Common Causes of Itchy Scalp
While the causes and sources vary quite a bit, an itchy scalp is something that everyone, at one point or another, has experienced. It is a common problem and it can be caused by many simple factors Ė many of which can be treated or avoided. In more extreme cases, an itchy scalp can be indicative of a several diseases - much bigger problem - , but these cases are rare.
What are the most common causes of itchy scalp?
It isnít hard to believe that many dermatologists say that dandruff is the most common cause. Dandruff is also easy to explain. When yeast builds up on the scalp, it leads to inflammation and itching. The medical term for this is seborrheic dermatitis, and that simply means that the scalp is reddened and has an abundance of skin flakes. More often than not, yeast is created by excess oils or fluids in or on the scalp that combine with bacteria fueling yeast development (it is not pretty, but you have heard of yeast infections, right?)
Inflammation can lead to itching itchiness, flaking, tenderness and sores. This is not uncommon and can be attributed to a number of factors. In a similar way, a bacterial or viral infection on the scalp can also lead to itching. In both of these cases, pustules, or bumps that look similar to acne will appear.
Another ordinary cause is what doctors call allergic contact dermatitis. People who experience this have come into contact with a toxin, or even an otherwise non-toxic chemical that causes an allergic reaction on their scalps. This can often be the result of a shampoo, conditioner, or hair styling chemicals to which the user is allergic.
If the person has longer hair, he or she will notice the reaction to the chemicals down the back of the neck and for as far as the hair has contact with the skin. It can cause itch, as well as a rash. Discontinuing use of the chemical that causes the itching, or eliminating the environmental hazard that leads to the allergic reaction will eliminate this problem.
The best course of action to eliminate any itching caused by common irritants is to keep the scalp clean. Buildup of oils and other pollutants can be cut significantly with a good hygienic plan. In most cases, this will prevent itchy scalp.
Other causes to watch out for: sunburn, excessive dryness, alergies related to some fabrics, fungal infections, conditioners or wool.
Other factors causing itchy scalp should be investigated if the problem persists.
Some diseases can cause a person to experience itching on the scalp. Lupus is a rare disease, but if a person suffers from it, it can lead to itchy scalp. Another systemic cause could be psoriasis. Psoriasis is a condition that causes a rash and flaky skin in an area on the body.
In some cases, psoriasis can be found on the scalp. With this condition, it can appear that flaking on the scalp is dandruff. Over a period of time, the scalp will thicken and become more inflamed, with more scales developing. Only a medical professional can diagnose psoriasis for certain, so if symptoms like these persist, it makes sense to have a professional check for the possibility of psoriasis.
Taking good care of the scalp is important for a personís appearance, but it also can eliminate serious discomfort. The scalp is a sensitive area of the skinís surface that is affected by many internal and environmental factors. An itchy scalp isnít a fact of life; it is a problem that can be solved.