Help!! I have an itchy Scalp!
4 Reasons why your scalp may be itchy.
1) Your scalp needs to be thoroughly cleansed. The build up of debris is causing your scalp to itch. Debris can be things like sebum (the natural oil produced in your scalp), dead skin cells, hair products, sweat, etc. For each day that you do not wash your scalp, debris begins to build up. How often you wash your hair is dependent on your hair, skin type and hair care practices. If your scalp is left unwashed for too long, it disrupts the natural functioning of your skin, and as a result, it can cause your scalp to itch.
2) You are suffering from contact dermatitis. This condition is a red, itchy, rash caused by direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to it.
These substances can be things like cosmetic hair products, and chemicals that weaves and extensions are coated with.
These substances can cause the scalp to become dry, cracked, scaly and tender. The rash isn't contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable.
To treat contact dermatitis successfully, you need to identify and avoid the cause of your reaction. If you can avoid the offending substance, the rash usually clears up in two to four weeks.
3) Could that itchy tickly feeling be headlice? Head Lice are tiny insects called parasites that spread by personal contact, as well as by sharing belongings. Children are particularly likely to catch and spread lice. Usually a good over the counter product designed to treat lice is good enough to get rid of them. A small tip, Head lice tend not to like acidic conditions, so using acidic products to moisturise and condition your scalp and hair regularly, such as conditioners, gels, oils etc may be a good way to keep them at bay.
4) You may be suffering from Dandruff or a more severe form of dandruff known as Seborrheic dermatitis (Seb. Derm). The main causes of dandruff are: the fungi Malassezia, combined with excess sebum production and a predisposition or susceptibility to the condition. Susceptibility can come in the form of a genetic predisposition; or one can be susceptible to dandruff due to stress, fatigue, weather extremes, use of harsh surfactents in shampoos, etc. These predispositions result in the skin's protective barrier being compromised. All three of these factors create the ideal condition for you to suffer from dandruff. However, it should be noted that some people do not create very much sebum, which the Malassezia is said to feed off. As a result of not producing very much sebum the scalp is left very dry, which in turn causes the skin's protective barrier to be compromised, therefore causing it to itch.
Mild forms of Dandruff can be dealt with by an over the counter shampoo, that contains the active ingredient Ketoconazole, Selenium Sulphide or Zinc Pyrithione. You should combine the regular use of this shampoo with using the right hair products to keep your scalp healthy. A good diet, including an adequate water intake is also necessary. More severe forms of Dandruff, such as Seb. Derm, especially if the predisposition is genetic, cannot be cured, only managed. Therefore a good hair care routine, and diet is paramount.
There are many other reasons why your scalp could be itching, but if in doubt you do not have to suffer alone. Seek your nearest Trichologist, Dermatologist and/or Doctor for more specialist help.