We've all been there: using the end of a rat tail comb to reach that itchy spot on our scalp. Then there's the infamous head-pat. Colloquially, the assumption is that the itch means dryness. But what if your itch is due to something else going on?
An itchy scalp can be due to dandruff, eczema, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis (SD).
If you have an itchy scalp, it could be due to dandruff, eczema, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis (SD).
Dandruff is caused by a fungus that lives on your skin and feeds on dead skin cells. As the fungus grows in numbers, it creates an oily discharge called sebum that clings to your hair shafts. This makes them look white or yellowish in color. Dandruff can also cause redness around your hairline and flakes on your shoulders and collarbone area as well as inside collars of shirts if you don't wash them often enough!
Eczema is an allergic reaction caused by many different things including irritants such as soap & water; perfumes/fragrances; household cleaners; woolen clothing fabrics etc., food allergies like peanuts & eggs etc., infections like strep throat bacteria (strep A) or mononucleosis virus infection (Epstein Barr Virus). Any one of these things may trigger off symptoms at any point during our lives so always check with a doctor first before trying treatments yourself at home!
SD could be the cause if your symptoms are only on the scalp, it's worse in the winter and you've had it for more than six months.
SD is a chronic condition that affects the skin of the scalp. It's not contagious, and it's not life threatening, but it can be annoying! If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, SD could be the culprit:
- Your symptoms are only on the scalp (and not anywhere else).
- The itching occurs worse in winter months or when it's cold outside.
- You've had this condition for more than six months (or even several years).
Dry skin may also indicate SD.
Eczema, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis are all skin diseases that cause dryness. If you have any of these conditions along with SD, your doctor might recommend using moisturizers to treat them both at once.
If you have dandruff, this could be caused by hormones, stress or overactive sebaceous glands (which produce oil). Dandruff is a common condition that affects about half of all people at some point in their lives. Dandruff occurs when dead skin cells are shed from the scalp more rapidly than usual and begin to accumulate on the surface of the skin causing irritation and itchiness. Dandruff can be caused by an overgrowth of fungus called malassezia, which lives naturally on everyone's scalp.
Psoriasis and eczema both involve inflammation of the skin, but there are some important differences between them and SD.
Psoriasis and eczema both involve inflammation of the skin, but there are some important differences between them and SD. Both psoriasis and eczema are chronic diseases that can be managed but not cured. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky patches to appear on your skin; it's not contagious and doesn't spread from one person to another. Eczema, on the other hand, is an allergic reaction to something that irritates your skin such as a food or medication. It usually starts off as dry red patches before progressing into small blisters filled with fluid that may itch or burn--and sometimes even crack open at times!
Another possible cause is contact dermatitis from hair care products.
If you're thinking that your scalp is itching because of the shampoo and conditioner you use, it's a good idea to try switching up your products. The most common cause of contact dermatitis from hair care products is artificial fragrance -- and many shampoos and conditioners contain them. If your scalp feels itchy after using these products, look for options without added, artificial fragrance.
If you still think that your scalp may be reacting negatively to something in your hair care routine, avoid using any other new products until the symptoms go away completely before trying anything else again. If they don't improve within a few days or if they get worse after adding another product into the mix, discontinue use immediately and consult a medical provider.
The causes of scalp itch are different for each person, so getting an accurate diagnosis is essential for treatment. To figure out what's causing your itchiness, we recommend seeing a Dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.