An itchy scalp that affects the back of your head and leaves you with thick scales of skin can be embarrassing and annoying. Before you dismiss your itchy scalp as something as simple as dandruff, a trip to the doctor may be in order. Certain scalp conditions need to be treated via ointments and prescription cleansers to help relieve the itch and foster a healthier, more moisturized scalp.
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No matter what type of skin condition you ultimately suffer with, all have the same symptoms. An itchy scalp and large flakes of skin are the calling cards for most scalp conditions. You may also notice redness and a rash if you're able to see the scalp. Excess oil may also be a problem that accompanies itchy scalp conditions.
Three types of skin conditions are typically the causes of an itchy scalp. Scalp psoriasis is exhibited by patchy skin that can bleed when removed and can affect other parts of the body and head, notes MayoClinic.com. Seborrheic dermatitis affects the scalp and is usually exacerbated by certain products, resulting in itchy, flaky skin that sloughs away easily. Finally, dandruff is a common and chronic condition where dry skin flakes off into the hair. Only your doctor can diagnose your itchy scalp condition, so it's important to seek medical help when necessary.
If you're prone to an itchy scalp or any of the above three conditions, prevention is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of your itchy scalp and soothe your head. Certain products that contain clarifying detergents can dry the scalp and cause itchiness. Using hot water can also deplete scalp moisture, notes the Beauty Brains website, and exacerbate your itchy scalp. Wash your hair less, if possible, using moisturizing shampoos and conditioners in lukewarm water.
At times, prevention isn't enough to keep the itchy skin on the back of your head from bothering you. In these cases, a dandruff or medicated shampoo can help condition the scalp for better hydration and dissolution of dead skin cells. Your doctor can prescribe various ointments that contain ingredients like resorcin, ketoconazole or selenium to apply directly to the scalp for healing and prevention as well, notes Medline Plus.
While an itchy scalp on the back of the head can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition, it's important that you see your doctor if your symptoms worsen or you're scratching so much that your scalp is bleeding. Your doctor can diagnose your skin condition and prescribe treatments and lifestyle changes to make in order to improve the condition and your quality of life.