October 25th, 2010
08:28 AM ET

Why is my scalp so itchy?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Monday, it's Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician.

Question asked by Cindy of St. Louis, Missouri

My scalp has been itching really bad for about two months, I don't have lice or a flaky scalp, it's not even red. Any idea what would cause this?

Expert answer:

Thanks for your question. While your physician would be the best one to make a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment, I consulted with Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, a dermatologist in San Diego and author of The Derm Blog, for general information about itchy scalps. He shared the following:

"Itchy scalp can be a frustrating problem. There are several things which can cause it. Dandruff is the most common. Dandruff is caused by overgrowth of yeast on your scalp. The yeast triggers inflammation and itching. It usually causes flaking, but not always. When the scalp is red and flaky from dandruff we often call it seborrheic dermatitis, but the cause is the same.

Allergic contact dermatitis is also a common cause of itchy scalp. Sometimes people develop an allergy to their hair color or to their shampoo, conditioner, or hair products. This is often intensely itchy and sometimes spreads to the back of your neck or your back (depending on the length of your hair).

Inflammation of the hair follicles or bacterial infection of the scalp can also cause itching. Usually people with this problem have acne-like bumps or pustules in the affected areas.

Other causes of itchy scalp are uncommon. Inflammatory and hair loss conditions of the scalp are rare, but can also cause itching. There are many of them–discoid lupus and hot comb alopecia are two examples. They always have areas of obvious hair loss.

Systemic, or whole body, diseases can sometimes cause scalp itching. Common diseases such as psoriasis and rare conditions such as dermatomyositis can cause itchy scalp. Both also cause redness and flaking.

Sometimes, frankly, we just don't know what causes the itching. Washing your hair too infrequently is more likely a problem than washing too much, as the scalp rarely dries out. Using anti-dandruff shampoos 2-3 times a week and over-the-counter anti-itching treatments such as Scalpicin (R) usually relives the problem."

soundoff (3,103 Responses)
  1. RV Headlights Orange County

    Great info. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    May 22, 2021 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Local Marketing Experts


    May 22, 2021 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Driver Seats California


    May 22, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. chloroquineorigin

    https://chloroquineorigin.com/ dolquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ – chloroquine tablets chloroquine autophagy

    May 22, 2021 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. red carnival glass bowl

    Head Cửa Hàng Colorado SpringswaxpensWe pride ourselves on being friendly and helpful, no matter what your needs or experience is. Come on in to just sit and relax, never the pressure sale or the hurry làm đẹp your mind mentality..


    May 22, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Digital Marketing Company Near Me


    May 22, 2021 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv step repair

    I like reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    May 22, 2021 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Digital Marketing Firms


    May 22, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. trailer body repair


    May 22, 2021 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Frame Los Angeles


    May 22, 2021 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. bus repair shops


    May 22, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Washing Near Me

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    May 22, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chloroquineorigin

    buy aralen online uk chloroquine coronavirus aralen chloroquine chloroquine generic https://chloroquineorigin.com/ – chloroquine nz

    May 22, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Fiberglass California

    I really like it when people get together and share views. Great site, keep it up!


    May 23, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. tires orange county

    There is definately a lot to learn about this issue. I really like all the points you have made.


    May 23, 2021 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv mattresses near me


    May 23, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Seats Near Me

    https://www.iaai.com/VehicleInspection/InspectionProvidersUrl?name=AA Transit Pros Inspection Service&url=https://patrickbury.co.uk/egypt-army-conscripts-could-prove-decisive-in-determining-future/

    May 23, 2021 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Technician California

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Thank you for providing this information.


    May 23, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. remodel near me

    Excellent blog you've got here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 23, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv painters


    May 23, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv repair santa fe


    May 23, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Parts Los Angeles


    May 23, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Technician Riverside

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 23, 2021 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Tembepteriope

    where to buy generic cialis online safely https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – tadalafil without a doctor prescription cheap cialis pills for sale side effects for tadalafil buy cialis

    May 23, 2021 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Soosteemocush

    buy tadalis https://tadalafilol.com/ – cialis without prescription tadalafil daily online tadalafil generic tadalafil goodrx

    May 23, 2021 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. cyclomune

    cyclosporine cost buy cyclosporine online

    May 23, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. redtube co


    May 23, 2021 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Technician Orange County

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality websites on the web. I will recommend this website!


    May 23, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. combigan

    brimonidine generic combigan generic prices

    May 23, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Content Marketing Firm


    May 23, 2021 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. repair rv floor

    I really like looking through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    May 23, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. tausAffessy

    generic cialis online fast shipping tadalafil daily online cheap generic cialis for sale https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Tritreviewifind

    cost tadalafil generic tadalafil side effects tadalafil generic where to buy tadalafil cialis [url=https://tadalafilww.com/ ]where to order tadalafil tablets [/url]

    May 23, 2021 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. dortmund legia

    {Bảng bao bao gồm những số liệu thống kê đểnhận định Manchester Unitedbạn dễ dàng dàng cầm bắt tình hình, so sánh, phân tích kết trái của những đội. quý khách sẽ ngay liền tìm được lịch thi đấu mới nhất nhất, kết trái trận đấu, tư vấn soi kèo, và tỷ lệ kèo nhà dòng. Trang cung cấp những links, đoạn phim truyền hình thẳng giải vô địch quốc gia bên trên toàn thị trường quốc tế.|Ngoài ra, Thể Thao 247 sẽ trần thuật thẳng đá bóng tất cả những trận đấu mới ra trong ngày cùng với những diễn biến mê hoặc và video bàn thắng phiên bản quyền.


    May 24, 2021 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rv body repair near me

    Good post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep writing!


    May 24, 2021 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rv dealers orange county

    Very good article! We are linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    May 24, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. brimonidine

    generic combigan buy brimonidine online

    May 24, 2021 at 02:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. trực tiep bóng da

    cùng với tâm điểm là màn so tài thân Man City vs Chelsea.|Giấy phép thông tin điện tử số 2526/GP-TTĐT do Sở Thông tin và Truyền thông Hà Nội cấp. Thủ môn Alisson đã rơi nước mắt sau khi ghi bàn thắng ra quyết định mang đến Liverpool trước West Brom nhằm nuôi neymar kỳ vọng top 4 Ngoại hạng Anh. VTV.vn – Vào 23h00 tối nay, Wolfsburg sẽ tiếp đón Bayer Leverkusen vào phạm vi vòng đấu thứ nhất của Bundesliga. HLV Tan Cheng Hoe cho biết, ông ko quan tiền tâm đến đến tác dụng đối với tuyển Malaysia trong cuộc tranh vé đi tiếp ở bảng


    May 24, 2021 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. rv repair near here

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    May 24, 2021 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Windows California

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying these details.

    https://go.onelink.me/v1xd?pid=Patch&c=Mobile Footer&af_web_dp=https://ocrv.info/rv-repair-shop-el-segundo-california

    May 24, 2021 at 05:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Toilets Orange County

    This is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    May 24, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Local Marketing Near Me

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 24, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. cyclosporine

    cyclosporine buy cyclomune online

    May 24, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Internet Marketing Near Me

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 24, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Internet Marketing Near Me


    May 24, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil liquid https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – generic cialis tadalafil cheapest tadalafil cost generic cialis tadalafil https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Tritreviewifind

    cheap generic cialis for sale https://tadalafilww.com/ lowest price cialis tadalafil side effects best price usa tadalafil

    May 24, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Seats Los Angeles

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this page.


    May 24, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Parts Los Angeles


    May 24, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. rv interiors san diego

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your web site.


    May 24, 2021 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62

Leave a Reply to wedding party table


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.