Scalp pruritus, known as itchy scalp, is a common condition. There’s a wide range of causes. Dandruff and an inflammatory skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis are the most common causes of itchy scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis can be the result of stress, seasonal changes, fluctuating hormones, or an overgrowth of yeast on the skin. Dandruff can be caused by scalp that’s too dry, oily hair, and a variety of skin conditions.
Other causes of itchy scalp include:
- autoimmune disorders, such as psoriasis
- fungal infections, such as tinea capitis, or ringworm
- allergic reaction to a product such as hair dye
- atopic dermatitis
- head lice
- stress or anxiety
- herpes zoster, or shingles
Some causes of itchy scalp require medical treatment. See your doctor if your symptoms:
- last longer than a week
- include pain, sores, or swelling
- include itching so intense it interferes with your ability to sleep or function
There are multiple home remedies which may be effective for an itchy scalp that doesn’t require medical treatment.
READ ALSO: Tips to get rid of dry skin
2. Organic coconut oil
Organic coconut oil is naturally extracted from mature coconuts. It contains lauric acid, a saturated fat that has antimicrobial properties. Lauric acid helps the skin absorb coconut oil efficiently. This makes it a soothing treatment for itchy scalp.
Coconut oil may be helpful for itchy scalps caused by eczema. It may also be helpful for combating head lice. One 2010 studyTrusted Source analyzed the healing power of coconut oil mixed with anise. Researchers found this combination to be more successful at delousing and eliminating scalp itch than permethrin, a medication used to treat lice.
3. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil may be effective at reducing dandruff and soothing the scalp, calming down itch. Try diluting it with another oil, such as olive oil, and massaging it into the scalp before shampooing. You can also use peppermint tea as a rinse after shampooing.
A study on meditation and its effect on eczema at Emory University indicated that the perception of itching may be improved by this age-old practice by providing a coping mechanism and sense of control. Meditation can be tried alone or in conjunction with other itchy-scalp remedies. If you’re new to meditation, try taking a class or listening to a meditation tape, app, or podcast.
5. Tea tree oil
Try adding 10 to 20 drops of tea tree oil to a gentle shampoo or mix it with olive oil and massage it directly into your scalp. Tea tree oil can help reduce or eliminate itching associated with dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and head lice. Tea tree oil should never be ingested.