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.

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)
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  • gloria levin

    My scalp is itchy all the time. I wash my hair once a week in a beauty salon. When I scratch I get a lot of white small flakes. Please help me

  • Jan Modric

    To gloria.

    If you have greasy hair, this may be seborrheic dermatitis. It is a combination of excessive excretion of oily glands and fungal infection. I believe a dermatologist can give you appropriate medication.

    There are also over-the counter shampoos that may help – see article above (5. Dandruff)

  • ladybug

    I have had an extremely itchy scalp for several months, with quite alot of hair loss, scalp is red or pink. can you help me

  • Jan Modric

    To ladybug.

    Scalp ringworm (fungal infection) and scalp psoriasis may both cause itchy reddish, scally skin on the scalp. It is dermatologist that can give you diagnosis and treatment (in ringworm these are antifungal pills).

  • kj

    acute itching pains that come and go located on the back right corner of my head. there is no hair loss, flakes or anything of the sort. Can you help?

  • Jan Modric

    To kj.

    Where exactly is the pain – behind the ear? Also: is it pain or itch?

    Does pain increases when you press on the affected spot?

  • jas

    Me and my partner both have really itchy scalps and back of necks. There are no lice and we both use different hair products and have not changed washing powder etc. There is no hair loss. Any ideas what it might be. We are both in our late thirties. Thanks

  • Jan Modric

    To jas.

    A close look to the sclp skin would be needed to see if there is any rash.

    Lice eggs may look like dandruff and may be not easy to detect. Dermatologist can use a special lamp to detect them.

    Tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) usually causes some scalling and redness and hair loss does not necessary occur.


    It has been about a month that I have been itching at the top of the scalp. I have scratched the scalp & very little dryness has come off. The scalp hurts & burns. I am outdoors alot with my horses,gardening, swimming, etc. What should I put on it or do about it. I will see my arthritis dr. on 7/29/09. Should i ask her about it or go to a specialist?

  • Jan Modric

    To ybhorses.

    Someone should look closely to your scalp; yes you can ask arthritis doc.

    Seborrheic dermatitis, sunburn, scalp ringworm or some other type of organism are possible.

    If it is seborrheic dermatitis over the counter anti-dandruff shampoo would maybe help. For ringworm anti-fungal pilly by doctor prescription are needed.

  • Peter1987

    I stress out alot, always have. Recently, a few months ago, I started waking up in mornings to an itchy face, especially on my forehead.

    It prgressed, and now whenever I really stress out and worry, my forhead starts to tingle and itch, as well as parts of my face. When Itching, they turn into large or small red or white bumps. Biggest bumps on my scalp. I can’t help but to itch…It looks god awful at times.

    I’m a clean person and all, I might think this is hives? Is there some sort of pill out their that relieves stress? Will be more than willing to get it, even without insurance.
    Thanks so much!
    (will be itching for your answer)

  • Jan Modric

    To Peter1987.

    Hives either as a patchy or bumpy pinkish slightly raised rash may be due to stress.

    But if there are obvious white (not translucent but white pus-filled) centres you should think about folliculitis. This is a staph infection of hair follicles that commonly appear on the forehead and scalp.
    Staphilococal folliculitis:
    There are other types of folliculitis:

    There are some antibiotic oitments and I guess some shampooes for folliculitis (containing antibiotic mupirocin) avaiable without prescription in pharmacies.

    If you are staph carrier you may have Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in your nose. Now think how these bacteria can come on your scalp. Staph is also easilly transmitted with towels for example.

    Acne look just like folliculitis and these may burst out in stress.

    Acne and folliculitis may have a hair in the centre while bumpy hives does not. Hives disappear in “hours”, folliculitis and acne in days/weeks…acne even only in months.

    Itchy enough?

  • Rebecca

    i have a really itchy scap, but no oil. Sometimes i scratch so much i get little scabs on my scalp. What should I do?

  • Jan Modric

    To Rebecca.

    It would help if you or someone can carefully check you for any visible skin changes (scalp ringworm) or lice eggs.

    Next you can change shampoo.
    Do you color the hair?

  • sep123

    HI i have no developed massive red lumpy/spotty patches all over my scalp, and around the hairline they look like loads of spots, i squeezed them but they just end up getting redder and burning. There is no itching, as well as loads of big red lumpy marks/spots all over my thighs! what is it? i look and feel awwwwwful!

  • Jan Modric

    To sep123.

    If the spots look like red bumps with occasional white centres (like acne) then it could be folliculitis. This is a staph infection of hair follicles:

    Treatment is with over-the counter antibacterial shampoo or ointment (containing mupirocin).

  • psychologist45

    My four year old son has got this very dried, itchy and scaly scalp, we have been to the doctors on serveral occassions and we were give this ketoconazole shampoo to use twice a week, i have used two bottles of that shampoo and there is no improvemnet at all. I have also used almond oil that was given to us by the doctor still there no improvement. I also got canestine cream that contains hydrocortisone and i have been using it for weeks now, at first it stop the itchy but now the itchy is back evn when i apply the hydrocortisone cream.The worry thing is that the thing has spread to my son’s neck and it’s itchy more at night. I’m worried i don’t really know what to do please help me.

  • Jan Modric

    To psychologist45.

    If your son has a scalp ringworm then an oral anti-fungal medication prescribed by his pediatrist or dermatologist would be needed. So, not shampoos but an oral drug. Therapy may last for 4 weeks or more.

    Hydrocortisone or other corticosteroids should not be used in fungal infection. It’s just possible that hydrocortisone has caused spread of the infection.

  • wendy

    my hair is extremely itchy only wen i feel hot. so for example like running around, eating hot food (chilli) and wearing alota of clothes. when this happen my head feels extremely itchy and wen i check my scalp theres only small pieces of dandruff. i use anti dandruff shampoo but it still itches alot, please help me

  • Jan Modric

    To wendy.

    Dandruff, especially if caused by seborrheic dermatitis may itch, and itch my be aggravated by heat.

    Physical (cholinergic) urticaria is bumpy or patchy hives appearing in any part of the body during running or when exposed to heat as you’ve described. It is an allergic reaction to sweet or to heat itself.
    Read here:

    Antihistamine pill would help in this case.

  • ktst

    My 8 year old son has been complaining of an itchy scalp.. primarily in the back to the neck area.. no sign of dry scalp – red areas..bumps or louse etc.. not sure what it could be.. any help would be appreciated.

  • Jan Modric

    To ktst.

    – New shampoo? Allergy could cause itchy scalp hair washing.
    – Simple dandruff can cause itch. Over the counter anti-dandruff shampoo can help in this case.
    – Lice are not always seen by naked eye – this would need to be checked by dermatologist.
    – Scalp ringworm appear as rounded redish or yellowish areas with tinny scales.
    – Herpes zoster virus causes shingles – usually only on one side (left or right) that can start with itch and is usually followed by red rash.

    For how long he has itch? Has he changed the diet or start with some medications before this?

  • janie

    Hi. Very helpful, thank you so much.
    I get itch all over my head but mostly on the upper back, like right where the back of the skull ends and the neck begins. I bought ginger scalp care shampoo and conditioner from the Body Shop. It doesn’t really work. My hair starts itching after a few days after I wash it. I drink plenty of water. I went to a dermatologist and she told me my scalp looked irritated. What do I do?

  • Jan Modric


    Do you dye your hair with permanent color dyes?

    Have you tried to change a shampoo? Could be a delayed allergic reaction to shampoo or other hair cosmetics…

  • greenwood

    I have an extremely itchy red patch of scalp at the base of my hair line and extending occassionally up to three or four inches into my hair. sometimes small scabs form and white scurf.

  • Jan Modric

    To greenwood.

    If the rash extends from the neck midline toward one side of the scalp only, it may be shingles (Herpes zoster). In any case I would recommend you to visit dermatologist.

  • gang


    my scalp is itchyy all the time. im really worried that this is going to thin my hair out. i have noticed and i feel my hair has thinned out from the front. im only 22. when i use t-gel i dont scratch for months, but as soon as i come off it i itch again. its annoying me. can i use t-gel all the time? or will this make me lose my hair? i use vosene when not using t-gel, but t – gel is great.

    can u also recommend a cream i can use on my hair, is coconut oil for styling my hair good? do u know where i can get coconut oil without purfume?

    when i scratch my head, i noticed alot of hair came out, bt when i used t-gel it never happened again.i dont knw wht tht ment? is it cuz my nails were to sharp?

    plz reply – ash.

  • Jan Modric

    To gang.

    T-gel is usually effective in dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis – a condition with overactive oil glands on the scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis in the form of oily scals may also appear around the nose or ears and in body folds like under breasts or in the groin.

    Seborrheic dermatitis is caused or maintained by presence of certain yeasts on your scalp. It seems that t-shampoo does not eradicate eventual yeasts, so try to ask your dermatologist for diagnosis and proper treatment.

    T-gel is a wide term…It may contains tars, so I’m not sure if it is safe for long term use.

    If your condition is caused by yeasts, dermatologist may presribe you a treatment to eradicate them.

    I have no clue about hair styling 🙂 .

    Articles about seborrheic dermatitis:

  • bhall9133

    well my problem is that mt feet is so dry an scally no matter whta i put on them nothing seem to work some time they have little buntsor should i say plusters they are real small at night i cant sleep due the factthat i am consitley scathing the bottom of my feet i washes my feet every day i were clean scocks every day please tell me what i can do

  • Jan Modric

    To bhall9133.

    There are several possible causes for scaly skin on soles.

    One is dry skin. In this case, oil-based moisturizing cream may help you.
    For other possible causes and treatment check:

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  • Pooh Bear

    Is is possible for you nerves to cause itchy scalp too? My scalp have been itchy for years, but more so now i feel. I have been to a dermatologist who prescribed me some medication. I have used everything i have heard of, think of, seen etc., but nothing seems to help. I am going crazy here..Help!

  • Jan Modric

    Pooh Bear,

    nerves would cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain.

    What medication dermatologist has prescribed you ?

  • itchyscalp

    I have itchy scalp, some times less and some times more and it’s been for many years,I have tried many different shampoos and no one worked. I Have no dandruff or any flakes, but I have hair loss as my scalp is getting more and more bald can you please help me.

  • Jan Modric

    Itchyscalp, do you have a patchy or generalized hair loss?

  • phlasvegas

    I think that I may have impetigo. I itch for a day or two, then receive scabby reactions on my extremities, buttocks, back, face, head, ears, etc. It is annoying. Itch first, then receive the scabbing. Any remedy?

  • Jan Modric


    Does your skin peel off and then crusts over?

  • itchyscalp

    I have a patchy baldness at the top and I think generalized hair loss as well, itching occurs anywhere but mainly front side on the scalp, when I wash my hair it is fine but 2nd day and after it’s getting more itchy

  • Sarah P

    I have increasing hair loss on top of my head. My hair is growing long all around but receding at the top! My scalp is slightly burning, itchy and at night I can feel tingling zip across my head especially where my hair is falling off. My entire house is covered with a mat of my hair! This is so distressing, especially because my ex-husband’s jealous new c/l wife would be so glad to see me bald! So would my ex- who wants me alone without a new husband.

  • Sarah P

    PS I am slso seeing a doctor about a gall bladder disorder which is painful.

  • Jan Modric

    Sarah P,

    would you say that the area with hair loss is sharply delimited? Any rash, scales, redness, swelling, tenderness?

    Do you have jaundice or lose bowel movements (gallbladder related)?

    Does anyone in your family suffer(ed) from hypothyroidism, diabetes, cancer, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE or other autoimmune disease?

    One cause of focal hair loss (alopecia areata) is also stress.

  • e-spizzle

    my scalp itches whenever i go into hot weather, or play basketball, or excercise. any thing that would cause me to sweat makes my hair start to itch. my hair itches before i even start to sweat and while i am sweating. nd my hair falls out alot, dnt know if thats normal. i don’t have dandruff or lice or nything like that. i need some help badly

  • Jan Modric

    To e-spizzle?

    How old are you, male or female? When did your scalp start to itch? Is a hair loss general or patchy? Have you checked the scalp skin, is there any rash there? Do you have dry or greasy skin?

  • Fashionista


    My son had scalp ringworm last month. He is now on the griseofulvin and topical cream. His patches have cleared up, but now I have an EXTREMELY itchy section on my scalp. I have never had this before. My scalp is not red or pink, just itchy and producing LOTS of flaking. I have not experienced any hair loss (thank God), just the itching. Do I have ringworm as well? I have been using head and shoulders shampoo and scrubbing my scalp like crazy, but the flakes are unbelievable!

  • Jan Modric


    f you did not have dandruff before, then this may actually be ringworm, which, especially in adults, may look just like dandruff without hair loss. You can try anti-dandruff shampoo (see description above in the article). If this won’t help, you will need prescribed medications.

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  • BlueJessi

    My scalp has begun to itch just on the sides of my head, and it generally occurs when I’m eating, but not always, sometimes while I’m drinking. I wash my hair daily, so I cant imagine it has to do with that, and I use a moisturizing shampoo that I was using months before this began..

  • Jan Modric


    any lips or mouth tingling or itching, bloating, diarrhea, facial skin swelling?

    It could be allergy to some food ingredient. I recommend you to run a diary about which foods/drinks caused symptoms.

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  • rie516

    I have an extremely red itchy scalp rash behind my ears, along the hairline up towards my forehead. The dermatologist thought I had a yeast infection and prescribed a ketoconazole shampoo 2X week and t-Gel on the other days. This combo initially appears to help, but then my scalp just drys out to the point where the process starts all over again. I’ve used Tea Tree Oil and shampoo with better results, but the rash and sores come back. I have a follow appt next week, but am so uncomfortable now. Any ideas for relief? My Dr is on vacation and I’m not sure I can wait till Tuesday. I’m miserable.

  • Jan Modric

    To rie516.

    If it si a yeast infection, discuss with your doctor about oral anti-fungal drugs.

  • Annie

    Hi, about 15 years ago I my hair started to thin. It started with an intense itching. I actually use that spray that made you look like you had thick hair. I get acne on my head every now and then. I still have itching. They tested my scalp and nothing. But they gave me no solution. I noticed my daughter’s hair is thin too. She usually uses my hair accessories. We need help!

  • Jan Modric


    allergy to certain hair product and folliculitis are two possibilities.

    It can help if you take hair products you use with you to allergologist and have a skin test. If it is folliculitis, doctor can prescribe (probably oral) antibiotics.

  • Tony

    My scalp has been itchy for the past 2 weeks; primarily along the part of my hair and on the left side. Along my hair part, I have noticed a decreased amount of hair.

  • Jan Modric


    a common cause of acute,localized hair loss is fungal infection (Tinea capitis – scalp ringworm). I recommend you to visit a dermatologist to get diagnosis, and, if it is ringworm, anti-fungal drugs by mouth.

  • wondering84

    I have been wondering if I have the plain run-of-the-mill dandruff or something more. For 6 years I’ve been coming across bumps on my scalp that feel like grains of salt. They don’t necessarily itch but they are always on my scalp and I always pull them off. They aren’t flakes of skin. When I run my fingernails across my scalp I feel the bump and pry the bump off with my nail. The ‘bumps’ look like clear crystals, kind of like salt, and they are firmly attacked to the root of my hair follicle so I end up pulling alot of hair off my head because I’m trying to get rid of these yellowish grains that are attached to my head. Is this a form of acne? What can I do to stop this? I am losing alot of hair from pulling these things out.

    Thanks in advance

  • Jan Modric

    To wondering 84.

    It’s quite possible the crystals are from dried oil, secreted by hair follicles due to seborrheic dermatitis. This can be caused or aggravated by fungi – scalp ringworm. Anti-dandruff shampoo (works against fungi) or other remedies (read the dandruff part above in the article) can help – they have them in pharmacies. If this doesn’t help, a dematologist might give more info what triggers excessive oil secretion on your scalp.

  • Jvern

    My husband sunburned his head about two months ago. Since then, it has been itchy. It is a little bit red, but that it all. We have tried several different shampoos, oils, lotions, anti-fungal creans, nothing is working. Any ideas?

  • Jan Modric


    was it severe burn? In this case it may last quite some time that all burned skin is replaced with new one.

  • terry

    I have a very itchy scalp with lots of fine white dust. I wash my hair once per week and get relief for about a day before the itching starts and last through the week. I have oily face but is n ot sure if my scalp or hair is oily as well. I live in a tropical climate and would love your help.
    What do you thing is the cause of my itching with scalp dust?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Jan Modric

    To terry.

    The next time, before washing your hair, go with the hand and fingers through hair – if you will have a greasy feeling, you have oily hair (and scalp) and if not – then probably not. In oily scalp, dandruff shed off in flakes, though, not really in small dust particles.

    Dandruff is often caused by overgrowth of scalp yeasts, which are normally present in certain amount on the human scalp. There are several anti-dandruff shampoos and other products available in pharmacies without prescription.

  • Dominque

    I have a scalp that gets itchy whenever it gets hot probably sweating, and when i eat spicy food only for a long time.. recently i experience slight hair loss.. everytime i scrub my hair wif shampoo once. arnd 7 hair on each hand. after few scrubs it gets less hair.. but its still considerably alot right?

  • Dominque

    sry i mean the hair loss wat recent but the condition was quite long ago..

  • Dominque

    the itchiness can be described as prickly like small needles but not intense..

  • LindaKim

    Hi Jan,

    I’ve had an ongoing itchy scalp for the past two years. I have a lot of white flakes – some times the flakes have the size of about a quarter of an inch diameter. I’ve shown my family members what my scalp looks like after I’ve washed my hair, and they all say it looks like a normal scalp – apart from a few areas where it’s a bit red. I wash my hair every two days. By the second day, my scalp is really itchy, so I start scratching – which doesn’t help because I can feel that some areas get infected from the scratching. The itching drives me crazy because I can’t sleep sometimes. The strange thing is – during the summer, the itchiness goes away. And when it gets a little chilly it starts itching again. I’ve been given steroid desoxymethasone to treat two years ago – and every time I used it, it helped for about a month. I’m wondering if I should be asking for this medication again? Do my symptoms sound like a ring worm to you? If not, what does it sound like? What do you think I should get for treatment?
    Your advice will be much appreciated.


  • Jan Modric


    a common cause of itchy scalp with hair loss is scalp ringworm – a fungal infection of the scalp.

    Overactivity of oil (sebaceous) glands that may become even more active after spicy food occurs in seborrheic dermatitis.

