A dry and itchy scalp is uncomfortable, irritating and can often be a cause of annoyance & discontent. Many people experience skin irregularities on their scalp, and these irregularities have both internal and external causes. In this article, we discuss the causes of itchy scalps and then present our solution to this issue.
What is a dry and itchy scalp?
- When your scalp’s natural moisture balance is disturbed, an itchy head and a dry scalp are often the result.
Why do I have a dry & itchy scalp?
Causes of dry and itchy scalp
Internal factors that can cause a dry and itchy scalp include:
- Atopic dermatitis - Redness and scaliness on scalp that can often itch and sometimes consist of a burning sensation.
- Psoriasis - Red patches and flaking of the scalp that can cause an intense itch.
- Dandruff- Flakes of dry scalp that appear in the hair.
- Hives - A rash of itchy red bumps that can appear all over your body.
- Neuropathy - Deep scarring can cause nerve damage and this damage can result in a severely itchy scalp.
- Skin cancer - You may develop an itch due to skin cancer cells developing on your scalp.
- Excessive histamine build up in the scalp
- Age – the older you get, the dryer your skin becomes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Genetic factors
- Hormonal changes - Higher that usual levels of oestrogen as well as reduced levels of oestrogen during menopause can affect the skin.
External factors that can cause a dry, itchy scalp include:
- Changes in temperature or seasons
- Lifestyle factors, such as poor diet or smoking
- Reaction to medication
- Environmental pollution
- Allergic reactions to cosmetic shampoos, soaps and hair treatments
What issues can a dry and itchy scalp lead to?
Microinflammations and your scalp
- Once your scalp’s natural moisture is lost, its protective layer can become compromised. This allows harmful substances to penetrate the skin, leading to microinflammations of the scalp. These microinflammations can cause your scalp to become even more irritated, leading to itching, redness and a sensation of tautness. This can usually result in the thinning of your hair or in more severe cases, substantial loss of hair.
- Microinflammations are mild inflammations of the skin. They’re so mild, in fact, that even clinical testing won’t pick them up. But if we study skin tissue that has been affected by microinflammations, we can detect the presence of inflammatory immune cells – in other words, the skin is responding to irritation with inflammation and thereby attempting to repair itself. If these skin cells are then subjected to further irritation, the skin can flip into a 'true' inflammatory response.
- There’s growing evidence that microinflammations of the scalp are involved in most common scalp disorders, from thinning hair and dandruff to scalp dryness, itchiness and sensitivity.
- If you experience sudden hair loss or brittle hair, you may have an underlying health problem, such as thyroid disease, iron deficiency or an autoimmune disease. Some medications can also cause hair loss. Contact a dermatologist in all instances to get further information.
Do you have a dry and itchy scalp?
You may have a dry and itchy scalp if…
You’re frequently scratching your scalp: Some people have even reported scratching in their sleep. This can be due to a lack of Diamine Oxidase caused by higher levels of estrogen. This is an enzyme that supports the breakdown of histamine. If there is a severe build up of histamine, it can lead to constant itching of the scalp which can result in hair loss.
You’ve recently been exposed to one or more of the causes listed above: Especially if your symptoms developed soon afterwards.
You may have another scalp condition if…
Recommended Dry & Itchy Scalp Treatment
What are the best products for dry scalp?
- Eucerin DermoCapillaire CALMING UREA SHAMPOO. Dermatological and clinical studies prove very good efficacy and tolerability of this product on dry skin, atopic dermatitis and even on psoriasis. Eucerin DermoCapillaire CALMING UREA SHAMPOO is suitable for daily use.
- Dermatological and clinical studies prove efficacy and very good tolerability on very sensitive, dry & itchy scalp after using Eucerin DermoCapillaire CALMING UREA SCALP LEAVE ON TREATMENT, whilst also making your hair softer and giving it a healthy shine.
See your doctor or your dermatologist if you’re concerned, your symptoms are severe, or your scalp feels sore or becomes weepy and inflamed.
Common myths when treating a dry and itchy scalp
- Vinegars, natural oils and even athlete’s foot spray are among the remedies that have been used to treat an itchy and dry scalp. There is no hard evidence, however, to support these remedies.
- There is a common misconception that vinegars, natural oils and even athlete’s foot spray are among the home remedies that have been used to successfully treat an itchy and dry scalp. There is no hard evidence, however, to support these remedies and could lead to allergic reactions if used improperly.
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