My scalp burns and itches constantly!
A scalp itch is a very common ailment which besides being irksome, can become embarrassing too.
For a person whose scalp is itchy, it may be socially not acceptable to scratch one’s head in public and besides that, an itchy flakey scalp may show up unattractive flakes in the hair or on the shoulders, which might make the person uncomfortable.
What causes an itchy scalp?
The most common cause of itchy scalp problems is dandruff, which is caused by a number of skin conditions like seborrhea dermatitis or eczema.
Dandruff can be mild or extremely severe and some people may require homemade remedies only while others might need medical attention to get rid of the scalp itch.
- In mild cases just lifestyle changes can eliminate the problem but, when the problem is severe, it may require special treatment
- Often an itchy red scalp may be due to dryness, a cause that is mostly overlooked. A dry itchy scalp due to dryness is worse in cold winter months and windy days
- The itchy scalp problem may be the result of using harsh shampoos, hair lotions or tinctures with alcohol as the base
- Frequent washing can cause an extremely itchy scalp
- Red burning itchy scalp may be due to seborrheic dermatitis which shows itself as greasy scales throughout the scalp. It is considered an inflammatory type of dandruff.
- Allergy to certain scalp and hair applications (creams, lotions, gels, hair dye etc ) can result in an extremely itchy scalp with sores, oozing, crusting and scaling. This is called contact dermatitis.
- Head lice infestation is a common cause of itch scalp in girls and women who tie their wet hair before it is dried properly, causing a perfect environment for the lice to flourish and causing a dry itchy flaky scalp.
- Scalp sunburn can also cause scalp itch and one can get relief from this by taking a cool shower and using cortico steroids if the symptoms are severe.
- Menopause and itchy scalp problems are connected because of the decline in Estrogen that effects the scalp.
- It has been found that night sweats cause itchy scalp for one tends to scratch when hair is moist and itchy
- Folliculitis is a bacterial infection which causes red bumps on scalp that itches.
- Some people complain that “coffee makes my scalp itch” and it has been found that drinking too much coffee does this
- Acne on scalp areas can cause itching which can be treated with acne ointments
Preventive measures to avoid an extreme scalp itch
- In the case of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, one has to abstain from using products for hair styling which contain high alcoholic content, since it normally causes an itchy scalp with hair loss.
- Diets such as meat and milk which are rich in saturated fatty acids or trans fatty oils must be lessened or avoided since they increase the secretion of oils from oil glands.
- Avoidance of Anesthetics and lotions are also used in dealing with dry patches of itchiness due to allergic reactions.
- To protect yourself from getting sunburned, you can use sun protective lotions and wear a cap outdoors.
- Of all the itchy scalp solutions the best is to properly maintain personal hygiene and to try home remedies for itchy scalp first and then try other treatment options to remedy dry itchy scalp.
Dry itchy scalp remedies
- To relax is the best way to keep this problem at bay. The use of natural bathing oils such as lavender and Almond help in the cooling of one’s temperature and induce relaxation
- The best shampoo for scalp itch contain natural ingredients like tea tree oil or coconut oil because they are anti inflammatory in nature.
- Shampoos containing Jojoba and Zinc are extremely helpful in this problem. Salicylic acid and coal tar help in the treatment of dermatitis
- A paste of fenugreek seeds with water and lime juice help to combat dandruff.
By Poonam Bindra
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