    If you don’t have any obvious patchy hair loss, but you have dandruff, you can try antidandruff shampoo or other OTC product for seborrheic dermatitis as recommended by a pharmacist. If this doesn’t help, doctor would need to make a diagnosis and prescribe appropriate oral medications if necessary.

  • Jan Modric


    flakes in ringworm are usually small, and patchy hair loss often occur. Steroids would even aggravate ringworm infection.

    In any case you will need to see a dermatologist to get treatment. Steroids and sun help in scalp psoriasis. Sebosporiasis and Pityriasis amiantacea, among other, are possible. Read more here

  • shamal

    i have used hair straightener for 6 month and i was using twice a day and my hair all fall out and now i have sensitive tenders scalp and feel always sore, and my hair is thinning on the top of my head, and i went to see dermatologist, they prescribed me a shampoo and tablets but never helped me, my hair fall out too much ever day. i think i have damaged my hair shafts, but when i look my scalp its very clear nothing wrong with t, but all the pain is inside my scalp

    please help?

  • Jan Modric


    a reliable dermatologist can give you diagnosis.

    Try to recall an exact date when you started to use hair strenghtener and then after what exact time your symptoms appeared. Take both the strenghtener and shampoo with you when you visit a doctor. I guess they prescribed you shampoo and tablets for scalp ringworm (fungi).

  • shamal

    well the shampoo was dermovate scalp application and the tablest was prednisolone entric coate 5mg, and during using hair straightener week by week my hair was geting thin and my family were telling me but i never was listening to them, but i was wrong, during the 6 month people were notice but i didn’t. until one day i was straighten my hair on my bed and i look my bed all my hair was on bed, then i realize that my hair falling out when i use hair straightener, so under my scalp is hurting and sensitive t ouch, please help me to find a good dermatologist thank u for replay to me

  • Jan Modric


    here is a list of USA dermatologists by state:
    for UK dermatologist search “dermatologist your city”

  • amyrw

    Hi there,

    In the last year or so I’ve noticed that the third day of not washing my hair then my scalp becomes very itchy. Once I was it, it helped. Lately (last two months) I’ve cut my hair pretty short. Well I noticed that my head is so itchy now! It’s itchy all over and I’ve had my head examined by my boyfriend and he says nothing is there.

    I recently changed shampoo to this Matrix Silver Shampoo and am also trying out Aveeno Shampoo & Conditioner. I used to use Redken and don’t recall ever being this itchy. It’s driving me nuts.

    Should I switch back to Redken Extreme, see a doctor or dermetologist, buy some anti-fungul shampoo or dandruff shampoo or some conditioning stuff to help? I have a dry patch of rough feeling skin behind my left ear that is really dry, itchy and irritaing too. Any ideas? Ringworm? I feel little lumps after I scratch some times.

    Help! Thank you.

  • amyrw

    One more quick mention… In the last 6 months I’ve been dying my own hair rather than going to get it colored at the salon. I also stopped tanning in the tanning booth so I don’t know if my skin is reacting to that or what? Thanks.

  • aspina1217

    I have been experiencing a itch throughout my head for about 2 months now. My mom thought it was allergies but its not going away. When i scratch little white flakes come out and sometimes black ones. My mom checked and said she didnt findd and bugs but alot of white stuff no on my scalp but attachted to my hair. Do i have lice?

  • Jan Modric

    To aspina1217.

    In head lice you can see either adult lice (about 2mm long) or their eggs (about 0.5mm in size).

    White and black flakes don’t sound like lice. If flakes are greasy, it could be seborrheic dermatitis, meaning sebaceous (oil) glands exrete excessive amount of greasy matter that irritates the scalp and causes dandruff. Because of this, fungi that are normally present on the scalp may overgrow and furtherly irritate the skin. Antidandruff shampoo may help.

    If above doesn’t sound like your condition, see a dermatologist.

  • Jan Modric

    To amyrw.

    The dry patch behind your ear sounds like ringworm. So, it’s quite possible you have scalp ringworm. Successful treatment often requires oral anti-fungal drugs. Maybe your primary doctor can give you diagnosis.

    OK, now I’ve read your other comment. Allergic dermatitis from hair dye is possible. Dermatologist can say.

  • aspina1217

    Hello thanks and yesterdayy night i went through my hair with thin white clips and found that these flakes are pretty much attached to strands of my hair. Does that mean there eggs? Also..when i woke up this morning there was a little bug on my pillow-i dont know if it necessarly came from my head but most likely. It was lightish brown and it kinda looked like a flee. Does that mean i have lice?

  • Jan Modric


    from this description, yes, they might be lice. If you had find a bug in the pillow, you might find them in the hair also.

  • HP72923


    I have a patch of skin near the bottom of my hairline that is constantly itchy. I scratch it so much that sometimes it burns to touch. I’ve used a variety of dandruff shampoos in case that is the problem, but they don’t seem to help the itching. There is no bumps or scaling. This has been going on for over a year now, but I haven’t had a chance to visit a doctor. Any ideas?


  • Jan Modric


    so there is no visible change on the skin?

    If it is scalp ringworm, an antidandruff shamoo will not likely to help. Other OTC anti-fungal products are available, though.

  • Kate

    My scalp has itched pretty much all the time for about four months, I get lots of dandruff but my hair doesn’t fall out. There is some redness on my scalp, but I think this has come from itching. I have tried t-gel and olive oil but neither were particularly effective….what is likely to be the cause of this and how can I remedy it?

  • tried

    Hi Jan,

    I need help. My 13 year old son has had scalp ringworm since July 24. His doctor is treating him with Ketoconazole and Griseofuluin.

    He plays sports and has very, very thick hair. The ringworm did seem to improve but now it is back. He has several head and a neck lymph nodes.

    Is there a more aggressive treatment out their? I scratch the dryness off his scalp when I was it. It takes me a long time to wash and dry his hair.

    Just Tried

  • Jan Modric


    you might want to discuss with his doctor:
    – would cutting his hair a bit help?
    – would prolonged treatment help?
    – is it necessary to check his immune status (blood tests that can show if he has impaired immunity)

    I can’t discuss about exact drugs here, but he should get oral treatment – doctor should decide which drugs to use.

    You can check if he is in contact with someone other with a scalp ringworm (it’s highly contaigious). Sharing towels, caps or combs, or head-to-head contact in sport could be the cause.

  • melvin

    ok so I have bad dandruff i believe and it gets really itchy at times on the back of my head and i form scabs and it peels when i itch we dont have enough money to see a specialist right now would you recomend any shampoos? and would dying my hair hurt it any? cuz i dye my hair alot

  • Jan Modric


    have you always had a lot of dandruff or this has changed after you started to dye your hair?

    If you have greasy hair and skin, it’s possible you have seborrheic dermatitis. Various OTC shampoos are available in pharmacies (read above in the article).

  • venkat

    this is venkat
    iam severly suffering with wax dandruff
    i almost lost my hair in edges
    i used to wash my hair twice a week with shampoo
    well these r not medical shampoos

    so please guide me which shampoo is suitable for wax dandruff even to control it

  • Mari

    I have a problem, my scalp itches, there are big flakes, its like my skin is shedding, Red areas usually on the front sides or at the bottom. Sometime i get worst all over or it does not happend for several month. I tryed using diferent medicines from my doc but nothing It kept comming PLease HELP!!

  • Jan Modric


    you can try anti-dandruff shampoos that are available in drug stores without prescription. A pharmacist should know what to offer you.

  • Jan Modric


    have you tried anti-dandruff shampoos and anti-fungal medications already?

  • Jill


    I have had pain on my scalp for 6 months. It is localized to the front 2/3 inch section, only on the left side, above my forehead. I’ve gone to a nuerologist and had an MRI, he found nothing. I am going back to my derm next month to take another look. I don’t have much itching..just very tender..painful spot. Lately, there has been some flaking only in that area. Small crusty patches will form and flake off. I’m scared itm ight be scarring alopecia…but if its been 6 months..wouldnt I have starting to see hair loss by now? Any insight you have would be very helpful

  • Jan Modric


    if you have greasy scalp, it can be seborrheic dermatitis. It’s a combination of excessive oil gland activity and yeast overgrowth. OTC shampoos are available. Another common cause of patchy scaling is scalp ringworm (often contracted from infected kids). Treatment is with oral antifungal drugs.

    Other infections are possible, but before seing a dermatologist, you can try with anti-dandruff shampoo.

  • Jill

    Thank You. I’ve heard that head and shoulders can be harmful to your hair. Is this true? Do you have a recommendations for anti danruff shampoos? It’s strange that it is only occuring on that one section of my scalp.

  • Jan Modric


    I can’t say for any brand of shampoo to be harmful without knowing it ingredients. Reactions to certain shampoo also differ from person to person.

    Localized scalp rash is common in scalp ringworm, but I mentioned seborrheic dermatitis because it is common. Like said it may be some other infection or inflammation.

    I’ve mentioned some shampoos in the article under 5. Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis

    If you’re not sure about using these shampoos, you can visit your primary doctor before visiting dermatologist.

  • sammac321

    hi to all,
    i hv too much oily scalp in summer and dry scalp in winter with minor swelling in some parts with a lot of itching… hairs are lossing from top of the scalp…
    What shud i do to prevent hairloss and itching….

  • Jan Modric


    try to get diagnosis from dermatologist.

    One possibility is that you have seborrheic dermatitis, for which OTC substances are available – raed above in the article.

  • Sage123


    I been experiencing alot of itching lately. I dont have dandruff nor head lice but I am starting to have hair loss. The itch comes and goes at random places in my scalp. I been dealing with this for the past two years. Its weird because I am a very clean person. My scalp seems to be clean meaning no redness nor sight of an infection. I did alot of research about what causes an itchy scalp but couldnt find an solution to my problem.

  • Jan Modric


    are you male or female?

    Is it a patchy or general hair loss? Is the itch the same all days and during all seasons? Do you take any medications?

  • wanda robinson

    Hi every since I had my baby. I’ve had bad itchy scalp and a lot of hair cuming out n the comb 4 bout 6months. I take garlic twice a month I’ve been doing that from win I was pregnant 4 my high bld pressure.I have a lot of white tiny dandruf it itch so bad and hair is thining, but my is study growing. Can u help me.

  • wanda robinson

    Also, I’ve never been to a salon to do my hair b4.but since the begining of my pregnancy I’ve been getting wash n sets, and 1 color. At that time I’ve been getting a lot of blowdrying dun at that time also.and I’m on pressure pills, which I’ve been on 4 a while.I don’t use grease on my scalp at all. I shampoo once every 2 weeks and I wear a scarf almost all day everyday, bcause I’m home with my 1 year old.I need help with this itching and hair cuming out too much with little white dandruff.

  • Jan Modric

    Wanda Robinson,

    dry hair (from indoor heating, air condition, holding hairdryer close to the head, wind) may be the cause of tinny dandruff.

    Certain shampoos or hair dye may also irritate your scalp.

  • yansy02

    hi,i’m yan here, my hair is oily type, i used those special shampoo to prevent my hair from getting oily all the time, and it works, however there are many dandruff on my hair now, every-time i comb my hair, all the white flakes will fall and it feel very itchy, what can i do?

  • help!123456

    I have always had itchy skin all my life. I am 40 years old, female. After giving birth recently, I seem to have an over abundance of itchiness in my eyelashes, eyebrows and my scalp has a crawling sensation (like tiny ants)this is especially noticed when standing under a bright light. I have been to several derms and they all say the same thing, “I do not see any mites or lice”….and they send me on. At times I believe I may see tiny specs of sand like things on my hair (a few inches from my scalp). My face has a crawling sensation at times. I have bathed in borax and hydrogen peroxide, used a combo of tea tree, clove & lavender oils, seabuckthorne oil, apple cider vinegar, I am trying to improve my immune system. I have rosecea as well. perhaps Demodex mites?

  • help!123456

    Also, I have an itchy sensation on what seem to be nose hairs at times. The tiny specs of sand like things are more like specs of dust (and can only be seen if I view a hair in the right angle of lighting)and I see them on hairs on occassion, not all the time. They tend to not be attached to the hair very well. They can even be blown or flicked off. Possibly dried sebum a derm told me. I have even used Enzyme cleaners, vaccum and wash all bedding daily in hot water. Everything seems to return. I even have a tickling sensation at times when I wear constricting clothing, long sleeve shirts, etc. I have been to an allergist as well, no true allergies. I can sleep at night with no problems unlike some people I have read on line about. I do have yeast issues and cronic dermatitis. The anti dandruff Shampoos work, but eventually it returns. I try to ingest garlic and flaxseed oil daily. Trying to cut back on coffee…a hard one to do. Thank you for your time.

  • Jan Modric


    try to use anti-dandruff shampoo for some weeks.

  • Jan Modric


    Besedes conditions you’ve mentioned, yes, Demodex mites are possible. Dermatologist needs to check some hair (eyelashes) under the microscope to find these mites.

  • Jessica

    I’m 24 years old, for the past two years I have been dealing with dry flaky and itchy scalp! I have millions of flakes all over my scalp and behind my ears! My scalp is really only itchy if it’s in sunlight or I’m hot! when I itch my scalp it loks like snow coming down. My hair is getting thinner and thinner…use to have real nice thick hair! I have try all the shampoo in the store and even seen my family doctor, waiting to see a specialist for this problem. It’s very in embrassing, i work in health care and everybody see it! Please help me!

  • jindals

    I have a itchy scalp for the past 3-4 months. I dont have dandruff and to be sure of it I have been using anti dandruff shampoo ‘Selsun’ for a month now. Instead of any relief it has been aggravated. I scratch even duing my sleep and throughout the day. My hair becomes oily the next day after the shampoo which I guess is due to constant scratching.

    Please help.

  • Jan Modric


    I believe dermatologist will be able to give you a diagnosis.

  • Jan Modric

    To jindals.

    What happened 3-4 months ago – have you changed shampoo? How old are you?

  • help!123456

    Update! Went to ANOTHER derm today and FINALLY had a skin scrape done of my forehead, cheek and chin. He also pulled a few hairs off the top of my head. After examing everything under a microscope, he said that I had some sort of hair folicle condition that he has seen quite a few cases of and asked if I used artifical sweetners. I said “NO”. I am dead-set against anything artifical in my food. I never drink anything diet. He then asked me if I took vitamins and if so what did they look like? He said that certain dyes could trigger this as well. He also said one Altoid mint a month could cause this folicle reaction to occur. He has told me to avoid any and all artifcial sweetners, no vitamins for a month and put me on Nizoral (the pink stuff that is a stronger formula than over the counter blue stuff) and some sort of steriodal scalp foam. He did not take an eye lash sample, grrrr. He told me to use baby shampoo on my eyes and to possibly see an eye doctor for the itchy eyes. If I do not see any major improvement, I will insist that he do another skin scrape as I hear you sometimes need multiple ones for an accurate diagnosis (is this true?). Would a superficial skin scrape show any signs of a parasite condition, if I had one? Have you heard of this folicle condition?

  • Jan Modric


    regarding the distribution of your itch, few eyelashes should be pulled off and checked for Demodex mites. These mites live in hair follicles.

    Besides that, there are several types of folliculitis, and as your doc said, certain things may irritate them.

    Not sure, if additional scraps would show anything new.

  • yasir125

    Hi im 26.
    I have an itchy scalp. Sometimes i feel something is pushing form beneath the scalp skin causing pinchin sensation and also sometime there is some thing moving underneath the skin.Addiionaly it pushes my hair out at times. It has appeared to make my hair fall and make em thin tremendously from my frontal part of my head. They also become very oily after excercise or if i shampoo (jhonson baby shampoo) once a week then after 2 days their oily hairs.

    Also my head is very boiling at times.kindly help in what should i do?
    Please recommend what shampoo as well!

    • Jan Modric

      To yasir125.

      Two things that come on my mind are: scalp ringworm (fungal infection) forming “kerions” under the skin, and seborrheic dermatitis. I strongly recommend you to visit a dermatologist to get diagnosis and appropriate treatment, since I’m not sure if any ointment can treat the condition beneath your skin.

  • kemmins

    I have a red big bump on my head it’s been there since maby 3rd grade. I’m in 8th and I like my hair short it shows and is extremely barrising. It is like a ring worm but not as bad as the pictures shown up. It is white on the inside with white flakes in the middle I dont have dandruf any where else. It has a red outline kind of sticking out I don’t like my hair thick but when I do it doesnt show thus saving me the imbarrisment.. It irritates me but never really itches please help.

    • Jan Modric

      To kemmins.

      This is something what a dermatologist should see. Scalp ringworm is treated with prescribed oral anti-fungal drugs, but a doctor should give you a correct diagnosis first.

  • kr

    I have worms that pop out of my butt at night and I’m freaking out. At first it was itchy so I had my guyfriend look at it and he screamed and left me thinking I was a monster. Advice please

    • Jan Modric

      To kr.

      Intestinal worms can be treated with prescribed drugs. I suggest you to visit your doctor.

  • olive

    Hi.I have like a line of raised red dots at the base of my hair line.No hair loss.Not itchy.Does not spread.I did wear the hair style the spiderweb and i kept it in for 3 days,the dots appeared right after taking out the hair style.Didn’t get any worse,has only been there for 1 day.Can you help?!?

    • Jan Modric


      sounds, like an alergic reaction.

  • Ellen in Conn

    kr and the worms – they might be pinworms, which many children and adults have had. Not a big deal, but get them taken care of. You are not, of course, a monster. With potentially embarrassing situations, see a doctor who won’t make judgements instead of a friend you want to keep.

  • akkh87


    I’ve been losing hair for the past two years and mostly the middle part of my head (not the sides and back). My hair is oily and sometimes itchy. When i scratch it sometimes i can peel off a little sand-like particle from a small dome on my scalp-much like a dried pimple. what do you think it is. My dad is bald but he didnt start balding so early. I am only 22

    • Jan Modric

      To akkh87.

      It could be seborrheic dermatitis – a combination of overactive oil glands and fungal infection. I recommend you to see a dermatologist.

  • osaid

    hi. iam 28yrs old and i have been suffering from itchy scalp, thick and large skin (dead cells may be)flakes which are really large in size .due to this im suffering from severe hair loss as well . iam suffering from this problem from 14 years . what should i do. will the fallen hair regrow in my case? because i lost almost 50% of my hair . please help.

    • Jan Modric

      To osaid.

      Whatever the case, it seems you will need some oral medications. It can be seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis or something other, what a dermatologist shold check.

