Got The Itch? Treating Itchy And Flaky Scalp

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

By Nompumelelo Nkosi

Itchy scalp is frustrating. Scratching your head all the time can drive you insane especially when you’re around people.

Most people assume that is it just itchy cause it’s dry or because of dandruff. It may be so but there might be deeper reasons and it’s important for you to know these reasons and how to relieve the itch. It’s important to know that dry scalp and dandruff do not result to the same reasons. Dry scalp means there’s no moisture on your scalp and dandruff means there’s too much oil and you need to wash your hair.

When your scalp’s natural moisture balance is disturbed, an itchy, dry scalp can be the result. A dry and itchy scalp can be associated with ageing or skin conditions such as Atopic Dermatitis or Psoriasis, and its symptoms can range from very mild to extreme. If you have a dry, flaking scalp, you may suspect dandruff. But it could be a sign of dry scalp.

Dandruff and dry scalp have the same main symptoms, which are falling flakes and an itchy scalp, but they are two different conditions. In dry scalp, the skin gets irritated and flakes off. With dandruff, the cause is too much oil on the scalp. That excess oil causes skin cells to build up and then shed. Knowing which of these conditions you have can help you get the right treatment and banish those flakes for good.

There are many conditions that can cause a dry, itchy scalp in addition to dandruff, such as ringworm or even a bacterial infection caused by an autoimmune condition. With itching being the most common symptom, skin infections, swelling, redness, balding and damaged hair may also result from an itchy scalp. You’ll be glad to know that it dandruff is harmless to your health.

Seborrheic dermatitis is associated with your scalp, this condition causes redness, itching, and flaking, basically it’s dandruff. Scalp psoriasis can cause flaking. Eczema also causes itching and flaking. Certain diseases may contribute to your scalp problems and an unhealthy diet.

The three culprits identified to your dandruff is the change of seasons, stress and not washing your hair regularly. One way to tell the difference between dry scalp and flakes from dandruff is by their appearance. Dandruff flakes are bigger and they look oily. If you have dandruff, wash your hair often with an antidandruff shampoo. Make sure to rinse out all the shampoo. Avoid using hair products that contain harsh chemicals, like bleach and alcohol. These ingredients can dry out your scalp. Also avoid oily hair products that can build up on your scalp.

Spend a few minutes out in the sun every day. There’s some evidence that ultraviolet light exposure can help control dandruff. Yet you don’t want to get too much sun exposure because it can increase your risk for skin cancer. Manage your stress with meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques.

For treatments you can choose to go to the doctor or get some over the counter medicine but you can save and try home remedies. Use tea tree oil, lemon juice, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera gel, and coconut oil. These ingredients consist of anti-fungal, anti-flammatory, and moisturising properties which control the itching and dandruff. Make sure you use the right shampoo and wash your hair regularly.