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Scalp itching: causes, treatment


Itching of the scalp is a rather unpleasant sensation, based on the response of the body in the form of irritation of areas of the skin to external or internal provoking factors. In some cases, inflammation of the epidermis and the deeper layers of the skin is caused by certain skin diseases.

Repeated scratching, from which it is impossible to resist, only exacerbate the problem, leading to the appearance of microcracks, abrasions, sores. The violation of the integrity of the stratum corneum of the epidermis of the head is accompanied by the addition of infection. To get rid of itching, first of all, it is necessary to find out the cause of its occurrence and eliminate it.

Causes of Scalp Itching

Not only that itching can not be ignored, as it brings to life a lot of inconvenience, it can not be left without treatment. In some cases, it can only be the first sign of trouble in the body, accompanied by the appearance of inflamed scaly patches, focal hair loss, etc.

Provocative factors of pruritus are many, in each case it is important to determine the exact, otherwise it will not work out.

Causes of itchy scalp, not related to diseases:

Itchy scalp

  • Stress . Frequent excitement and psycho-emotional overstrain are accompanied by an increased release of adrenaline into the blood. During physical exertion, this hormone is consumed, but if the motor activity is not enough, then its accumulation with increasing concentration in the blood leads to tension of the muscles of the whole body, the appearance of pruritus. Often this feeling is called itching on nerves.
  • Excessive muscle tension . Due to the prolonged tension of the occipital and shoulder muscles, blood circulation in the head area is disturbed, which is often accompanied by itching of the skin along with other symptoms.
  • Dry scalp . May occur from thermal effects on the hair and skin - frequent blow-drying, the use of an iron to smooth hair or curling curls. Other causes of dryness: severe depletion of the body, frequent washing of hair, diet with a sharp restriction of fat, old age (when the glands almost cease to function). As a result, an insufficient amount of sebum is produced, the hair becomes thin and fragile, and quickly absorbs moisture. The sebaceous glands of some people, in response to the situation, compensate for producing excessive amounts of fat. A person, incorrectly assessing the problem, begins to use shampoo for oily hair, which further aggravates the skin condition.
  • Irritation of the skin or obvious allergic reactions to the use of cosmetics, such as lacquer, shampoo, various skins, balms, hair-dye, etc. The problem of hair dyeing is particularly relevant for women. Frequent change of paints from different manufacturers and / or inaccurate time keeping staining at best lead to overdrying of the scalp and the formation of dandruff, at worst - to the development of allergic inflammation. This is especially true of paints, which include ammonia or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Allergy to household chemicals (contact dermatitis). Various washing powders, varieties of soap with fragrances, dishwashing detergents often cause allergies, manifested by skin rashes, itching on different parts of the body, including on the head.
  • Hypovitaminosis. The intake of microelements and vitamins that do not meet the needs of the body or the complete absence of some of them, invariably affects the condition of the skin, leading to itching and not only.

Diseases accompanied by itchy scalp:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory and chronic skin disease provoked by the yeast-like lipophilic fungus Pityrosporum ovale. Seborrhea is one of the many manifestations of seborrheic dermatitis. At the onset of the disease, dandruff appears, accompanied by itching of the skin, and seborrheic plaques form later on, which spread to almost the entire head surface.
  • Seborrhea is a common disease of the scalp, with itching. It is characterized by inflammation of the skin layers, increased production of secretion of the sebaceous glands - epidermal lipids, as well as changes in the composition of sebum. The main signs of the disease are inflammatory thickening of the horny (superficial) layer of the epidermis; the appearance of whitish scales - dandruff, and in advanced cases - red plaques covered with crusts; severe itching.

Dry type of seborrhea is manifested by thinning and brittle hair, itching, the formation of peeling foci with a large amount of dry dandruff. When oily seborrhea hair shine, look untidy and oily, and yellowish dandruff flakes are heavily saturated with sebum.

  • Pediculosis is a parasitic skin disease caused by various types of lice. Pediculosis of the scalp provokes the head louse - Pediculus humanus capitis, which gets on the skin while ignoring the rules of personal hygiene: using someone else's comb, wearing someone else's headgear, etc.
  • Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the skin, joints and nails from the group of scaly herpes. There are many types of diseases, the main of which are vulgar, pustular, drop-shaped. These species, along with damage to different parts of the skin of the whole body, also affect the scalp, manifesting themselves with psoriatic plaques, with an increase in size that form large flaky plates. The skin is inflamed, it can form pustules with serous contents. After opening them, dried crusts form. Severe itching from scratching only intensifies.
  • Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles of an infectious nature. The appearance of pustules with purulent contents and their subsequent opening with the formation at this place of small ulcers, covered with blood-purulent crusts, is accompanied by painful sensations, itching of varying severity.
  • Demodecosis is a skin disease provoked by microscopic mites of the genus Demodex. Mite with a worm-like long body - demodex folliculorum longus - lives in the hair follicles, with a short - demodex folliculorum brevis - in the sebaceous glands. Various areas of the body are affected, including the scalp. There is severe itching and hair loss.
  • Dermatophytoses - infectious fungal diseases of the group of zooanthroponosis. These include favus, trichophytosis (ringworm), microsporia. Diseases are accompanied by itching, breakage or complete loss of hair in the lesions of fungi.

