Itchy scalp: causes and treatment

Itchy scalp: causes and treatment

Most men look great in black. But if you are one of those unlucky ones struggling with an itchy scalp, you can avoid wearing dark colors. A itchy scalp it often results in flakes of dry skin on the shoulders, which is not pleasant to look at.

Itchy scalp, also known medically as “scalp pruritus,” is sometimes accompanied by flaking of the skin. Sometimes the conditions can become severe and require appropriate medication and treatment.

Let us see what causes itchy scalp and understand how to use proper treatment methods to get rid of it.

Reasons why the scalp itches

The first step to healthy hair he’s keeping it good. An itchy scalp is a sign that your hair is not healthy. There are several reasons for an itchy scalp.

closeup of a man with dandruff in his hair
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Dandruff, which refers to small pieces of skin that break off from the scalp, is the most common cause of itchy scalp. There are various treatment options for dandruff ranging from shampoos for itchy scalp to topical medication.

People with oily skin are usually more prone to dandruff. A particular type of yeast breaks down the oil on the scalp, and the skin continues to produce new skin cells at a high rate, which leads to dandruff. It usually takes about a month for new skin cells to be produced. However, for those with dandruff, the entire process occurs within a week. Other causes include seasonal changes and hormonal fluctuations or stress.

Contact dermatitis is a condition that occurs when the body comes into contact with an irritant When it occurs on the scalp, it may be due to a new shampoo or hair product that causes itching, dryness, and flaking of the scalp. It may also be accompanied by a rash and redness on the scalp and, in rare cases, blisters or hives.

Atopic dermatitis or eczema causes a red rash on the scalp, itching, dry skin and inflammation. It is usually not contagious and occurs in children.

Hives are red, raised, itchy bumps that form on the body, including the scalp. They usually go away within a few hours. Usually, if hives occur on the scalp, they are likely to develop on the body as well.

image of a young man with an itchy scalp due to lice
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Head lice are small insects that live in the hair on the head and feed on blood from the scalp. They are highly contagious and are caused by head-to-head contact or by sharing personal items, such as towels, combs, etc., with someone who is already affected by them. They make the scalp itchy and feel like something is crawling on the scalp.

Several studies indicate that 50% of people with psoriasis on the body also develop psoriasis on the scalp. Scalp psoriasis causes thick, scaly, itchy patches to spread across the scalp, and sometimes these patches extend to the neck, back, and forehead. In addition to itchy scalp, psoriasis can cause scalp bleeding due to excessive scratching and hair loss.

picture showing ringworm on a man's head
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Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that affects the scalp. In simple terms, it is a ringworm of the scalp that presents as discolored, itchy, scaly patches. Eventually these scaly patches result in hair loss. It is contagious and can spread from the scalp to other parts of the body.

What are the symptoms of an itchy scalp?

Itchy scalp symptoms can vary depending on its cause, but common symptoms include:

  • Hair loss or bald patches
  • dry or irritated skin
  • Patches or scaly skin on the scalp
  • Redness on the scalp
  • low-grade fever and pus-filled sores in rare cases

A man with many white scales on his shoulder.
© iStock

Should you seek medical help?

If the itchy scalp problem goes away in a few days, you may not need to see a doctor. Some home remedies for itchy scalp can help you get relief. However, you should see your doctor if:

  1. You have had an itchy scalp for more than a month.
  2. If you have a rash, scaly patches, sores, hair loss, or fever along with an itchy scalp
  3. If you have hives for more than six weeks
  4. If you are suffering from significant hair loss
  5. The bleeding occurs on the scalp.

What is the treatment for itchy scalp?

As there are so many reasons for itchy scalp, treatment will also vary. here are some itchy scalp solutions.

1. Dandruff treatment

Dandruff is relatively easy to treat and involves frequent washing of the hair with a dandruff shampoo and some scalp medications, such as antifungal cream or salicylic acid. oiled Scalp before shampooing is also a good option as it helps exfoliate dead skin and scales from the scalp.

Scalpe pro anti-dandruff shampoo 100ml
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2. Treatment of contact dermatitis

The primary treatment for contact dermatitis is to avoid irritants and use natural products. You can also apply an anti-itch cream containing cortisone to the itchy area. If this is not possible, you can ask your doctor to prescribe an anti-itch pill.

cortizone-10 intensive healing formula 2 ounce
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3. Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Treatment of atopic dermatitis includes keeping good scalp hygiene and regular massage with coconut or any other oil. Anti-itch creams containing corticosteroids may be used. If this does not help or flare-ups occur too often, phototherapy (exposure to light) may be suggested.

king natural virgin coconut oil
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4. Treatment for hives on the scalp

Hives rarely require treatment, as they settle on their own. Rubbing some ice on the hives can help reduce inflammation.

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5. Treatment for head lice

Washing the hair with medication to kill lice is the first thing to do. After this, remove the lice eggs with a fine-toothed comb. Because head lice are highly contagious and can spread quickly between people in a household, personal items that come into contact with the person should be washed at high temperatures.

    Zykaa Stainless Steel Lice Treatment Comb for Head Lice
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6. Scalp Psoriasis Treatment

Treatment of scalp psoriasis requires products containing salicylic acid and coal tar. Using the products helps soften plaques, making them easier to remove and reducing itching and inflammation. Phototherapy and oral medication are also often suggested.

clean buds coal tar and salicylic acid scalp shampoo
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7. Treatment of tinea capitis

The main treatment for tinea capitis is an antifungal medication that must be taken for at least six weeks. In addition, you may also be prescribed a medicated shampoo that contains ketoconazole or selenium sulfide. It is necessary to use the shampoo and the medication as the shampoo will only prevent the fungus from spreading to other places while the oral medication will kill the fungus.

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The bottom line

Lifestyle choices and seasonal changes can often cause an itchy scalp. Dandruff is the most common cause of itchy scalp. Itchy scalp usually goes away on its own. Most symptoms can be controlled with the correct products for your hair and scalp. But when the problem persists, you should consider changing your regimen or seeing a doctor.

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