Did you know that dandruff affects about 50 per cent of the population?
Itching scalp, also a popular affliction, can be caused by a number of conditions, including dandruff, seborrhoeic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Dandruff is the term used to describe simple scaling of the skin on the scalp. Medicated or anti-dandruff shampoos can help or applying simple oils (for example, bath oil) to the scalp can be useful. Seborrhoeic dermatitis has similar symptoms to dandruff. Cradle cap in babies is a form of seborrhoeic dermatitis. Psoriasis can also be the cause of an itchy scalp.
Why dandruff occurs
The top layer of the skin is constantly being shed and renewed. Although this usually goes unnoticed when it occurs on most areas of the body, it may become more visible on the scalp as the hair traps the scaling skin.
Itching scalp, with or without scaling, is a very common problem. It commonly occurs in middle-aged people, for no obvious reason. The usual response is to scratch, and this will often cause scratch marks and little crusty sores throughout the scalp.
What can be done to help?
Regular washing of the scalp with medicated soaps may be all that is required to relieve itching scalp. The most common anti-dandruff shampoos contain one or more of the following ingredients:
- Tar – shampoos containing tar have been used for years, usually for more severe scalp conditions.
- Selenium sulphide
- Zinc pyrithione or zinc omadine
- Piroctone olamine – this is the most recent addition to the medicated shampoos. It is less toxic than zinc pyrithione and is safer for family use.
- Antifungal agents.
Those with dandruff should be shampooing everyday. Infrequent shampooing may result in scale build-up and make symptoms worse. A medicated shampoo should be used about twice a week, leaving the lather in the scalp for several minutes to allow the active ingredient to work.
On the other days, a mild, non-medicated shampoo can be used to prevent scale accumulation – baby shampoo is effective. A conditioner should always be used to prevent excessive drying from frequent washing.
- Lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, avocado oil, olive oil, margosa oil, coconut oil and tea tree oil are excellent natural home remedies for Itchy Scalp.
- Lemon juice is also considered good for hair. Simply rub some lemon juice on the scalp and rinse the hair after a few minutes.
- Add two drops of peppermint oil in a cup of water and massage the scalp gently with this solution for a few minutes. Finally, wash the hair to relieve Itchy Scalp due to dryness.
- Applying aloe vera gel on the scalp for about ten to fifteen minutes and then washing it off is one of the most popular natural home remedies for Itchy Scalp.
- Massaging the scalp with a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water will reduce Itchy Scalp considerably.
- Brushing your hair about 5-6 times before bed time will improve blood circulation in the scalp and getting rid of scalp problems.
Krissy Hacker is a wife and Mama of 2, mad gardener, crafty lady, confectioner and fabulous cook. Keen on old school ways of doing things she’d do anything to get out of housework!
If you become concerned about any symptoms please seek immediate medical attention – we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice – http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/