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Does Scratching Your Head Cause Hair Loss

Home Treatments & Remedies For Itchy Scalp

How do you stop your scalp from burning? | Will It Cause Hair Loss

If you are experiencing an itchy scalp you might be tempted to reach for home remedies. But we would always advise against creating home remedies as many dont work. These homemade treatments could possibly make your itchy scalp worse, so you are better off just avoiding them.

We recommend reading the treatment and prevention sections of this article and seeking medical advice if your scalp issues continue.

The Link Between An Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss

The condition of your hair can reveal a lot about your overall health. Changes in your hairs texture, appearance, and thickness may be signs of underlying health issues. A certain amount of hair loss can be hereditary and is often normal. But, if youre experiencing sudden hair loss and an itchy scalp, youre right to investigate a little closer into what may be going on.1 Call your doctor if youre concerned.

While you can have one without the other, people often experience scalp itchiness and hair loss at the same time. This suggests that there may be a link between the two. Here are several scenarios where these two issues may be linked:

  • A fungal infection causes both scalp itchiness and hair loss.
  • An allergic reaction damages the hair follicle, which leads to scalp itchiness and hair loss.
  • Scarring on the scalp leads to hair loss and scalp itch.
  • A number of potential skin conditions can cause the scalp to itch, causing so much aggressive scratching that it damages the scalp or hair follicles. This damage may lead to temporary hair loss.2

What Causes Itchy Scalp

There are many possible causes of an itchy scalp. Common conditions include:

  • Dandruff white, dry flakes of dead skin on your scalp and hair from excessive skin production. Usually theres no obvious cause, but sometimes its caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis.
  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis inflammation of the scalp that causes itch and skin flaking. It can lead to cradle cap in babies.
  • Psoriasis a chronic skin condition that causes raised red scaly areas of skin .
  • Tinea a fungal infection of the skin causing red, flaky patches and itching. Tinea on the scalp is called tinea capitis.
  • Head lice contagious small insects that live in your hair and cause itching.

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How Is Alopecia Areata Diagnosed

See your doctor if you are experiencing significant hair loss. There are many reasons for hair loss. Your doctor will look at your hair loss pattern. He or she will review your medical history. They will check to see if the hairless areas of your scalp are smooth and peach-colored. Sometimes, the remaining hair in alopecia areata has a specific shape. Your doctor may pull a couple of hairs from your head to examine under a microscope. If your doctor cant confirm a diagnosis, he may send you to a lab for a test. They will scrape a small sample of skin from your scalp and look at it under a microscope. This can help them rule out other conditions that cause hair loss. You may also have a blood test to look for other autoimmune diseases.

White Flakes Pose No Health Risk

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Dandruff isn’t contagious. So how do you get it? Doctors aren’t sure, but one theory is that it may be due to an overgrowth of a fungus. Other possible risk factors include oily skin, stress, obesity, cold, dry weather, and having eczema or psoriasis. Although it’s embarrassing — and the itching can be bothersome — dandruff isn’t harmful.

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How To Get Rid Of An Itchy Scalp Fast Without Using Fingernails

The right treatment for an itchy scalp is to use a shampoo that:

  • tackles the root cause of the itch dandruff
  • calms your scalp to relieve itch
  • Our Scalp Protection Shampoo contains eucalyptus which works on contact to give cooling relief. Plus, its a powerful protection from dandruff. With regular use, it tackles the root cause of scalp itch, leaving you feeling comfortable and soothe.

    Reasons Your Scalp Itches And How To Get Relief

    When your scalp itches, it can be difficult to think about anything else. You may feel that the itch will never stop, but relief is possible. Getting rid of the itch begins with finding out why your scalp itches. Here are 10 reasons for an itchy scalp along with dermatologists advice on what can bring relief.

  • Dandruff. If your scalp is dry and itchy and you see flakes on your hair or clothing, you may have dandruff.

