Dear Dry Itchy Scalp, I am so sorry you suffer from extreme scalp itch as it can be debilitating. There are many causes for a dry, itchy scalp, including severe dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, and more. If you have already attempted OTC treatments and are not getting relief, I strongly suggest you see a Board-Certified Dermatologist or the PA-C/NP in the office to help rule out the cause and prescribe something to help relieve the dryness and itch. Remember, the dry cold weather and stress can also exacerbate the condition.

Diva Tip: Various OTC treatments can help alleviate a dry, itchy scalp, and you can find them here! However, if you are not getting any relief, please make sure you schedule an appointment to be seen either in person or virtually at our office.

Dear Savvy Derm Diva – I noticed my hair thinning that started after being diagnosed with COVID a few months back. I am worried that I will lose all of my hair as I have never experienced this in the past. Please help! Angela S – Panicking About Hair Loss

Dear Panicking About Hair Loss, I cannot imagine the stress you are experiencing with the loss of so much hair. Unfortunately, stressing about it can make it worse. It sounds like a case of Telogen Effluvium, which is a reversible condition usually taking place about two months after a stressful experience (such as illness, surgery, or other major stressors). The hair follicle has four phases: Anagen, Catagen, Telogen, Exogen. When someone experiences a stressful situation, the follicles are thrown prematurely into a resting phase (Telogen) which can cause excessive shedding. You should make sure you get a full workup to rule out the cause of hair loss. Your Dermatology Provider will then guide you on the best treatments to help restore the health of your hair and scalp.

Diva Tip: There are many causes of hair loss, a thorough history, and laboratory studies can help guide the diagnosis; however, your dermatologist/PA-C may recommend a scalp biopsy to rule out the reason if you are not responding to prescribed treatments.

Savvy Derm Diva, aka Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva and works as a Dermatology Physician Assistant in Chicago, IL at Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine in the South Loop. Make sure you follow her on Instagram and Facebook so you can Be Skin Savvy!????