  • PainfulScalp

    Hi i am 21 years old and about 6 months ago i noticed that i would occasionally getting a very itchy scalp but it would go away. after a couple months it started becoming more frequent and i would notice dandruff like particles falling from my head and occasional hair would come loose from my scalp. It has now progressed to the point where it is a daily problem and my scalp hurts and burns when i touch it. The amount of dandruff and hair falling out has increased. The hair loss isnt anything to worry about, i have a very thick head of hair. i have tried reducing the amount i shampoo/condition my hair as well as increasing the amount I shampoo/condition, changing my shampoo, i have completely stopped conditioning. nothing works. I used to swim 4 hours a day everyday and stopped a few years back, i dont know if this is an side effect from all those years of being in chlorine, but i dont know of any other old swimmers who have this problem. any and all help would be appreciated, thank you.

    • Jan Modric

      To PainfulScalp.

      I suggest you to visit a dermatologist. If you have moist scalp, you should avoid hair products as much as possible. Symptoms you have, appear in seborrheic dermatitis and fungal infections (scalp ringworm). It’s likely, you will need some prescribed oral medication.

  • PainfulScalp

    I have begun using almond oil on my hair and scalp and it seems to be helping. is this actually a solution or will it become a temporary fix which will lead to problems later on?

  • Jan Modric


    I guess oil would help in a dry skin, or maybe it contains some substance that relieves itch. It doesn’t sound as a cure to me, though. You would need to find an underlying disorder (fungal infection?) or eventual irritant substance.

  • Peter

    Hi – Is it possible to have a very mild case of the “black dot” tinea capitis? For example, I have about 4-5 small black pin-sized marks on one side of my temple. They are not extremely noticeable unless I look close. They have not spread or gotten worse, just remain the same. No redness or scaling, etc. Does this sound plausible? Would I need an oral medication to get rid of it? Thank you.

    • Jan Modric


      you can try with an OTC ointment. Black dots in Tinea capitis are from broken hair. But you can try to squeeze a random dot gently to see if they are not blackheads.

  • Peter

    I originally thought they were blackheads too, but they have been present for a couple months and they’re definitely not. If it is tinea capitis, is it possible that it just doesn’t get any worse or result in any other symptoms on the skin (ie redness, etc)?

    • Jan Modric


      yes, there’s one image above in the article.

  • Peter

    Yes, I saw that. That is obviously an extreme case and no where near what I see. One last question – I noticed griseofluvin seems to be the drug most often given. I can’t seem to get exact info – is this drug in the penicillin family? Thank you for your help.

    • Jan Modric


      “Since griseofulvin is derived from species of penicillin, the possibility of cross sensitivity with penicillin exists; however, known penicillin-sensitive patients have been treated without difficulty.” Source: this article, page 4. Not sure, if a dermatologist will want to give you griseofulvin, though.

  • PainfulScalp

    ok thank you for the help jan. hopefully the oil does work out but i will also pursue a professional opinion and keeping you updated

  • almostgraduated

    I have had extremely dry, and at times extremely itchy scalp for two months now, and the causes (and therefore treatments) are just confusing me. I spent a very dry late winter, spring, and then extremely hot and humid early summer (in total Aug. through the end of Nov.) in central Argentina, and I returned to a very cold (and dry) December in Pennsylvania. I had run out of my birth control prescription while I was in Argentina, so after a month off I began taking it again in early Dec., along with a women’s weight conscious multi-vitamin. Somewhere in this end of Nov or beginning of Dec time frame I developed dry flaky scalp, particularly on the sides of my head. I stopped taking the birth control and multivitamin after 2 weeks of scalp issues. I have tried washing my hair with Head and Shoulders (for a few weeks in December and again this past weekend) and it only makes the flaking and itchy worse. I am currently using the Tresemme Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner that I have used for the past two years without issue, but the itching and flaking are getting more intense. I need to add that I went from a small PA town to small Ohio town where the water appears to be harder (both are city water though). I have not had any dye or other hair treatments in the last year, no sign of lice, and no sign of physical difference to my skin (my scalp is white, no sign of redness). I had a rash on my neck that I primarily attributed to a new necklace, but with an ear infection diagnosis a week and a half ago, the amoxicillin I was prescribed killed the rash. I just assumed the antibios would kill the dry itching too. I stopped washing my hair with hot water a month and a half ago, I leave conditioner in while I bathe, and my new hair dryer works at a cooler heat and with less force that any other I have every used before. Tonight the itching around my temples woke me up, and I have 8am classes so I can’t keep doing this! What can I do to fix this (other than wait for summer)? Thanks Jan!

    • Jan Modric

      To almostgraduated.

      So, now you’re not on birth pills? Have you checked your hormone levels recently? (progesterone, estrogen, prolactin…) Hormone imbalance is a common cause of itchy scalp; it may also cause dehydration, another cause of a dry scalp. Are you allergic to something? Have you tried antihistamine pills? The neck rash was probably staphylococcal folliculitis. Fungal infection can occur without visible rash – in this case an anti-fungal ointment could help.

  • Hi, I have had several crisis of scalp psoriasis (stripe in scalp from behind ears to top, and especially on right side) and seborrheic dermatitis (behind ears, sides of nose, anus) which I relate to stress. I always try to use minimum medical treatment. Locally to eradicate seborrheic dermatitis in 2-3 days, I use persivate ointment. In the case of severe scalp psoriasis, I used a mixture of 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 glycerine to soften the crusts and washing hairs after that. In all cases, removing the stress, and the proximity of the person causing the stress helped tremendously. Also sun on the scalp, as well as outdoor activities had positive effects. However, sometimes stress can not be removed easily, so it is necessary to transform it to positive energy, which also helps. Mind power of thinking against psoriasis is not good, but positive thinking about visualizing what I really want to do/have is a must! Now I have an excessive secretion of oil glands after the treatment that I would like to stop/reduce. Any advise? — This was my contribution, Paul – Cape Town, South Africa

    • Jan Modric


      oil glands are stimulated by sex hormones. Stress and certain foods, among other, stimulate activity of sex hormones. I believe an overactivity of oil glands can be controlled by concentrationg on the work, as you ‘ve said – removing unnecessary stress and turning the inside tension into what you feel a call for it. Not all “positive thoughts” help, they have to be right thoughts, thoughts and work that are right for you. You recognize right thought by peace they bring, and joy they bring when you fulfill them.

      Several foods were mentioned elsewhere as triggers of acne, like eggs or sweets, but I think everyone should find appropriate diet by himself. I had acne and I’ve changed someting in the diet, can’t even recall what, it was by intuition. I more or less just organized my life at one point, and that was it. No acne from then. Other than that, as less irritation of the scalp by various substances as possible, avoiding hot water, maybe not using a hair drier can help.

  • No fun!

    Hi! For the past 3-4 years I’ve had scalp irritation, redness, oily scalp, dandruff, scalp pain, even pain in my hair follicles so it hurts to wear a hat or even touch my hair! I’ve been to a dermatologist, two doctors, had a catscan, blood work, and have been told that I may have seborrheic dermatitis or scalp psoriasis. All they told me was just to try Neutrogena T/Gel or Selsun 2.5% or Nizoral…I’ve tried them all, even trying using one shampoo for month then another to switch it up. I wash my hair every other night. Really oily scalp. Hair loss, thinning hair. I used a conditioner first, then Nizoral, then Nuetrogena’s T/Gel, it stops the itch/irritation and the pain goes away for about a day. Doctors said not to wash my hair more then 4 times a week so I do it every other day. Very tired of this! Little help please!?

    • Jan Modric

      To no fun!

      Seborrheic dermatitis may be caused or accompanied by a fungal infection. According to long history of your problems, I think you should find a caring dermatologist, who will take a sample of your scalp skin, if necessary, and give you a firm diagnosis. How is that you can say “pain in your hair follicles”? How can you say this so exactly?

  • geetony1

    My hair itches alot and everytime I combit it it falls out very badly especially in the back,it is very,very short.

    • Jan Modric

      To geetony.

      I recommend you to visit a dermatologist, who can say is it folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis, Demodex mites or other scalp disorder. You can check personal medical history questionnaire to prepare for an apointment.

  • coltz45

    Hi ya. For the past 3 years now ive had a dry flaky scalp. About 4 months ago I started to get red uncomfortabe marks on the front, sides and back of my head. If I wash my hair every 2 days but on the day I dont wash my hair my scalp is itchy again. Its not oily and my hair is very day. Ive been told to you nizoral shampoo. I also have rosacea on my face. Is there anything you could recommend? thanks in advance!

    • Jan Modric

      To coltz45.

      Nizoral shampoo can help in dandruff caused by a mild fungal infection. But I recommend you to visit a dermatologist, since this what you have can be a scalp ringworm, that should be treated with oral anti-fungal drugs. Other disorders are possible, so it would be good to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment to prevent eventual hair loss.

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  • Henok

    Ive had this problem for 10 years now. Ive been to several dermatologies, doctors etc. theyve all said that it is probably folliculitis I have. My problem began in highschool. I was wearing a cap most of the time, and had alot of stress in my life. I began a accutan treatment that lasted for 6 months. My facial skin became very bad in the first couple of months, but then it was better, and after the treatment my scalp was free of itchyness. However, soon after it came back. Not in the same degree as before. nowadays ive learned to live with it but Im still hoping that one day there will be a cure that works 100% because as far as I know, from what doctors have told me folliculitis is impossible to get rid off 100%. I get it on and off, mostly when Im under a stressful period.
    I try to keep it under control by using Head and shoulders shampoo, the blue bottle and also by washing my scalp with apple cider vinegar. it stings, but it does help.
    Im just wondering if anyone knows a way to minimize folliculitis other than what Ive just said?
    Thanksful for anything!

    • Jan Modric


      there are several types of folliculitis. Demodex mites can also cause folliculitis. A common type is staph folliculitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Treatment is with antibiotic ointments (available over the counter). If this does not help, prescribed oral antibiotics can be tried.

      Before treatment it is good to get a correct diagnosis. Have you ever head a biopsy of the scalp skin?

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  • Adams

    Any time i went to toilet in my penis there something coming out like milk so i went for a test saying i have stap aureus infection so i was giving an antibiotic for the treatment but i see no chaning to the treatment and it up to eigth now. But ever since then have been lossing weight and i have no any infection in my skin. What should i do please.because all durg am given to is respon to treatment

    • Jan Modric


      was staph infection confirmed by a laboratory test? If not, you should get tested and ask your doctor what to do with antibiotics in meantime.

  • anna19864

    Hi, about a year ago I dyed my hair using a different dye to usual and it burned my scalp. For days my scalp burned, stung and itched like mad.

    Ever since then, every time I’ve dyed my hair, I wash it straight away afterwards to reduce this sensation. My scalp will ooze plasma for days afterwards and crust over in patches and I just can’t put up with this anymore.

    It never completely heals between dying episodes either. I’ve always got small patches of yellow crusts throughout the head. The crown and hairline from ears forward are most affected.

    I can’t bear the thought of being grey – will henna be any different? I realise I might be PPD allergic. Does henna contain PPD. Any help or answers most welcome. Thanking you.

    • janmodric


      allergy to PPD is possible – I recommend you to get tested, so you will be sure, and will know what exactly to avoid. Here’s an article about hair dye alergies.

  • yvonne

    Hi I wondered if you could help me. My daughtr is losing clumps of hair on a daily basis this past week. It is stubbly where the hair has come out. I have now got itching to the right side at the back of my head with flaking like dandruf. My daughter is really concerned about losing her hair it has almost gone completely and she is 16. What do you think it could be

    • janmodric


      one of the possible causes of a patchy hair loss is a yeast infection (scalp ringworm). The infection is easilly transmitted, so I recommend both of you to see a dermatologist, since it’s possible that oral antifungal drugs will be needed for treatment.

  • yvonne

    Thank you for geting back to me but I have been advised that ringworm of the scalp is unheard of in scotland so it cant be that. Thats what the doctor said to me anyway :-{ They are referring my daughter only to dermatology to see why her whole head of hair has now fallen out.

    • janmodric


      dermatologist is the one who should be able to make a correct diagnosis.

  • superunkown

    Hi I’m a male in my twenties. I have had a red scalp for about 4 years. It is not itchy at all. But it gets really flaky and greasy. I find the crown area bit sore to the touch. I have a few spots on the scalp that never seem to go away. I have tried many treatment shampoos but to no avail. My doctors aren’t sure what it is. Please help!

  • superunkown

    I have also noticed that my hair is thinning quite alot.

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist should check you and give you a diagnosis. Seborrheic dermatitis is one possible cause. Maybe you will need prescribed anti-fungal or other medications.

  • John Elway

    I have been suffering from a itchy scalp for some time , i cant remember how long it been but now i am worried. I have red spots on both sides of my head , which kinda looks like this but not as extreme.

    ( )
    If i do not wash my hair for a day it becomes filled with dry scalp , dandruff ?

    When i use shampoos it helps control it , but i must use it daily. I been searching online and they said Dandruff can be cause because of Cancer or HIV and now that has been worried and checking symptoms of those diseases. Is it normal for the side of my scalp to present red marks?

    Now im freaking out ….

    • Jan Modric

      John Elway,

      no pain or itch? It can be anything – an allergy, eczema, scalp ringworm, seborrheic dermatitis… It sounds serious enough to visit a dermatologist.

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  • Rhetta


    I have an elevn month old daughter, lately she has been pulling at her hair and scalp. She is also scratching her scalp as though it is itching. The left side of her head her hair is balding. I am really concerned, because I have not changed the shampoo that I use to wash her hair. She has an appointment today with her Ped. should I suggest that we see a dermtologist?

    • Jan Modric


      yes, a dermatologist would be a good choice. If only one half of her head is affected, scalp ringworm or other localized skin disorder is possible.

  • Sarah 7

    Hi. I’ll try to keep this short(ish)! I have had an itchy scalp for about 12 years. Doctors have put me on every shampoo known to man & steroid lotion! Some things help for a while, others make it worse. Not having got any useful answers from various doctors over the years I have now adopted the approach of using shampoos with no petrochemicals. These help, but don’t take away the itching completely. My hair & scalp are oily with no noticeable dandruff, but if I scratch my head, I get white stuff under my nails. I have to wash daily or the itching gets unbearable. In the last 3 months I have also ceased taking the oral contraceptive pill. In this time my forehead & scalp, especially around the front on the hairline have started breaking out in spots. Nowhere else though. Proper spots with heads! Tea tree helps sometimes, but they are so frequent I can’t keep on top of them. The ones in my hair always have a hair in the centre. I desperately don’t want to go on antibiotics & am hoping to find some answers here. I was never spotty as a teenager & am finding it quite hard now I am in my mid thirties! Not sure if significant, but I am also 4 months into an exclusion diet for multiple dietary intolerances. I take a balanced healthy diet, fish oil, floravital. Somebody recommended a B6 (pyridoxone) supplement as I had been on the pill since 14 yrs of age & suggested that may not be helping my spots. Sorry to make it so long, but thought you needed to know everything! Really hoping you can help. Thanks in advance.

  • vivienne

    hi for the past 2 month my scalp on the top of my head has a burning sensation also my hair is thinning badly my doctor has fobbed me of help

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to see a dermatologist. It can be a scalp ringworm (fungal infection), seborrheic dermatitis or other disorder.

  • whitedove6994

    I really dont know what to do. I have went to the doctor about my head and no one will do anything about it. It itches sooo bead and burns and I will itch it all night. I am awake right now because it itches so bad. Anything I wash with makes it itch worse at night or during the day. I might as well start taking benedryl as a basic vitamin. My head only gets worse. Runs in the family. What do I do??????????? Im 15 It itches and burns so bad that I want to cry!!! It will never go away.

  • whitedove6994

    By the way did I tell you that I have used almost every type of shampoo known to man. Dandruff, tea tree oil, dermatitis, psoriasis, tar, and several of each kind. I have had it for years

    • Jan Modric


      have other members of your family got any diagnosis for their itch? Or anything helps to them? Have you visit a dermatologist already? Do you see any rash or scalling on your scalp?

  • Sarah 7

    Hi. Was just wondering if you had any ideas for my scalp problems yet? Would really appreciate any help.

    • Jan Modric

      Sarah 7,

      bumps with heads and hair in the center are either acne or folliculitis (an over-the counter antibiotic ointment for staph folliculitis is available). I guess there are some antibiotic shampoos available, also. This is only to treat infection, though. The underlying cause seems to be overactive oil glands on your scalp causing seborrheic dermatitis. An imbalance of sex hormones may cause or aggravate the condition. I recommend you to visit a dermatologist and discuss with your gynecologist about birth control use/withdrawal and ask about blood tests for estrogene and androgene hormone levels.

  • aussieam

    Hi, what I had is little red pimples solely on my scalp. After a few days the follicle from the pimple falls out. I think the hair itself falls out prior. It is not itchy nor sore. My doctor said it could be follicultis but his prescription of antibiotics doesnt seem to be working. please help

    • Jan Modric


      so, a hair is going out from each bump? If an ointemnt you’ve got does not work, visit a dermatologist. Acne and Demodex mites also affect follicles.

  • aussieam

    ie: i feel it could be misdiagnosed

  • aussieam

    ill give u more information. I’m a male, mid twenties. I noticed red pimple like bumps on my scalp area. As a side there are also small pimples on my forehead (but those r actual pimples; very small and can only be seen in specific lighting). I am not 100% about when the hair from the follicle falls out but a few days after the bump / red pimple appears the follicle comes out from the bump. Sometimes there will be a tiny bit of regrowth from the follicle at this point. The doctor took one look and said folliculitus. He gave me oral antibiotics (cephalexin) and they still seem to be appearing. They aren’t painful and not really seriously itchy like other people claimed (maybe a tiny bit occassionally). Though there are small pimples on my forehead spanning an inch or so around the hairline im generally acne free.

    • Jan Modric


      you could check this by yourself, but a dermatologist can easily see, if the bumps arise from the hair follicles or not. A hair on your healthy skin arises from a pore, what you can easily see. This pore is an opening of a hair follicle. When the follicle is inflamed, a red bump is usually created around the pore, but the pore, with or without the hair would be still there. There are several types of folliculitis – bacterial folliculitis is only one type and should respond to antibiotics. Another type of folliculitis is caused by Demodex mites – tiny creatures that live within the hair follicle. Most people have these mites in the hair follicles, but they only sometimes cause an inflammation, which can affect facial skin (often eyebrows) or scalp. Every dermatologist should know this, but not necessary every primary doctor. If necessary, a dermatologist can take a small sample of the skin and check it under the microscope. Several other types of folliculitis exist.

  • aussieam

    at the moment the pimples seem to be primary located near the front of my hairline around the thinner part of my hair – its been thin for a while there. So you think the best bet is to see a dermatologist?