Pruritus can be observed on the background of diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, some diseases of the liver and gall bladder, for example, cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, calculous cholecystitis.

Scalp itching: diagnosis

To determine the cause of the itch, determine the necessary diagnostic measures and develop treatment tactics, you need to contact one of the doctors - a dermatologist, a trichologist, a mycologist or a dermatocosmetologist. Based on the etiology of the disease, it may be necessary to consult other specialists - an endocrinologist, an allergist or a neurologist.

At the first stage, the doctor conducts a physical examination: ascertains the possible causes of itching, as well as its features - duration and intensity, examines the affected skin. At the second stage, assigns various studies, the results of which can confirm the presumptive diagnosis.

Diagnostic methods used to determine the pathology that caused head itching:

  • Microscopic examination of the biomaterial , for example, the contents of the hair follicle, for the detection of Demodex subcutaneous mite. Prescribed for suspected demodicosis.
  • Microscopy scrapes with smooth skin on pathogenic fungi . The method is used for trichophytia, folliculitis, microsporia and many other fungal diseases.
  • Bacteriological culture of discharge / scraping on the microflora to identify the type of pathogen and determine its susceptibility to antibiotics, antimycotics or other chemotherapeutic drugs. The study is necessary to identify folliculitis, trichophytia, etc.
  • Fluorescent diagnostics using Wood's lamp - UV lamp with filter. Assign with various mycoses, dermatoses.
  • Histological examination of a piece of the affected skin. It is indicated for psoriasis.
  • Dermatoscopy is performed in cases of suspected favus or seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Spectral study of hair on the trace elements will help to find out the cause of seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Research of a hormonal background of the patient . Analyzes are needed to determine the cause of pruritus in the scalp.

Scalp Treatment

Treatment depends on the pathology that caused it. Special attention should be paid to paints and hair care products. Competently select balms, shampoos, masks. They should match your skin type and hair structure. It is advisable not to use a hair dryer, curling iron or other device that acts on the hair with high temperature.

The main therapy of atopic dermatitis and various allergic reactions are antihistamines - tavegil, zyrtec, loratidine and others. But first of all it is necessary to identify the cause of hypersensitivity of the organism, to which allergen it reacts so violently and to refuse to use it or to avoid its use.

Seborrheic dermatitis is treated comprehensively. Local etiotropic therapy consists of using shampoos with zinc, keratolytic components and antifungal activity, for example, nizoral shampoo. Carry out a course taking one of the antimycotics - ketoconazole, itraconazole, terbinafine, etc. If an infection of a bacterial nature has joined, then antibiotics are shown as an ointment. The use of corticosteroids is not excluded. Effective physiotherapy - high-frequency currents according to Darsonval and cryomassage of the scalp.

Comprehensive treatment of demodicosis is long-lasting, includes anti-parasitic drug therapy, topical treatment with gel with metronidazole and / or ether or alcohol pharmacy "talkers" along with cosmetic procedures that restore the protective functions of the skin. Weak electrical currents during the electrophoresis procedure with moisturizing agents temporarily block the activity of the tick, and moisturizing agents penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, heal it and normalize the production of sebum.

The scalp affected by ringworm is treated by oral oral administration of antifungal drugs, for example, intrasil or other agents from the group of triazole derivatives. Locally, the skin is treated alternately with one of the iodine-containing solutions and an antifungal gel. Before treatment, all hair from the affected surface of the head is shaved off. Salicylic ointment and potassium permanganate solution helps to get rid of the festering infiltrate, when applied to the skin, which soften the formed crusts, after which they are well removed.

If the cause of the itch is a general disease, then the strength must be directed to its treatment. With a deficiency of vitamins and trace elements, take a suitable vitamin-mineral complex. Eliminate dandruff, relieve itching, strengthen the roots of hair help traditional medicine methods, but first you should consult a dermatologist to understand the reasons and not be treated at home for nothing.

| 19 June 2015 | | 1 262 | Skin diseases
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Isla Sophia: i’ve always had dandruff but lately i’ve been getting back from work late and washing my hair and sleeping with it wet and the next day my scalp is sooooo itchy but i don’t think sleeping with it wet is causing it. any tips

raindrop1995: Howdy, Random Pre-reg student here just to say thank you so much ! Keep smashing out the videos - they're super helpful!

CocoREMA: Me: December, hope it snows this month! **Gets chilli** Dandruff: Acts up Me: Its snowing!! **Licks snowflake** Me: Wait...