What Causes An Itchy Scalp?

One of the most annoying conditions is an itchy scalp. An itchy scalp can many times cause individuals to itch their scalp causing embarrassing social situations. If individuals are constantly scratching their scalp, they are also going to shed skin and hair onto their clothes, which is something they will have to take care of. The treatment options available for an itchy scalp and their effectiveness largely depend on the underlying cause of the itchy scalp. Additionally, the underlying cause can also influence the potential of other symptoms. With this in mind, it is clear the cause of one's itchy scalp is crucial to identify.

Here are a few of the things that can cause an itchy scalp.

Seasonal Changes

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When there are seasonal changes, the body is going to go through changes as well. If individuals are suddenly living in a dry warm climate, their skin can start to get much drier. This can greatly affect the skin on the scalp. This will result in a very itchy scalp they will have to take care of with the right types of shampoos. This can also be true when individuals are in a much colder season, where their skin will become try due to the harsh winds and cold temperatures. Individuals may want to try wearing warm hats or using shampoos that can help with an itchy scalp.

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Stress

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If individuals are worrying all of the time, their body's functions will not work like they are supposed to. Whether they are in a tough relationship or are stuck in a job they don't like, individuals need to get out of these situations to lower their stress and get their health back on track. An itchy scalp can be a big sign an individual is too worried most of the time. Patients must learn to manage their stressors and work to maintain a healthier life. Meditation is a good way to get a handle on their stressors. Individuals will be able to take a step back from everything that is bothering them and finally relax.

Keep reading to learn more about itchy scalp causes.

Yeast Overgrowth

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An itchy scalp is a major indicator an individual has a yeast overgrowth. As it is tough to diagnose this on one's own, individuals may want to see a doctor if they feel their itchy scalp might be due to a yeast overgrowth or they cannot identify another cause. If individuals are constantly stressed, they may have a yeast overgrowth. This could also be true if individuals are eating a lot of fermented foods like pickles or beer, or even products like bread or bagels. Thus, individuals should check their diet prior to meeting with a doctor.

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Dry Or Oily Hair

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Dry or oily hair may be reasons individuals might deal with an itchy scalp. Individuals should take a look at how often they are washing their hair. If they doing so far too much, they could have dry hair. When individuals wash their hair too often, its natural oils will not be able to do their job to keep their scalp from getting too dry. However, if individuals are not washing your hair enough, oily hair could cause dead skin particles to build up on the scalp. This can be a major reason why an individual's scalp feels itchy on a regular basis.

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Autoimmune Conditions

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Autoimmune conditions like alopecia and eczema can cause an itchy scalp. Patients should be on the lookout for other symptoms such as hair loss or dry and scaly skin, as well as potentially fluid-filled bumps. These conditions can only be diagnosed by a doctor. Thankfully, there are treatments for these types of conditions. If patients have been diagnosed with alopecia or eczema, they don't have to feel like it is over for their hair's health. If individuals can keep their hair treatments going, they will be back to a healthy scalp before they know it.

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Dandruff

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Dandruff is a skin condition that causes the scalp to become dry and flaky. These skin flakes are easily visible in the hair and on clothing. Many individuals believe dandruff is caused by poor hygiene, but this is completely untrue. It is actually primarily caused by dry skin. Once the skin on the scalp becomes dry, it will become extremely itchy, and scratching is just going to produce more white flakes. The best way to treat dandruff is by regularly using a special shampoo. Individuals can return to their normal shower routine once the itchy flakes disappear.

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Allergic Reaction To Hair Products

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The skin on the scalp is very sensitive, so developing an allergic reaction to hair products is extremely common. The three most common hair products that cause harmful reactions are shampoo, conditioner, and hair dye. It is fairly easy for individuals to know if they are having a bad reaction to one of these products. Individuals will get a bad rash on the scalp almost instantly after using the hair product. The rash will also likely develop on any area of the body that came in contact with the product while it was being used. This rash will cause an intensely itchy scalp. It is very important for individuals to immediately stop using the shampoo, conditioner, or hair dye they think caused the allergic reaction.

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Head Lice

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Head lice are parasitic insects that like to live on the human head. They use the hair as protection while they feed on blood from the scalp. Red bumps will develop on the scalp once the head lice start feeding. These bumps will be extremely itchy over time. The movement of the insects may also cause individuals to feel a slightly itchy sensation on the scalp. The only way to get head lice is to come in close contact with an infected individual. If individuals believe they have head lice, then it is important to take immediate action before the bugs spread throughout the home. Washing the hair with a special shampoo designed to kill the insects is the best form of treatment. It is also recommended to wash all bedding in hot water.

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Ringworm Of The Scalp

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Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the scalp and hair follicles. This is an extremely contagious condition, so it always occurs after direct contact with an infected object, person, or animal. Ringworm of the scalp causes scaly patches on the head. In addition to being itchy, these scalp patches are also tender or painful when touched. The fungus will also weaken the hair follicles, causing bald patches to develop after the weakened hair starts to fall out. Since ringworm is caused by a dangerous fungus, patches will need to seek medical treatment in order to eliminate the issue. The dermatologist will prescribe a strong anti-fungal medication that will help return the patient's scalp back to normal.

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Frequent Hot Showers

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Few things are more relaxing and comforting after a long day at work than a hot shower, but this habit may actually damage the scalp. While hot water feels great, it strips the moisture from the scalp and hair. This causes individuals to develop itchy dry skin on the scalp. In order to take the best care of one's scalp and hair, it is recommended to only use lukewarm water in the shower. The water should not be much hotter than room temperature. If individuals are unable to give up their frequent hot showers, they just need to make sure to turn down the hot water when washing their hair. This allows individuals to enjoy the relaxation benefits of a hot shower without risking an itchy scalp.

HealthPrep Staff