    • Jan Modric



  • aussieam

    and yes im sure the bumps arise from the follicle because im sure the follicle falls out afterwards. ive inspected this myself

  • aussieam

    thankyou for your help; i really appreciate it. This thing is stressing me out

    • Jan Modric


      the follicle is a socket in the skin from which the hair grows. So, it is a part of the skin, not a part of the hair.

  • shiko

    About four years ago, I noticed that my hair fell off on the left side of my head above the ear. I am african and have straightened my hair using a chemical relaxer (mild). I have an oily skin and my scalp itched when I sweat. Everytime I retouch my hair, it falls off at the same point after a few weeks. The relaxed hair falls off and the new growth is left and only at that same place everytime. I have not seen a dermatologist or noticed much flaking or dandruff. I only get my hair done at the salon and do not use any home remedies. I get it washed and treated every week. Please tell me what could be the problem

    • Jan Modric


      a local infection, like scalp ringworm could be a cause. I recommend you to visit a dermatologist.

  • ….

    hi i have an ithcy head all day, mostly at night time though. i do have spots on my head,and i did check for any lice, there wasn’t any. can u possibly recomend a treatment please.

    • Jan Modric


      how do the spots look? Like red bumps? In this case it can be a staph folliculitis, treatment is by an antibacterial ointment or shampoo, available otc in pharmacies.

      Lice may be hard to identify, so I can’t say for sure what is it.

  • Floelynn

    I’m 29 and since i was a teenager i’ve always have dried scalp. It would be itchy when it’s hot or when it’s cold (air-con room). It’s so itchy that i will scratch until it’s red and bleeding and then it will dry up and when you peel it off, it’ll look like dry scabs. Often times when the scabs are dry and you peel it off, thinking that it will not be flaky, a couple of hours later, it will flake.
    Sometimes when i scratch too much, it will have an unpleasant pus like smell and a yellowish, watery discharge. I’m looking at scalp ringworm from your article. Btw, no anti dandruff shampoo or T-Gel ever worked for me. My mum said that if i dont scratch it will go away.. but the itchiness is unbearable.. pls help

    • Jan Modric


      in case there is an inflammation under the scalp, like seborrheic dermatitis, some surface preparates might not work. A dermatologist can say what to do.

  • Floelynn

    and.. my scalp problem when i scracth it looks like snow falling.. and at times you have white flakes and dark brown flakes. They can be as big as 1cm X 1cm. When i wash my hair i will feel a burning sensation from all the sratching and redness.

  • suz1978

    Hi can anyone help me? I have a huge round bald spot on my scalp. The itch has driven me mad, the bald spot started as 10c size but has grown much larger. I am only loosing hair from that one spot and Im scared.Ive seen 3doctors& tricologist who all say its fungal.Im taking Lamisil pills I have 3/4 left to take.When will they start working?Im scared I will endup with no hair. Please help me!

    • Jan Modric


      pills start to work shortly after you start taking them. Hair need some time to regrow though. Unless the bald area continues to spread, I’d wait for two weeks or so to see, if there any new hair come out. If not, the dermatologist should say what to do.

  • suz1978

    Jan, thankyou for that.The pills havent worked yet and lots of hair snapping off from top of baldspot, the doctor has told me it takes time for pills to kick in, its been 3wks but I have 3months of pills to take.Its so devastating and scary! The itch is also driving me mad. Has anyone else had anything similar to this? Thanks for reading

  • Chico

    I’m fourteen & my head started to itch when I when I started puberty. It’s so irritating. I have little white transparent flakes, but my head doesn’t start to itch until a day or so after & wash and condition. Whats going on & how do I fix it?

    • Jan Modric


      flakes can be dandruff, caused either by overgrowth of fungi or by seborrheic dermatitis. Available shampoos and diet are described above in the article.

  • jina

    hi i am experiencing excessive hair loss and itchy scalp . my scalp is clean and has no reddness, flakes or anything it just itches all the time and i lose lot of hair my skin has started to show in the front and middle part of my head . please help .

    • Jan Modric


      dermatologist can tell, which of the causes described above in the article affected your scalp.

  • terry

    hi i am experiencing thick flakes 4 about a year now im 21 rite now n still nothin has changed my scalp is very itchy most of the time.. i tried usin nizoral 2% but its still the same btw i had thick flakes before but it got cured by itself dunno how n rite now it has come back again which has caused me some hair loss plz suggest me sumthin thnx 🙂

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can tell, after checking your scalp. It could be seborrheic dermatitis, among other.

  • Kariss994

    My sons age 15 and 9 have yellow crusty scabs and lots of flakes in there hair. This has just showed up the last couple of weeks. My daughter and I heads are itching like crazy with no scabs or flakes in our heads. We have checked and it is not lice, but it has to be something contagious. Any ideas???

    • Jan Modric


      one likely cause is a fungal infection – scalp ringworm. A dermatologist should say if you need oral antibiotics.

  • Virginia

    I have had a very itchy scalp for almost 5 months. There is no rash nor hair loss or bad dandruff. My ears are also itchy. I am on 25 mg of antihistomine one a day to help me get a decent nights sleep. I have been given Betacap, and Cocois ointment and shampoo the latter contain car tar oil that caused more iritation. My doctor has now given me Ketopine shampoo. I had coloured my hair using Lloreal a few days before this all started. Any advise most welcome.

  • Margaret

    My scalp itches only on the left hand side and only in the evening. Help!

    • Jan Modric


      one sided scalp itch could be from a fungal or other infection, hard to say more from so short description.


    I have been on birth control for about 10 years, but I recently stop about 6 months ago. Will the hormones or the lack of hormones from me not being on birth control cause dry scalp? Also I do eat alot sweets i now that will cause a dry scalp. what can I do?

    • Jan Modric

      DEE DEE,

      large flakes on the scalp in absence of obvious rash are usually due to seborrheic dermatitis. Theorhetically it is possible that stopping birth control pills would trigger this (by relative increase of androgen hormones), but this would likely result in a greasy scalp rather in dry scalp. A gynecologist or dermatologist should know more.

      Reducing amount of sugars (which are also in sweet fruits) in the diet may help.


    Continue…..My scalp has large flakes. My hair starting to be dry in the front and then it spread all over my head!

  • kiwigurl442

    Hi, can someone please help me? 3months ago I found a baldspot.Dr has given me anti fungal pills,which I have been taking, but my baldspot just grows bigger and bigger, I have lost so much hair and just wondering how long it takes for pills to take effect?My baldspot is SO itchy, and my hair is snapping off before the root leaving a little stubbly bit of hair.Could it be alopecia? Is alopecia itchy?

    • Jan Modric


      bits of hair remaining on the scalp typically remain in fungal infection, there is also one picture above in the article. Oral medications should take effect within few weeks, and if not, a dermatologist should say what to do.

  • Alice L.

    I have a red bump on my scalp with a couple of white dots in it; it is hard and barely moves. My dermotologist told me it is a cybaceous cyst and I should have it removed surgically. Is there another way to get rid of it? I am very conscious of it especially when I wash my hair.

    • Jan Modric

      Alice L.

      if it is a sebaceus cyst, the dermatologist was probably right. I guess such cyst could be squeezed or emptied in some way without surgery, but would likely to fill with the oil again.

  • eric

    Jan I really admire your work and it amazes me how you help people. Well, I have alot of itchiness in my head everywhere but sometimes mainly in the back of my head. When I scratch I get these oily little flakes or balls, sometimes they get stuck inside my nails. Also, after I scratch alot and I check my hair in a mirror the little things are everywhere except on the top where they are visible. Also, I just showered and the little things are out of sight and the itchiness lightened. Im a male 14 years old

    • Jan Modric


      itchiness and greasy flakes or balls (probably fatty material from sebaceus glands) are usually from “seborrheic dermatitis”. This is common in adolescents. Due to hormonal changes, sebaceus glands are more active resulting in excessive exrection of “sebum” – the greasy substance that oils the skin and scalp. Such flaking or acne can apear on other parts of the body (not necessary). Yeast overgrowth or infection may be also present and aggravates the condition. There are some over-the-counter (OTC) medications and shampoos available (described above in the article), and if this does not help, a dermatologist can prescribe oral antifungal medications, if necessary.

  • Hymns

    My scalp is very itchy. Even after a wash. i wash hair 2-3 a week. have hair loss but only during wash and comb. i’ve oily scalp n dandruff. checked it at vlcc n it has dandruff on leangth of hair as well but more on scalp(might be fungi). Can you please suggest some remedy??

    • Jan Modric


      over-the-counter drugs and shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis (oily scalp and dandruff) are mentioned above in the article.

  • kay

    hi i went to the salon and set under the dryer with rollers for an hour and my head was burning well now i notice a ruff part on my scalp and its like yellow crust should i get this check out or what should i do

    • Jan Modric


      a crust may be a dried oil from sebaceus gland or cyst…

  • debanj

    i have had severe dandruff for about a year but i used selsun dandruf treatment and it really helped.The bad news is that i now have a very itchy scalp wen i scratch it becomes reddened,sore and the temple and fore head skin begins to shed pls it embarassin but i can afford a dermatologist,help me how best u can jan and thank you

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms you’ve described are mentioned as side effects of selsum – you can search online “selsun dandruff side effects”. You can discontinue this product and try some other one. They can give you some advice in the pharmacy , if you tell them what has happened.

  • khaled

    i am 20 years old,,i have a very itchy burny scalp,,redness ,,small flakes..espacially at the middle top of my scalp,,i am loosing alot of hair and the hair at the top is very thin,,i have dandruff,i go to three dermatologists,,one prescriped me betnovate scalp,,the other clovacort,,the third diprosalic and nizoral,,i feel good when i use them but when i stop ,,the itchy scalp return and lossing hair
    i masturbate too much,,
    and i begin to notice the horseshoe shaped hair with thin hair on top and thin hair at sides and back
    my father is bald on 50 dueto daibetes
    tell me ur opinion and the perscriped medicines,,i get bored of that itchy scalp and thinning i completely shaved my hair and ready for any medicine to ged rid of this,,plz help me

    • Jan Modric


      questions and comments appear here when we answer them, like you see..

      Betnovate, clovacort and diprosalic are used in seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis, and nizoral in fungal infection. A dermatologist should tell what is your exact diagnosis. If diagnosis is not known yet, it may help if you find out and tell te doctor which of your medication has actually help you. For example, if nizoral has helped, it means a fungal infection is likely.

  • khaled

    jan Modri,,,,,
    why u removed my question,,really i was in adead need to ur advice,,,,,anyway thnx

  • khaled

    thnx for answer,,,i checked out and i have seborrheic dermatitis,,so u suggest me taking betnovate or clovacort or diprosalic or there’s better one?????
    does masturbation cause hairloss or it make dermatitis worse??
    thnx for help us

    • Jan Modric


      seborrheic dermatitis is usually a combination of inflammation (so this is why anti-inflammatory drugs) and fungal infection (antifungal medication). If this is your official diagnosis, doctors probably prescribed all drugs for seborrheic dermatitis. I can’t discuss about any treatment regime from here, though…

      Seborrheic dermatitis may (partly) have the same cause as acne – stimulation of sebaceus (oil) glands by testosterone. I believe testosterone levels may rise in unresolved questions, decisions, attitudes about sex – it may be this rather than masturbation itself that could aggravate dermatitis.

  • urara

    I have very pain spot top of my scalp.
    and itchy above neck area. I went to see my Dr and he gave me cortisone lotion.however it made my scalp much more pain. so I told him about it. then he gave me clindamycin lotion. it’s made my scalp burning & itchy. my hair shed a lot for past couple month. my beck getting pain too.there is very flat bump at top of my scalp which colorless. I wonder what’s going on…
    I really afrain of losing hair.

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can make a diagnosis of that flat bump, hard to say more.

  • urara

    thank you very much for reply with my question. one more question. is it possible that I have fungus infection
    even I can’t see any visible symptoms?
    my scalp is sore,itchy very oily at roots & has some order,but no dandruff at all .what’s ploblem is my Dr even didn’t take look the pain part’s. he did bring medicine dictionary book to chose to what he will prescribe to my condition. he told me that no idea.
    ( that’s my Dr and my insurance is HMO)
    my Dermatology AP is middle of next month. so I’d like to get gether bit info of what’s the possibility.
    btw, I did apply monistant on my scalp and the pain and itchy is 90% gone today.
    I am wondering if there is possibility that it’s fungus infection because
    cortisone made worth but anti fungus medicine work.

    • Jan Modric


      yes, a fungal infection is possible and positive effect of antifungal medications speaks for this. The pain and oily skin could be from irritated sebaceus (oil) glands caused by the same infection, but could be something else – a dermatologist would know better. When fungal infection is deep in the skin, oral antifungal medications are usually needed.

  • queenspromise

    Hi there…I was hoping that you could help me….
    My 11 yr old daughter had me look in the hair at the back of her head as she said it felt weird. It is not itchy, but there is a toonie size very thick scaley white patch. When I remove the build up of what looks like dead skin cells it is red close to bleeding scalp…So alomost an open wound. I have tried treating it with her exzema cream that she use on occassion for her hands, but with minimal if anything at all improvement. It has not grown in size, and doesn’t hurt or is itchy…WHat could this be??And how would you recommend I treat it. I looked at the psorisis…which maybe is it…but not quite sure it looks closest to that then anything else I have seen. Thanks

    • Jan Modric


      a fungal infection (tinea capitis), psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema…are few possibilities, but a dermatologist can give a diagnosis and decide about treatment.

  • Oscar

    I’m 44yrs old black male. I cut my hair regularly or cut to the skin. Once the hair grows back, the scalp itch a lot. I wash my hair every day with regular bathing soap and I apply SULPHUR 8 hair cream. Once the hair grows 1 inch, it start to itch so bad until I cut it the skin, then I have relief. I dont have flakes or dandruffs. What can I do?

    • Jan Modric


      when you cut the hair to the skin, some curly hair may “grow back” and enter the skin with the hair tips. This is called “ingrown hair”. This can be prevented by not cutting the hair to the skin.

      I’m not sure is this is the cause in your case, so you might want to visit a dermatologist, who may take a sample of the scalp and investigate it under the microscope.

  • lrm710

    I’ve had ONE itchy bump on the front/center of my scalp for several months. I thought it might be a bug bite but it never went away. Now I have several of these mostly on the top center scalp. They are colored normally (flesh toned) but itchy!! I do color my hair w/ an OTC product every 8 weeks. I’ve started using a dandruff shampoo. What could it be?

    • Jan Modric


      it can be inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis) or clogged sebaceus glands, for example. Rash from a hair dyes allergy would be probably much more extensive. A dermatologist can say what may help.

  • samonah

    Hi, Ive had alopecia areata for the past 5 months. I have a very large baldpatch, each day it grows bigger. Just wondering if it will ever stop falling out, and will it grow back? does it run in cycles?Ive been very stressed for sometime, but now have no stress and Im completely relaxed, but hair still falls??

    • Jan Modric


      hair in alopecia areate can grow back completely, and yes, it may occur in cycles. An experienced dermatologist can say how much medications mentioned on some websites can help.

  • tamsin56

    I have alopecia areata. I heard its a good idea to cut off long hair, as it shocks the hair back into growing, is this true? my hair is halfway down my back and I love it, but specialist suggested cutting it to shoulder length and I dont really want to do that! pleas help?

    • Jan Modric


      I guess, the specialist has probably gave the advice from the experience.

  • paisley

    I have searched my head and have no flakes whatsoever. I have tiny hard things, like salt that itch like mad and if one gets on my face or neck or elsewhere it feels like an insect is biting me and it itches like crazy. All of a sudden it will feel like something is biting my head and I’ll reach up to scratch and get one of these pieces of salt like hard things. Once I get rid of it the itching stops for the time being. If I don’t get it off then it will make a sore. I have used many different kinds of shampoo’s to no avail. I’ve never seen anything like this. It is driving me mad because it feels like insects biting me every time one touches my skin anywhere. Have you ever heard of such a thing and what can be done about it? I have an immune system deficiency (diabetes & ME. Thanks!

    • Jan Modric


      crystals may actually be lice secretions, but a dermatologist can confirm this.

  • rebekah40

    Hi, I have alopecia, I am being treated with Sepia Homoepathic remedy, and it has stopped my hair falling out!!! Its amazing!! Homoepathic remedy seems to help. Do you have much knowledge on this? Am I doing the right thing please?

    • Jan Modric


      I’m not familiar with Sepia, but an experienced dermatologist could know something about it.

  • kylie49559

    i am a 22 yr old female,about 6 weeks ago i developed a really really itchy patch at the back of my neck at the top just at the edge of my hair line, now its really sore,itchy and sometimes weeps a clear sticky substance, also i have developed another patch exactly the same on the right hand side of my head just above my ear and it feels asthough its getting bigger i also have really itchy legs just behind my knees, and i have itchy eye lids and eye brows, i have never experienced anything like this before, and i dont suffer with dry scalp or anything and i have checked for lice and theres nothing, please help

    • Jan Modric


      it could be a fungal infection, but a dermatologist can give you a diagnosis and appropriate drugs.

  • homeopathic

    My scalp gets very itchy from time to time, usually when I’m in times of stress. I take my vitamins and keep hydrated. I’ve used all types of shampoos and oil to no avail. It’s to the point that it keeps me up at night and disturbs my fiance. Now larger flakes are just falling off my scalp. I color my hair, but the outbreaks don’t necessarily correspond to my coloring sessions. I’ve caught myself scratching in public now. Also, there are bumps that are starting to swell up and scabs from my incessant scratching. desperate and embarrassed. what do you recommend?

    • Jan Modric


      obviously there is some inflammation, like seborrheic dermatitis. Bumps may be from superimposed staphylococcal infection. A dermatologist can say exactly what is it. Hair dyes may additionally irritate your scalp.

  • Sarah L

    Hi. I have a red scalp along the parting of my hair (I have a centre parting). The rest of my scalp is not red. I also have all over itchiness but not much dandruff – only a few very small flakes. I also have generalised hair loss. The hair loss has been occuring for about 3 months which started at the same time as the dandruff, but I’ve had the red parting for a couple of years. Using anti dandruff shampoo makes the hair loss worse. I was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis a few weeks ago and after using Nizoral shampoo it got rid of the very large flakes so my doctor thinks it has cleared up. But the red (only on the parting) itchy scalp, dandruff and hair loss continues. What could it be?

