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What is causing my itchy and dry scalp?

What is causing my itchy and dry scalp?

The dryness that affects the scalp is due to the absence of the natural oils produced by the scalp. The lack of lubrication of the scalp causes it to look dry. That is why importance of these oils to keep the hair and scalp hydrated is so important. The circumstances that influence the dryness that occurs in the scalp are irritation, itching, flakes, and a dull state in the hair.

If you’ve come this far to learn how to manage these factors and avoid dryness, read on.

 Main causes of a dry and itchy scalp

There are external factors that influence the dryness and itching of the scalp, such as:

  • Skin processes such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis.
  • Age has a direct influence on the health of the hair, reaching an advanced age will cause the hair to start to feel drier and it does not only happen with the hair, it can also be noticed in the skin.
  • Living under a lot of emotional or physical stress are factors that can cause hair damage, such as dryness, itching, or even hair loss.
  • Genetics can play a role if you have a history of family members suffering from dryness or other hair conditions.

Another type of factor that can affect the health of your hair is hormonal changes. These can be:

  • Changes in temperature or seasonal changes.
  • The lifestyle of a person who does not maintain a good diet or cigarette smoking.
  • Medications can also influence these conditions.
  • Another factor that can be overlooked is the degree of pollution suffered today in which the hair is often very affected.
  • The shampoo can be harmful to the hair if the right one is not used, which is why there are so many types, as well as soaps and hair treatments.
  • When the scalp completely loses its natural moisture, this results in the deterioration of its protective layer. This allows toxic substances to easily enter the scalp, damaging your skin and causing micro-inflammations. As a result of these micro inflammations, there is an increase in irritation, leading to itching and redness of the scalp.

Reasons

Among the reasons for itchy scalp we find that dandruff is one of them, in fact, it is one of the main ones. The good side of this is that it can be solved in a simple way. We will explain how.

We should know that dandruff production starts with the overgrowth of a lipophilic yeast known as Malassezia. This is produced when there is an excess of oil on the scalp. That’s why many medical products are designed to control this large production of oils, allowing you to soothe the itchiness.

Read on to learn more about how to keep this problem under control.

Before we get to the possible solutions, it’s important to learn a little more about what causes all these symptoms and conditions on your scalp.

First of all, there is eczema.

Eczema is responsible for causing rashes and inflammations that occur on the scalp.

It can be caused by various factors such as stress or eating habits.

It has also been considered that the appearance of eczema is a consequence of allergic reactions to various types of cosmetics and soaps.

Seborrheic dermatitis.

This type of dermatitis is a medical condition that causes itching, irritation, and flaking of the scalp.

Experts often tend to confuse common dandruff with seborrhea. This is not a major problem, so you can rest assured. Its treatment consists of steroids, medical shampoos, and topical creams.

It is a totally treatable condition but it is necessary to see a dermatologist.

Psoriasis.

Another among the list of causes that produce scaling and burning is chronic psoriasis.

This occurs when our immune system creates an excessive production of cells on the scalp.

The area that is most affected by this is located around the root of the scalp.

This condition can be perfectly reduced with steroid-containing creams, oral medications, and medical shampoos.

You will probably notice considerable relief after the first wash.

Ringworm.

It may seem unpleasant to talk about ringworm, but the truth is that tinea capitis is also involved in producing scalp irritation.

In addition to affecting other areas such as the feet, where it produces a bad odor, and the nails, causing them to rot, ringworm also reproduces on the scalp. It does this through towels, combing brushes, and pets. As a consequence, it can cause itching, flaking, and in some cases, hair loss.

Lice.

If there is one parasite that is highly contagious and easy to spread, it is lice (as well as their eggs). This contamination can be achieved through brushes, clothes, hats, towels, headphones, hair accessories, among other things.

It is for this reason that it is considered significantly contagious because basically anyone can be affected or at risk. As if that were not enough, the itching produced by these parasites is extreme.

For their treatment, shampoos are used that have been pre-written by doctors. Some of them contain menthol, which helps to reduce itching.

Dry scalp.

As we have already mentioned, dryness is also a cause of itching.  This can occur in seasons such as winter, so it is always recommended to apply products that help moisturize the scalp.

Excess oil or grease on the scalp.

When hair is not washed regularly or too much oil or dirt accumulates, this causes irritation that can also lead to dandruff.

In the opposite case, we find that washing the hair in the wrong way affects the optimal development of cells in the scalp, which results in bad odor, itching, and flakes.

 Sunburn.

To end this section, we should talk about UV rays, which when they reach our scalp produce burns that cause irritation and itching.

To treat these burns, there are cooling treatments.

 Home treatments

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is considered very beneficial for skincare and likewise also helps the scalp, allowing it to remain much healthier. In addition to moisturizing the scalp, it contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent possible infections. It is also used to improve atopic dermatitis.

