Itchy head or scalp is uncomfortable! A frequent feeling to scratch your scalp is not easy to manage. It creates discomfort, especially when you’re out in public. An itchy scalp doesn’t always indicate a severe health condition, but sometimes, it can be more serious than you think it is.
Apart from scratching or itching your scalp, you may observe specific changes in your scalp, they are:
1. Bald spots
2. Dry and flaky skin on your scalp
3. Irritated skin that can cause redness
4. Swelling and pus-filled sores
What does an itchy head or scalp try to tell you when it itches?
Itchy scalp can mean a lot of things. There are many reasons for itchy scalp. Few things itchy scalp is trying to tell you:
1. “You’ve developed dandruff, time to clean it up!”
Dandruff leads to itching, flaking, reddened skin and white/yellowish scales.
What to do: Wash your scalp regularly with suitable anti-dandruff shampoo prescribed by your Dermatologist. Keep your scalp dirt-free, making it less conducive for dandruff.
2. “ You’ve got a sensitive scalp, careful with what you put on it!”
Scalp itchiness is sometimes a result of a sensitive scalp.
What to do: Choose hair care products that suit your sensitive skin type. Avoid application of strong and harsh ingredients on your scalp.
3. “You have diabetes, keep your sugar level in check!”
High blood sugar levels result in dehydrated and dry skin, poor blood circulation, and a weak immune system. Due to these conditions, people with diabetes are vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections and get itchy scalps!
What to do: Monitor your glucose level with medications advised by your doctor.
4. “ You’re allergic to the pills you’re taking in!”
Symptoms of a drug allergy may include itchiness in your scalp.
What to do: Discuss the problem with your Doctor and get alternative medications.
5. “ You’re taking too much stress!”
Studies indicate that anxiety and stress don’t cause itchy scalp directly. Rather, you’re more likely to have dandruff which can make your scalp condition worse.
What to do: Avoid stress, stay calm and relaxed. Nothing’s worth your scalp health.
6. “You’ve housed plenty of head lice!”
When your scalp is infested with lice, itching sensation on the scalp is inevitable. This is a natural reaction to louse bites.
What to do: Head lice can be stubborn. You might need a prescription-strength medication from the Dermatologist to deal with your lice.
7. “You’re infected with bacteria and fungus!”
Skin conditions like scalp psoriasis can cause itching, flaking, and redness.
What to do: Consult a Dermatologist. Do not self medicate!
Not just these, there are multiple other reasons for your itchy scalp. The best way to find out the cause of your itchy scalp and treat it is to have a Dermatologist take a look at your scalp and hair conditions. Find out how to get relief from itchy scalp.
How to prevent an itchy scalp?
You can reduce the risk for an itchy scalp by cleaning your scalp and hair regularly with warm water to remove accumulated oils time-to-time. Scalp allergic reactions can be avoided by using products that do not contain:
1. Hair dyes
Why: Hair dyes usually contain a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is an irritant and allergen. This is the culprit of your itchy scalp.
2. Artificial fragrances
Why: Your scalp might be allergic to specific components that are used to bring in such fragrance.
3. Strong chemicals
Why: Harsh chemical in some personal grooming products can irritate scalp causing infections.
Follow basic hygiene to maintain good scalp health. Avoid sharing of:
(ii) Rubber bands and ribbons
Why: You can get the scalp infections from others. It is always better to maintain personal hygiene.
When should you consult a Dermatologist for your itchy scalp?
You should definitely choose to visit a Dermatologist if:
(i) Itchiness doesn’t go away in a few days
(ii) It is accompanied by hair loss, rashes, pain, or sores.
(iii) You’re facing intense itching.
(iv) Your itchy scalp is due to an infection.
(v) If the itch is sudden and severe.
Under such conditions, itchy scalp won’t go away without dermatologist-prescribed medical treatment. That’s when you need to consult a Dermatologist for your itchy scalp. Self-care is equally important. It starts from your own mind, and body.