    • Jan Modric

      Sarah L,

      Nizoral shampoo can reach only fungi (that contribute to dermatitis) on the surface of the scalp. A dermatologist can say if oral anti-fungal medications would help more. Antiinflammatory medications (topical or oral) are another option.

  • urara

    hi! Jan.
    I went to see Dermatologist ( in fact she is NP) as my dermatologist appointment is all booked until next month.
    she took look well my scalp. but told me no any sign. (none of inflammations , red, flake etc) looks healthy scalp.
    even she told me that the pain might from nerve pain.
    but she proscribed clobetasol scalp 0.05%lotion. I did apply it for 5 days on top of scalp and above beck area which I have itchy often.
    the above neck area is no more itchy. but the top of scalp is still pain which only some bang area and top of scalp. if I push hair I can feel bit pain.
    I though like she said it might be Nerve pain to the end,
    however the spot get tingling and sore whenever I apply the clobetasole lotion,
    so I feel it’s not nerve pain because I can feel the clobetasole lotion is penetrating to my skin with sore.
    today I went to see GYN about yeast infection( due to I was on antibiotic every month since Feb )
    my question is , is it possible to have yeast infection on scalp too? the GYN proscribed me fluconazole and Nystatin and triamcinolone ointment ,
    the Dr told me that I can use it on scalp. however I am bit scary that if the medicine case hair loss.

    I don’t see any red or bump. but when I am having yeast infection ( symptoms is only outside which hair is….) .
    NO any visible sign. just pain and itchy and burning sensation same as my scalp symptoms.

    should I go back to see Dermatology?the NP told me that *** if you see any sign , come to see me **
    or just keep use the Nystatin and triamcinolone ointment on my scalp?
    please give me any an advice.

    • Jan Modric


      yes, yeast infection on the scalp is possible, and various types exist. One type is a scalp ringworm, which is usually contracted from someone other, and another type is related to seborrheic dermatitis.

      You have mentioned in your previous post that antifungal ointment has helped. If you still have a fungal infection, and this is under the skin (fungal infection could be accompanied with seborrheic dermatitis), then antifungal pills could help. It is fungal infection that can cause hair loss; not sure if antifungal meds could also cause it – it should be mentioned under side effects.

      You don’t say, if clobetasol had any effect.

      If you visit dermatologist again, you can ask about seborrheic dermatitis and mention the flat lump you’ve had.

  • urara

    Jan. thank you so much for quick reply.
    I am sorry I have a lot question.
    Jan, yes I told about seborrheic dermatitis to the NP. she just told me ** your scalp is look normal to me* no matter how much I told it. she kept saying * no any sign*( I told her that when I have a yeast infection I don’t have any sign. but I have it )

    now I am taking the fluconazole ( for 3 days insted of 1 day)

    >It is fungal infection that can cause hair loss;

    I think my hair thinning than before,this is what I really worry..
    I am more worry it than pain.

    Jan, if I loosing hair the hair will be back?

    the Clobetasol worked at only above neck area which I think I have seborrheic dermatitis at that area for long time.( no any sign)
    but it didn’t work at all at top of scalp. my scalp often get itchy since I was teenager but I never had any sore or pain. I will see what happend after 3 days the fluconazole pill.
    if it’didn’t work I will make apo to see Dermatologist.

    thank you very much for all of your an advice. I feel much ligther because someone listen to my story and gave me an advice.

    • Jan Modric


      I’m actually not aware of exact history of the symptoms on the top of your head. When did they start and did medications you’ve got so far at least reduced the symptoms a bit? Dermatologist will want to know, if your scalp is tender to touch, are symptoms affected by sun exposure, hot water.

      Hair loss in fungal infection is usually only temporary. It is important you mention to the dermatologist that you have felt a flat lump, and tell was it soft or hard and how large it was.

  • Cookie

    I have a spot at the crown of my head that itches. Additionally, this spot is where I lose hair. I do not have a rash as my stylist has never seen anything there except a loss of hair. This spot has been an issue of mine for at least 10 years and I need some answers. I don’t know if the loss of hair is due to me itching that spot. Or is there something going on there that is causing the itching and the hair loss?

    I saw earlier you inquired about another posts if there was a family history of rhuematoid arthritis…my mother had it. However I do not have it. I don’t have dandruff, I don’t have anything that is visibly a clue as to what the culprit may be. Don’t know what to do. I just know I need to do something about this spot at the crown of my head.


    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can say, and if necessary, make a biopsy of the affected part of the scalp. One possible cause is alopecia areata.

  • HELP

    I have been experiencing extreme hair loss since late April 2010. It has just gotten progressively worse. It started with itching and dandruff and as I would scratch I noticed I would lose hair. Everyday since April I have lost more than the normal amt of hair. Now I have overall thinning. I went to my doctor and had blood work done to rule out any problems. All my tests came back normal—lead test, vitamin test, thyroid, CBC (including sed rate), etc. —–all normal. Then I decided to go to a dermatologist. She said that it is possibly female pattern baldness—my mom started thinning recently, but she’s in her 60s. I told her of my itching and dandruff and the dermatologist prescribed me 2% ketoconazole and said I could start using minoxidil. It’s been almost one month since I’ve been using the ketoconazole shampoo and I’m still itching. Should I continue using the shampoo? Or switch to something else? Should I continue the minoxidil while my head is still itching and also having dandruff?? I’m so frustrated and depressed about this hair loss. Help! Thank you.

    • Jan Modric


      if there is no effect, you might need oral medications, and depending on what is the causes, these could be corticosteroids or antifungal drugs or whatever the doctor prescribes. Your problem could be from fungal infection or seborrheic dermatitis, for example. Drugs should have some effect in one month, I guess, so I think you can go to the (same or other) dermatologist again.

  • White

    Hi. I am a 15 yr old male. Everytime I itch my head I would find white stuff under my nails. My head is usally itchy on top of my head, top right of my head, and somewhat in the back. My head feels like its burning sometimes too. My sister has lice and I would get parenoid and ask my school nurse to check my head. All the found was a dry scalp. For some reason I think its something else. I use biosilk condition and organic shampoo. My biggest problems are the itching and burning on my head. Help Doc I really need to know what it is that is wrong with my head.
    P.S- the school nurse found a mole in my head. Is that normal?

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to speak with your parents about visiting a dermatologist who can give you accurate diagnosis and check if the mole needs to be treated or not. A dermatologist can also find out if the itchy scalp is from fungal infection, lice or something other.

  • HELP

    Hi again Jan,

    So hair loss can be due to a fungal infection or s. dermatitis? It is not only due to telogen effluvium or female pattern baldness?


    • Jan Modric


      When fungal infection or seborrheic dermatitis cause hair loss, this is usually patchy and non-symmetrical. Several other causes of hair loss exist. Female pattern baldness does not likely start abruptly.

  • joey

    I have been living with what Doctors and Dermatologist’s would diagnose as folliculitis.

    well here is a little description on how my living condition is. As of right now i am staying with mother and brother sharing a three bedroom apartment. We all use the same shower my brother sometimes uses my towel when i told him a million times not to but as of a couple of months i have been using my own towel making sure the towel stays in my room since the outbreak.

    Around the month of November of 2009 i had unprotected sex with a female basically a one night stand.

    I never had acne throughout my life maybe one or two small pimples here and there but never nothing major like whats happening to me now!!

    I usually shave my hair short with a barber machine (clippers) once every two weeks no one else but myself uses the clippers. I clean it every time i use it with a special spray that kills bacteria and i also apply alcohol after the spray and let it sit for about a hour soaked

    Around the month when this outbreak happened February i was using my brothers hat he had laying around the house i used the hat to go outside since it was winter sometimes i would use the hat while my head was still wet mind you that i do shave my head bald

    On the same month February i had a bad out break on my neck arms back shoulder even head intense itching through my body the itching was so intense i had to run to a dermatologist that stated i had folliculitis (i already knew this by researching online) which he did not treat me properly he gave me a script for doxycicline 150 mg and clindamyacin topical gel infact of his prescribing me this it made matters worst i waited to finish the rounds of antibiotics and the itching got worst after the treatment was done my arms chest back head neck exploded with folliculitis

    At that time i had to run to the emergency room when i got to see the MD they where very concerned the folliculitis was due to a staph infection so i got a blood X2 for staph lab work done and a culture the blood came back as negative for staph culture from the puss wound came back as staphalococcus capitis (coagulase negative) sensitivity-resistant report came back with the culture and was prescribed clindamycin 300mg taken 4 times a day.

    The clindamycin seem to help but while taking the course folliculitis still seemed to grow not as much as before but 2 or 3 bumps a day finished the round of clindamycin and folliculitis still active and i still have the itching at night is when the itching it is at it’s worst.

    went to see a infectious disease Dr Thursday and what she prescribed me was ivermectin (scromectol) 3mg take 9mg then repeat in two weeks with permethrin 5% she did not do a skin scrape of any sort but she was concerned about scabies.

    i have another dermatologist appointment in September my infectious disease doctor would want me to see for further evaluation

    jan can you give me some advice in what you think is the possibilities of what i have the infection grew from the back of my head to small lump like cyst all around my head then spread to my upper arms, back, chest , buttock, and some on my groin area some lesions on my chest and back grew cyst i have no lesions on my face what so ever and i do grow a beard my scalp is very oily i will supply some pics i took can you check them out for me please.

    also not when i got a wound culture taken a suspecbility report came along with it

    Staphylococcus Capitis I understand is part of everyone’s normal flora when they did the culture test i also received a sensitivity report

    susceptibility s capitis
    cefazolin interp s
    ceftriaxone interp s
    clindamycin interp s
    erythromycin interp s
    gentamicin interp s
    levofloxacin interp s
    nafcillin interp s
    penicillin interp s
    rifampin interp s
    tetracycline interp r
    trimeth/sulfa interp s

    note that i was taking doxycycline but if you see in this report all tetracyclines line are resistant can the report be wrong since i was taking it before i got a culture done?

    here are the pictures


    • Jan Modric


      infecion with both staphylococcus and mites would be possible at the same time.

      Biopses of various skin lesions would be neded and cultured. There could be more than one staphylococcal strain present. Antibiotics should be chosen on the basis of sensitivity test. In case you will have another skin culture done, ask the doctor in advance, if you need to stop with any medications before the test (at least few days). I can not/recommend any antibiotic; it’s all about the test. I encourage you to find a reliable infectologist or dermatologist and solve this problem to prevent complications. I’m not sure if you have contracted bacteria from someone else, or an overgrowth of otherwise normal skin bacteria has occured due to lowered immunity (an infectologist should know how to test this).

      Ivermectin and permethrin being helpful may speak for either scabies or Demodex mites, but diagnosis would be confirmed with biopsy of skin lesions only. So, if you think these drugs work, continue with them as prescribed.

      In staph folliculitis, red bumps with (not always) white heads appear. Rashes in scabies and Demodex mites do not likely have white heads. So, regarding your pictures, staph infection may be one cause of the rash, but, like said, mites may be present at the same time.

      Fungal infection usually spreads over the skin surface in discolored scally patches.

  • joey

    I forgot to note yesterday i took the round of ivermectin and applied the permethrin it seemed as the itching is less then ever. not sure if it was scabies or infestation of demodex mites since the dr didn’t do a koh test on me just gave me the scripts and while i explained my problem she took told me to strip down bare to take a look at me she said it can be a infestation of some sort of mites but not sure if it was scabies.

    but i do l know i have a staph infection and maybe the mites was the cause from all the scratching i did

    i read that taking dicloxacillin + rifampin can help threw my ordeal is this true? should i speak about this to my doctor after i am done with the rounds of ivermectin and permethrin?

  • Jack

    thanks for the response jan

    seems like the itching has stopped tremendously while using ivermectin and permethrin the ID doctor told me only a dermatologist can do the skin biopsy is this true ?. I will bring this up to her when i see her again next month

    • Jan Modric


      it’s possible that only a dermatologist can do a skin biopsy, but an infectologist can take a swab from rashes containing fluid or pus. Biopsy would be needed when no treatment has helped, and some non-infectious inflammation would be suspected. To get samples for bacterial culture, a swab should be enough.

  • Sam

    A couple years ago i developed some really dry and itchy patches on the back of my head. At first I just expected it to go away and just kept scratching but eventually it just got bigger. Everytime i would use a mirror to look at the back of my head, i would see flakes and would just pick it off. It got so bad that i would find blood on my pillow from scratching that night. I decided to force myself to stop scratching and eventually it went away. Unfortunately it already spread to other areas of my scalp, again i tried not scratching but this time it wasn’t working. It seemed to have gotten worse. When my hair would get longer, flakes would get caught in my hair and be very visible and the patches would be itchier. I would normally get a buzz cut and the intense itching would go away and it would stop flaking. About a month ago, i got another hair cut, but the flaking became much worse and throughout the day i would notice visible flakes in my hair and by picking them off it just seems like more would come to the surface. It has never been this bad and i don’t know what to do anymore. Can you help me or do you recommend i see a dermatologist?

    • Jan Modric


      fungal infection (Tinea capitis, scalp ringworm) or seborrheic dermatitis (where fungi, but other types, may aso be involved) are two of possible causes. Some over-the-counter shampoos are mentioned above in the article; I can’t say if this will work in your case, though. If short hair helps, it would be worth to try again…If nothing helps, dermatologist is an appropriate choise.

  • Aayushi

    About 2 weeks ago my forehead got really really itchy and then I got this pimple on my forehead followed by one single bump on my scalp that I could feel but wasn’t very visible. It was very very painful and would burn a lot. Thankfully, it went away, but my head is still itchy a lot of the time and the pimple now has a scab on it from me scratching all the time. What could cause this?

    • Jan Modric


      it sounds to me as a sort of infection, like folliculitis. If it doesn’t go away, you can see a dermatologist.

  • stephags

    26 yr old female losing hair on the front part of head. Noticing red blotches and slightly itches. I do have toe fungus presently could this be due to toe fungus?? My podiatrist has told me im prone to fungal infections could this have anything to do with hair loss???

    • Jan Modric


      yes, fungal infection of the scalp (scalp ringworm) or other infection can cause localized hair loss. A dermatologist can give you diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  • Andre


    Im 25/male and have had an itchy scalp for over 6 months now almost getting on a year. It started off just as a slight itch but no it is constantly itchy. There are no real signs on my scalp maybe slight inflamation and redness of the skin. I also notice small bumps along my hair line at the front of my scalp. These sometimes get itchy kind of like mosquito bites. I have seen dermitologists and doctors also a tricologist and natrapath but nothing has worked. Ive tried all the types of dandruff shampoos also prescribed pills. I have quiet alot of hairloss but i think that might be from itching. There are some small white flakes but not too much dandruff. Its mostly itchy in the morning and in the evening. I have tried antidepressants and it hasnt worked , i dont believe it is stress related.

    The last dermitologist said that it is probably just the senstation from hair loss and theres nothing i can do about it. I dont really agree with this.

    If you have any ideas that would be amazing ! I guess its hard to diagnose because you cant really see any major problems on the scalp other then abit of hairloss and a general pinkness of the scalp. I have also tried eating certain foods eggs, fish, also taken vinc supplements none of this really worked. Running a comb through the hair is kind of painfull and very sensitive when it touchs the scalp even when wind blows the hair its very sensitive.

    Anyway ! any feedback would be really appreciated!

    Kind Regards


    • Jan Modric


      redness and bumps do not likely occur just from stress. In an extreme stress, bumpy hives (urticaria) would be possible, though. Certain shampoos or hair dyes can cause allergic reaction. However, in all these cases, symptoms would be likely obviously related to the cause and would likely fluctuate considerably.

      Two common disorders are seborrheic dermatitis and staphylococcal folliculitis. Also scalp ringworm. If a disorder can not be diagnosed from a scalp inspection, a dermatologist can perform a biopsy of a scalp skin.

  • saraisha

    Every time i washed my hair with shampoos, i felt so relieved from itching until i wake up and brushed my hair, it started itching! It would go away until after few days it’ll come back and worse, I had to wash my hair again to relieve but sometime it doesn’t work. I’ve tried switching to different shampoos, it doesn’t seem to work. I want it to completely go away. My hair is so thick and curly. I’ve never had any scalp problem up ’til now. What is wrong with me? It just occurred to me few months ago. Should I go see a dermatologist or try something different? I want it cured, not treated.

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist is a good idea. One of the possible causes is seborrheic dermatitis (you can read in the article).

  • clover7

    i have very thick hair. I often wear it in a bun and that area itchs like crazy. I scratch it all day all the time and there will be white flakes everywhere. I use dandruff shampoo but it doesnt seem to help. I dont have lice or hair loss. Its just that one area and sometimes i sractch so much it bleeds. please help

    • Jan Modric


      one condition with excessive dandruff and itch is seborrheic dermatitis. Some remedies are described above in the article; otherwise a dermatologist can help.

  • cnatasha44

    About a year ago I started to get itchy patches on my face nose forehead and scalp no my little sisters have gotten it on there face now my dad has it on his scalp what can I do to get rid of it it just doesnt look right when it turns red. thanks

    • Jan Modric


      it sounds like an infection, maybe a fungal infection. A dermatologist can give an exact diagnosis and treatment.

  • Nari

    Hi Jan,

    I read your article and was wondering if you had any advice for me. I am currently away from home in a different country and suddenly started losing my hair. It started as a small pea sized colored spot about 3 months ago, no cause for alarm, I thought. About ten days ago my hair just started to break off in clumps around my crown. I now have an asymmetrical bald oval on the right side on top of my head, although there is one “island” in the middle where my hair has not fallen out. My scalp is pink and mildly itchy but with no scaling or other changes in texture. I do have broken, jagged hairs and I am inclined to think it’s ringworm with T. tonsurans, so I started treating myself with 500mg of griseofulvin daily (started about a week ago). But I “rubbed out” a few of my broken scalp hairs with a cotton ball and a couple of them seem to have a tapering shape suggestive of alopecia areata. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, maybe the infected tinea capitis hairs can appear tapered or deformed as well since T. tonsurans works from the inside out? I guess what I want to ask is, in tinea capitis, how long into griseofuvin therapy does the hair loss usually abate? This has been so traumatic and difficult for me. Thank you in advance for reading my long post.

    • Jan Modric


      in general, scalp fungi usually cause some rash or scaling or broken hair (like in the picture in the article), and itch, and in alopecia areatea, the affected area is either completely bald (no broken hair) or hair is more scarse, but not likely broken immediately at the scalp level, and itch is present only on the very start, and there is no discoloration, not even redness. Another possibility is seborrheic dermatitis, which can be sometimes present without any rash, but with redness due to inflammation occuring within the skin. With all this in mind, I don’t know what cause to “suggest” you. It sounds like a good reason to visit a dermatologist, since specific treatments for all mentioned conditions are available.

