Itchy Scalp – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies

March 25, 2013 | 0 Comments
We embarrass ourselves several times in meetings,
parties or public places when we are left with no choice but to reduce
the stress level by scratching our scalp all of a sudden due to some
inflammatory reaction that causes itching underneath the hair on our

Alas, it only takes an itch or two to spoil our impression by
scratching it. So let’s scrutinize the symptoms, causes, treatments,
home remedies and preventions for itchy scalp!

of Itchy Scalp

The very first sign that will grab your attention
is the sudden irritation that will force you to scratch your scalp.
Depending on the underlying condition, you may sense a blistering pace
of burns, rashes or pain. It can even result in flaking, redness, scaling,
discoloration and cracking of skin. 

Scratching the scalp can lead to
sores or lesions. Since hair is a keratin protein, its weakness can
also result in thinning of hair or its loss. Other symptoms that are
associated with body systems like depression, fatigue, runny-nose, cough
and intolerance of cold by the skin may also occur along with an itchy

What causes
an Itchy Scalp

 An itchy scalp may be caused due to a great variety
of skin diseases, fungal or bacterial infection, inflammatory disorders,
parasitical infestation, stress, anxiety, obesity or sunburn. Several
factors behind the cause of an itchy scalp are:

Skin Dryness

It is
one of the major reasons that
go down in causes for a dry, itchy scalp. If the balance of your scalps natural moisture is disturbed, your itch-scratch cycle will force you to self-injury due
to its
unendurable discomfort.


Inflammatory Disorders 

  • Psoriasis
    of the Scalp:
    Broadly considered to be one of the deadliest causes of itchy-scalp, Psoriasis is a condition when the scalp is completely occupied
    by thick itchy-red patches surrounded by
    crusty silver scales. Ranging from mild to extreme, it can cause significant
    inflammation and distress.
Picture 1 : Psoriasis of the Scalp 
Source :  
  • Lichen Planus: Lichen Planus is yet another chronic inflammatory
    disorder that can result in severe itching and hair loss.  It
    can bestbe treated
    with steroids.
Picture 2 : Lichen Planus 
Source :
  • Contact
    Sometimes the skin on our scalp undergoes an allergic reaction mainly because of its sensitivity to foreign chemicals like certain dyes or shampoos that are applied to it. Initially it does not cause itching but afterwards it can lead to irritable
    rashes and scaling of scalp.


Viral infection

pox is a viral infection that
can form blisters in the scalp.


It can cause deeply inflamed scalp conditions like Folliculitis which not only result in scalp-itching but can also cause severe pain.

Fungal Infections

  • Dandruff: Without
    a shadow of a dou
    bt, dandruff in one of the globally assumed villain that can cause itching of
    the scalp.
    If you dont wash your hair regularly, youre expected to become a prey to dandruff. Dandruff, if accompanied by an oily scalp
    can lead to
    Seborrheic Dermatitis which isone of the most common causes of scalp-itching.Eczema, a form of dermatitis, can also lead to development of dandruff.
Picture 3 : Dandruff 
Source :
  • Tinea Capitis: Eager
    to haunt your scalp, Tinea Capitis or Ring Wor
    m is a fungal infection thatwhen once attack your scalp, will form a ring-like round patch and cause itching, burning of skin followed by breaking of hair. It is likely to spread from one individual to another through combs, brushes and towel exchange.
Picture 4 : Tinea Capitis 
Source :
  • Cradle Cap: Also known as neonatal seborrheic Dermatitis, it mostly iscommon in newly born babies due to the dominance of maternal hormones that cause increased production of sebaceous glands. Malassezia
    rfur, a type of Fungi, plays a pivotal role in causing cradle cap. Although not that itchy, it produces yellowish crusty skin
    rashes on the scalp.

Picture 5 : Cradle Cap 

Source :


Depression, emotional stress, obesity and anxiety are some of the causes that can affect the physical dimension of health and can result in repeated scratching of scalp and hair loss.


head lice that suck blood
can taut your nerves with anxiety. Although more common in females due to their long
hair, the lice is likely to spread from one person to another
. The
eggs of lice, called nits are also present in hair more often and cause
h on the scalp which in turn grow a bacteria due to scratching and cause further
severity of infection.


An under-active
thyroid can lead to hair-loss,
skin-dryness and Itchy-scalp.  

Treatment and Home Remedies for Itchy Scalp

Itching of the scalp is not a life-threatening issue.
It can be treated by countless natural and artificial means. You don’t
necessarily have to go to your dermatologist who may prescribe you some
expensive lotions or anti-inflammatory medicines for treatment of the
itchy scalp unless the severity of itching is in acute form. Following
are some of the preventions, cures and home remedies for the treatment
of itchy scalp.

  1. Sometimes a shampoo, hair-conditioner, hair-mouse or gel used on the scalp may result in severe itching. Most of these products do not suit our skin and
    cause irritation. Hence it is better to take pre-cautionary measures
    before buying such products
    that may cause allergic reactions when applied on
  2. As far as the case of lice-infestation is concerned,
    we should not exchange our personal belong
    ings like pillow, comb, clothes etc.
  3. Usage of medicated shampoos
    can best help cure the problem of itchy-scalp.
  4. Brushing your hair twice or thrice a day to distribute
    natural oils in hair can reduce itching of the scalp.
  5. Dandruff may be caused by too frequent or infrequent
    Therefore the middle way should be adopted.
  6. Adjustment in daily hygiene
    can keep your hair healthy and lustrous.
  7. A variety of anti-dandruff shampoos can reduce scalp-itch if the following chemical substances are present
    in it. They are
    : Zinc pyrithione,
    Coal tar,
    Salicylic acid,
    Selenium Sulfide, and
  8. If you mix olive oil, mayonnaise
    and brocco
    lis puree or egg for nutrients and rub it against your scalp, the result of the natural ingredients can be miraculous.
  9. At least eight glasses of water daily and a proper intake
    of vitamins can help reduce itching and scaling of scalp
    keeping it hydr


Published on March 25th, 2013 by under Skin and Hair.
Article was last reviewed on March 25th, 2013.

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