Is your scalp feelling itchy? Skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis, are among the main and more severe reasons why people suffer from an itchy scalp during the winter and year-round. Yet, millions of people find that they experience general scalp itch seasonally, occasionally or even throughout the year. Find out what may be causing your head to itch so that you can treat it effectively.
An example of how we experience dry, itchy skin of the scalp is dandruff. While it may seem serious to those who experience it, dandruff is not an inflammatory skin condition, as psoriasis is, but rather a general flakiness and itching of the scalp that is more embarrassing and annoying than serious, and results from the normal process of shedding the skin from the scalp. Yet, even though it is normal, this flaking can cause minor discomfort and itching, as general dry skin of the hands or legs does.
One of the major causes of this general scalp itch, or dandruff, can be using the wrong shampoo or conditioner, and using it too often. Many people choose a hair product that is too harsh for their scalp, and some can experience a skin reaction to the chemicals in the shampoo or conditioner. Using the mildest shampoo/conditioner possible, making sure to choose a product for your hair/scalp type, can help avoid this problem. Also, try using lukewarm water (instead of hot) and cut down on shampooing if you find that your scalp is itching, since the scalp can be stripped of the natural oils that help keep it from drying out.
Another major culprit of scalp itch is the weather. In winter, humidity is lower, which has a drying effect on our skin. Combine this with the fact that we tend to wear more hats, and one can see how the skin on our scalp would be impacted. While we can't change Mother Nature, we can affect our "indoor" weather. The best way is to keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees or lower (if tolerable), and invest in a humidifier for home and work. These will keep indoor humidity higher, and may help relieve dry skin on the scalp, as well as the rest of the body.
Those who suffer from deep scalp itch may be experiencing a problem more serious than dandruff. If you find yourself encountering intense or severe scalp itch, the problem may be seborrheic dermatitis, which is the most common type of scalp eczema, or psoriasis. These inflammatory skin conditions, while not life-threatening, can make daily life quite uncomfortable. One great solution is to try an over-the-counter scalp medication, such as Maximum Strength Scalpicin®, to relieve the deep scalp itch associated with these conditions. Chronic scalp conditions that do not respond to over-the-counter medication should be brought to the attention of a physician.