      Griseofulvin for tinea capitis is usually prescribed for 6-8 weeks, since it’s important to eradicate the infection. The shorter course of terbinafine is the same effective. Neither of these are my suggestions since I don’t know the cause in your case.

      Hair growth rate in adults is about 0.3 mm per day…

  • Nari

    Hi Jan,

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I won’t be able to go to the doctor for another few months until I return home, which is why I am frantically trying to solve this on my own as best as I can until then.

    In my case I have no COMPLETELY bald areas, but within the “ring” I have only what seems like broken hairs and hairs in telogen phase (I can tell they haven’t grown as I dye my hair and they do not have a darker root).

    I noticed that my broken hairs are quite jagged and rough on the broken end and overall very different from each other at the root end. Some pull out easily and don’t seem to taper at all. Others seem to taper a little, and a couple are less pigmented towards the root (which I can only see after I pull it out), which is why I am terrified it is alopecia areata. And still others are still firmly rooted and will not pull out without considerable force. Can tinea capitis affect hair pigment?

    Thank you so much again.

    • Jan Modric


      I havent found any informative data in about what time griseofulvin would cause hair regrowth (from what you could know, probably in 1-3 weeks, is it fungal infection or not). But I’ve found some info that alopecia aeata can cause some redness…in summary..symptoms in both conditions may overlap considerably. You can search for Tinea capitis and Alopecia areata on for a detailed description and pictures.

  • JOJO

    oh modric, thanks for giving SO many people advice, i’ve tried to read them all and see if anyone had the same problem as me, but not one really matches.
    i’m 18, male, living in a very humid country(singapore).
    for the last 3 months, i went through a mild case of depression and at the same time did somethings wrong onto my hair.
    i started using conditioner? but i rubbed it all over my scalp. and i’ve realised now my hair is starting to thin, horrible horrible horrible setback. and also i’ve just discovered that there are some black dots on my scalp. WHAT IS THAT! my mum says there’s 4-6?
    ALSO. for you to note to give me advice, since as long as i can remember, aleast 5 years ago, i’ve started washing my hair twice a day, and around the same period(3months ago) i’ve started to wash it once a day, cos of my friend’s advice. but it got SO DAMN greasy. so i’ve tried changing my shampoo, and first time i’ve used it, alot of hair came out, 20?
    that is not right isn’t it?

    • Jan Modric


      if black dots can be squizzed and a greasy substance comes out, they are probably “blackheads” – clogged sebaceous (oil) glands, like ones that can appear on the face. Greasy hair and these black dots could be from seborrheic dermatitis. If blak dots cannot be squizzed, then they may be broken hairs – this can be due to a fungal infection (scalp ringworm). In both conditions, there could be some hair loss. Visiting a dermatologist sounds like a good idea, since you can get an exact diagnosis and appropriate treatment if necessary.

      If you ask me, washing hair every day is a lot. Hot water and hot air from hair drier may additionally irritate your scalp and make your hair more greasy.

      If there is no itch or redness after using shampoo, then your current shampo is probably not a direct cause of hair thinning. But again, frequent hair washing may aggravate eventual dermatitis.

  • JOJO

    should i pot for the mildest shampoo?
    i believe i have greasy scalp plus the weather here, i sweat alot.
    is it okay to shampoo your hair twice a day? or what should i do then?
    also, is there anyway to grow more units of hair?
    i’m really afraid of thinning at just 18, should i visit a dermentologist?
    could it be because of the dots?

  • JOJO

    okay, i guess i’ll save and visit one 🙂
    but in the mean time, isit alright to use a ‘all natural’ shampoo so my scalp will not be in contact with any chemicals?
    cos i really don’t know what to do about my greasy scalp!
    i went for a hair cut that day, and the salon lady told me that my hair was EXTREMELY greasy(i only washed it once that day) and she said, “every 10 hair that grows, 9 will fall out”(because of the greasy scalp)
    that really scared me, any advice then?thanks for your help again.

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can tell you what is the cause of greasy hair (scalp) in your case. One likely cause is seborrheic dermatitis, and a dermatologist can prescribe apropriate treatment. Until your appointment, I guess, you just use what you have found helpful so far. “All natural” shampoo may be better or not, hard to say. They sell specialized shampoos in pharmacies, you may ask there.

  • JOJO

    there’s a way to cure greasy scalp?
    without the use of chemical shampoo?

  • sonny

    Hi Jan,

    I am 34 year old male and ive had a problem with a spotty/itchy scalp for the last 3 years now.
    It actually feels like something is crawling under my skin as well!

    It all began around the time i became a vegan but don’t really think its diet related as my doctor has also confirmed this.
    I have tried many over the counter shampoos such as T-Gel, Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo, Alphosyl, Selsun which made my long hair fall out.
    I have also tried Ayurvedic shampoos, tablets, tree tea oils, homeopathy pills which have made no difference.

    My doctor after analyzing my scalp placed me on oral antibiotics tetralysal
    which was over a 19 months back and have been taking since then.
    The anti-biotics have made a difference but only seem to suppress the real issue rather than cure my scalp problems as when i stop i feel the same again a week later.

    In February the doctor referred me to a dermatologist after my request.
    The dermatologist was quite rude and stated that he could not treat me as he was not able to find a problem with my scalp, this was because i was taking my antibiotics at that time, but thought he would investigate my scalp.
    I did state to him that i would stop the antibiotics course and go back after a few months to show him.
    But in April i was taken into hospital for a blocked kidney and was on heavy dosages of Augmentin (IV and tablets) which seemed to have eradicated the problem at that time.

    In the last 2 months or so i have had a repeated case of my itchy/scalp flaring up and gets to the point when i feel i want to pull my hair out!
    I have lost my hair due to this issue and has made me feel really depressed as well.

    Like i said I have tried all methods but am feeling like i’m fighting a loosing battle and would be very grateful if you could provide me with any info(i know its hard as your not able to assess my scalp).

    Many thanks

    • Jan Modric


      the fact that antibiotics have helped speak for a bacterial infection, and this could be a scalp infection or infection elsewhere in the body, including a kidney infection. So, you can ask the doctor what was the exact cause of the “blocked kidney”, I mean what exact diagnosis you got at that time. If you currently have an infection that flares up every time you stop antibiotics, than maybe you are not getting appropriate antibiotics or appropriate combination or dose of antibiotics, but also an underlying kidney disorder can be a cause of repeated infections. This is maybe the first thing to solve. An impaired immunity could be another cause – an infectologist or immunologist can make appropriate tests.

      In general, a dermatologist can give a diagnosis if there is any visible rash or other change on the scalp.

  • sonny

    Thanks Jan.

    The prognosis for the kidney infection was unknown but was cleared after a serious of treatments.
    I had a few follow up visits to the hospital and the doctor discharged me stating that my health was fine and were unable to find the exact cause of the kidney problem.

    As to the scalp condition i will once again visit my doctor and ask him how the antibiotics have been working but as soon as the course has finished the problem arises again.

    You mention an infectologist or immunologist, could i request to see them via the doc?


    • Jan Modric


      yes, you can ask for appointments with other specialists via your primary doctor, only I don’t want to encourage you to visit many of them abruptly. I had a thought that this undiagnosed kidney condition could be a cause or at least a part of your problem, since both kidney condition and scalp itch were resolved after antibiotics. A kidney condition can be a constant source of infection, and there are several investigations available to diagnose it. First try to find what official name doctors gave to the “kidney blockage” and what were the consequences (increased level of white blood cells, abnormal urine tests…). Then ask the kidney doctor about investigations that could show eventual anatomic abnormalities or kidney inflammation.

  • sonny


    The doctor at the hospital said i had Pyelonephritis which is more of a infection with a slight blockage.

    But since then the hospital have run two tests on me, a cystoscopy and urodynamic which failed to establish any major issues with my bladder/kidney and i was discharged thereafter.

    But i did have a bout of urine infection 6 weeks after i was discharged from hospital. The doc stated that i may have had a inflammation of the prostate which if it returns again will need to undertake 4 weeks of the Augmentin rather than a 1 week course.

    I have had several scans carried out on my bladder and kidney which failed to indicate any problems in that area so dont know what else can be done.

    I will re-visit my doc this week and mention to him of the problems i have had as i think there is more to it than just prescribing antibiotics. Surely taking antibiotics for over 18 months is not good on the kidney right?

    Thanks for your advice Jan

    • Jan Modric


      the question is why are you getting these urinary tract infections. One cause that came on my mind is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that can cause kidney inflammation and itchy scalp…It is a rheumatic disease, but a kidney doctor should know how to diagnose it.

  • sonny

    Thanks Jan.

    Its all starting to make sense to me now that you mention systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

    I will visit my doctor and ask him for me to refer me to a kidney doc.

    Once again thank you for your advice Jan.

  • SamH92

    Hello there,
    Wouldn’t mind some advice and this problem has been happening for a few days now.
    On the 1st day i had a shower before gym and came out with a red blotchy rash on my forehead and down my nose i didn’t have a clue what it was and got really worried. I used a shampoo before and also used a protein shake which has a whole range of stuff in it. After 20 minutes it had gone so i stopped worrying about it.
    2nd day it was raining really bad on my way back from gym (Thats England for you) and i got home and my head started to itch then the same thing happend again i had redness occur on my forehead. It’s asif something is dropping/running down from my scalp onto my forehead and leaving a mark. While i write this now its 1 in the morning and about to go to bed but my scalp is really itchy and irratating.
    It would be great to find out the problem

    • Jan Modric


      it’s very likely you had an allergic reaction either to shampoo or protein shake or something other you put on your hair. To know which exact substance caused the reaction, you would need to have skin tests done (by allergologist). It’s possible you will have a reaction few more times after your hair get wet.

  • urara

    hi! Jan.
    I asked you about scalp pain and itchy before. so far I went to see 2 Dermatologist and both told me that my scalp is nothing wrong. but 1 Dr told me that I have SD dermatitis like yoususpected .Dr gave me cortisone shampoo. about scalp pain. both Dr told me that it must be from Nerve ploblem.
    I am going to see my Primery care Dr for the nerve plobrem.
    now my question is that is it possible to lose hair because scalp nerve pain?
    I can patiant with the pain, but I am so scarry to if it’s cause hair hair shed a lot but it’s always (since I was teenager) Dr told me that I have good densty of hair. and he strongly told me that I don’t lose hair.
    but I am worry….
    please give me an any advice.

    • Jan Modric


      “nerve pain” could be in a pattern of the back-of-the-head pain (from the neck to the top of the head), or pain behind the ears, or sometimes on one side of the face. There wouldn’t likely be any itch in these cases and, from what I know, no hair loss. There are other possible causes of scalp itch without rash, like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or some other rheumatic disease. If steroids won’t help (you should use topical steroids only for a limited time to prevent scalp skin thinning), you can discuss with a dermatologist about scalp skin biopsy.

  • Jen


    I have very thick hair and have had problems with flaky scalp/dandruff. I have even seen my doctor about it, but she told me to use t-gel, which didn’t really help but the dandruff is only periodically a problem anyway. Head and Shoulders seems to work well, but it is harsh on my hair and it loses its shine. Well, the main reason I am writing is to ask about a circular spot near my ear that I have noticed lately. It is red in the middle and has white flakes or scales around the edges. It is about the size of a quarter. I am worried that it is ringworm. It doesn’t really itch though and is only noticeable to me since my hair is so thick. Since it’s not painful, itchy, or noticeable should I just leave it alone? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    • Jan Modric


      it can be ringworm, (it sounds quite characteristic to me), so I recommend you to visit a dermatologist to get prescribed oral anti-fungal medications. Actually, the itchinnes and dandruff you experience may be related to ringworm as well.

  • vivenne wright-ferguson

    i have itchy scalp whether my hair is clean or not.even when i just finish washing it,when it itches a lot and i scratched it my scalp becomes tender. is there a way you people can help me,because i think my hair is getting thin from the itching.

    • Jan Modric

      vivenne wright-ferguson,

      I suggest you to get your scalp checked by a dermatologist – you could have a seborrheic dermatitis or some other type of inflammation or infection.

  • Jasmine

    Hey, lately for the past few months my scalp has been itching quite a lot. It only itches after a day I wash my hair. I don’t have dandruff and I dont think I have lice either..I’ve been putting tea tree oil into my shampoo but it isn’t helping. I think I have dry scalp, but I’m not so sure…what can I do to stop the itching? D: Also, my scalp is just really white, theres no redness or bumps you think Selsun Blue’s shampoo for dry itchy scalp will help?

    • Jan Modric


      first, maybe you can try to change the shampoo – the one you are using now may irritate your scalp. If you think you have a dry scalp, try to avoid hot water and hot air from a hairdryer.

  • Sarah L

    Hi. I contacted you in June regarding my red and itchy scalp. Since then I had a severe outbreak of what appeared to be seborrheic dermatitis, with large greasy looking scales and increased hair loss. I went to my doctor and I was told to wash my hair twice a week for a month with Nizoral shampoo. I was also using a steroid application once a day for the itchiness. However, this did not work and I went to see another doctor. They diagnosed me with a fungal infection and have put me on oral anti fungal medicine for a month, with the possibility of increasing that if the infection does not appear to be clearing up. The doctor said her diagnosis was based on the appearance of my scalp, the fact that I got what appeared to be a fungal infection on my finger (possibly from scratching my head), the fact that my boyfriend and I appeared to be passing the infection between us (seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious) and the fact that the steroid application had not helped me, but in fact appeared to “dampen” the infection in the short term, but then caused it to come back even worse. Based on this, are you happy with her diagnosis? Furthermore, I have been on the anti fungal medicine for a week today, but there does not appear to be much improvement, except perhaps the itchiness is a little improved. Would you say that a delayed reaction to the medication is to be expected, and is not a sign that I have been mis diagnosed again? Thank you for you help.

    • Jan Modric

      Sarah L

      to answer this I would need to have some experience in dermatologoy, which I don’t, so you may ask the doctor by phone about this. I guess he/she may advice you to try antifungal drugs for another week, which sounds reasonable to me. Even if fungi are getting killed, they are probably still skin scales on your scalp…If there will be no improvement after another week, you may ask for a scalp skin biopsy, which should reveal the type of disorder. A complete treatment course for fungi usually lasts for 4-6 weeks, though.

  • josh

    can i ask for your opinion on reviving, or even to the extend of creating new hair folicles?
    only method that came to mind was hair transplant. but that’s why too off the chart.
    i don’t know if my hair is thinning, i went to a dermentologist, he said there’s nothing wrong? and it’s a phrase in life. but somehow i don’t want to be patronized that way.
    do you have any advice?

    • Jan Modric


      it’s a kind of rule among dermatologists, if they don’t see any change on the skin or hair or nails, they won’t start with any treatment. I’m not familiar with a hair regrowth methods in natural hair thinning.

  • Jasmine

    I’ve been alternating between three different shampoos but the itch is still there, I dont think it is because my scalp is irritated..I dont know how to get the itching to stop. Will rubbbing baby oil on the scalp help? and would I need to see a dermatologist about this or just my family doctor? Also, I noticed my scalp is VERY white, in comparison to my face that normal?

    • Jan Modric


      in white people, white scalp, if equally white, is normal – you can check someone’s other scalp…Maybe you can try some “mild” or “pH neutral” or baby shampoo. Baby oil could help in a dry scalp. A dermatologist might not know to help you if there is no visible rash or redness or scaling on the scalp (which I don’t know, if it is or not). An experienced hairdresser may be able to say if your scalp is dry or not.

  • foca linda6

    I am a 26 year old female with long thick hair. About 5 months ago i started having itchy scalp problems. about 2-3 months ago I noticed a thinning of my hair in the front, then i noticed some spots on my head that were itchy and were bald spots but not completely bald because there are very short spiky hair there. I thought when i first started itching that it was dandruff or psoriasis so i went to see my doctor and he gave me nizoral shampoo to use and a steroid shot. At first the itching went away but a week or so later i started itching again. I am still having trouble with extreme itching and the “bald spots” are more and have spread to a few more areas on my head. It is very itchy almost all the time and my hair is very dry and brittle, and the hair in the blad spots has not grown back yet.

    • Jan Modric

      foca linda6,

      I recommend you to visit a dermatologist. It may be a scalp ringworm, for example (treatment is by prescribed oral anti-fungal medications).

  • faffy

    I have thick hair but since using a hairdressers once a week sometimes twice, I’ve noticed that my scalp by 2nd/3rd day starts to feel as though it’s covered in sand. It’s not itcy and my hubby has checked for lice and there’s nothing. I do colour my hair every couple of months and I guess a lot of heat is used to style my hair, could this have anything to do with the sand-feel effect?

    • Jan Modric


      if your hair gets sandy after visiting hairdresser it may be related to some substance used there, maybe in combination with heat. Skipping some visits may reveal, if it is hairdresser related.

  • mythanh

    hey just recently about 2 months ago my scalp started to itch and i thought it was because the shampoo i used. but now that i change shampoo the itching continues. its not my whole scalp just like on the top sides and at the bottom my scalp. little scabes start to form and everytime i scratch that spot or touch its really greasy or oily like a puss is coming out. can you give me some advice to how i can treat it. thanks

    • Jan Modric


      it could be a seborrheic dermatitis or some other scalp disorder – a dermatologist can give you the exact diagnosis and treatment.

  • mythanh

    also everytime i scratch my scalp.. theres flakes and theyre a good size too not the small ones

  • Tiffgoss27

    My daughter is three…I am stuck!!! She currently has these raised bumps on the center of her scalp. They are painful she says and they leak pus and blood. There is hair loss in the area. They are sometimes itchy but mostly painful…they scab up every couple of days but if you wipe the scab off they ooze pus and bleed again….The doct has her on the ring worm medication by mouth as well as a anti-infective and a anit-infective ointment for the scalp…these are not working..any reoccmendations???

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can take a sample of the oozing fluid and send it to laboratory – on basis on that he/she can prescribe an appropriate medication. Pus is more likely from a bacterial than fungal infection.

  • ubobbitt

    I have a really itchy scalp. It’s so bad that I have put sores on my scalp from scratching so much. It it itches primarily on the top of my head. It seems my scalp is always dry and whenever I put something on my scalp like a cream or oil or something the itching gets worse. The more I scratch the more flakes there are. What can I do? After my hair is washed it stops itching for a day or two the the itching slowly comes back and gets worse over time.

