Scalp Itching


Scalp itching (Scalp pruritus)

Every new patient I see gets asked about scalp itching. It's a very useful question because it leads me down a pathway of additional questions to figure out if I need to be concerned. In addition to scalp itching, I usually ask about scalp burning and scalp pain.

There are a very large number of causes of scalp itching, sometimes referred to as scalp "pruritus". Most of the time, the causes of scalp itching are not associated with hair loss but rather a coincidence. However, one needs to quickly work through a series of questions to get to the final answer and the confident declaration - "You're scalp itching is nothing to worry about"

Causes of Scalp Itching

In general there are about 100 reasons to have scalp itching. The top 20 or so include (in no particular order):

Seborrheic dermatitis
dandruff (pityriasis capitis)
fungal infections
allergic contact dermatitis
irritant contact dermatitis
stress and anxiety
head lice
lichen planopilaris
discoid lupus
folliculitis decalvans
alopecia areata
telogen effluvium
injury and trauma
autoimmune conditions
bacterial folliculitis
shingles / zoster
systemic illness

Of course, my list doesn't stop there, just this blog. If one has scalp itching, a careful examination of the scalp is needed and a series of fairly detailed questions.
Article by
Vancouver Dermatologist