Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Head

The face may only be a combination of bone, muscles, and skin, but it is the body’s core means of expressing feelings and emotions. It can do this without even making a sound.

Because the head plays such an important role in how we express ourselves — and how people interpret us — there are numerous ways people alter their appearance to express their inner selves. Some common ways include:

  • Hair dyeing
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tanning
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Tattoos
  • Piercings

 The head is also important in a cultural respect. Women in countries in the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe cover their hair as a sign of modesty. Sacramental head coverings are important in the Islamic, Jewish, and Sikh religions.

Whether you decide to go au naturel or spend hours a day tending to your appearance, it’s important to take good care of your skin to ensure it is healthy enough to do its job.

The skin of the head is different than skin of other areas of the body. It sees more exposure to the elements than most other parts of the body. Also, skin in certain areas of the head is thinner and more sensitive, especially the skin around the eyes. On the scalp, skin is prone dryness that can cause dandruff. This skin may also become infested with insects such as head lice.

Areas where the skin creases, such the edges of the mouth and the folds along the nostrils, are also prone to problems. They can become sensitive, crack, and bleed under extreme weather conditions.

Some people have what is collectively known as “sensitive skin,” which can be irritated or inflamed by the use of common chemicals found in beauty aids. This type of irritation can be avoided by using natural or fragrance- and dye-free products.

Common conditions that affect skin of the head and neck include:

  • Acne
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Red or irritated skin
  • Allergic reactions
  • Dandruff
  • Lice
  • Rosacea
  • Shingles
  • Scabies
  • Psoriasis
  • Sunburn

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