    • Jan Modric


      common causes of itcy scalp with flakes are seborrheic dermatitis and scalp ringworm – a dermatologist can give you the exact diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

  • bili

    Hi, I need your expertise!! My problem is that I have some really dry patchy scalp on my head. It’s so dry and the hair adjacent to that area somehow get suck into it. The best way I can describe it is that like there is some kind of glue that holds down my hair in that area flatly, making it looks like a road. Over time, the skin becomes hard or really hard and peel off easily and take a truck of my hair with it. It’s not so itchy but it does sometimes when I think the scalp grows back (new skin grows?)

    So my hair is thinning out badly and I have no idea how I got this. I’m a male and asian, 23 years of age.

    Any suggestions is hugely appreciated.

    Thank in advanced.

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can take a sample of your scalp and investigate it under the microscope. This way you can get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  • deni

    hi i have tiny spots on my scalp that are ichy all the time, there is no lice or eggs and the itching is driving me crazy. i have no idea what it could be i used the same shampoo before the spots arrived so it cant be that.

    • Jan Modric


      are the spots like red bumps? Are they one by one, or in patches?

  • Metalarms

    I have had thick hair for a long time, and it could grow long and think im a male 19 and my hair and scalp has been irritaed and itcy as if some things moving in or on my scalp and its like itchyish, NO LICE, TONS OF PEOPLE AND ADULTS looked nothing but reddish scalp an no flakes, wore a black shirt intentionally and none fell off or was noticed, ive noticed it being itchy on the top back of my head and its starting to kinda spread around, and it stared on my part, ive had this for a few months and its thinning, and like someone said before hairs falling out and what not wen I shower i get at least 20 hairs in my hands from washing a day, and just shaking my hair at lest 1 or 2 will fall out, and its straight brown hair, whe I pull my hair back or put my fingers through it, its irritated and feels not painfully but unconfortable, and tender? I can seee alot of my scalp afeter the shower and i used to not beable to, its actaullly getting really scary and im going to the doctor, i mean when its dry it looks thicker but not like it was when i didnt itch and what not, i can see trough my hair sometimes and see my scalp even after drying neear my part and near areas that dont even part, and i do the swishy flip hair style, no products, no straighting, wha do you think I have and its like somthings moving my hair, r on my head, but theres no lice, irritated and hair loss and now its just kinda spreading, no flakes, help me please!

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can, after examination, judge, if you have a fungal infection, seborrheic dermatitis or something other.

  • jj


    for the past 6 months I’ve had an extreamly itchy scalp, no lice, no dandruff. It itches constantly and I scratch so had sometimes that I get scabs from scratching. Also my body in general has been very itchy and sensitive to any tight clothing, even my under garments cause extreame itching looks like I get slashed by a cat or something, bumpy and very itchy. Even when I just sit down on any chair my skin, I get hive like bumps. I’ve changed my fabric detergent tried them all and no difference in any. What should I do?

    • Jan Modric


      if you have a rash, like hives (pinkish bumps or patches without openings) it is probably some sort of allergy, including food allergy. In this case antihistamine pills might help you. An allergologist may perform skin tests to confirm/exclude allergies to various substances.

  • ashebir

    i loss my hair because of wax dredding crame now my hair is gone i want to rewaynding my hair please tell me the solution

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can give you a diagnosis and tell you what can be done.

  • nana

    hi, my husband is suffering from an itchy scalp..but his scalp is dry with only a little bit of dandruff..there are no redness,hives except a thin dandruff here n there…can u pls help..the condition sometime can get severe n he will scratch his head like crazy…

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can say if the cause can be determined on the basis of the dandruff.

  • need help

    I’m currently overseas. I have been having trouble with my scalp for the last few months. I have enlarged lymph nodes behind my ears and also on my neck. I also have other sore bumps on my head. My head is very itchy and flaky and sometimes weepy. Does this sound like ringworm? I haven’t noticed any hair loss. Many of the children around here have ringworm, so I thought it might be a possibility. When I take antibiotics it seems to clear up a bit and the lymph nodes go down, but it immediately flares back up again when I quit. Thanks for any advice.

    • Jan Modric

      need help,

      enlarge lymph nodes can occur in ringworm, but also in bacterial infections. I strongly recommend you to visit a doctor to get an exact diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  • joshua

    my doctor prescribed me a minoxidil 2%.
    i THINK my hair is thinning but i don’t know if i should use it, i’m afraid i gave a subjective view to him now.
    can i ask. what if i do not actually have any hair loss problem, but use the product. will there be side effects?
    i bought the product for 2weeks and have not touched it yet.
    PLS ADVICE 🙂 thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      I’m not aware of any product that would help in hair growth in an otherwise healthy scalp. Possible side effects should be mentioned on the product information leaflet.

  • nturner12001

    My scalp has been really itchy and when I strach it a lot it leaks a clear juicy liquid and around my face is breaking out. What could this be.

    • Jan Modric


      it could be a seborrheic dermatitis, or folliculitis, for example – a dermatologist may give you an exact diagnosis and appropriate medications.

  • shorty22

    hi, i am a 22 year old female. For as long as i can remember i have had an itchy scalp. About 2 days after washing my hair the itch returns. I get big flakes. I have tried a lot of OTC dandruff shampoos and creams, which help for a while and as soon as i stop the itching returns. Recently i was using a sulphur based cream which helped but doesn’t seem to work any more. I have never been to a dermatologist. Please help

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can say if it is seborrheic dermatitis or something other and prescribe you appropriate medications.

  • adelaide

    Your site is very helpful! I am a 71 year old female who’s always had fine, thin hair. (genetic) Two years ago I had triple bypass and valve replacement surgery. The list of meds I was taking would choke a horse – primarily Premarin which they’ve just taken me off of. A year ago, I passed out for the first time in my life and hit my head very hard on a tile floor – spent five days in the hospital under observation, acting like some kind of looney! At that time, they changed all my post-surgical meds and I started feeling better. Not too long after that incident, I started getting an itchy, scaley scalp and after a couple of months my hair started falling out, particularly in front of my ears at my hair line and where I’d hit my head on the floor. I have an internist whom I trust completely and am being treated for a fungus infection. My major question is, will my hair grow back out after the fungus is cured or am I doomed to a life of wigs? Please help me with any other thoughts – I’m having nightmares about going bald. HHT

    • Jan Modric


      hair usually (except in certain severe cases) grows back after the fungal infection of the scalp is healed. This may take some weeks, maybe two months. If by any chance, anti-fungal medications will not work, you can ask a dermatologist to give you the exact diagnosis. If it is fungus, the question is where did you get it. It could be from antibiotics or corticosteroids, or by simply contracting it from someone other.

  • cnatasha44

    I have itchy round patches in the creases of my nose the crown of my head and behind my ear also on my scalp my hair has been falling out and I cant help but scratch when it itches do you think that it will grow back and also is there some kind of medicine I can take to get rid of it thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      in case you have a fungal infection, prescribed oral antifungal medications will likely help you.

  • bgadmad

    Hi Jan

    My scalp has been itching for the past two years and i have lost a bunch of hair and right before this happened I had some major surgery on my eye. I read that you could loose hair because of stress but i really want my head to stop itching, there is no dandruff on my head, just itches. im 21
    Please save me Jan 🙂

    • Jan Modric


      I don’t know. You may ask the surgeon. Also, is it really an itch (which triggers the desire to scratch), or is it tingling or burning feeling?

  • red flower

    i got dark patches on my scalp it is like keratosis
    not itching
    partial hair loss in that areas
    flat and superfescial

    • Jan Modric

      red flower,

      I strongly recommend you to visit a dermatologist, who can check if is it melanoma or other serious disease.

  • nadeem

    I’m 45 and currently overseas. I have been having trouble with my scalp for the last few months. I have enlarged lymph nodes behind my ears and also on my legs. I also have other sore bumps on my head. My head is very dry itchy and flaky. I have hair loss. i am already under treatment with dernatologist, she said this is scalp psoraisis. i used steroid last 5 Weeks but not worked. to much iching specialy night or sleeping time, please advice what should i stop in food.and what type of shampoo, about 5 type medicated and many anti dandruff shampoo i tried. Thanks for any advice.

    • Jan Modric


      it’s a dermatologist who can prescribe you appropriate treatment according to the exact type of psoriasis. Exposure to sun may help in certain types of psoriasis, but I can’t really say what would help in your case. I’m not sure if any over-the-counter medication or shampoo ca help. You can ask the dermatologist about eventual additional fungal infection or other skin disorder.

  • maxine

    Hi I have a really itchy scalp with scabs here and there. I have thick dry curly hair and easily irritaded skin.I wet my hair slightly every morning then tigh it back. I am in early high school. Dandruff realy annoys me and fall every time I scratch. I started getting dandruff after I had a medium bout of lice- to which I have cured. I wash my hair every 5 day using normal shampoo, then dandruff shampoo and conditioner. What should I do?

    • Jan Modric


      pus speaks for an infection – I can’t say fungal or bacterial, and I don’t know if any over-the-counter medication could help, so I recommend you to visit a dermatologist.

  • maxine

    oh, sorry! that sounded really rude! 😛 haha it would be good if you could please help me! Thanks for any advice 😉

  • maxine

    I am sorry to bother you again but everyone else has put on copius amount of information. Before I go my hair cut my scabs were weeping and there was pus leaking from them. It has gotten a bit better now. at first the pus scabs were at the back of my head but now they have subsided and I can feel some more scabs reappearing higher up on my scalp. (:??

  • john

    Up until a month ago, i was least bothered about hair fall.But suddenly I started losing lots of hair, and the scalp seems to be itchy especially in the back. I had been using a helmet everyday for 2 months and had shifted temporarily to a new place. So I thought water or helmet. But I am back home now for 2 weeks and hair loss is still there. I cut my hair from medium to real short. My hairline seems to have receded noticeably from the sides but then again I am losing hair from all over. Have no heritage of hair loss. I am 22yrs so it really seems strange. Upon a consult, the derm said it was because of my fever I had 2 months ago, but what puzzles me is that I have had fever before, why now? Mind you, during the fever, my tonsils got a bit inflamed which usually doesnt happen but that wasn’t mentioned to the doc. All I know is that the floor of my room is littered with hair strands!..sigh!(Oh,fyi, the itching is concentrated at a particular part in the back of my head, apart from the few itching here and there)
    Pleeeeeeease, any help would be nice, thank you!

    • Jan Modric


      have you had any hair loss *before* using a helmet, fever and moving the place? Without finding any rash on the scalp skin, a dermatologist can hardly find the cause of the hair loss. Tonsils inflammation could have something with it; appropriate blood tests ordered by an infectologist could reveal an underlying cause.

  • WC

    Hi Jon,

    I am currently 19 years old. I have had an itchy scalp for quite some time and hair is also oily. I have been losing hair as well. The itch is terrible sometimes but it is not always present. I went to the pharmacy and they introduced me a medicated shampoo (Stieprox). I have been using it for almost a month now and the itching still comes back once in a while. Oil on my hair has decreased significantly and i have been washing my hair with the shampoo everyday. Help would be much appreciated. I have been losing quite a lot of hair.

    Thank you

    • Jan Modric


      Stieprox (which is an antifungal shampoo) helping you speaks for a fungal infection. Prescribed (by a dermatologist) oral antifungal medications would be likely more effective.

  • WC

    Hi Jon,

    Its me again. I have also forgotten to mention that my scalp is not reddish at all. It just looks like normal scalp but its very itchy. It gets oily if i dont wash my head twice a day. Is it still a fungal infection? Thanks for your prompt reply

    Thank you

    • Jan Modric


      it ca be seborrheic dermatitis. Fungal infection or fungal overgrowth may be a cause or a result of seborrheic dermatitis, so this could explain why antifungal shampoo has helped you. Without knowing the exact cause I can’t recommend you any specific remedy, but a dermatologist may give you a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  • WC

    Sorry for double messages. I forgot to mention that the pharmacist did not look at my scalp at all. She just recommended a product that she thinks would probably cure my scalp problem. Thanks Jon for your great help

  • Swimmer

    I am a competitive swimmer and my hair and scalp are always wet or damp – especially in the back of my head. A few months ago my scalp started getting itchy. sometimes it is so bad that I brake the skin scratching it in my sleep and scabs form. the itchiness lessens sometimes, but it pretty much always there to some degree. now that the weather is getting colder, i notice flaking when i scratch my head. any suggestions? PS keeping my hair and scalp dry is not an option. Thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      one possibility is a fungal infection. Antifungal shampoos are available in pharmacies without prescription, but prescribed oral drugs are more effective. It is a dermatologist who can give you a diagnosis, though.

  • Gill M

    My head itches in certain spots that come and go and there are little red bumps in the areas that are most commonly itchy and that I sometimes have to scratch. There is also a bit of flaking when I scratch it too.

    Please reply.


    • Jan Modric


      red itchy bumps on the scalp could be from folliculitis – a staphylococcal infection of the hair follicles. I can’t exclude seborrheic dermatitis, fungal infection or other disorders, though. A dermatologist may give you a diagnosis.

  • jan-jan

    i have itchy scalp , pain in my skin of scalp . hair loss and dandruff
    i make fungus culture
    it showed that
    many antler hyphae Microsporum canis
    without macrocondis and not seen microcondia mixed with mucor sporangium containg sporangiaspores

    i would ask you
    is mucor sporangium (containg sporangiaspores) presenting normaly in any scalp or it is pathogenic and must be
    which anti funagal is useful and more strong for treatment m canis (itraconazole or griseofulvin)

    my weight 90 kg

    thank you

    • Jan Modric


      Microsporum canis can be contracted from dogs. Mucor fungi are usually not normally present on the scalp, but several species exist, so I’m not sure. Even fungi that are normally present on the scalp may overgrow and have to be treated. Appropriate antifungal drugs are often listed in the comments below laboratory results, and if not, a dermatologist can tell which one to use.

  • jan-jan

    thank you very much

    One year ago , i had bred rabbits in my house.
    and my rabbits were infected by fungal infection in her skin
    and this fungal infection was transmitted to me on skin of my scalp

    3months ago i had treated unsuccessfully with itraconazole 200 mg /day for five weeks and there are no improvement in my skin of the scalp and the fungus culture
    is positive and i stopped itraconazole
    i would like to ask you

    if i change itraconazole to griseofulvin
    is the griseofulvin effective in M canis after taken itraconazole ????

    please answer me

    thank you

    • Jan Modric


      Griseofulvin (by mouth) is considered as the first choise antifungal medication for treatment M.canis, but is not available in all countries. I can’t say if it will be effective in your case and if it will be effective against eventual other pathogenic fungi you might have. This is a prescription drug, so you can discuss with the doctor about using it.

  • Aluysion


    I have an all over itchy scalp in which little flakes of dandruff come off, but also behind the ears and on the nape of my neck, there is scaly-ish itchy skin that keeps reoccurring and turns red and burns mildly with the irritation Also there is a tiny red bump, much like the small patch and it regrows a piece of scaly skin that itches and feels like a scab, but if it comes off (which I can’t help because it itches and I scratch it) it’s just a small scale of skin, usually with a red dot or two (I itch a lot, it probably bleeds a little, but only on the bump, the other patch of itchy-ness doesn’t bleed, just scales come off) – Do you have any idea what this could be? I’ve looked at it being scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, and it doesn’t seem to quite fit either of those – Also, there is no hair loss and I’ve tried strong anti-dandruff shampoos and they don’t help. I wash my hair regularly and use shampoo and conditioner for dry hair, but nothing is really helping. Any ideas or thoughts on what it might be and how to treat it will be much appreciated. 🙂

    • Jan Modric


      it could be a fungal infection (scalp ringworm), which is treated with prescribed oral antifungal medications taken for several weeks. A dermatologist can give you a diagnosis and prescribe you appropriate medication.

  • Anoynomous

    My scalp is super itchy at night and a little bit during the day. I can’t sleep!
    No nits by the way. & im losing heaps of hair. What do i have? 🙁

    • Jan Modric


      I don’t know. A fungal infection (scalp ringworm) may cause both itch and hair loss. A dermatologist may give you a diagnosis after examining your scalp.

  • jan-jan

    Hi doctor
    thank you very much
    ultra-griseofulvin is available in my country , i would like to ask you
    +What is the dosage of ultragriseofulvin for my lesion to treatment chronic M canis ????
    ( my weight 90 kg )

    pleas answer me
    many thanks for you

    • Jan Modric


      I’m not a doctor, and I can not recommend you any particular treatment or dosage. A dermatologist should know the exact dose. I can only say that treatment usually lasts for 6-8 weeks.

      You can search online for “griseofulvin tinea capitis” (Tinea capitis is a collective term for scalp fungi).

  • jan-jan

    +thank you

    i would like to ask you
    about probability presenting ( mucor sporangium contianing sporangiaspores) in my culture as contamination by air or sterilization was not good when the culture was in incubator ????

    please answer me
    thank you

    • Jan Modric


      It sounds to me that your scalp is infected with both Microsporum canis and a certain species of Mucor fungi (which form sporangia – these are parts of fungi and not a species), so this is probably not a question of contamination of the culture. Mucor fungi on the human scalp are quite rare, and I can’t say if they are causing any symptoms in your case, and if they are, I don’t know, if griseofulvin would effectively eradicate them. A dermatologist may answer this.

  • jan-jan

    Thank you very much

    +i will repeat the fungus culture to make certain presenting mucor sporangia or not ???
    if the second culture i will do shows that no growth of mucor ,that shows certain 1 do not have any mucor .
    again ,,
    i have some questions ..
    1-Do you advice me to repeat fungus culture ???
    2-How many culture should i do to make certain about presenting or not presenting mucor in the skin of my scalp
    once , tow or three)???
    3-How many days between culture and culture???

    please answer me
    Jesus bless you
    thank you

    • Jan Modric


      Mucor fungi are rare in human, so I recommend you to speak with a dermatologist or a person who performed the laboratory test about what exactly the results mean and what to do. I doubt it could be a contamination, but I can’t exclude anything.

  • jan-jan

    thank you

    so , do you advice me to repeat the culture or not ????

    thank you sir

    • Jan Modric


      from the information you provided I think you may be infected with both Microsporum canis and Mucor fungi. But this is just my though and I do not claim this and cannot prove it. So my personal opinion is that it is not likely a contamination of the culture. But all these are very specific questions and it is only a specialist (dermatologist) or a laboratory technician who performed the test who can answer them. So, before asking for a new test, I recommend you to speak with a dermatologist, who will decide if a culture should be done again or not.

