Itchy scalp: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Itchy scalp: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

An itchy scalp will be irritating and even painful, relying on the trigger. There will be a number of triggers, similar to varied types of dermatitis or reactions to sure hair merchandise.

Consultants contemplate it a typical situation — one examine discovered 25% of members reported an itchy scalp.

It may be troublesome to diagnose what causes an itchy scalp. Understanding the signs and coverings related to the attainable causes may also help individuals higher perceive and tackle their signs.

Preserve studying to be taught extra in regards to the varied triggers of an itchy scalp and the way to deal with them.

The next are among the commonest elements that may result in an itchy scalp:

Seborrheic dermatitis

The most typical trigger for an itchy scalp, seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a situation that impacts the elements of the physique which are wealthy in oil-producing glands, such because the scalp, face, and again.


Researchers contemplate dandruff — when the scalp turns into so dry, it begins to itch and flake off — to be a light type of SD.

Haircare practices

When individuals don’t rinse out the shampoo when washing their hair, it may well accumulate on the scalp and trigger itching and flaking.

Head lice

Widespread amongst younger youngsters and their households, these parasitic bugs stay on human blood and are primarily unfold by means of shut private contact.

Contact dermatitis

Some individuals have allergic reactions to hair merchandise, similar to black hair dye, inflicting itching and rashes on the pores and skin.


When human itch mites dig into the scalp, they will trigger itching so extreme it may well cease an individual from sleeping.


Outbreaks of itchy, typically purple and raised, bumps can develop anyplace on the physique, together with the scalp.


Regardless of the identify, a fungus triggers this situation, which is also referred to as tinea capitis.

Scalp psoriasis

About 50% of people that have plaque psoriasis on their our bodies additionally develop signs on their scalp.

Atopic dermatitis

This type of eczema impacts the scalp, inflicting intense itching that may result in an infection.

The signs that accompany an itchy scalp may also help people and healthcare suppliers decide the set off. In flip, this will level the way in which in direction of doubtless therapy choices.

Different signs which will include an itchy scalp embody:

  • Patches of thick, greasy scales on the scalp: These are incessantly an indication of seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Flakes: Once they seem within the hair or on clothes, these are indicators of dandruff.
  • Small white nubs on the hair: These could possibly be nits or the eggs of head lice. A medical skilled might want to carry out a visible examination to determine indicators of lice.
  • Small raised bumps: These are sometimes signs of scabies.
  • Hives: Individuals with hives on their scalp typically have them elsewhere on their our bodies.
  • Crimson rash, pus-filled bumps, and hair loss: These will be indicators of ringworm, particularly if all of them happen on the similar time.
  • Silvery-white scales on a dry scalp with purple patches: These signs recommend scalp psoriasis.
  • Problem sleeping: A attainable signal of head lice or scabies, because of the extreme itching.
  • Flaking pores and skin on the higher again, chest, and face: Might be an indication of seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Dry, purple scalp: Could be a signal of atopic dermatitis.

Individuals ought to word that seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis can all have related signs.

An individual with these signs could must work intently with their healthcare supplier to search out the very best therapies for these situations.

One of the best therapy for an itchy scalp is dependent upon the trigger:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis: Antifungal shampoos and anti inflammatory drugs can ease signs.
  • Allergic reactions and dermatitis: An individual can use hypoallergenic merchandise and ensure they fully rinse the shampoo off their hair and scalp.
  • Dandruff: Over-the-counter (OTC) anti-dandruff shampoos will be efficient.
  • Head lice: Individuals can use OTC and prescription medicine to deal with head lice. Consultants advocate treating everybody within the family, together with shut contacts, if one individual is contaminated. Individuals must also completely clear all their garments and family items.
  • Scabies: The one option to take away scabies is with prescription medicine and thorough cleansing of all garments and family items.
  • Hives: Hives have a tendency to come back and go on their very own, however could reply to a change in food regimen, hair care practices, or each.
  • Ringworm: Individuals can use prescription medicine to deal with ringworm.
  • Scalp psoriasis: Some individuals discover OTC treatments may also help, whereas others require medicated shampoos.
  • Atopic dermatitis: Consultants advocate individuals maintain their scalp moist and use corticosteroid lotions to regulate itching.

Usually, individuals can handle an itchy scalp at residence. Nonetheless, the situation will be troublesome to self-treat in some circumstances, and an itchy scalp will also be an indication of an underlying well being concern.

Individuals ought to see a health care provider if:

  • they’re unable to search out what causes their itchy scalp
  • hives on the scalp last more than six weeks
  • important hair loss develops
  • self-care practices don’t cut back signs

Many various elements may cause the irritating, doubtlessly embarrassing, and typically painful situation often called an itchy scalp.

They are often troublesome to diagnose, and typically there may not be a transparent set off.

Many therapy choices can be found, starting from OTC shampoos and lotions to prescription drugs focused for particular causes.

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