What are the different causes of itchy scalp?

Many people will experience an itchy scalp from time to time. However, if the itching is persistent, it is advisable to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. There are several potential causes of an itchy scalp, including dandruff, skin conditions like psoriasis, and a parasitic condition like lice. Treatment varies depending on the reason for the itching, but often involves the use of medicated shampoos.

Dandruff is one of the most common causes of itchy scalp. Dandruff is a skin condition that causes itching and flaking of the scalp. There are many dandruff shampoos available over the counter, and these shampoos are often enough to keep dandruff under control. However, if dandruff doesn't respond to regular shampoos, a doctor may prescribe prescription shampoos to help relieve symptoms.

Scalp psoriasis is another of the most common causes of itchy scalp. This condition causes itchy and thick scaling of the scalp. Medicated shampoos are often used to treat this condition, although in extreme cases steroid medications can be injected directly into the scalp. Oral medications and ultraviolet light treatment may be necessary in the most extreme cases of scalp psoriasis.

Lice are among the most feared causes of itchy scalp. Lice are small insects that live on the scalp and are easily spread to other people. Lice are intensely itchy and can also cause small red bumps on the head and neck. The eggs look a bit like dandruff, but they stay stuck to your hair when you try to brush them out. There are several brands of over-the-counter medications available to help kill lice, allowing the insects and eggs to be eliminated.

Other causes of itchy scalp can include unwashed hair or sensitivity to perfumes or chemicals in shampoos or other hair care products. Washing the hair at least once a week can relieve itching in some patients. For those who are sensitive to certain hair care products, switching to a milder shampoo or using hypoallergenic hair care products may help. For those patients who tend to have dry skin, especially on the scalp, avoiding the use of hair dryers may be helpful.

Stress is one of the most overlooked causes of itchy scalp. Stress can cause itchiness all over your body, and your scalp is no exception. Some fungal infections can also cause itchy scalp. It is important to see a doctor to find out what is causing the itching and to follow medical advice about individualized treatment options.

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