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How do I Treat an Itching Scalp?

By Dave Slovak
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Millions of people suffer from itching scalp. The cause and severity of this condition varies from person to person. Common causes include eczema, dermatitis and dry scalp as well as reactions to shampoos, hair care products or chemicals in bath or shower water. There are many over-the-counter solutions that can be used to treat an itching scalp, including dandruff shampoos, psoriasis liquids, oils and shower devices that balance water potenz Hydrogen (pH) levels. You can also treat an itching scalp by rinsing your hair thoroughly after washing it, altering the frequency of your hair washing,

Most cases of itching scalp can be resolved in a relatively short period of time. Scalp itch most frequently develops because of a physical or allergic reaction to hair products. Almost all shampoos irritate the scalp if not thoroughly rinsed from the hair. This irritation attacks the scalp and develops into a rash that leads to dry scalp or flaky scalp. One simple solution is to take extra time to rinse hair more thoroughly.

Another solution is to alter the frequency of hair washing. Most people do not need to wash their hair every day. By using shampoo every other day, you can lessen your scalp exposure to irritants and might experience an alleviation of your scalp itch.

If washing your hair less often is not an option, you can try special anti-dandruff shampoos or other shampoo treatments. Many of these shampoos are designed to balance the pH of hair, lessening the risk of scalp irritation, but some products are much more expensive than regular shampoo. Furthermore, many products contain other chemicals such as coal tar, zinc, cortisone and other compounds that could cause irritation for certain individuals. There are many anti-dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients, so you can try a number of these shampoos to alleviate itching scalp.

Some individuals suffer from itching scalp as a result of psoriasis. This condition might worsen with the use of anti-dandruff shampoos. These individuals should visit a dermatologist, who can prescribe psoriasis shampoos or topical liquids to treat the condition. People with psoriasis should always follow the dermatologist’s instructions and be aware that many over-the-counter psoriasis liquids or creams are very different from prescription-strength solutions.

There are a certain number of people who desire a more natural treatment of itching scalp. If the use of special shampoos is unappealing, individuals can try using natural ointments or oils. For example, tea tree oil is a common treatment that is considered a natural approach to the problem because it does not contain any processed chemical or preservatives. Another non-chemical solution is to install a water filtration device on the bathroom shower head. Working on the same principles as a drinking water filter, the shower filtration device removes chlorine and minerals from the water in order to balance the pH and reduce the likelihood of scalp irritation.

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Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Aug 26, 2014

@donasmrs-- It could also be scalp psoriasis. Is your scalp dry as well? Psoriasis causes dry, itchy, flaky scalp. You may also see some redness or plaques on the scalp.

By literally45 — On Aug 26, 2014

@donasmrs-- Have you seen a doctor?

I'm not a doctor but from the sounds of it, your scalp itching might be an allergic reaction to something you're using. I feel this way because you said that the itching comes and goes and it's not constant.

You might be allergic to a shampoo or conditioner you're using. You might even be allergic to hair styling products like hair spray. If you dye your hair routinely, hair dyes are another major cause of scalp allergic reactions. You may also experience scalp burning and pain.

When the itching starts, think back to the last hair product you used. Try to figure out if the itching starts after using something. And stop using that product to see if the itching goes away.

By donasmrs — On Aug 26, 2014

I seem to get this symptom on and off. It first started happening several months ago. The strange part is that the itching doesn't last more than a day or two and then it goes away. But it returns at a later time. I also have some dandruff, but it's minor.

Has anyone else experienced something like this?

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