This product is fully available in various supermarkets or even online. You should apply a certain amount directly on the scalp and massage the skin. The oil should act for a period of 10 minutes before being removed, thus washing the hair as usual. In addition to helping your scalp, it allows your scalp to look shinier and softer.

Tea tree oil

This oil contains great antibiotic, antifungal, and antiseptic properties ideal for improving dry scalp and all its consequences. For this reason, we can see that many shampoos to treat these ailments have tea tree oil as an ingredient.

This oil is usually found in various pharmacies and is sold as an essential oil, and it can also be purchased through the Internet. As we mentioned before, you can also find it in different types of shampoos, especially the special ones to treat dry scalp.

This oil should be mixed with another type of base oil, either olive oil or coconut oil, massage all over the scalp and allow to act for about 10 minutes before being removed

Aloe vera

Among all the benefits found in aloe vera, treating dry scalp is one of them. It has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin irritation and effectively moisturize the skin.

You can buy many hair care products containing aloe vera, and you can even buy its pure gel online if you wish.

In the same way as in all the previous cases, over the entire surface of the scalp and leaving it to act for 10 minutes before being removed, for this simply see your hair as usual and with plenty of water. In addition to its application on the hair, this product is also found as an oral supplement that helps as a laxative, in addition to appearing in beneficial juices for health. A miraculous plant.

Apple cider vinegar

Surely you know apple cider vinegar to prepare salads and some foods, but it is also thanks to its benefits that it helps relieve symptoms when the scalp is dry. It acts as an antimicrobial, thus helping to eradicate bacteria or fungi that cause itching. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, it serves to exfoliate the scalp.

It is a product easily available in all supermarkets and online stores. Combine two parts of water with one part vinegar and apply it directly to the scalp. Let it act for about 5 minutes before removing it with shampoo and conditioner to neutralize the smell.

Witch Hazel

It is found in products that help control itching for dry and sensitive skin, besides being widely used in herbal medicines. As properties, it helps to reduce inflammation, a product of dryness derived from diverse affections. It also has astringent properties, which help dry the scalp and alleviate its symptoms.

You can buy witch hazel water, as well as lotions and soaps that contain it. If you buy the water, you should mix two parts of the water with one part of base oil. Then massage the area and leave for 5 minutes before removing the product.

Baking soda and olive oil

These two products combined bring great benefits, on the one hand, olive oil helps to moisturize, and on the other hand, baking soda contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. By creating this combination, you will exfoliate your scalp. It is also an excellent option if you suffer from dandruff, for whatever reason, this will help with the itching.

They are highly produced products, olive oil has its main use in food, so you will find several options in supermarkets and baking soda, you can buy it in pharmacies or even in supermarkets.

You just mix equal parts of both baking soda and oil and once again, massage the area leaving it to act for about 5 minutes. To remove the mixture, wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.

Mashed bananas

Surely you did not expect this recommendation, because yes, besides being moisturizing and nourishing, it is considered an excellent treatment to improve dry scalp and get rid of dandruff. It is considered a natural antibiotic, which is why it is so beneficial for these conditions.

Basically in any flea market, supermarket, or greengrocer’s shop. Mash the banana and mix it with two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. Apply it on your hair and massage, leave it on for about 15 minutes.  To remove it, wash your hair and you’re done.

Yogurt and egg

We have another combination that is also beneficial to relieve dry scalp. Yogurt helps soften the skin as well as exfoliate it, while the fat stored in the protein of eggs helps nourish and protect the affected area. This combination acts at the cellular level helping to reduce the damage of radical cells.

It is important that the yogurt is unsweetened and natural, this should be combined with a beaten egg. We apply the common massage factor and leave it on for about 10 minutes before washing. It is important to mention that the washing should be done with cold water, otherwise the egg could get cooked.

Jojoba oil

This oil shares many similarities with coconut oil, it is very effective in soothing scalp irritation as well as being an excellent moisturizer. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to improve conditions affecting the scalp.

It is available through online stores and it is very common that it comes in a liquid form. You should add a couple of drops of this oil in the shampoo, this will help to regularly moisturize your scalp avoiding that the same shampoo dries it even more.

Avocados

Avocado is a favorite for both recipes and hair care because this wonderful fruit has moisturizing properties thanks to its monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty oils. Avocado oil is one of the best options to treat dry scalp.

Where can you buy it? The correct question would be, where can you not find it, avocado is everywhere and at an economical price. As already mentioned, you can use its oil or if you prefer, directly the mashed avocado. If you prefer to use avocado, it is advisable to add a tablespoon of another type of base oil, such as olive oil, and then massage the area. You should let it take effect for about 15 minutes and then proceed to wash it off.

If you want to enhance this formula, you can add some bananas to the mixture and you will obtain better results.

