Dissecting Cellulitis Of Scalp: Symptoms & Treatment Options

Dissecting cellulitis is a rare, inflammatory disorder of the scalp that starts as deep nodules or pus filled spots over the occiput of the head and progresses to coalescing, resulting in a boggy scalp. The boggy tissue has a lot of fluid and gives your scalp a spongy feeling.

Hair loss occurs which is permanent in nature, since the nodules damage and destroy the hair follicles.

The precise cause for the condition is not exactly known and understood. Theories state that a blocking or occlusion of the hair follicles by keratin occurs and this results in inflammation and secondary infection.

Also, there’s no hereditary factor involved in the development of the disorder.

Symptoms Of Dissecting Cellulitis Of The Scalp

  • The disorder is seen as skin colored, painful nodules on the scalp which discharge a sero-purulent secretion.
  • The erythematous nodules evolve in to plaques with time.
  • Most often the nodules develop on the vertex or the occiput.
  • The nodules form inter-communicating sinuses and gradually coalesce into plaques.
  • When the oozing discharge is cultured, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus albus have been identified.
  • As the condition progresses, there develops scarring and permanent hair loss.

Treatment Options For Dissecting Cellulitis

The treatment for dissecting cellulitis is not easy and not curative.

A multi-disciplinary approach is required to manage the condition well.

  • Oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents are advised to slow down the pace of the disorder. Dermatologists also recommend topical and intra-lesion steroids. The medicines reduce the bacterial burden in the scalp, ward off infections, decrease inflammation and stave off the formation of new nodules.
  • It is crucial to comprehend the importance of treating the disorder early and aggressively for optimal results.
  • Retinoids proffer relief too; and is a very commonly used drug. Confer with your health care provider about the benefits and side effects of the drug.
  • Garlic is an excellent home remedy for dissecting cellulitis. It is the most potent anti-biotic and may be used after your course with anti-biotics to ensure that you do not develop further secondary infections. Have 3 to 5 flakes of garlic daily.
  • Ginger is another potent home remedy. Gingerols in ginger battle inflammation effectively and help prevent new nodules from forming.
  • Ensure that you maintain strict levels of hygiene and cleanliness of the scalp. Use a mild shampoo at least 4 times a week. Add about 20 ml of Tea Tree essential oil to your shampoo bottle and use this to wash your hair. Tea tree is a wonderful natural remedy to fight of infections and keep the scalp clean.
  • Do not pick and squeeze the nodules; it will aggravate the condition.
  • Make sure that you eat a well-balanced diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • In extreme condition, you could opt for surgical intervention to manage the case better. The surgeon will incise the nodules and abscesses and drain the pus. If large portions of the scalp need to be removed, skin grafting may be done.
  • Some experts have advised laser removal too. It helps control the disease and prevent further progression; however, hair loss remains permanent.

Most importantly, you need to have patience and also need to understand that the treatments won’t work instantly; they will take time and you will see results after 3 to 6 months.