If you're one of the many people who suffer from an itchy scalp, you know how annoying and sometimes painful it can be. There are a number of reasons why your scalp might be itching, and thankfully, there are also a number of ways to get relief. Keep reading to learn more about why your scalp itches and how you can stop the itch.
One of the most common causes of an itchy scalp is dandruff. Dandruff is a condition caused by a build-up of dead skin cells on the scalp. When these cells accumulate, they can cause the scalp to become dry, flaky, and itchy. Thankfully, dandruff is relatively easy to treat with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle, and if your dandruff persists, see your doctor or dermatologist.
Another common cause of an itchy scalp is seborrheic dermatitis. This is a chronic inflammation of the sebaceous glands that produces scales and crusts on the scalp. It can also cause hair loss. While the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, it is thought to be related to hormones, stress, or a yeast infection. Seborrheic dermatitis is treated with medicated shampoos, creams, or ointments. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the best treatment for you.
If you have sudden onset of an itchy scalp, it could be due to contact dermatitis. This is a reaction that occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant, such as a new shampoo or hair product. Contact dermatitis can also be caused by allergens, such as poison ivy or nickel. If you think you might have contact dermatitis, avoid using any new products on your hair or scalp and see your doctor.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes the skin cells to grow too quickly. This can lead to dry, scaly patches on the skin, including the scalp. Psoriasis can also cause itchiness and redness. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms and improve the appearance of the skin. If you think you might have psoriasis, see your doctor for an evaluation.
There are a number of other conditions that can cause an itchy scalp, including head lice, eczema, and allergies. If you're having trouble pinpointing the cause of your itchiness, see your doctor for an evaluation.
There are a number of ways to treat an itchy scalp. The best way to treat your specific condition will depend on its underlying cause. In general, however, there are a few things you can do to help relieve itchiness and make your scalp more comfortable:
- Avoid scratching your scalp - This will only make the itchiness worse and could lead to infection.
- Gently brush your hair - This will help remove any scales or crusts that might be causing irritation.
- Wash your hair regularly - This will help remove any build-up on your scalp that could be contributing to the itchiness.
- Use a mild shampoo - Avoid any shampoos or hair products that contain harsh chemicals or other irritants.
- Apply a moisturizer - This will help soothe dry, irritated skin.
- See your doctor - If home treatment doesn't relieve your symptoms, see your doctor for an evaluation. They may prescribe medicated shampoos or creams to help relieve the itchiness.