Itchy scalp is a regular or temporary irritation of a definite skin zone that causes some discomfort. In most cases, itch is a reaction of the body to a stimulus; however, in some cases, such symptoms testify to some serious diseases. Regular full blown itch of a scalp may result in thin skin through scratches and injuries which develop chaps, inflammations and the following possible infections.
It should be noted, itchy skin needs to be treated in time, especially, if it is attended by strong hair fallout, sores and red spots on the skin. It is important to detect a reason of such event and apply to a dermatologist and trichologist who can prescribe an appropriate therapy after a diagnosis. As a rule, after elimination of an irritant source, symptoms of itch disappear.
Causes of Itchy Skin
The most widespread causes of itchy skin in medicine are:
Parasites (lice, ticks and so on)
In order to exclude parasitic infection (pediculoses (lice) or demodicosis (acne follicle mite one)) one should visit a dermatologist. To be on the safe side you can ask someone to examine your scalp and hair at the roots with a loupe.
Usually dandruff leads to the acute and unbearable itch of the skin. It is required to use any methods at hand to eliminate it. Unfortunately, such ways of treatment do not ease the condition. It is important to know that a source of this problem is a disruption of a sebaceous formation process which can provoke a serious disease, such as seborrheic eczema. That is why, if you suffer from dandruff, ask a trichologist to prescribe a medication with a diet, immunomodulators, therapeutic shampoos and preparations.
Seborrhea (Seborrheic dermatitis)
Such skin disease appears through sebaceous glands functioning disorder: seborrhea sicca is a result of sebaceous glands activity reduction; seborrhea oleosa appears because of an excessive discharge of sebum with a disrupted chemical composition. Seborrhea sicca is attended by dandruff, strong scalp itch and acne.
Allergic reactions to a shampoo and other hair care agents.
Quite often changing of a shampoo and some other hair care agents causes strong itch (mask, conditioner, shampoo, balsam, hair styling and shampoo and other hair care and dyeing agents). In case of itch after a new hair care agent application, it is required to start using the previous one or some other which excludes such components as laureth or sodium laureth sulfate. Usually it is written on a pack – “hypoallergenic”. These components frequently cause itch, that’s why it is advisable to apply to a trichologist in order to diagnose the scalp for allergic reactions.
Hair dye allergy is also a widespread occurrence to cause itchy skin. Usually, hair dyes, contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, trigger off a skin allergic reaction. Thus, to prevent it, it is recommended to choose tinting shampoos or ammonia free hair dyes. Unfortunately, there is a risk of an allergic reaction. We recommend you do a test for allergy before a procedure. In case you feel itch after hair dyeing, use special neutralizing shampoos with pigments. Use them after you have washed the dye off.
Washing agent allergy (washing powder) or conditioner for bed linen may cause irritation and skin itch.
Frequent hair washing, applying of drying and hairstyle devices.
Many women provoke itching by frequent hair washing, or maybe they use a hairdryer, straightening iron too often which affects the hair condition.
In such cases, stop using different brands of hare care agents. Apply only time-tested ones and continue watching the condition of your hair and scalp. In any case you have noticed a little itch or burning, stop using it immediately!
It is known that sebum deficit makes your hair dry and thin, electrified and fluffy. Thus, it is hard to style them because of quick damp absorption. However, it happens when excessively dry skin starts producing more sebum. This is a defense reaction from the outside infection risk. It is used in case of extreme greasiness of hair roots.
Specialists recommend applying special intensive moisturizing shampoos, balsams, masks and creams.
Sometimes skin itch appears for lack of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and microelements.
Fungus infection of scalp
Fungus infection is also considered to be a reason of an acute itch. In this case, specialists recommend doing a fungus test. After this, a doctor prescribes a therapy, using medical shampoos and lotions, antifungal agents: Clotrimazolum, Griseofulvin, Miconazole. Moreover, a patient may use Ketoconazolum, a special shampoo to contain selenium sulfide. Sometimes, preparations to strengthen an immune system are prescribed. You can also try such medical antifungal medicines with the following components: Piroctone Olamine, Zinci Pyrithionum, Climbazol and others).
