Itch scalp hair and loss or itchy scalp hair loss is a concern to many. Could this two be linked? Of course, both these two issues are unwanted, each on their own uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing and likely worry causing conditions.
Together, they could send you into a panic. What could be causing it? Will I lose all my hair? Is the hair loss permanent? Is the loss causing the itchy scalp or is it vice versa?
These are some of the questions that may be racing through your mind as you scratch the skin on your scalp off and watch as your strands literally go down the drain.
Now take a deep breath and read on for a better understanding of why you have an itchy scalp and are losing your hair at the same time. A little of each is actually pretty normal. So the first question you should be asking yourself is, just how itchy is your scalp and how much hair is falling out?
Sadly, we do not have a scale you can rate your itch against or match the number of lost strands too. But other telltale signs may help you say for instance the appearance of bald spots on your scalp and or itching that will keep you awake at night. Even if you have established that indeed you have a reason to be concerned, we are hoping you will be less worried at the end of this article. We also hope you get tips on how best to stop the hair loss and itchiness.
There are several reasons why you could be experiencing scalp itching and hair loss. It is not a given that these two are linked. You will also be interested to know that even when hair loss itchy scalp are linked, it is not always a direct link.
This means that it may not be the itchy scalp causing your hair to fall off, it could the vigorous scratching on the itching scalp that is. Also, both could be as a result of certain conditions and disorders or side effects of using certain drugs as we will see shortly.
We support seeing a specialist if you have a severe itch on your scalp combined with hair loss, but we will explore the most common causes for this double tragedy so you have an idea of what they are saying at the dermatologists. So here goes, causes for an these two issues
1. Could your itchy scalp hair loss be due to psoriasis
Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition that actually affects a lot more people than you would think. Kim Kardashian is one of them, or should we say one of the more famous psoriasis sufferers. It also affects the skin on several parts of the body, including legs. It basically means the skin regenerates new skin cells faster than normal causing the dead skin cells to pile up in white scaly patches. The scalp under the white patches of white skin may also take on a red hue.
If the psoriasis is on the head, it is called scalp psoriasis. Most people get scalp psoriasis towards the back of the head, or scalp, the area closer to the neck. Psoriasis is a very itchy condition. As such you will find those with scalp psoriasis complain of an itching scalp and may experience hair loss if the condition goes untreated for a while. The baldness caused by the hair fall is however temporary and hair lost will grow back given some time.
As encouraging as this is, it is grim on curing psoriasis front. Science and research are not yet there with getting a sure-fire treatment. Your best bet is a soothing remedy to alleviate the flaky skin and itching. In other words, the only solution for the scaly white itchy parts on your scalp could lie in a home remedy. Natural oils like that of avocado are said to be an effective remedy for soothing the inflammation. You can try it and see if it gets rid of the itch on your scalp and reduces or stops the hair loss.
2. Is your shampoo may be too harsh
Actually, these should be first on your checklist. Never mind what they say on the beautiful wording all over the bottle, some shampoos are simply too strong. The hair loss and itchiness on your scalp could be contact dermatitis which is your scalp reacting to a certain product it has come into contact with. Check that your shampoo is causing you to lose hair instead of helping it grow.
In some instances, or should we say if you have a really sensitive scalp, the wrong product can cause hair fall, accompanied by red boils or bumps or pustules especially around its roots. As if having boils is not enough to deal with, one may have a painful itchy scalp to contend with. And let us not forget the hair loss. If this carries on untreated, it could progress to folliculitis which is really bad news for its recovery or regrowth. It could permanently damage the hair follicle, leaving bald spots if are lucky, whole bald patches if it was a really bad case.
If you notice the listed symptoms along with hair fall and extremely itchy scalp, seek treatment as quickly as possible. Given that it is likely to be very painful and uncomfortable though, we doubt you will be sitting around needing much encouragement to seek professional help. Antibiotics will help clear the itching scalp and whatever infection was raging on it, paving way for you to use several treatments that can help regrow hair. Read about some here.
Do not forget to discontinue use of the product you suspect caused the reaction. A good way of knowing your shampoo could be the culprit is if you notice a sudden scalp itch and hair fall immediately after using say a new shampoo.
3. It could be Eczema
Eczema can cause extreme itchiness on scalp and loss of hair in the affected area. In children, eczema is sometimes known as cradle cap if it affects the scalp and causes itching and hair loss.
