Itchy scalp hair loss – causes and symptoms

Itchy scalp hair loss affects thousands of people each year. This condition can be annoying, painful, and even humiliating. However, it is rarely the result of a serious health condition. Most often the cause for itching scalp and hair loss is small and very easily treatable. Below is some information on possible causes for itchy scalp hair loss which you may find helpful.

What is itchy scalp hair loss?

This condition is just as the name suggests. It is severe itching of the scalp which may lead to hair thinning. There are many causes for such symptoms. Please continue reading to learn more.


Dandruff is one of the most common causes of itchy scalp. Sometimes it may even lead to hair loss. However, this condition is not a permanent event. Once the condition is treated hair normally grows back.

Dandruff is caused by dry, scaling skin on the scalp. In some instances the dandruff may be a form of seborrhea which is a type of skin eczema. This may be the result of an overgrowth of the skins natural yeast.

Dandruff is easily treated by returning moisture to the skin. Special shampoos work well in reconditioning the scalp. If the dandruff is caused by seborrhea cortisone-based creams and lotions may be prescribed to treat any present inflammation.


Many people experience eczema on various parts of their bodies. From their feet all the way up to their scalps, eczema can be prevalent anywhere. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that unlike Seborrheic dermatitis (that generally only affects areas where the sebaceous glands are) eczema can appear anywhere, including on the scalp.

When eczema is located on the scalp this can be extremely problematic for sufferers because a symptom of eczema is the continued over production and shedding of dead skin cells. This can cause some extremely adverse effects on appearance because people with scalp eczema may seem as though they are suffering from very bad dandruff with a lot of white flaky bits throughout their hair and falling on their shoulders. This gives the impression that the person is unclean, but in actual fact it is just their skin cells being over produced and the shedding and has nothing to do with their cleanliness at all.

Modern science has yet to find the exact cause of eczema as yet. But there are some critical factors in helping people control their eczema. One of these factors is to ensure that people with this condition reduce the skin irritation wherever possible. People with eczema have sensitive skin so they should not have long hot showers, they should only bathe in luke warm water. They should install a shower filter to remove irritating chemicals such as chlorine and soften water so that it does not irritate the skin on their scalps.
When drying themselves after a shower they should also pat their hair dry, rather than rubbing their skin excessively. Also people with eczema should avoid chlorinated pools at all costs, the chemicals in the water will irritate their skin and cause accelerated shedding.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This is the most common reason why we have itchy scalps. This type of dermatitis most commonly affects areas of our body where we have a lot of sebaceous glands (those glands that produce natural oils to keep our hair and skin healthy). So this type of dermatitis actually isn’t specifically located on the scalp, but the scalp is one of those areas of the body that produces a lot of natural oils so it is very common to have Seborrheic dermatitis on there (other parts of the body that this type of dermatitis can form is around the face and torso).

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis on the scalp will cause a sensation of itchiness and the skin that is affected by the dermatitis will become scaly, red and may even cause hair loss in some people around that area. Skin that is scratched a lot around that area can flake mildly and this can contribute to dandruff. One known cause of this type of dermatitis on the scalp is a fungus called Malassezia Globosa. This fungus is known to grown on the scalp and it produces toxic substances that can irritate and inflame the skin. The best way to treat Seborrheic Dermatitis on the scalp is to use a medicated anti-fungal shampoo that can kill the fungus that is causing the dermatitis.


Psoriasis is a disease of the skin. This disease prompts skin cells to multiply too rapidly. This leads to thick patches of skin, red lesions, sores, and itchy, scaly skin. Some psoriasis suffers may also experience thinning hair.

This scalp condition is treatable. Most often a shampoo of zinc pyrithione renders wonderful results. Some sufferers also report positive results in relieving itching with the use of avocado oil.


Folliculitis is an infection occurring in the hair follicles. This infection can lead to itchy scalp hair loss. It is often caused by chemicals and harsh ingredients which are contained in hair care products. Such ingredients may damage the hair follicles and lead to scalp infection.

A folliculitis infection is normally treated with oral antibiotics. As well, it is recommended that anyone suffering from this condition avoid the use of certain hair products. The use of mild shampoo is preferred to both treat the infection and prevent any future returns.

The above information outlines some possible conditions which may attribute to itchy scalp hair loss. If you feel you may be suffering from any such condition it may be wise to seek the advice of a doctor or health care physician. He or she may correctly diagnose the condition and promptly begin steps to restore comfort and scalp health.

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