Why Is My Scalp Itchy? Top 18 Reasons
Can't focus on anything and wonder, "why is my scalp itchy?"? Determining its source is the first step in relieving the itch on your scalp.
When your scalp itches, it can be an indication that you may have one of these:
1. Allergic Reactions
If your scalp is itchy, dry, and flaky after washing, you may not have rinsed off the shampoo thoroughly enough. It's not good to let the shampoo sit on your scalp after you wash it.
An itchy scalp may be a symptom of allergic contact dermatitis,characterised by itchiness and a rash. Many people who alter their hair colour experience this. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD), a component of black hair dyes , are frequently to blame.
It's also possible that you're allergic to the shampoo, conditioner, or other topical ointments you use on your head. If that's the case, you can break out in an itchy rash when the product comes into contact with your skin, including your scalp.
2. Head Lice
Lice infestations typically manifest as an itchy scalp. If you think head lice are to blame for your itching, have someone check your scalp and hair.
The itching can be relieved if the lice are eliminated. Many head lice medicines are available without any prescription at a local drug shop or pharmacy. Medicated shampoo is usually recommended by the shop or pharmacy. Always follow the instructions to effectively remove head lice.
3. Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can be mild. However, it can also be severe, long-lasting, and accompanied by thick, crusted sores. Reddish, itchy patches, flaking similar to dandruff, silvery-white scale, and a generally dry scalp are all symptoms. Extreme itching can disrupt sleep and daily activities, and excessive scratching can cause skin infections and hair loss.
Many options exist for relieving the discomfort of scalp psoriasis. It has been shown that over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, such as medicated shampoos can help some patients find relief.
4. Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a typical skin problem that primarily manifests itself on the scalp. It aggravates existing conditions, including dandruff and skin inflammation. The face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, and chest are common places where it manifests.
5. Dry Scalp
When your skin is dehydrated, you may have a dry scalp that itches and flakes. If your scalp is dry, the skin on the rest of your body, including your arms and legs, may also be dry.
6. Scalp Ringworm
Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp) is a rash caused by a fungal infection. It typically results in itchy, scaly, hairless spots on the scalp. Ringworm gets its name because of its circular appearance.
Typically, ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis) is treated with antifungal medicine taken orally for one to three months. Unfortunately, creams, lotions, and powders are ineffective against scalp ringworm.
7. Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis, often known as eczema, is a chronic (long-lasting) skin illness characterised by inflammation, redness, and irritation.
A family history of atopic dermatitis, hay fever, or asthma increases the risk of getting atopic dermatitis.
Some of these home care remedies might lessen the need for prescription drugs:
- Avoid scratching your skin or rash.
- Use a moisturiser or topical steroids to alleviate the irritation. Use antihistamines to alleviate intense itching.
- Keep your nails trimmed short. Two to three times per day, lubricate or moisturise the skin using ointments such as petroleum jelly. Alcohol, aromas, colours, perfumes, and other skin-irritating substances must be absent from moisturisers.
8. Phantom Scalp Itch
Phantom scalp itch is usually caused by a problem with the cervical spine. There is no rash or flaking that can be seen. When you have a phantom scalp itch, you feel like your scalp is burning, stinging, and itching.
It's hard to treat neuropathic itching because most anti-itch medicines don't help. Most treatments use local anaesthetics or barriers to stop the person from scratching. This is because scratching too much or too hard can cause painful sores or other unintentional self-harm.
The human itch mite is a tiny bug that can get into your scalp and make you scratch. You can get scabies if you spend a lot of time with someone who has them. Scabies is characterised by a pimple-like rash and an intense itching.
Scabicide lotion or cream should be applied on all parts of the body, from the scalp, neck to the feet and toes.
Most of the time, dandruff causes the scalp to itch. It happens when the scalp gets irritated and starts to flake and shed. Dry skin, skin diseases, or reactions to hair products can cause dandruff.
11. Skin Cancer
On the scalp, squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, can also grow. This kind of skin cancer usually happens on skin that has been in the sun for a long time.
Skin cancer may resemble a mole, an ulcer, or a sore. The treatment for skin cancer depends on the cancer's form and severity.
