Itchy Scalp, Common Problems and Treatments

Having an itchy scalp is a common problem. Just observe the people around you for a few moments and you’ll see a couple of them reach up and give their head a scratch to relieve the itch. There are several causes of itchy scalp and just as many treatment options to stop the problem. Read on to discover what may be the cause and the cure for the itch on top of your head.

Seborrheic Dermatitis
The most common cause is seborrheic dermatitis, which causes the scalp to turn red, itch and flake. Those visible white flakes that we call dandruff are the result of this condition which can actually occur on any part of the body. Treatment for this condition starts with an over-the-counter medicated shampoo and conditioner. If that doesn’t cure the seborrheic dermatitis, your doctor can prescribe a steroid and prescription-strength shampoo.

Scalp Psoriasis
Psoriasis can develop on any part of the body due to an overgrowth of skin cells triggered by a person’s immune system. When the overgrowth of skin cells occurs on the scalp it causes itching, redness and flaking.
Scalp psoriasis is treated with a gentle shampoo formulated for dry hair, plus topical ointment (prescription or non-prescription available) If the psoriasis becomes severe or is on other parts of the body, an oral or topical medication may be prescribed by your doctor to treat it as well.

Eczema
This is the common cause of itchy scalp on infants and children, but anyone can develop eczema. Typically treated with the use of gentle shampoos and topical moisturizers. Severe cases may require the use of a prescription-strength, topical steroid cream.

Diseases
Certain disease make the development of an itchy scalp more common too. People with HIV or Parkinson’s typically have this minor, yet irritating scalp condition.
Treatment for disease-induced itchy scalp is the same; moisturizing shampoo, topical cream and perhaps oral medications.

Transient Causes
Dry, itchy, flaky scalp can come and go due to seasonal changes. This condition often appears in winter and disappears in summer. Cold, dry air is the cause and the itch can be reduced with the use of a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
Stress can cause the maddening itch on top of your head. Reduce stress levels and use a gentle shampoo to relieve the scalp itch.
Not washing your hair often enough can also cause a buildup of hair-care products on the scalp which can lead to dryness, flaking and itching. Keep scalp clean and free of product buildup by shampooing hair at least every other day.
A poor diet may also be the culprit for this condition. Ensure you’re getting proper nutrition by supplementing your diet with a daily multi-vitamin.

Reference: WebMD

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