Few things are more bothersome than an itch that will not go away. Persistent itching of the scalp can be very embarrassing because it is generally seen as taboo. Many people associate an itchy head with lice or dandruff, and it can cause you to feel self-conscious and those around you to feel uncomfortable. Understanding the cause of your itchy scalp is the first step in finding a successful treatment.
Four Common Causes of Persistent Scalp Itching
The first thing to know is that the scalp’s skin is not like the skin on the rest of the body. The scalp consists of five layers with numerous hair follicles. There are oil glands that surround the follicles, and these glands can become clogged and cause irritations. The most prevalent causes of itchy scalp include:
Seborrheic dermatitis: This common skin condition produces scaly, itchy, red patches that produce dandruff or flakey skin. Common in infants as “cradle cap,” it can also occur in adults.
Folliculitis: Inflamed hair follicles can cause the scalp to itch severely. Hair follicles become irritated when bacteria are trapped inside the follicle. You may often notice pimple-like bumps or sores where the follicle is inflamed.
Psoriasis: This chronic disease is caused by the rapid growth of skin cells. The immune system sends faulty signals to the skin cells, causing them to grow too quickly. Because the body cannot shed the extra skin cells, they begin to pile up on the skin’s surface and cause thick areas of red and scaly skin.
Allergic reaction: The onset of an itchy scalp could be caused by an allergic reaction to a new hair product.
A less common cause of persistent scalp itching is alopecia. If you notice significant hair loss, you need to visit a dermatologist for proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment.
An itchy scalp is more than just irritating; it is disruptive to your life. Chronic scratching of your scalp can lead to severe infection, so this issue should not be ignored. If you have a persistent itchy scalp, contact our medical dermatology practice. We can help diagnose the cause of the irritation and provide the appropriate treatment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM