Itchy Scalp – Pictures, Causes and Treatment

1. Unwashed Hair

When the hair (especially oily hair) is not washed frequently enough, skin cells may build up on the scalp and cause itching and dandruff. Prevention is therefore by simply maintaining good hygiene and washing the scalp hair at least once a week.

2. Dry Scalp Skin

Dry scalp skin lacking the protective oil layer, is vulnerable to infections, and easily gets irritated. From the top of the head or hairline skin cells in the form of white dust (dry dandruff) may shed. Common causes of dry flaky scalp are:

  • Frequent hair washing with hot water and aggressive shampoos
  • Holding hair dryer close to the head
  • Cold windy weather in combination with dry air from indoor heating

Prevention is by using “shampoos for dry hair”.

3. Stress

Stress is a common cause of itch. Scalp, face, and neck are often affected.

4. Neurogenic Excoriation

Scratching from psychical reasons may cause itchy scalp scratches (neurogenic excoriations).

5. Dandruff, Caused by Fungi or Seborrheic Dermatitis

Dandruff are whitish, greasy, thin skin flakes, few millimeters in size, appearing in the hair and falling on shoulders. The scalp skin is itchy and may be reddened. The common cause is fungus Malassezia furfur (formerly known as Pityrosporum ovale) that normally lives on the scalp, but may overgrow on the greasy scalp, irritating it and causing scaling.

Dandruff may be related to seborrheic dermatitis, where irritated oil glands produce excessive amount of oil, resulting in an inflamed reddened scalp. Besides the  scalp, the eyebrows or eyelids, skin on the sides of the nose, behind the ears, and in the groin may be affected.

Dandruff usually does not appear before puberty, and it is more often in males, perhaps due to stimulation of oil glands by male sexual hormones. Diet poor in B vitamins, zinc, and essential fatty acids may also cause dandruff. Cold weather and indoor heating during winter may aggravate scalp scaling.

Treatment of Dandruff

Treatment of dandruff depends on the cause.

Mild dandruff can be controlled by regular hair washing with gentle shampoos to avoid greasiness. Hot water should be avoided and hair rinsed well after washing to prevent scalp irritating.

When regular shampoos do not help, over-the-counter medical shampoos can be tried (1):

  • In malassezia fungal infection, shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide or ketoconazole are usually effective. Tea tree oil, a component of several ‘natural’ shampoos has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties
  • In seborrheic dermatitis, shampoos containing coal tar or salicylic acid may help

Several weeks of hair washing every day, and keeping shampoo on the hair for at least 5 minutes every time may be needed to get rid of dandruff.

Prevention of Dandruff

Alcohol based hair styling products should be avoided, since they dry up the scalp. Regular exposure to sun (but not sunbathing) may help in treating fungal infection. Learning to cope with stress and avoiding saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty oils may reduce oil glands secretion (2).

Diet in Dandruff

Nutrients to avoid:

  • Simple sugars like glucose, fructose, since they lower vitamin B6 level
  • Saturated fatty acids in meat and milk, since they increase oil gland secretion

Nutrients to consider (good for healthy scalp skin):

  • Omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids
  • Vitamins B (cabbage), A (carrots), and E, but not as supplements, if blood levels are normal

6. Cradle Cap in Infants

cradle capPicture 1. Cradle cap
(source: Wikimedia)

In infants, especially in newborns, crusting and scaling may appear on the scalp. Condition, called ‘cradle cap’, is caused by overactive oil glands, and usually disappears by the first year of age. Treatment is by applying mineral oil or baby oil after shampooing, and rubbing the scales off with a soft brush. Cradle cap is harmless and non-contagious, but may itch.

7. Scalp Sunburn

Scalp sunburn can burn or itch. Affected skin is red, tender and usually start to shed after few days. To ease burning and itching, first get out of the sun, and wear light protective hat when you can not avoid the sun. Apple cider vinegar, or after sun lotions applied on the scalp may ease burning. Cool shower may provide temporary relief. Painkillers as aspirin or ibuprofen help ease the pain. Lotions with anesthetics should be avoided since they may cause allergic reaction. In strong sunburn, oral corticosteroids may be needed to reduce swelling.

8. Acne

Acne on the scalp usually appear on the hair border. Acne vulgaris are treated with common anti-acne ointments.

9. Folliculitis

Folliculitis caused by bacterium Staphylococcus aureus causes red bumps with occasional pus-filled centers on the scalp. Common cause is auto-infection from other parts of infected skin. Treatment, if necessary is by over-the-counter antibacterial shampoos, or in severe cases with oral antibiotics by mouth. Several other types of folliculitis may affect the scalp.

10. Scalp Ringworm (Tinea Capitis)

Tinea capitis is fungal infection of the scalp mostly seen in pre-school children (3-7 years of age), but can also occur in adults. It is caused by group of fungi that normally live on the skin (dermatophytes) but may overgrow in certain circumstances. Tinea capitis may present as itchy, scaling area of hair loss, black dots (parts of broken hair in the scalp skin), yellow crusts (favus) or rough, thickened inflamed area (kerion). Lymph nodes on the sides of the back of the neck may be enlarged.

Tinea capitis is contagious, so other family members should be examined in suspected cases.

Therapy is by prescribed anti-fungals by mouth such as griseofulvin or terbinafine for 4-6 weeks (3).

Scalp Ringworm Pictures

Scalp ringworm - Tinea capitis Picture 2. Scalp ringworm (Tinea capitis)A mild but widespread infection by Tinea capitis. Inflamed areas are seen on the front, behind the ear and on the back of the neck.
Scalp ringworm - Tinea capitis Picture 3. Scalp ringworm (Tinea capitis) Multiple areas of hair loss; bumps are from inflammation within the skin
Scalp ringworm - Tinea capitis Picture 4. Scalp ringworm (Tinea capitis) Black dots are from broken hair
Scalp ringworm - Tinea capitis - kerion Picture 5. Scalp ringworm (Tinea capitis)Rough, thick scalp inflammation, known as a kerion (a lump can be felt on the scalp).

Source of images 2-5: Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D., atlasdermatologico

11. Tinea Amiantacea

Tinea amiantacea (Amia is a fish species with silvery skin) is another (rare) type of fungi that causes itchy scalp. Silvery skin scales are attached on the base of the hair thus gluing hair in tufts.

Picture of Tinea Amiantacea

12. Head Lice (Pediculosis capitis)

Head lice - Pediculosis capitisPicture 6. Head lice – Pediculosis capitis (source: Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D., atlasdermatologico)

Head lice may cause intense itch of scalp, neck, and shoulders due to allergic reaction to lice saliva. Adult louse is white or grey, about 2 mm long, and may be found on the hair by inspection and using a special lice-comb. Lice eggs (nits), are white, about 0.5 mm in size, and are firmly attached to the hair base.

Anyone with the hair can get head lice, but children are mostly affected.

Treatment of Head Lice

Over-the-counter anti-lice powders, lotions, or shampoos, containing pyrethrins or permethrine should be tried first. Head lice are highly contagious, so close head-to-head contact and sharing caps, headphones, and the like with infected persons should be avoided. Bed linen, clothes, and all items that were likely in contact with infected person should be washed, or if this is not possible, sealed for two weeks, what will kill the lice and eggs.

If over-the-counter products do not help, prescription lotions containing malathion or lindane should be used. Detailed instructions from CDC about treating head lice.

13. Chickenpox and Shingles (Herpes zoster)

Chickenpox in children may appear as itchy, red, crusting rash all over the skin, including the scalp.

Herpes zoster on the neckPicture 7. Herpes zoster – shingles affecting the shoulder, neck and scalp(source: Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D., atlasdermatologico)

Shingles represent reactivation of Herps zoster virus acquired during chickenpox, that remained dormant in roots of spinal or cranial nerves. Crusty, itchy or painful rash is typically confined to a course of affected nerve, usually only on one side of the head (or neck, arms, trunk or legs).

Chickenpox and shingles heal on their own in few weeks. Antiviral drugs and steroids by mouth speed up healing, though (5). Topical capsaicin or pain killers can be used to relieve pain.

14.Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis may occur in isolation or as a part of generally affected skin. Condition may differ a lot in severity – from tiny scales to large thick yellowish patches on the reddened scalp skin.

Treatment of Scalp Psoriasis (6)

  • Shampoos against dandruff
  • Coconut oil ointment, containing coal tar, salicylic acid, and sulphur
  • Phototherapy with ultraviolet (UV-B) light

Treatment usually helps in several weeks, but it should be regular, since scalp psoriasis tend to reoccur.

15. Epidermal or Sebaceous Cyst

Epidermal cyst appears as a dome shaped, firm bump, o.5 – 2 cm in size, appearing on the scalp (or neck, upper trunk, armpits, or genitals) that may itch. It represent enlarged, oil-filled hair follicle or oil gland due to blockage of excretion. It may result from an injury, acne, or oil gland defect. Treatment options are: injection of steroids in the cyst, cyst drainage or complete surgical removal.

16. Contact Dermatitis

Shampoos or hair styling products can cause contact dermatitis of the scalp. Affected skin is itchy, reddish with papules or vesicles.

17. Allergic Dermatitis

Hair dyes containing PPD or other substances may cause hair dye allergy. Skin of the scalp (and often face and neck) suddenly becomes itchy, red and swollen. Reaction may last for several hours and then resolves on its own without consequences. Antihistamines or corticosteroids by mouth may speed up resolving the symptoms.

18. Lichen planopilaris

Lichen planopilaris is a type of Lichen planus (Latin lichen =plant growing on rocks and tree trunks; planus = flat), a skin inflammation of unknown origin, that (rarely) affects the scalp. It causes permanent scaring and partial hair loss. Treatment with steroids as ointment or by mouth may relieve itching (4).

Picture of Lichen Planus on the Scalp

Related Articles:

  • Itchy Face
  • Itchy Neck Rash
  • Itchy Skin Causes
  • Itchy Rash
  • Itch (Pruritus) – Diagnosis and Treatment
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer

Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. By using this website and the comment service you agree to abide by the comment terms and conditions as outlined on this page

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Raven

    You need to see a dermatologist who can examine the ares and diagnose the cause. This may just be excessively dry skin, dandruff, a fungal infection, psoriasis and so on. A dermatologist will be able to advise your further.

  • mano

    i take Griseofulvin 1000 mg in 4 divided dosage / day after meal
    i want to know
    if i take the first dose at 12 pm
    when should i take the second dose , third dose and fourth dose ????

    Good luck

  • Dr. Chris

    Mano,

    Please speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the dosage. It varies depending on your case and is prescribed for your needs specifically.

  • hyffy

    Hello

    is Tinea capitis cause stinging and burning the scalp ?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Hyffy

    It is usually itchy but with excessive scratching, you can break the skin (micro-tears) which can cause a stinging and burning sensation.

  • quickanswerrequired

    i’ve experience what I think is seborrhic dermatitus on my scalp according to my doctor and have been treating it for some time. It has in the past caused some hair loss which generally involves a hair coming out with a little hard bit attached to the end. I thought I was getting the better of it but occasionally do something silly that will dry my scalp out.

    here is my concern; this week, I don’t know what I could have done to have caused a flare up but for instance, I noticed a lot of dry skin shedding from my scalp. Some of the hairs coming off had little white bits on the end that were soft and came off and felt like skin…

    I noticed that these seem different to what I have previously considered follicles. Is this just some of the dry skin that is coming off attached to some of the daily hairs I lose or are these follicles.. it seems today that if they are I would have lost a large amont of hair, than I have ever experienced before.

    how do I tell what is a follicle and what is merely some dry skin?

    I am seriously panicking

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Quickanswerrequired

    There is no way for you to say for sure without microscopic examination. Your doctor will need to examine it and will then be able to give you a more definite answer. Another possibility that should be considered here, from what you describe, is that this could be fungal in origin and would explain the white “bits” you are seeing at the end of the strand. It is best that you see a dermatologist to verify the exact skin condition. From what I understand, this has been ongoing for a long period of time and should not be the case. While treatment is currently aimed at reducing the severity of the symptoms (palliative), you need to find out why this is persisting for so long. Any underlying condition or predisposing factor has to be attended to.

  • Mary

    I am a hairdresser and have client who is an 80 year old lady who suddenly about 2 years ago started to get patches of broken hair(about 1mm).Patches are slightly raised and dry looking and are itchy ,more so at bedtime and quiet times.

    She had alot of stress in her life proir to and at the time of them appearing , there was also a sick cat around at that time.

    She has been to GP but they have had no success with daignosis and remedy yet.

  • Toor

    My doctor prescribed to me pills for treatment tinea capitis and a doctor told that many spices of fungal are resistant to oral antifungal now my symptoms are itchy – hair loss i would like to ask if i take the pills
    After how many days of treatment can i say this pills failed for treatment my lesion ???
    Do you have any idea ???
    Regards.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Toor

    It depends what medication your doctor prescribed. Most antifungals need to be used for 4 to 6 weeks before the infection will resolve. You should discuss this with your doctor and pharmacist.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Mary

    Your client needs to see a dermatologist. Skin scrapings may be examined under a microscope and can give a better idea of the possible skin disease. With the elderly, age, poor nutrition due to appetite changes and chronic medication can all play a part in thinning hair or hair loss. Telogen effuvium is a type of hair loss seen with physiological and emotional stress but a rash is not usually present to this extent and the hair growth restores after overcoming the stress. Skin diseases like psoriasis should also be considered here, as these lesions tend to be slightly raised, excessively dry and itchy. It could also be related to an infection, possibly fungal in origin, and therefore an assessment by a dermatologist or trichologist is necessary. As you can see, there are a host of possibilities and without professional assessment, it is difficult to assess. Excessive hair styling, use of hair care products, hair dyes and so on are all possible contributing factors.

  • mario

    i want to know How can we discriminate between scalp fungal and psoriasis of the scalp ??,what are the major signs and symptoms of both of those diseases of scalp ??? thanks for all

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Mario

    There is a pronounced thickening of the skin that occurs in most cases of psoriasis as new skin cells grow but old cells are not shed. It is a raised lesion typically with reddish borders and a silvery-white appearance in the middle although sometimes this may not be evident (different types of psoriasis). Psoriasis will also not respond significantly to antifungals, unless a secondary fungal infection arose, but the primary lesions would remain unaffected or may even exacerbate slightly. This is the area of expertise of a dermatologist, so if you speak to your dermatologist, he/she can examine it, possibly take skin scrapings to confirm and make the final diagnosis.

  • clam

    i have swelling in the scalp caused by fungal infection my GP doctor prescribed o me oral antimycotic and oral prednisolone 40 mg/day , the pharmacist says that the daily dosage of prednsiolone is error and it is very danger now i confused and i ask what is the safe dosage to me ?? my weight 87 kg
    Regards

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Clam

    We don’t respond to questions regarding dosages and treatment protocol. You do not have to do the homework to find what dosage suits you best. This is for your health care professionals with years of training to ascertain. You have to discuss this with your doctor and have him confirm with the pharmacist. Errors do occur but between both these professionals, you are in good hands.

  • soooitchy

    the back of my head is itching like crazy i cant stop itching its a fairly new thing maybe a couple months it does not itch all the time but at least every other day when i scratch i get thick sorta gooey white stuff under my nails and if i scratch long enough you can feel puss come out and eventually they will scab it never bleeds though i also have had some strange bumps behind my ears there not zits i cannot pop them they come and go a few have stayed but please you have to help me the itching is driving me insane

  • roman

    Hi
    i have tinea capitis kerion and confirmed the diagnosis by culture my doctor prescribed to me Antifungal tablets andTopical antifungal but kerion doesn’t improve within 3 weeks with the therapy ,, then he added oral cortisone in the third week of treatment he ays to me this will improve the cure really i asked another dermatologist about this medications he said that the addition of oral cortisone must be in the first week of the treatment with oral antifungal and oral cortisine must not use in the third weeks of treatment because it may be cause relapse the infection , or if we use oral cortisone it must be in the first week with oral antifungal ,, not is in the second or third week
    thus i returned to me doctor and said to him the recommendation which the another dermatologist told me ,, but he insist on the addition oral cortisone in the third week it will be help to cur the infection ,,, in the end i am very confused i would like to ask if patient tinea capitis kerion doesn’t improve within 3 weeks with oral antifungal can we add oral cortisne in the third weeks of therapy to be along with oral antifungal or it is mistake !!??

    can we add prednisolone therapy (1 week) ,

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Soooitchy

    This could be various skin diseases like eczema (read more on the different types of eczema), psoriasis (possibly infected) or even a fungal infection of the scalp. It needs to be examined and assessed by your doctor, or preferably a dermatologist, and depending on the diagnosis, the appropriate treatment will be prescribed. Do not attempt to treat this on your own as you may be wasting time and it could lead to complications like hair loss or a spread of the infection. See your doctor immediately.

  • roman

    Hi
    i have tinea capitis kerion and confirmed the diagnosis by culture my doctor prescribed to me Antifungal tablets andTopical antifungal but kerion doesn’t improve within 3 weeks with the therapy ,, then he added oral cortisone in the third week of treatment he ays to me this will improve the cure really i asked another dermatologist about this medications he said that the addition of oral cortisone must be in the first week of the treatment with oral antifungal and oral cortisine must not use in the third weeks of treatment because it may be cause relapse the infection , or if we use oral cortisone it must be in the first week with oral antifungal ,, not is in the second or third week
    thus i returned to me doctor and said to him the recommendation which the another dermatologist told me ,, but he insist on the addition oral cortisone in the third week it will be help to cur the infection ,,, in the end i am very confused i would like to ask if patient tinea capitis kerion doesn’t improve within 3 weeks with oral antifungal can we add oral cortisne in the third weeks of therapy to be along with oral antifungal or it is mistake !!??

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Roman

    We cannot comment on any treatment. This is your doctor’s perogative and you have already sought a second opinion. We would therefore not want to get involved as we are here only to guide readers on where to seek medical attention and not usurp the authority of your doctor. It is however still in the early stages and most fungal infections of the skin take at least 6 weeks to respond to antifungal medication.

  • roman

    Yes you are aright but i want an information about
    if the patient use oral cortisone(one week) in the third weeks of treatment ,, is it mistake ??? yes or not

  • Dr. Chris

    Roman, we will not answer this question because it is not for us to go against what your doctor is recommending. It can become a medico-legal issue.Speak to your doctor and seek a second or third opinion.

  • stephanie

    Hi..I have little bumps on my neck almost like bite from a mosquito an some on my arms of course. I hav also had a very ichy scalp for a couple weeks that comes and goes…I have been checked multiple times for lice and nothing..I have also been checking for bed bugs and nothing. I’m not real sure what the next step would be..its almost like I have little mosquito bits on my scalp as well but I can see any thing…theitch comes and goes through out the day getting worse when I’m hot or have worked out..

  • eddy

    hi, I was referred to a dermatologist and he said I have seborrheic dermatitis on my face, near mouth, sides of my nose, chin area. I was prescribed Ketoconazole cream. I used it for about 3 weeks. My skin would get red and oily a few hours after applying. Then I went back n he prescribed Desonide Lotion. Same thing occurred, redness after a few hours n it’ll also leave my skin oily. Every time I my face to dry after washing, it’ll leave the affected area dusty flaky looking. The flaky area would become visible when my face is stretched. Stretched by smiling, laughing, or getting dental work. So now I don’t know what to do. I saw the articles above and saw the coal tar or salicylic shampoo option and I was wondering if I can try rinsing my face with those products, of course without breaking out or anything. Is there anything else I should/could do for my S.B. ?

  • sonna

    Hi, my scalp will itch crazily at night. Its ridiculous. It gets to the point where I scratch so much it starts bleeding. I can’t wash my hair every day, so I wash it once a week, and I’ve been checking periodically for lice. Any Ideas?

  • Tiggerifficfun

    My scalp only gets itchy when wet
    after washing or sometimes wet from sweat. I have scratched it so much this
    last “episode” that now it itches more frequently – I’m thinking that
    I may have irritated my scalp now. I wash my hair every other day. I don’t have
    dandruff, a form of rash of any kind – I’ve checked for blotchy red – dry scaly
    skin or anything that looks out of the ordinary and – nothing. Additionally – I don’t have lice. Any ideas what could be causing the itchiness?

  • Both plan water (without any soap) and sweat that your body produces can act as irritants. And irritants on the skin can cause it to itch, even if you do not have any skin infections or skin diseases. Some people sweat more than others. Some people have more of a skin irritation to plain water and sweat than others. But it is likely that you have what can be termed “sensitive skin”. This means that you may have a low grade skin problem, like say allergic dermatitis or contact dermatitis, which may not be causing a visible skin rash but the condition is still present. Also bear in mind that hair products you may be using could be reacting with the water and sweat and irritating the scalp. Even though you cannot see a problem, you should still see a dermatologist who can use diagnostic equipment to identify a problem if it is present.

  • tatyanna mitchell

    I have little black bumps on my hair line and it is causeing hair loss at the peak

  • Hi Tatyana. The information you have provided is rather limited but you should have this examined by a dermatologist or trichologist. Many conditions can give rise to these symptoms. Fungal infections of the scalp for one can cause the hair shaft to break off leaving tiny black bumps with hair loss. But there are several other conditions that need to be considered once your doctor physically examines the area.

  • Supreeth

    hi.I am an 18 year old and am experiencing severe itchy scalp.i.e.,front part of my scalp,near the ears,above the neck etc..and also i have irritating itchy skin all over my face especially my eyebrows,the inside of my eyelids,in front of and at the back of my ears,cheeks ,my chin,the groins ,my legs(below the knee).The intensity of the itching increases on consumption of oily food items,coconut,groundnuts,some vegetables like potatoes and brinjal etc and some times it so happens that it itches after eating any damn thing. Besides there persists a burning sensation in my hands after handling hot items like hot food, hot water etc.. The itching all over the body starts as soon as I get up in the morning and it reduces after I excrete and it starts yet again after i eat something and more when i have oily stuff or that has coconut. I was not allergic to any thing before a year and this condition started after i had a severe high fever in june 2013 it persisted till november after which it had been dormant until august of this year. I live in south india where the temperature range is between 15 degrees to 35 degree Celcius. Please help me out …

  • Supreeth

    hi.I am an 18 year old and am experiencing severe itchy scalp.i.e.,front part

    of my scalp,near the ears,above the neck etc..and also i have irritating itchy

    skin all over my face especially my eyebrows,the inside of my eyelids,in

    front of and at the back of my ears,cheeks ,my chin,the groins ,my legs

    (below the knee).The intensity of the itching increases on consumption of

    oily food items,coconut,groundnuts,some vegetables like potatoes and brinjal

    etc and some times it so happens that it itches after eating any damn thing.

    Besides there persists a burning sensation in my hands after handling hot

    items like hot food, hot water etc..There is no sign of rashes of any sorton

    any part of the body. The itching all over the body starts as soon as I get up

    in the morning and it reduces after I excrete and it starts yet again after i

    eat something and more when i have oily stuff or that has coconut. I was not

    allergic to any thing before a year and this condition started after i had a

    severe high fever in june 2013 it persisted till november after which it had

    been dormant until august of this year. I live in south india where the

    temperature range is between 15 degrees to 35 degree Celcius. Please help

    me out …

  • Hi Supreeth. This could be skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis. It is difficult to say through an online platform. You should be consulting with a dermatologist. Whether it is related to the fever that you previously is not clear but it is nevertheless worth mentioning to your doctor. You have mentioned the link to certain foods so it may be a good idea to keep a food diary and try to identify which foods tend to trigger/worsen the condition. This information can be helpful to your doctor as well.

  • Jean Harris

    I am a hair stylist and I know how to care for the hair and scalp. However, the center crown of my scalp itches profusely and is tender at times. My hair also breaks in the area quite frequently. What should do? I do chemically relax my hair every 6 weeks and I shampoo and condition it every week. Please help!

  • Hi Jean. It is difficult to say for sure whether this is related to your chemical relaxing treatments. If so, then you should find your symptoms worsen during and immediately after the treatment. However, this could also be related to certain fungal infections of the scalp. Some fungi specifically target the hair follicles, weakens it and it may then easily break off. Other fungal species target the skin (scalp) more than the hair. Until you see a dermatologist or trichologist, it is difficult to say for sure. You may want to read up more on tinea capitis (http://www.healthhype.com/tinea-capitis-scalp-ringworm-hair-fungal-infection-pictures.html).

  • kratiesue

    A couple days ago several itchy bumps showed up on just one side of my scalp, also a few on that side of my forehead and hairline and one on my eyelid. A few days before the bumps appeared I had a painful lump behind my ear (same side) that has now gone down but some of the swelling moved under and in front of my ear. Not sure if they are related. With the sudden cold snap the air is very dry which isn’t helping. The itching was waking me up a lot overnight! Any ideas?

  • Hi Kratiesue. As you can see from the article above there are many possible causes for itching of the scalp with bumps. It’s difficult to say for sure until the area is examined. This could be an infection like folliculitis or or a fungal infection. Whether the eyelid, ear and scalp issue are all related is difficult to say for sure. If you have used a hair dye or similar strong hair products recently then this may also be a consideration. Dry air is very likely to make the are itch more but this is not necessarily the cause of your symptoms. Speak to your doctor and try to see or dermatologist or trichologist if possible.

  • Natalie

    For several years I have endured all the itchy scalp symptoms discussed here, nothing helped not all the recommended pills, potions and lotions and after spending lots of money on special shampoos and enduring three month at a time, courses of antibiotics, I decided to check out my diet and found that when I severely reduced my intake of sugar and sweet things especially milk chocolate the itching more or less disappeared overnight. This might not help everybody but please give a thought to what you might be ingesting. I hope this helps others as I know what a misery an itchy head can be.

  • Hi Natalia. Thank you for your input. Did your doctor/dermatologist diagnose any specific condition? Do you have any known allergies or are you diabetic? While your information may prove to be useful for many readers it would be nice to see how the dietary change may be associated with some underlying disease. Once again, thank you for sharing.

  • kylie

    I have a rash on my neck and it itchy..idk what it is.It’s not lice or dandruff or scalp ring worms or bed bugs It started on the sides of my head,went to the back,then went to the middle.Can someone help me and tell me what it is?

  • kylie

    Bed bugs..itching when u get in bed?

  • Hi Kylie. Since you have excluded so many conditions you must have seen a doctor before. If you’re trying to self-diagnose yourself and have decided tat it is not any of the conditions that you mentioned then you should be aware that not all of these rashes present in what can be termed as typical symptoms. It sounds like a ringworm (fungal infection of the scalp), psoriasis or contact dermatitis. We cannot tell you what it is. You doctor will have to examine it and then advise you further.

  • Stacey

    Hi all, so I need a little help?
    2 night ago I woke up in the night with a severe itchy nape, hairline, ears and neck, that morning I noticed I was itching all down my back, chest, sides, hips, top of my coccyx knees, elbows, wrist hands. So stripped off to see what look like a rash, some are just red markings and the skin and some are like bites. So I stripped my bed off hoovered it washed the sheets. Then woke up this morning to more of a rash! Spoke to a nurse and she quickly dismissed it as bites but there’s no possible way. My nephew also has been coming up with a rash this past week but he’s been perfectly fine and he’s only 20 months old. Any ideas because it’s driving me insane!!?

  • Hi Stacey. Certain “bugs” may not bite you but there presence and that of their stool can irritate your skin thereby causing a rash. If only you were affected then it would be advisable to consider certain skin conditions like contact dermatitis but since another family member is also affected it is very likely related to a common environmental factor. Try sleeping in another roo and seeing if it happens. Wash all linen thoroughly, expose to sunlight or dry in a clothes dryer at higher heat levels. Flip the mattress over and if possible use a waterproof mattress protector and see if it continues. Sometimes the problem may be elsewhere in the house like a new type of soap or laundry detergent. Difficult to say for sure unless you consult with your family doctor or a dermatologist. Trying to exclude possible causes/sources can help speed up the diagnosis.

  • shienne mohammed

    Hello am having a very bad problem over 3 years now and no changes I have a lots of bumps at my head back and it icthes a lot everyday can’t take it no more and a lot of white flake thing and my scalp it make my hair fall off and tin can u help me please

  • Brian

    I have a red bump about a half inch in diameter on the back of my head in my hair. About an inch after my head starts curving down. It’s very itchy. Mostly evenings/night.

    I’ve been using Tresemme shampoo for years. I don’t believe I have dandruff at all. However, I’ve now been noticing the rest of my scalp does itch a bit throughout the day. I did go to a new barber shop my last haircut.

    Any idea what this is? Treatment? I’d prefer not to take the trip to my derm if possible. Thank you in advance!

  • Hi Brian. There are many possible causes but as you mention itching throughout the head and a new barber shop, it is possible that this is a fungal infection of the scalp (tinea capitis). There is no way we can say for sure. You need to have your scalp assessed by a medical doctor and if possible it would be advisable to consult with a trichologist or dermatologist even though you may not want to. Trying to self-manage your condition when the exact cause has not as yet been diagnosed can only lead to unnecessary delays and may even progress to complications such as hair loss in time. Speak to your doctor.

  • Jennifer

    I’ve had itchy skin for 3 years on my scalp and sides of chest etc. only thing that really works is a low gluten low sugar diet. It’s hard to do but it works.

  • Muddy

    This may not apply to all but – itchy scalp can also mean thyroid issues (low) or low iodine. Blood work may come out fine if your system compensates.