Risks and side effects

When performing treatments to improve the condition of the dry scalp using homemade recipes, they are generally safe. Before applying new treatments, especially if they are different types of oil, make sure that they do not produce any type of allergic reaction, for this, you should apply a little of the product on your wrist.

When we refer to these types of oils, you should keep in mind that they are not tested to know how strong they are or how good their quality is, that is why you should pay attention to the different types of brands. Many of these oils are quite concentrated, which is why it is recommended to dilute small amounts with other types of carrier oils, such as coconut oil or olive oil. This in turn enhances the benefits of treating the scalp.

We know that dry scalp can be a big nuisance. Not only because of the irritation but also because of the condition of the hair. This, as already explained, can cause dandruff and even hair loss, especially if the person tends to scratch constantly.

The damage caused by compulsive scratching is so great that in addition to causing pain, it can cause open wounds. Having open wounds can cause sores and these can become infected, which ends up worsening the situation little by little. So if you feel you have this type of sores or inflammation, it is best to see a professional before applying any of these home treatments.

If the cause of dry scalp is caused by infection or fungus, it is important to prevent its proliferation. That is why it is important to see a doctor.

Tips

Avoid dryness by using the right products

The best advice we can give you to avoid suffering from this condition is to use the right products. Many of the shampoos on the market, beyond producing a benefit, cause irritation when the scalp is irritated. Only products that are tested and recommended by dermatologists contain the ingredients to treat problems such as dandruff or any other type of problem.

If you notice that the products you use to wash your hair cause discomfort or dryness, then you should change them and look for ones that are better suited to your needs or are of higher quality. The use of conditioners or styling creams also plays an important role when dealing with a sensitive scalp, so those that are eco-friendly are recommended, remember that chemical products can only make the situation worse. These products may be a bit more expensive but they are worth it.

Wash your hair properly

This is another crucial factor in preventing dry scalp. It is a procedure that requires attention and that is why we will give you some recommendations:

Using very hot water can be harmful, as it can only produce much more dryness and worsen sensitivity, causing itching or discomfort. It is recommended that the water is at a warmer or room temperature.

When you apply the shampoo you should avoid leaving any residue, because it accumulates on the scalp and causes a blockage in the pores that damages the health.

When applying products such as conditioners, also do it on the scalp, and massage the area gently. This is as long as you do not suffer from greasy hair, although if you are dealing with a scalp in a dry state, this is probably not the case. So a good moisturizing will bring benefits. It is crucial to completely remove conditioner residue, just as with shampoo.

If you need to dry your hair, avoid using very high temperatures because just as with hot water, this will make the problems worse. Use a medium or cool temperature if possible.

It is not recommended to wash your hair on a daily basis, remember that dryness is caused by a lack of natural oil, and by washing your hair constantly you prevent this oil from nourishing the hair, and in this case, this is what is needed.

Protect your scalp from the cold

The cold, either seasonal or drastic changes in temperature are sources of this problem, especially if the person has sensitive skin. To avoid this problem it is important to follow the recommendations we have already mentioned above, this will allow you to reduce all these collateral damages.

Careful when coloring your hair

Hair coloring has always been a process that can be harmful to the hair due to exposure to the chemicals used. Especially if you chose one that is not suitable for your skin type. If you want to dye your hair, use quality products with mild aromas and always check that the chemicals used in the product are not harmful when applied to the dermis. For this, you can go to an expert who will give you all the indications for the welfare of your health. It may be a little more expensive than usual, but it will always be better than suffering from these ailments.

Invest in anti-dandruff products

It is always recommended to use products formulated with active ingredients that eliminate dandruff and balance cell multiplication. They have a soothing action that helps relieve itching.

Toners are an extra complement to scalp health. They are attributed to restorative and invigorating effects that strengthen the capillary structure, allowing to neutralize dandruff, brittleness, or greasiness.

Don’t scratch!

This subject and its consequences have already been explained many times. It may seem that scratching the areas relieves the symptoms, but the consequences of scratching are notorious for irritating, inflaming, and producing wounds. Avoid scratching at all costs.

Visit a doctor if necessary

It is not necessary to wait for extremes to visit a professional. If you have any scalp discomfort, it is important to see a specialist who will tell you whether you should be concerned or not. Remember that there are conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis that can cause alterations in the scalp. The professional will be in charge of prescribing treatment if necessary or give you all the suggestions you need to avoid a possible problem.

Conclusion

With everything you know about the scalp, you can imagine how uncomfortable it is to have dryness. The good thing is that there are many treatments both medical and natural that will help you prevent or treat it and they are all easy to do and inexpensive. By simply changing certain products and following some recommendations you can avoid suffering from dryness.

If you started to apply home treatments and have not noticed an apparent benefit, then you should see a professional so that he can evaluate the situation. Likewise, if you start to experience sores or blisters.

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