Why Is My Scalp So Itchy?

When your scalp feels itchy and irritated, dandruff is likely your first suspicion. However, various skin conditions can cause this symptom, so it’s important to see a dermatologist for clinical diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Explore the underlying causes of an itchy scalp along with treatments that may provide effective relief.

Contact Dermatitis

A woman with very long blonde hair scratching her scalp

Did the itching develop after you used a new styling product or colored or chemically treated your hair? If so, you could be allergic to an ingredient in the formula, causing an itchy rash called dermatitis. Discontinue use of the irritating products and see a dermatologist to ensure the itching isn’t caused by a different skin condition.

Dandruff

Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff actually occurs when skin cells grow and die quickly, resulting in the characteristic white flakes of this condition. Although we aren’t sure why some people develop dandruff, medicated shampoos often resolve the issue. Some health conditions, such as HIV and Parkinson’s disease, have been clinically linked to a higher likelihood of having dandruff.

Eczema

Although infants and young children are most commonly affected by eczema, this itchy skin issue can occur at any age. The symptoms of this chronic disease may flare up in times of stress, so relaxation techniques may help clear up rashes on the scalp and other areas. Prescription steroid creams are often prescribed to treat eczema.

Head Lice

If you have ever had children in school, you’ve probably had at least one head lice scare over the years. Anyone can get head lice; an infestation is not an indication that a person is unclean. These small insects travel from one human host to another and lay eggs within the hair. Treatment involves removing eggs and insects and treating the hair with a medicated shampoo to keep them from returning.

Psoriasis

This immune system disease manifests like dandruff when it affects the scalp, but is actually a separate condition. An overgrowth of skin cells results in raised, scaly patches of skin that may be red, painful, or itchy. Scalp psoriasis, which affects about half of individuals with psoriasis, ranges from mild to severe. Although this chronic condition cannot be cured, symptoms can often be managed with medicated ointments and shampoos, steroid injections, and/or oral medications.

If you live near Baton Rouge, The Dermatology Clinic can diagnose the skin issue causing your itchy scalp and recommend the appropriate course of treatment. Request an appointment online or call us today at (225) 769-7546.

Leave a Comment

Comment (required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Name (required)
Email (required)