    How to get relief: If you have dandruff, using a dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments can help. You can find out how to get the best results from these products by watching the short video, How to treat dandruff.


    Dandruff often causes visible flakes on the scalp.

  • Hives. These are red, raised, and very itchy bumps that can form anywhere on the skin, including the scalp. Hives tend to come and go within a few hours. Sometimes, hives go away and come back. If hives come and go for longer than 6 weeks, theyre called chronic hives.How to get relief: Hives often go away on their own, but if theyre long-lasting, treatment can help. Dermatologists frequently treat hives.


    When hives form on the scalp, you’ll often have a rash of itchy red bumps that look like the ones shown here.

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    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

    • What is the cause of my hair loss?
    • How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
    • What type of hair loss do I have?
    • Will my hair loss be permanent?
    • Whats the best treatment for me?

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.

    What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth

    Does Dandruff Scalp Cause Hair Loss? Treatment For Dry Itchy Scalp

    Hair goes through three cycles:

    • The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
    • The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
    • The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.

    Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.

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    Medical Treatments For An Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss

    If the annoying itching doesnt stop and you lose a lot of hair daily, its time to see a doctor. Medical treatments vary on the origin of these conditions, ranging from steroids, antifungal creams, and immunotherapy to minoxidil, finasteride, and hair transplantation.

    Of course, an expert will give you the right solution according to the nature of your condition.

    Tips For Dandruff Treatment

    To decrease the buildup of dandruff’s dead skin cells, try using an antidandruff shampoo daily. Leave shampoo on for 5 minutes, then rinse well. You may need to try several dandruff shampoos to find one that works best for you. If one stops working, try another. If that doesn’t help, call your doctor.

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    Male Pattern Baldness And Scalp Itching

    Although a variety of things can cause you to lose hair, the most common cause of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia.

    Unlike psoriasis, fungal infections and other scalp conditions, male pattern baldness generally doesnt cause your scalp to itch or feel uncomfortable.

    Instead, it causes slow, gradual hair loss that takes place over the course of years or decades, usually without any other symptoms.

    Male pattern baldness isnt caused by irritation, scratching or rash. Instead, it develops due to a combination of genetic factors and the effects of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, on your hair follicles.

    Weve discussed the relationship between hormones and hair loss in more detail in our guide to DHT and male pattern baldness.

    Put simply, you generally wont feel much in the way of itching if youre losing your hair due to male pattern baldness, nor is itching a good signal that youre starting to go bald.

    If youre concerned about male pattern baldness, its best to look for real signs of balding, such as a change in your hairline, noticeable thinning or excessive hair shedding.

    Our guide to the early signs of hair loss goes into more detail about these symptoms, as well as the key things that you should look for if you think you might be losing your hair.

    Avoid Sun Damage To Hair

    Itchy Scalp Hair Loss Causes

    Too much sun can turn your hair into a brittle, dry mop that breaks and splits easily. This is especially true in those with blonde or grey hair. And if you already have thinning hair, you risk a sunburn on your scalp. Choosing hair care products with sunscreen provides some protection, although it can be hard to coat your hair evenly. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear a hat when you’re out in the sun — especially if your scalp is exposed. Choose a hat made of sun-protective fabric with UPF 30 .

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    Is My Itchy Scalp Caused A Warning Of Male Pattern Baldness

    Are you worried that your itchy scalp could be caused by hair loss? Some skin conditions that cause an itchy scalp can sometimes lead to hair loss, however, an itchy scalp on its own isnt always related to permanent hair loss from male pattern baldness.

    Male pattern baldness usually occurs over time without any noticeable itching, pain or other discomforts. This means if youre scalp feels itchy, you dont have to worry about losing your hair permanently. An itchy scalp could mean one of several things

    • Youre suffering from a skin condition that can cause skin irritation to areas including the scalp. This could be a condition such as folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis or ringworm.
    • Youre using a shampoo that is too strong and could be irritating the skin and hair. This could result in both itching and discomfort to the scalp.
    • Dust, dirt or other pollutants might have temporarily irritated your scalp, which, can result in an itchy feeling that will over time disappear.
    • Youre not washing your hair frequently enough and a build-up of products such as hair spray and dry shampoo could cause the scalp to itch.
    • Less commonly, you could have a recurring skin disease such as psoriasis, which will require ongoing treatment, this would need to be diagnosed by your GP.