  • jan-jan


    what do you mean above about ((It sounds to me that your scalp is infected with both Microsporum canis and a certain species of Mucor fungi (which form sporangia – these are parts of fungi and not a species),so this is probably not a question of contamination of the culture.))
    Do you mean mucor is contamination in the culture ???

    please answer me

  • jrob1403

    I’m not sure which of the above that I have, I feel that it may be a combination of several. I have had dermatitis in the past, while i was growing up- and my dermatologist gave me a special shampoo to apply onto my scalp on dry hair. I believe it has come back, however, it is itchier in certain spots (which I don’t remember it being itchy when I was younger), and it sometimes gets a bit inflamed (so my mom has told me when I have asked her to check my head). The inflammation goes away, as well as the itching sometimes, but the big problem now is that now my hair is falling out. I have large clumps in the drain after I shower, and when I run my fingers gently through my hair, I collect a small clump. I have never had this happen before. My diet has not changed, I’m on the same medication I have been on for 2 1/2-3 years now, and my stress level, although spiked recently due to finals, has never effected my hair this was in the past 3 1/2 years that I’ve been in college. Any idea on what it could be?

    Also, I’m scheduled for a keratin treatment for my hair this friday, I’m planning on calling my doctor to try to schedule an appointment before then, but if I cannot get one in, would it be wise to cancel it? I don’t want to aggravate it any further. The treatment is called the Global Keratin hair treatment- supposedly all natural, with no formaldehyde, by the way.

    Thanks for your time.

    • Jan Modric


      I believe you might need to get a diagnosis from a dermatologist before starting with treatment. Itch at certain spots and patchy (?) loss of the hair could be from a fungal infection (scalp ringworm), which is treated by prescribed oral antifungal medications. You could also have a seborrheic dermatitis, but a dermatologist can tell.

  • bgadmad

    in reply to (I don’t know. You may ask the surgeon. Also, is it really an itch (which triggers the desire to scratch), or is it tingling or burning feeling?)

    its a tingling feeling. Thank you 🙂

    • Jan Modric


      tingling more likely arises from a nerve disorder, especially if it is limited to the side, where of the head where surgery has been done. In this case, a neurologist might know what is the problem.

  • Igraine

    I used to wash my hair everyday and never had any problems. My stylist told me that this is not good for my hair, so I started washing it every other day. Soon after my scalp started itching and I would notice scabs on my head that I’d pick off when scratching. I don’t really notice dandruff, but the itching is intense. I guess the obvious solution would be to just wash my hair everyday, but that doesn’t seem normal and is inconvenient in the winter. Any idea what might be wrong. I do have oily skin and can assume that I have an oily scalp, but I have fine, yet thick hair. I also have had a problem with massive hair loss, but my hair is not thin. It just comes out in hand fulls in the shower. I do not have any balding.

    • Jan Modric


      oily hair and scabs may speak for a seborrheic dermatitis which may be a cause or a result of a fungal infection. I recommend you to visit a dermatologist – who will want to see the scabs, so do not remove them before visiting him/her.

  • jan-jan

    Dr jan how are you .
    I repeated the fungus culture
    And it showed that
    The growth of culture :creamy ,powdery with radiating hyphae .Reverse yellow to brown
    The comment of culture : several macroconidia of Microsporum gypseum

    Previously , the first fungus culture for me showed that Microsporum canis mixed with Mucor sporangium containing sporangiaspores
    I would like to ask you some questiones for you

    ((whereon the second culture which showed M gypseum ))

    1-Is the Mucor in the frist culture as contamination ???
    2-Why did the fungi M canis changed to M gypseum ???
    3-what is the best oral antifungal eradicated chronic M gypseum tinea capitis (comment : 4 month ago i had treated with itraconazole without any improvement )???
    Please answer me
    +Jesus bless you
    Thank you

    • Jan Modric


      I’m not a doctor. It is a dermatologist who should be able to explain the results of the microbiological tests and prescribe you appropriate medication.

  • jan-jan

    please sir
    answer me about
    1-Is the Mucor in the first culture as contamination ???
    2-Why did the fungi M canis changed to M gypseum ???
    3-what is the best oral antifungal eradicated chronic M gypseum tinea capitis


    • Jan Modric


      I don’t know how the samples from your scalp were taken and tested, so I can’t say is it a contamination or not. Theoretically you could have all three types of the fungi on the scalp, and it’s possible that not all three were picked up with the samples for both tests. This could explain differences in tests results. It is a person from the laboratory or a dermatologist who could explain this issue. In general, griseofulvin is a first choice treatment for various types of dermatophytic fungi, such as M. canis and M. gypseum, but it is a dermatologist who should decide which medication to use.

  • jan-jan

    sir thanks
    i have question for you ( this question may be useful to the others people )
    which is the best method to make best fungus culture ???
    1-hair plucked
    2-scraping scales
    3-toothbrush (massage the scalp by toothbrush

    God bless you

    • Jan Modric


      this is a question for a professional microbiologist.

  • jan-jan

    thank you sir

    last question
    in chronic lesion of tinea capitis microsporum canis or Microsporum gypseum
    what is the dosage in your personal opinion for adult man (90 kg)

    A-Griseofuvin(ultreamicrosize)500 mg/ day
    B-Griseofuvin(ultreamicrosize)625 mg/ day
    c-Griseofuvin(ultreamicrosize)750 mg/ day
    c-Griseofuvin(ultreamicrosize)1000 mg/day

    i want your personal opinion .for adult man the weight 90 kg

    • Jan Modric


      doses are probably mentioned on specific internet sites. In practice they are prescribed from case to case.

  • jan-jan

    i searched several days in the net about the dosage for adult with out any advantage,there are not any information about the dosage of griseofulvin microfine for adult but many articles speak about the dosage for children .

    Can you tell me about the dosage of griseofulvin microfine for case man (90 kg )to treatment M gypseum or m canis ???

    i want your personal opinion .
    please answer me

    • Jan Modric


      according to

      Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Capitis:

      – Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses
      – Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

      This is not my opinion or recommendation, but the information from . I don’t know if this is appropriate or safe dose for you, and I don’t know if it will help you or not. It is a dermatologist who can decide about the dose used.

  • jan-jan

    thank you sir
    but i have question (Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses)

    but i think this dosage for treatment tinea capitis caused by Trichophyton spp.

    What is the dosage for Microsporum spp
    eg( M canis or M gypseum )??//

    • Jan Modric


      Griseofulvin 330-375 mg ultramicrosize = 500-1000 mg microsize by mouth in single or divided daily doses can successfully treat most cases of Tinea capitis, but treatment of M. canis may last for more than 8 weeks.

  • Rufus

    I have this problem since i was in college. I have head, behind the ear, nose and eyebrow flaking. I really don’t know whats the cause. at first i think it was dandruff. But now it grows on my back. Can you guys help me what to do? any cure for this? please email the answer to me at EDIT by Jan Modric: we do not answer by mail

    I real need your help guys. thanks in advance.

    • Jan Modric


      flaking on the scalp, face and trunk may be due to seborrheic dermatitis. A dermatologist can confirm diagnosis.

  • jan-jan

    many thanks

  • HannahLees

    Hi, i’ve read this article but abit stuck on the lice egg. I’ve been itching for several months now and it’s becoming the bane of me. I’ve tried the new anti itch anti dandruff shampoo and contitioner and T-Gel and other brands. When i feel through my scalp i feel hard sort of dandruff looking small white things and spots that are sore. I was wondering if they were egss, but i havn’t had lice in a long time and still haven’t, i wondered if you can help. Thanks, Hannah.

    • Jan Modric


      it sounds more like seborrheic dermatitis than lice to me. A dermatologist can give you a diagnosis.

  • HannahLees

    Hannah again, also when i wash my hair, strands after strands of hair fall out..please help!!

  • Zara bebe

    randomly, i found my back head aread of hair/scalp is oily, causing my hair of that area is oily. May i know what causes that? Or any symptoms of any hair scalp illness? Please advice!

    • Jan Modric

      Zara bebe,

      oily scalp may be due to a seborrheic dermatitis, but a dermatologist can give you a diagnosis.

  • Zara bebe

    But it only happened occasionally. Once in a while, that back head area will be oily. but after awhile, it’ll gone. please help!

  • jan-jan

    Hi sir
    many of Doctor say that(tinea capitis
    do not occur in adult or tinea capitis can not infect the adult and it infect the children only …
    so i have question for you
    in your personal opinion .
    can tinea capitis infect the adult???

    • Jan Modric


      Tinea capitis is more rare in adults than in children, but it is possible. You can search for “tinea capitis adults” online and you will find some explanation.

  • mill

    Can dandruff just be a stage in puberty.

    • Jan Modric


      in puberty, excessive dandruff would be likely accompanied with oily scalp and maybe acne, since oil glands may be overly stimulated by sex hormones. Anti-dandruff shampoos may help in this case.

  • concernedmomof2

    my four year old son has very yellowish scaley scalp, its not itchy andf doesnt seem to bother him and it is localized just on the front part of his head, it almost looks like cradles cap. is it still possible for him to have this and what can i do??

    • Jan Modric


      a pediatrician or dermatologist may make a diagnosis. It could be seborrheic dermatitis or fungal infection (scalp ringworm) for example.

  • Ramon

    I have had an itchy scalp for the last 2 years, before that it had generally been fine. Now my scalp itches almost all the time and worsens when I wash my hair (about 3 tines per week) I have tried using shampoo for dandruff and it worsens the flaking and itching. My co-worker suggested baby shampoo because I might have a sensitive scalp and I bought a bottle of Johnson’s baby shampoo but when I use it my scalp itches more. I’ve experimented with handsoap, body wash and several brands of dandruff shampoo and have found that even water worsens the itching. Do you have any idea what could be causing this?

    • Jan Modric


      without any visible rash it’s hard to think what could be the cause. Excessive dandruff could speak for seborrheic dermatitis. If you can find any rash or scales or redness on the scalp, a dermatologist could give you a diagnosis. Trying washing hair more often or more rarely and avoiding hot water and hair dryer might help. You might get an idea about the cause by thinking what has changed in your life two years ago (diet, stress, environment…).

  • jhin

    hi ive recently noticed that in my head i have a small part where i dont have any hair it does not itch but its a little red and its a bump its not big can someone tell me what it is? now i dont have insurance therefore no doctor will a dermatologist appointment be expensive if i where to go and try to make an appointment or if it is the ring worm can i get the medication without a prescription?

    • Jan Modric


      I cannot recommend you any medications for ringworm since I don’t know if this is what you have. Seborrheic dermatitis, alopecia areata (localized hair loss), staphyococcal infection are few possible causes. You can call some dermatologists to find out what would be the price for the appointment.

  • jan-jan

    is a medication contain( amoxicillin + clavulanic acid) effective for treatment
    staphyococcal infection in the skin of scalp ???
    i want your personal opinion

    jesus bless you

    • Jan Modric


      it is a test needed to determine the specific subtype of staphylococci and additional test to find out to which exact antibiotic the bacteria are sensitive. I do not intend to further answer your questions.

  • Ase

    I need your help. Its been two to three months i m taking tablets for hair loss on back of head and there is no good results. At start it was itching, my hair were coming in hand with some dry skin. now that is just like face smooth skin and no regrowth of hair at that part. Right now my doctor is given me lotion to apply, its name “MINOKEM %2”, Along with tablets. But there is no use of it, no change since i m taking it from last 8-9 days. Please help me out.

    • Jan Modric


      to my knowledge there are no tablets or other preparations that would treat genetically determined hair loss (hair loss in otherwise healthy people). I have not found a single .edu or .gov website that would even mention minokem. It is a dermatologist who can judge if you have some skin or hair disorder, though.

  • concern4hair&scalp

    I have a concern that is dealing with my scalp and hair. I started noticing I was getting hair loss in the back of my head, which I thought was normal. Then this spot began to itch so much it started to spread and now a bald spot is in the back of the head and the front. When I look at the spots they look as though they have rings around them. The center is clear, but around them a ring. As I look closer there are three smaller spots that are clear in the larger spot covering it. Sometimes itching seems to move and it feel like something is crawling. I wash my hair and the itching stops at times, but after a few days it starts back again. I’m not sure if these areas need more treatment. Can you please advise? I have been putting Blue star ointment on it. It helped some, but the scalp is itchy than normal. Don’t want to lose my hair.

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist can give you a diagnosis. Without knowing what is it, you can hardly treat it properly. A ringworm is one possible cause.

  • Dan

    I have an itchy/burning/painful scalp problem on the right side of my head from top of forehead into the scalp, an inch or two and into the temple. The hair on that side is receding and thinning, but the left looks and feels fine – no thinning or receding hairline.

    I’m a 49 year old male, no health problems & taking no medications, except for occasional ibuprofen for sinus headache.

    My skin doc can see no problem – he brushed off as “stress.” No dandruff, redness, ringworm, etc. This has been going on for several years now, and some days are definitely worse than others. The difference side-to-side is pretty clear.

    Do you have any idea what is going on?

    • Jan Modric


      I’m not sure how experienced your dermatologist is, and if he/she has really excluded all possible dermatological causes. Non dermatological causes can include an inflammation of the temporal artery (temporal arteritis), or maybe some neurological problem. I can’t say what could be the optimal option for you: to see another dermatologist or to see a rheumatologist who can diagnose temporal arteritis, or a doctor ho deals with arteries, or a neurologist.

  • Annie

    Hi, I suffered from an eating disorder last year, during which i dropped a significant amount of weight in the course of a few months. A few weeks after I began eating normally again, my hair began to fall out by the handfuls. It is still falling out six months later and lately I have been noticing rounded lumps of dead skin on my scalp. It isn’t like normal dandruff in the fact that it does not flake off but stays clumped on my scalp. Is it possible that their is any connection between the hair shedding/regrowth and the dead skin? I have looked into it and think it might be seborrheic dermatitis, but I’m not positive.

    • Jan Modric


      seborrheic dermatitis and scalp ringworm (fungal infection) are two common causes of a patchy hair loss, but it is a dermatologist who can give you a correct diagnosis and treatment.

  • sophie

    Hi, for the past few months I’ve been picking at my head. This happened before. It was just one spot and it bleed. It soon stopped and healed. I have began doing this ont he top of my head again and I need help stopping it.
    I also noticed for about 3-4 months under my bangs, i’ve been getting dandruf. I’ve been itching it and sometimes peeling off pieces of the dry skin. It’s becoming red from bleeding after I do that. I’m not sure if it has to do with the cold weather and dry air from the heat inside, but it is extreamly annoying and I want it to go away as soon as possible. Thanks!

    • Jan Modric


      the itch and bleeding you’ve mentioned, to me, sound serious enough to recommend you to see a dermatologist. Can’t say what it is, but it could be a seborrheic dermatitis, scalp ringworm or some other disorder. It’s not likely only from dry air.

  • Nocho

    Dear Jan,

    I have had problems with itchy scalp for the past one year. This has affected me emotionally and physically. I visited the GP and have been prescribed many shampoos. I think it is scalp psoriasis as it is flaky and gets better for a day or two when I wash my hair. When I wash my hair regularly and brush/comb it afterwards, it hurts and breaks, so either way I loose. Do I insist I get referred to the Dermatologist as the GPs I have seen have not been helpful. A test was done and nothing was seen in the culture.

    Please help, I am desperate.


  • maria

    im having problem with my scalp and hair for more than 1 year. im experiencing hair loss (handful). i wash my hair everyday. Because whenever i tried to wash it just every other day, my scalp becomes oily, and i can see some hair falling with root (but actually it’s not root, it’s like an oil build up that was stucked at the end of every hair). And 20hrs after i wash my hair, not only it becomes oily, i can also feel 2-4 bumps in my scalp (sometimes it’s itchy, sometimes it’s not). But i couldnt feel the bumps anymore once i wash it again. I dont know what to hair is thinner now..please help.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Maria

      You should consult with a doctor, dermatologist or trichologist preferably. You may have a fungal infection of the scalp which could account for your symptoms. However there are number of other causes of hair loss ranging from hormonal causes to metabolic conditions, nutrient deficiencies and so on. Androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) may also be a consideration here given your oily scalp and nature of hair loss. Your doctor will be able to advise you further because topical applications, like shampoos and oils, will not be effective in the long run.

  • Helen B

    Hi my son was diagnosed with ringworn of the scalp April 09. He was put on Ketoconazole shampoo, Itraconazole oral, Terbafiline and lanisil topical cream nightly. He lost all of his hair and suffered from lesions (producing puss & blood) almost like volcanos all over his head. When his hair started to regrow I thought great hes recovering but he still has open sores that continue to weep all this time later. We have been back and forth docs and they tell us to continue with the treatment as above. He has been on this treatment for over 18months with no improvement. Is this normal? What else could it be? The cultures they are growing are coming back negative for bacteria and fungi. I am at my wits end. Went back to gp again today and he informs me they have never seen anything like this before. He would now like to test for scalp cancer. Is it possible for him to be mis diagnosed or on the wrong treatment all this time that it has now developed into cancer? Please your advic is very much needed. Many Thanks

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Helen B.

      The fact that he initially responded to the treatment does indicate that it was a fungal infection. It was possibly complicated by a secondary bacterial infection at the time. What you may be seeing now is a skin disease that is unrelated to an infection (fungal or bacterial). You need to take your son to a dermatologist or if you already have done so, then seek an opinion from another dermatologist. It is possible that he was misdiagnosed but we cannot comment on this as we are not familiar with his case. There is no reason to suspect cancer. Speak to a dermatologist and/or trichologist if possible.

  • zizo

    my scalp is itchy and there are hair loss my doctor advise me to use Ciclopirox olamine solution twice daily for my scalp but he do not tell me How many drops should i apply on my scalp and the duration of this topical and i can not travel for his center
    do you have any idea about the amount and the duration this Ciclopirox which should apply , the infected area is all my scalp

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Zizo

      We do not provide any information on medication and dosage. This has to be decided by your doctor and/or pharmacist as it is dependent on your individual case.

  • Raven

    I have intchy scalp as well. It happens when my scalp is dry when I scratch I see small dry skin like things falling off. Some times on my shoulders.
    This is been happening for years, I have tried all kind of oil.
    Once even I shaved my head to treat, I had shiny spots on my scalps.
    Please help!

    • 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


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

  • hyffy


    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.

    • 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.

  • 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 ???

    • 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.

  • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    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) ,

  • roman

    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..

    • kylie

      Bed bugs..itching when u get in bed?

  • 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 …

    • 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.

  • 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 …

  • 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 (

      • 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

        • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.