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Common Causes Of Scalp Itch

An uncomfortable scalp itch can have many common causes. Two of the most common causes of scalp itch are from over washing and under washing. Frequently washing hair in hot water and using harsh, chemically treated shampoos can cause the scalp to dry out, resulting in itching and possibly flaking skin.

Conversely, if you go too long between shampoos, skin cells can build up on the scalp and cause itching and flaking due to accumulation of fungus, bacteria, yeast or infection. To avoid either of these conditions regularly shampoo with effective Follicleanse scalp cleanser and use warm or even cool, water. Using a blow dryer on a hot setting can also dry the scalp, so use a cool or warm setting when blow drying your hair.
  • Dryness and poor hydration
  • Reactions to chemical treatments and hair products
  • Oiliness and resulting bacteria, yeast, fungus or infection
  • Scalp problems such as scalp psoriasis or dermatitis
  • Insects - mites, flies or fleas


Dandruff is another common cause of scalp itch. Dandruff appears as oily looking white flakes in the scalp. Dandruff can cause itching in the scalp, and scratching causes the flakes to fall out, leaving telltale signs on the shoulders of your clothing. Dandruff has several causes, one of which is a fungus that occurs naturally on the scalp. This fungus can sometimes overgrow on people who have moderately to severely oily scalps, and the fungus causes scaling of the scalp.

Dandruff can also be caused by an irritation of the oil glands in the scalp, which causes excess amounts of oil to be produced, causing an inflammation of the scalp that leads to flaking. A mild case of dandruff can be treated by regularly washing hair with a mild dandruff shampoo. More severe cases, such as those caused by fungus or excess oil production of oil glands, may require the use of a medicated shampoo.

Scalp Psoriasis

Another of the most common causes for scalp itch is a skin disorder known as scalp psoriasis. The exact cause of scalp psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by a faulty response of the immune system. Sometimes the immune system will target patches of healthy skin cells on the scalp and will send white blood cells to the area. The white blood cells trigger a buildup of skin cells, causing patches. The immune system response also causes inflammation and irritation of the area. The excess skin cells and inflammation can cause itching. Scalp psoriasis treatment involves removal of the patches, called plaques, by gently scraping or combing them out. Medications in the form of ointments or creams are then put on the plaques. Oils, such as jojoba or coconut oil, are helpful in keeping the scalp moist, inhibiting the formation of plaques and reducing itching.


Sunburn of the scalp is another common cause of scalp itch. Many people overlook the scalp when applying sun block. Sunburn of the scalp causes itching, and the scalp can flake and peel like sunburned skin anywhere else on the body. Apple cider vinegar can be used to relieve the itching, as can the application of Aloe Vera gel or Emu Oil on the scalp. To prevent sunburn of the scalp, spray or rub sun block into the scalp just as you do the other parts of your body, or wear a hat to reduce the head’s exposure to the sun.

Considering you are taking proper care of your scalp - effective washing with the best shampoos and products for itchy scalp, maintaining moisture and avoiding prolonged or excessive dryness, irritation and discomfort should be reduce. Given most irritating itchiness is caused by bacteria or fungus, proper cleansing is half the battle. Considering the remainder of cases can be categorized due to dryness, proper moisturizing with a moisturizing shampoo or oil treatment will typically solve the problem.
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