4. You could have a nasty fungal infection
A fungal infection on the scalp can cause itching and burning sensations on the scalp as well as hair loss. Some like Kerion Celsi usually affect the back of the scalp and may cause permanent loss around the nape. Ensure you do not delay to seek medical attention if you have a persistent itch such as described above.
Not all hair loss that comes with a scalp infection is permanent though, ringworms may also cause itchy bald spots especially in children but once it is properly treated, hair will grow back on affected parts.
Dandruff, which is more common in adults and is thought to be caused by the unchecked growth of a specific kind of fungi on ones scalp, will almost always be accompanied by itching. Hair loss not so much.
However, some people with severe cases may experience both. As bad as it may look, the flaky, white or grey scalp dandruff gives you is not the reason your hair may be falling. A dry and itchy scalp may not exactly spur growth, but get it from us; it also does not always mean hair loss. Rather it may be falling due one scratching the itch on the scalp too much, weakening its roots.
Forget about the promises of over the counter products, no product will effectively cure dandruff, itching scalp, and this loss all in one fell swoop. The best way to get rid of it is to address dandruff, rather the underlying cause of dandruff, then address the hair loss. If the dandruff shampoos on the market do not work for you, you can see your doctor to subscribe something which may help get rid of it. After you stop the itching in its tracks, you can try remedies to regrow your hair or these.
5. You could have an autoimmune disorder
People with some autoimmune conditions may experience Complete or partial loss, itchy scalp and a host of other skin problems. An example of a disorder which will cause these symptoms is Lupus. You can read more about lupus and hair loss.
6. Your thyroid could be acting up
The thyroid gland is a small organ located somewhere in your neck. Don’t be fooled by its size, however, it may be the boss of all your body organs as the hormones it produces are required for every life function you can think of. The rate at which it functions has a major impact on your body.
Hair and skin are some of the places evidence thyroid problems appear since the hormones it produces also help in the proper functioning of the hair and skin follicle. If it is overactive a condition known as hyperthyroidism, you may experience thinning hair among other symptoms, if the thyroid activity is below par another condition is known as hypothyroidism, then you may experience loss along with an itchy scalp.
The hair loss from hypothyroidism may be all over the body as opposed to just the head and one will experience a host of other symptoms along with it like weight gain, brittle hair, fatigue, and sleeplessness. It is best not to self-medicate or even try home remedies however natural you think they are if you have a history of thyroid problems.
Please see a specialist who will know how best to address the thyroid problems which is the root cause of the scalp problems. You can, however, try a gentle shampoo for the dry and brittle hair, as well as a moisturizing conditioner to give your hair some much-needed moisture. You can also invest in a hair serum meat for soothing an itchy scalp to go along with the interventions your doctor gives you.
7. You are losing hair to medication
It is proven that some drugs or medication will do you well on one hand while leaving you with not so good side effects on the other. Since most times the pros outweigh the cons which are often temporary anyway, we soldier on and use the medication regardless. If online queries are anything to go by, Accutane which is used to treat severe acne, effectively to it appears, may also leave some people with an itchy head and some degree of hair shedding after using it.
If you find yourself faced with the tough choice of whether to continue with your quest for clear skin or keep a full head of hair, consult the dermatologist who prescribed the treatment. The loss should be only temporary, same goes for the itch. Hopefully, the results of the acne aren’t. If the hair is falling out in clumps, however, please discontinue use.
8. Menopause is causing it
The above reasons could give you this two issues whether you are male or female, young or mature. However, in women of a certain age, the hair thinning and itchy dry scalp could be part of the changes brought on by menopause. The effects of menopause are pretty exclusive to women, so men should have no reason to worry they could be affected too.
If you are interested in hair loss and an itchy scalp in men specifically, you can read on healthline.com about male pattern baldness. As the female hormones dip around menopause, women without a history of skin problems may find themselves having to deal with falling hair and general skin dryness. We have already established that a dry scalp tends to be itchy.
Again you need to make that visit to the doctor who may suggest some hormone replacement therapy to make up for the plunging levels which in turn reduces or stops some of the unpleasant changes from progressing any further. You can try an over the counter product to soothe the dryness and cure the itch in the meantime. Also, read more on this site on some natural ways to stimulate hair growth.
In some, cases, women who are not exactly of menopausal age may experience hormonal imbalances that can cause hair loss and itch on the scalp.