13. Weak Immune System
When the immune system is not functioning properly, the body fails to protect itself or attacks its own cells. Immune system disorders such as Lichen Planopilaris, Alopecia Areata, Lupus, and Lymphoma can produce an itchy scalp.
Hives are a skin disorder characterised by the appearance of red or skin-coloured lumps that resemble insect bites on the skin and scalp. They are itchy and can be provoked by foods, drugs, sun exposure, and blood transfusions.
You can stop the itch at home. People with long-term hives often feel itchy. Here are some short-term ways to feel better:
- Don't get too hot.
- Wear cotton clothes with a loose fit.
- Use a cold compress on the itchy skin several times a day, like ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth, unless cold makes your hives worse.
- Use an antihistamine or calamine lotion, which you can buy without a prescription, to stop the itch.
- Use a moisturiser with no scent several times a day to keep your skin from getting dry.
15. Scalp Folliculitis
Folliculitis is a common skin disorder characterised by the inflammation of hair follicles. It is frequently caused by a bacterial infection. Initially, it may resemble little pimples surrounding the tiny pockets from which each hair emerges (hair follicles). The condition can be uncomfortable, painful, and humiliating.
Most cases of scalp folliculitis happen right at the hairline. If you have bumps here, you can wash the area several times a day with antibacterial soap. When you're done, be sure to rinse the soap off well and dry your hairline with clean cloths or towels.
16. Actinic Keratosis
Actinic keratoses, commonly referred to as solar keratoses, are sun-damaged, dry, scaly skin patches. Typically, the patches are not severe. However, there is a slight danger that they could develop into skin cancer. Thus it is crucial to minimise further skin injury.
Usually, Actinic Keratosis is treated with cryosurgery, but there are also home remedies that can help you with this problem such as: applying apple cider vinegar, virgin coconut oil, or green tea.
The reason for your itchy scalp may be just a sunburn. If you have been outside all day and forget to wear a hat, you can expect to have sunburn, but you can get relief by taking a refreshing shower.
18. Overly Tight Ponytail
Similar to ringworm, wearing a ponytail can cause hair loss and an itchy scalp. It can cause stress and scar to the hair follicles and hair shaft over time, resulting in hair thinning and hair loss. When styling your hair, make sure that the tie is not too tight to avoid damaging the hair shaft and hair roots.
Conclusion On Why My Scalp Is Itchy
We tend to ignore the occasional itchy scalp. But chronic itchiness could be a sign of a more serious, underlying medical condition. When left unaddressed, the itchiness can not only interfere with hair health, but also the quality of your life.
If you notice signs of itchiness on your scalp, it’s best to have the problem addressed immediately. Some scalp issues are minor and can be alleviated through proper treatment and healthy hair habits.
Are you suffering from a flaky scalp, hair loss, scaly patches, oily scalp, skin irritation, and an intensely itchy scalp? At Two Herbs, our soothing Scalp Peeling Gel can cleanse the scalp making it fresh and clean, ensuring your scalp is free from any blockage or dirt.
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Frequently Asked Questions On Why My Scalp Is Itchy
Should I Wash My Hair If I Have An Itchy Scalp?
In order to keep skin conditions or scalp conditions like dandruff and seborrheic eczema at bay, Anti-dandruff shampoo is required. Fine hair, which has more sebaceous glands and hence becomes oily at the roots more quickly, also requires special care.
Does An Itchy Scalp Cause Hair Damage?
When you scratch your scalp excessively, you risk breaking your hair. Scratching your scalp when you feel an intense itching can weaken hair and increase the probability of breaking because it erodes the cuticle, which serves as a protective barrier for the hair.
Why Does My Head Itch Despite Taking A Shower?
With a lack of moisture, dry skin may feel tight or itchy, particularly after a shower. Cleansers, soap, and water can strip the skin of its natural oils, which keep it supple and prevent it from drying out. When you take hot showers, the soap and water remove the skin's natural oils, causing the skin to feel dry and irritated.
Should I Be Concerned About My Itching Scalp?
When should medical assistance be sought? Consult a physician if the itching persists beyond a few days and is accompanied by hair loss, pain, sores, or acute itching. An itchy scalp caused by a fungal infection, lice, or other diseases will not go away without medical treatment. You may be prescribed a medicated shampoo.