Stressful situations (psychological pressure, mental and physical overstress, emotional instability, disease or relatives’ death) can also be the source of itchy skin development on the head. Stress provokes excessive adrenaline production, thus, physical trainings are required. Otherwise, adrenaline is accumulating in blood and results in unbearable itch.
Dennatophytoses canum (lichen)
Lichen is an infectious and fungous skin infection, to be widespread among children to contact other infants or infectious pets and other animals. The main symptom of lichen is itching skin locations to lose hair.
The itch of skin covering is a result of excessive muscular overstrains. Frequently, it is provoked by muscle tensing of the back, shoulders, back of the head, This tension affects blood microcirculation an provokes microtraumas of muscle fibers to emerge inflammatory process, attended by the intensive and unceasing skin itch.
In some hard and neglected cases the itch appears as a result of the intensive hair fallout. It is required to pass a course of intensive therapy directed to head muscle fiber relaxation.
As far as the itch is a symptom, it is necessary to detect and remove the real reason. It is necessary to be diagnosed by a specialist (different examinations of certain cases) and start a recommended treatment.
If parasites (lice) are the reason of this problem, you can try effective preparations such as: Nittyfor (solution or cream), Paraplus aerosol, Pediculen lotion). After extermination of lice, you need to get rid of nits. Use fine-toothed comb and check other family members for pediculosis. It is necessary to boil thoroughly all clothes and bed linen, and then iron these things. We do not recommend you to apply to folk remedies (kerosene usage) as it may harm you! As opposed to lice, it is difficult to define demodicosis by yourself. Only a doctor can do this and prescribe you necessary preparations.
Seborrhea treatment is a long-term and complicated process which includes: correct diet, avoidance of stresses, hormonal balance (to provoke seborrhea) and rest regimen. Moreover, patients should take care of cutaneous covering of the head.
If your skin is dry, try nutrient masks to soften it and better microcirculation. Drink a lot (no less than 1.5 l a day) in order to prevent fluid loss.
In case the itch has been caused for lack of vitamins or microelements, you can try the following vitamins (Vitrum, Complivitum, Alfavit, Centrum).
Folk Remedies to Rreat Scalp Itch
Herbal therapy and massage are effective methods under the itch treatment. Herbage decoctions are applied in order to normalize sebaceous glands functioning. The most useful are extracts of nettle, oak bark and chamomile. The massage activates blood circulation and betters skin nourishment.
Onion and garlic juice eliminate dandruff due to sulfur and acid components. This also removes dandruff and itchy skin because of hair dyeing. Mix fresh juice of onion or garlic, lemon juice and vegetative oil (it is better to take olive oil) equally. Apply this mask on your hair for half an hour and wash it off with warm water and lemon water or vinegar.
Also you can use apple mask. Grate an average-sized apple on a big grater and apply this mass to your hair before washing. Put on a cotton cap and wait for half an hour. Then wash it off. Use it 2 times a week.
A lotion from dandelion is a quite effective agent to get rid of itch. Take a handful of fresh flowers and crush them in a glass. Cover this mass with 50 ml of vodka, sap of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of liquid honey. Mix it thoroughly and let it draw within 2 weeks. Then pass it through a sieve and apply it on head half an hour before washing. Put on a cotton cap. Wash it off with a shampoo.
Onion peel. Take a peel of 4 onions, wash it up thoroughly and put into an enameled plate. Cover it with 1 l of boiling water. Boil it on low heat for 1 hour. Use this decoction to rinse your hair after its washing. You will see the results after 2-3 times of application.
In case you still have the itch, it is strongly recommended to ask a doctor in order to exclude more serious problems or some skin disease.