    How Can I Treat Eczema & Will My Hair Grow Back After

    Atopic dermatitis is more easily treated and has quite a few treatment options. The many over-the-counter treatments include lotions, ointments, and shampoos. In more serious cases you may need topical steroids and potentially steroid injections. You likely wont have any permanent hair damage from this, especially if you dont scratch your head.

    Seborrheic dermatitis may be a different story. If untreated, the hair loss caused by seborrheic dermatitis can be permanent. It may be possible to handle some cases of seborrheic dermatitis with over the counter shampoos and other home remedies, but if you are not seeing positive results in a timely manner you will want to consult a physician.

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    How To Treat An Itchy Scalp And Hair Fall

    If you have a dry scalp, wash with a gentle shampoo, and use a moisturizing conditioner. For mild dandruff, wash your hair every day with a gentle shampoo to reduce the amount of oil on your scalp. You may go for an anti-dandruff shampoo in case of severe dandruff.

    Shampoos containing tea tree oil are an alternative remedy for dandruff . Anti-dandruff shampoos containing salicylic acid, coal tar, zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, and selenium sulfide can also help.

    Essential oils like peppermint and rosemary can soothe an itchy scalp and reduce hair fall. Remember to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Furthermore, oral or topical steroids reduce scalp inflammation. Immunotherapy may also help with autoimmune scalp conditions.

    An itchy scalp and associated hair loss can have multiple causes. But most often, the condition can be prevented. Read through the following section.

    Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss

    Does Scalp Micropigmentation Cause Hair Loss? An SMP Practitioner Explains

    Itchy scalp and hair fall often occur together. An itchy scalp can be a symptom of an underlying condition, and not all those conditions cause hair loss directly. Aggressively scratching the scalp damages the hair follicles while the underlying scalp condition affects the structure or strength of the hair follicles and causes hair loss.

    Read Also: How Can I Prevent Hair Loss Naturally

    How Can I Stop My Hair Loss

    Eliminating the variables that cause your hair loss is the first step to stopping your hair loss. Be aware that there is not a magical solution. You may start with lifestyle changes and dietary updates. You can reduce alcohol consumption and smoking, and start taking supplementary and pharmacological medications. Most importantly, consult with a dermatologist whose specialty is scalp and hair loss to understand the root cause.

    How Does Psoriasis Lead To Hair Loss

    As well as being visibly noticeable, psoriasis can be unbearably itchy. The itching can get so bad it can interfere with sleep and your everyday interactions. And that’s not all. Too much scratching can cause temporary hair loss over time as the hair follicles become damaged. The aim is to avoid scratching even though it’s really difficult. “When the scale is shed, it tends to pull the hair out with it,” said Bard. “While the inflammation doesn’t specifically affect the hair follicle, inflammation of the scalp can have a detrimental effect on hair growth and can lead to shedding.”

    Though psoriasis scales are upsetting to live with, you might also suffer from hair loss if you try to forcibly remove scales. The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests avoiding scratching and picking at the scales to lessen the chance of aggravating the skin. They also recommended keeping fingernails short and filed down to reduce hair loss and limit the damage caused when scratching is the only option.

    It’s important to note that psoriatic alopecia also known as hair loss due to psoriasis can affect the entire scalp, and some data suggests that those living with psoriasis are also potentially at risk of developing alopecia areata over time. This is why, if you’re living with severe psoriasis, you must check in with a dermatologist or health care professional to arrange an educated treatment plan.

    Read: What Is Alopecia Areata? One Type of Hair Loss Explained

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