An itchy scalp is one reason for frequent trips to the dermatologist. Specifically, it is estimated that more than 44% of the population suffers from it.
Pathologies and symptoms associated with itchy scalp
This itching and stinging sensation may be associated with dermatological diseases, such as psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, lichen planus or contact dermatitis, amongst others. In these cases, it is common for the itching to be accompanied by other symptoms such as dandruff, peeling, dry skin, eczema, redness, greasy hair, hair loss, or other skin lesions on the scalp, face, and/or body.
However, an itchy scalp may not be associated with visible skin lesions when the cause is a systemic disease or the itching has a neuropathic or psychological origin. Sometimes it is even impossible to find the cause behind it and then it is classified as itching of an undetermined origin.
The itching-scratching vicious circle
Itching of the scalp appears as a result of micro-inflammation and often causes an uncontrollable urge to scratch. The problem is that scratching causes more inflammation and irritation, and therefore more itching. In this way, a vicious itching-scratching circle is created that is difficult to break.
Scratching, in turn, can cause lesions, peeling and infections to appear in this area, which aggravates the condition and can have significant consequences on the well-being, quality of life and mental health of the sufferer.
Treatment and prevention of itchy scalp
To relieve itching of the scalp, its cause should first be identified, and to do so, it is important to visit the specialist to obtain a diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
However, the following tips may also be helpful in preventing itching and stinging and improving the condition of the scalp:
- Use scalp-friendly products. Using a shampoo that is too abrasive, washing your hair too often, drying your hair at too high a temperature or using very aggressive dyes can irritate the scalp and, subsequently, cause itching.
- Use products to relieve an itchy scalp. Once itching begins, there are products designed to provide quick and lasting relief from the itchy and stinging sensation on the scalp.
- Avoid home remedies. There are different home remedies that promise to relieve an itchy scalp. They include the essential oil tea tree or apple cider vinegar. There is not enough evidence to support the benefits of using these products to treat inflammation and eczema. Furthermore, using them improperly could further irritate the skin, so their use is discouraged.