When your head itches continuously, there may be many contributory factors. Head itching can be irritating and troublesome. Finding the cause and treating it should be a priority. Ten common reasons for head itching include infectious or autoimmune disease and allergic reactions.
Which infectious diseases cause head itch?
Some of the most common causes leading to head itching are:
- Dandruff: Dandruff mainly occurs as a result of the body’s response to yeast overgrowth, resulting in itching and a dry, flaky scalp. It primarily affects the hairy areas of the body.
- For mild dandruff, use shampoos containing zinc and selenium.
- The physician may prescribe topical cortisone and antifungal shampoo in severe dandruff cases.
- Tinea capitis: Commonly known as ringworm, Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that affects the scalp. Tinea capitis goes deep into the hair follicle resulting in round patches of hair loss.
- Because these infections extend deep into hair follicles, physicians may prescribe oral antifungal medications.
- However, if the infection is superficial, then over-the-counter antifungals are the solution.
- Head lice: Head lice can invade anyone’s scalp, not just school children. Poor hygiene does not necessarily result in an infestation of head lice, as it may infest clean hair too. A louse spends most of its life cycle glued to a hair strand.
- Shampoos containing permethrin or pyrethrin can treat head lice.
- Follow the instructions on the label to get the desired results.
- Scabies: Mites cause scabies, resulting in intense itching. If it affects the scalp, then the itching may keep you awake all night.
- Patients should consult a board-certified dermatologist. The dermatologist prescribes topical creams containing permethrin or crotamiton and sulfur ointments for treating scabies.
What autoimmune disease causes itchy scalp?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes itchy scalp. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder causing reddish and scaly patches in the skin or scalp. The exact causative factors of this disease are unknown, but psoriasis is not contagious. A family history of psoriasis is a risk factor.
Physicians recommend medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid or coal tar to treat scalp psoriasis. If psoriasis doesn’t respond, topical cortisone is the treatment.
Which allergic reactions cause head itch?
- Allergic reactions: Allergic reactions to hair care products and hair dyes can cause itchy scalp.
- Hives: Hives are small red itchy bumps that form in the skin as well as the scalp.
- Hives usually resolve on their own; however, hives lasting for more than six weeks are called chronic.
- Only chronic hives need treatment, which includes antihistamines.
- Atopic dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis involves redness and scaling of the scalp, along with a burning sensation and itching.
- Nerve Problem: If you experience persistent itching without any signs of a rash or other skin disorders, then this could be a sign of a nerve problem.
- Skin Cancer: Basal cell carcinomas (BCC) symptoms include raised reddish patches of skin that may crust or itch, but are usually not painful.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Why Is My Head Itching So Bad Related Articles
How to Stop Anal ItchingAnal itching is the irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, known as the anus, accompanied by the desire to scratch. Causes include everything from irritating foods we eat, to certain diseases, and infections. Treatment options include over-the-counter medications, using moist pads, and gentle cleaning and drying of the anus.
Atopic DermatitisEczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Other types of eczema include: contact eczema, allergic contact eczema, seborrheic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema.
Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis Rashes SlideshowEczema is a common allergic skin condition. Learn more about types of eczema like atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema and baby eczema. Find treatments like creams for face, hands, scalp, and more.
Eczema QuizDoes dry, itchy, flaky, scaly, red, inflamed skin sound familiar to you? Take the Atopic Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Quiz to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of this common skin condition.
Head LiceHead lice infection is called pediculosis. Lice are parasites that feed on blood and can be found on the scalp and hair of infected people. Signs and symptoms of head lice infestation include a tickling sensation, itching, and sores on the head. Head lice may be eliminated with various over-the-counter shampoos and washing all clothing and bed linens in the hot water cycle. Combs and brushes should be disinfected, and the floor and furniture should be vacuumed.
Head Lice SlideshowLearn how to get rid of head lice. Lice attach themselves to the scalp and feed off of human blood. Discover head lice symptoms and learn what head lice look like for effective head lice treatment.
Hives (Urticaria)Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be to food or medications, but usually the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
PsoriasisPsoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Severe Psoriasis PicturesExplore the different types of psoriasis such as plaque psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and scalp psoriasis. Discover what causes psoriasis and many psoriasis treatment options.
Psoriasis QuizTake the mystery out of psoriasis. Take the Psoriasis Quiz and see what you know about the types, symptoms, treatments and more.
ScabiesScabies are itch mites that burrow under the skin and produce intense itching that's usually worse at night. Symptoms of scabies are small bumps and blisters on the wrists, knees, between the fingers, on the back of the elbows, in the groin and on the buttocks. Treatment involves applying a mite-killing cream, antihistamines for itch relief, washing bedclothes and linens.
Scabies PictureInfestation of the skin by the human itch mite, Sarcaptes scabies. See a picture of Scabies Bites and learn more about the health topic.
Scabies PicturesWhat do scabies look like? Get the facts on scabies itch might infestations, causes, signs and symptoms. Learn what crusted scabies looks like, their cause, and how you get rid of scabies.
Scalp Psoriasis (Psoriasis of the Scalp)Scalp psoriasis causes red, raised, scaly patches that may extend from the scalp to the forehead and the back of the neck and ears. Symptoms and signs include itching, hair loss, flaking, silvery scales, and red plaques. Treatment includes topical medicated shampoos, creams, gels, oils, ointments, and soaps, medications, and light therapy.
Dandruff (Seborrhea)Dandruff (seborrhea) is a skin disorder that results from neither too much moisture nor too much oil. Dandruff can be treated with shampoos that contain tar, salicylic acid, zinc, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole.
ShinglesShingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful rash caused by the varicella zoster virus. Other shingles symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, and body aches. Treatment focuses on pain management and shortening the duration of the illness with antiviral medications.
Skin QuizWhat's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!