Scratch! Scratch! Scratch! This is the normal movement you can see if a person has an itchy head. The scratching starts slowly until it becomes faster and faster. You use different techniques to scratch you itchy head. You will first use your finger, then your comb. You will scratch until the itchiness disappears. While I am guilty of using these methods also, it can be harmful for your scalp because it may cause some irritation. If you are asking what could be the cause of your itchy scalp, there are several reasons for that.
Dry Itchy Scalp
There could be a number of causes why you may have dry flaky scalp. The cold weather can play havoc with your scalp. You may also be using a hair product that cause dry itchy scalp. Another reason why you many have itchy scalp is because of dandruff. Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. It is sometimes caused by extreme exposure to heat or cold. They look like tiny white specks that can cling to your clothes. They are especially noticeable if you are wearing dark shirts or blouses. Having dandruff can sometimes cause a person to lose his self-esteem especially if you experience a large amount of flaking. However, dry scalp treatment is commonly available in drugstores or supermarkets.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red rash on the scalp. The skin becomes thick with silvery scaling. Itchiness is one of the symptoms but not one of the major ones. Scalp psoriasis can occur at the age of 30 but it can also appear any time. Scalp psoriasis affects the hairline and may affect your forehead, behind your ears and neck. The treatment for psoriasis is shampoo that has coal tar extracts salicylic acid. You need to ask your dermatologist about it.
Contact dermatitis is a term for a skin reaction that resulted from being exposed to allergens. The cause or the irritant could be hair products like shampoo, hair dye or soap. You can see skin redness within the affected area. There may also be rashes or skin lesion present. Itchiness also occurs. When excessive itchiness occur avoid scratching because it may lead to other infections.
I am sure that most of you are not surprised when you read that head lice could be one of the causes of an itchy head. Head lice are tiny insects that feed on the blood of humans. They mostly stay near the nape and behind the ears. They produce saliva that could trigger the itching. Their eggs or nits may be mistaken for dandruff. Nits stay on the strand of hair and cannot be easily removed.
There are natural and chemical remedies to remove head lice. You can use mayonnaise, Vaseline or olive oil on your hair. You can also buy shampoos or treatments for head lice.
Other Causes of Dry, Itchy Scalp
Stress can also be a cause of itchy scalp. Worrying about family, money and work can take a toll on a person’s health. Itchy scalp and hair loss are just common symptoms we find on people who are stressed. Changes that you make in your life would be the best solution instead of shampoos or chemical remedies.
There are also less common causes of dry scalp. It can be eczema; tinea or even lupus can cause the itch. In some cases, hyperthyroidism can also cause itchiness.
Complications that may result from an Itchy Scalp
There are cases that dry itchy scalp can have complications when there are severe scratching involved. Scratching can lead to wounds or scars. It can also bring bacteria or fungus in the layers of the skin. Complications that may arise are cellulitis or infection of the skin and surrounding tissue caused by bacteria or fungal infection. You can also suffer from hair loss, thinning hair or just bald patches. There could also be open sores and lesions.
Dry Scalp Treatment
You can make changes in your hair routine to treat your dry scalp. One of the things you can do is to use shampoo and conditioner that is appropriate for cold weather. You also have to limit how often you shampoo. Shampoo can strip moisture from the scalp. Use very little amount of shampoo. It is hard to rinse out all the shampoo and the ones that remained will dry off and will flake off.
If you are suffering from an itchy head or scalp, then it is time to examine what the cause could be. It can be just mild cases of dandruff or head lice to serious cases like psoriasis or hyperthyroidism. If the itch is persistent and you have tried using different dry scalp treatment then try to seek a doctor. Hopefully, the scratching sound would fade and the itchiness would disappear.