Many times, itchy scalp and hair loss go hand in hand. This can cause serious discomfort and can be very disturbing too. Anyways, what does hair loss have with itchy scalp? Is it that they share a common cause? Or does one usually lead to the other? How are they related? Are there easy remedies when you experience hair loss and an itchy scalp? Are there ways to altogether prevent this from happening? If you are currently experiencing discomfort due to itchy scalp and you are losing hair, you should read through this article. We will supply the answers that you seek.
Health professionals have a term to describe an itchy scalp. They call is Scalp pruritus. It is fairly common and may happen for so many reasons. There is hardly anyone that has not experienced an itchy scalp before at one point or the other in their life. But then, when the itching persists and comes with hair loss, you may start getting worried. Anyways, the first thing would be to find out the cause and treat it. Once that underlying cause has been treated, the itching would stop and your hair would grow again. But as they say, prevention is better than cure. We will show you both the cure and prevention tips for hair loss and an itchy scalp in this article.
Itchy Scalp And Hair Loss: How Are They Related?
You may experience hair loss without an itchy scalp. You may also experience an itchy scalp without having hair loss. But sometimes, they come hand in hand. This shows that there may be a link between the two.
Itching in the scalp shows that the skin of your scalp is reacting to something. Hair loss, on the other hand, shows that hair follicles are being damaged. This means that anything that can both cause skin reactions and damage to your hair follicles can lead to hair loss and an itchy scalp at the same time.
Possible factors that can cause a reaction and damage hair follicles are fungal infections, hair follicle inflammation, and allergies to some hair-care products, among many others.
Sometimes too, it may be that severe hair loss caused scar tissue to form on the scalp, which then leads to itching. If there is scarring on your scalp, you may experience severe itching.
Remember that when a wound is healing, you usually experience itching when scar tissue has formed. This is because scar tissues can cause damage to nerve fibers in your skin.
And then again, it may be that the primary problem was an itchy scalp. But if you begin to scratch the itchy scalp aggressively, you may cause damage to your hair follicles. This, in turn, would now lead to hair loss. Well, as soon as you stop scratching, your hair would grow back.
But then, if hair loss is caused by genetic factors or by the usual gender-pattern baldness, there will be no itching. The hair loss is usually not severe enough to cause scar tissue formation, except you begin to habitually scratch your scalp.
There are several ways to counter male-pattern or female-pattern baldness. But these are not related to scalp itching in any way.
Causes of Hair Loss and an Itchy Scalp
Hair loss and an itchy scalp can happen as a result of the following:
1. Fungal infections
Fungal infections like scalp ringworm can make your scalp to itch. Usually, there would be red rashes on the scalp and these rashes would itch. The infection also damages the hair follicles in the area of the rash and causes hair loss.
The hair loss caused by ringworm is usually in distinct patches. Your hair would grow back and the itching would stop when you treat the ringworm with antifungals.
2. Allergic reactions
If your scalp and hair follicles react to a hair product that you are using, you may experience hair loss and an itchy scalp. This is often mild and temporary.
Things would usually go back to normal as soon as you stop using the product that caused the irritations. You can also use allergy creams to relieve symptoms.
3. Inflamed follicles
Medical experts call this folliculitis. It can occur due to either bacterial or fungal infections. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics while fungal infections can be treated with antifungals.
4. Lichen planopilaris
Lichen planopilaris is caused by weak immunity. It caused your scalp to become inflamed. This, in turn, causes itching, hair loss, as well as scaly skin.
5. Alopecia areata
This is a localized hair loss that occurs in small patches. You may also experience some form of itchiness with alopecia areata. Experts are yet to find out the real cause of alopecia areata. But it is generally believed to be an autoimmune condition.
6. Atopic dermatitis
Do you know that you can have eczema on your scalp too? This is what experts call atopic dermatitis. It would usually cause a red rash on your scalp that is itchy. When you scratch the area too much, you may begin to lose some hair.
Some ointments and creams can help in treating atopic dermatitis. You may consult your healthcare provider for treatment options.
This is also an autoimmune condition. When you have psoriasis, reddish dry patches would form around your major joints and trunk area. These patches are usually covered with silvery scales.
Sometimes, those scales form on your scalp too and they can be itchy. Too much scratching may then lead to loss of hair. You will need to see a doctor for an effective treatment plan to manage psoriasis.
Dandruff causes your scalp to be both dry and itchy. It is quite rare for dandruff to cause hair loss, but it sometimes happens. It mostly happens if you leave dandruff untreated for a long time. You can treat it with anti-dandruff shampoos, creams, and ointments.
Remedies and Prevention Tips
There are several natural remedies for treating scalp itching and hair loss. A few of them are as follows:
- Essential oils can help to stimulate hair growth
- Certain foods like eggs and fish can also promote hair growth
- Fortified shampoos that contain zinc can help to get rid of fungal infections and dandruff
- Several ointments and creams help to relief itchiness
A few tips to prevent hair loss and an itchy scalp are as follows:
- Don’t scratch your scalp excessively
- Make use of gentle shampoos that have no harsh chemicals
- Eating a healthy diet that has an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals
- Don’t expose your scalp directly to high heat
- Don’t use too many chemicals on your head. For instance, shampoos, dyes, mousses, and hair conditioners.
- Follow your treatment plans if you have autoimmune disorders like psoriasis.
Itchy scalp and hair loss may be caused by different factors, but they are not usually difficult to treat or manage. However, you should work towards preventing them altogether.