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How to treat an itchy scalp

Updated on October 13, 2015

Do you have an itchy Scalp?

It is really irritating and distracting when you have an itch in your scalp. Everybody who is suffering from an itchy scalp like me knows how frustrating it is to scratch all over using our finger nails. It seems that it's the only relief we can get but as a matter of fact only temporary like few seconds. While this may bring temporary comfort, it is actually frustrating for us how to relieve from itchy feeling. Thankfully a lot of shampoo and conditioner now in the market to choose from. Don't let yourself suffer from itchy scalp ever again. In this article, we'll tackle about some of the best treatments for your itchy scalp, and the preventions you can do to ensure that your scalp stays healthy.

Why is a scalp itchy?

Itching of scalp is a common problem of women and men. It is often the result of dry skin, skin infection, inflammation, and stress or anxiety. Maybe the itching is a result of bad hygiene but it is not always necessary because there are some skin diseases that can also cause itching of the scalp like psoriasis. Repeated itching could promote bacterial infection because of the scratches. If you have an itchy scalp, don't worry. This is a pretty common problem and won't endanger your health if you treat it properly. Treatment of itching depends on the cause. That's why, it is necessary to check the cause of itching at the earliest possible.
Hence, the biggest threat to your problem comes from the use of different products like shampoo and conditioners that you might use to treat your scalp. If you're guilty of this, better stop it right now. Scratching, however, will only serve to inflame the scalp which will actually increase the itching sensation even more.
Before determining the best source of treatment for your itchy scalp, it's important to check for yourself some of the causes. This will help you to identify how it started. Find out what these causes of itchiness are.

Various causes of an itchy scalp are:

Fungal infections. We are all suffering from fungal infections in different parts of our body such as feet, groin, etc. It is also possible for fungus to infect the scalp too. Here are the 3 causes of fungal infections in our scalp:

1. Dandruff: a common scalp condition that appears after adolescence which is prone to oily scalp infected by a small fungus called Malassezia furfur. When you repeatedly scratches the scalp, the falling off of scales will follow which is the cause of embarrassment in public and sometimes in most cases followed temporary loss of hair. When you have a dandruff in the presence of an excessively oily scalp with additional inflammation of it, you are suffering from what we call seborrheic dermatitis.
2. Cradle Cap: This is only for children from 3 months and younger which is not known what is the cause of this. In this condition, there is crusting over the head with loss of hair which is usually harmless because when the baby reach around one year old it gets better. Some say this condition may be due to excess secretion of sebaceous glands because of the influence of maternal hormones. The yeast and Malassezia furfur, may also play a role in causing this cradle cap.
3. Ringworm Infection: The result is in circular thick lesions where the scalp area over the ringworm is itchy and there is a breaking of hair which needs anti-fungal medications.

Skin Conditions, Bacterial and Viral Infections:

Do you have any other skin complaints such as eczema or psoriasis? Unfortunately, skin conditions can easily spread to scalp. How about bacterial infection like crusting and matting of hair, Inflammation of the hair follicle like folliculitis or viral infection like chickenpox? The two examples below can show why your scalp is itchy.
1. Dry Scalp: We have different skin conditions and some have dry skin including the scalp. The dryness of the scalp results in itching. The itching could get worse when repeated washing of the hair with different kinds of harsh shampoos.
2. Infestation with Lice: These are small parasites that suck blood in your scalp which is common to females. Be careful with people who has lice because the lice spread from one person to another through close contact. The bites of the lice result in itching especially behind the ears and at the bottom area near the neck. When you scratch the scalp repeatedly it may result in excoriation of the skin because the bacteria may grow causing infection. You can diagnose it by the presence of lice and the eggs of lice called nits in the hair.

Inflammation, Allergies, Stress and Anxiety

Aside from stress and anxiety that can result to repeated scratching of the scalp, here are three examples of inflammatory disorder and allergies that can cause of itchiness of the scalp.
1. Contact Dermatitis: an allergic reaction of the skin to certain chemicals applied to the skin shampoos and dyes because subsequent applications may produce itching and scaling.
2. Psoriasis of the Scalp: a condition where the skin is covered with plaques which are covered with silvery scales usually accompanied with plaques over the rest of the body, may also be accompanied by arthritis.
3. Lichen Planus: is another inflammatory disorder that affects the skin including the scalp that results in scarring and loss of hair over the affected part.

How to Treat An Itchy Scalp

There are two ways in treating itchy scalp:
First, how to stop the itch.
Second, how to clear the skin condition or infection

There are several ways to treat or cure the itchy scalp. We can find good shampoo to wash our hair in the market now. To clear from fungal or any bacterial infections, many products are available in the pharmacy. Here are some samples you may use at home if ever you have these available at your own kitchen:
Tea oil, Lemon Juice, Baking soda, Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, and a lot more.

Three Examples of Preparations:

Option 1: add ten to twenty drops of tea tree oil to 1/2 cup of baby shampoo, use it daily or dilute 2 or 3 drops of tea tree oil in one tbs of vegetable oil and massage the mixture on your scalp.

Option 2: apply fresh lemon juice thoroughly on the scalp. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then shampoo your hair or mix lemon juice with yogurt and apply it on your scalp for a few minutes before washing your hair with shampoo. Do it daily.

Option 3: apply a paste of baking soda on your scalp and allow it to soak for 10-15 minutes then rinse with water. But, rub some olive oil on your scalp before applying the baking soda paste.

Did you find this interesting?

Please don't forget to comment below about your experience in itchy scalp. I had this experience every once and awhile and my favorite remedy is apple cidar vinegar.


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    • bujoy83 profile image

      Robelyn Yambao Travels 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the comment. You are welcome!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I like the lemon juice and yogurt idea most. This would be simple and time saving for me.. not to mention cost savings! Thanks for the information and education on this topic.