Uh oh … Your scalp itch has suddenly popped up in public – but you don’t dare scratch for fear that others will think, “Ew! Doesn’t she wash her hair?”
Not to worry: Millions of Americans have the same problem. Despite the stigma, scalp itch has nothing to do with being unhygienic, and scratching out the cause can be as easy as going to the doctor or drugstore.
Here, some facts, causes and treatments for an itching scalp.
Don’t Blame the Air on Your Scalp Itch
Many people blame their scalp itch on winter weather – after all, our arms and legs often dry out and itch when the mercury drops, right? But those conditions are often unrelated to scalp itch, says Alan Rockoff, a board-certified dermatologist at The Rockoff Center for Dermatology, Laser & Plastic Surgery in Brookline, Mass.
“People assume that if it’s dry and cold out, your scalp will become dry and itchy,” he explains. “But an itchy, flaky scalp actually isn’t dry – it’s inflamed. So it’s not related to the environment at all.”
What Are the Reasons for Your Scalp Itch?
So, what’s behind your scalp itch? The most common cause for scalp itch is dandruff, which typically causes itching along with white flakes as the scalp sheds skin cells more quickly than normal.
“Dandruff is usually precipitated by Pityrosporum ovale yeast that likes oily areas, like the scalp,” says Mary P. Lupo, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans. “Dandruff is an inflammatory response to the body harboring the yeast family.”
If your dandruff is a response to the care quality, rather than a medical condition, check out these dandruff hair care tips by using essential oils.
Still, dandruff might not be the culprit. If your flakes are greasy and yellow, chances are they’re caused by another skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. Another condition, scalp psoriasis, is like dandruff in that it can cause itchy, red, scaly skin. But the scales of psoriasis are thicker and somewhat drier in appearance than dandruff, and they can be painful.
Psoriasis also usually affects more than one area of the body, such as the elbows, knees, hands, feet or nails. “Psoriasis is more significant and can be potentially serious,” says Mary Lupo. The condition is associated with arthritis, she says. Besides, stress and alcohol can cause flare-ups.
Read a detailed post on How to Live with Psoriasis.
If your doctor rules out all of these conditions, the culprit might just be (gulp!) head lice, especially if you’re a parent or teacher. These tiny, wingless critters are often spread among children in school or day care who have close head-to-head contact, or who share their hats or combs with other kids. They in turn can spread the bugs to their teachers or parents.
How to Stop Scalp Itch
Treatment for scalp itch varies. If you have dandruff, both dermatologists Alan Rockoff and Mary Lupo recommend using an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. “Wash with it for two to four weeks, and if you don’t see any improvement, see a dermatologist,” says Dr. Lupo.
Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can be treated with prescription or OTC prescription-level shampoos daily for one to four weeks. Lice shampoos containing the insecticides pyrethrin (such as RID) or permethrin (Nix) are the most popular treatments for head lice, but nontoxic products are also available.
These shampoos are usually used twice within a 10-day period, and daily inspections with a magnifying glass and fine-toothed nit comb are needed to remove any remaining eggs and insects.
If you have dry skin and would like to learn how to take care of it, check out this Dry Skin Fixes detailed post for women.
Vitamin C And Itching Scalp
Vitamin C for scalp and hair can be used on the daily basis. It’s a known fact that vitamin C fights scalp skin dryness which results in a healthy and vibrant hair look.
But what you need to know before reaching out for any product with any actives is the benefits of such.
In fact, vitamin C has the top two qualities that benefit scalp and hair health. The beauty of vitamin C lies in its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Why it is significant for the scalp and hair well-being is this. Vitamin C antibacterial function helps to keep by-products from follicles’ life cycle in check. It means that dandruff formation won’t take over your entire scalp and be the grounds for bacteria breeding. Regular application of vitamin C tonic will encourage hair growth and keep hair follicles free of any debris that put a stopper on hair growth.
The antiviral key property of vitamin C defends against dry and itchy scalp. Without doubt, the antioxidant properties of the vitamin C provide protection against free radicals that can result in dry hair and split ends.
Vitabrid C12 Tonic for Thicker Hair
If you want the hair that is thick, healthy and vibrant with color, then try one of my favorite products via Vitabrid C12 Hair Tonic. Safe for daily use and using a stable form of vitamin C, you will enjoy the results. You can purchase it HERE.
I really like this brand, as it offers clean non-toxic ingredients. And it is super important to me. Toxic ingredients tend to accumulate in our tissues, bones, and hair. Using organic, non-GMO and non-toxic ingredients in the skin and hair care contributes to any woman’s anti-aging routine.
Check out the potent skin benefits of powdered vitamin C. You may want to incorporate it into your regular skin care routine.