Itchy Scalp and Dandruff: How to Distinguish Between the Two and Treat Them Effectively

itchy scalp and dandruff

Dandruff and an itchy scalp are two common conditions that can often occur together. But it's important to understand the difference between the two in order to effectively treat them. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatments for itchy scalp and dandruff, as well as some tips for managing these conditions.

What is the difference between itchy scalp and dandruff?

Itchy scalp and dandruff treatment

Itchy scalp and dandruff are two separate conditions, but they can often occur together. An itchy scalp is characterised by a persistent or intermittent itching sensation, while dandruff is characterised by the presence of white or yellow flakes on the scalp.

Causes of itchy scalp and dandruff

Itchy scalp and dandruff causes

Dry skin: Dry skin can cause itching and flaking of the scalp.

Fungal infection: A fungal infection, such as Malassezia, can cause dandruff and an itchy scalp.

Seborrheic dermatitis: This condition is characterised by red, scaly patches on the scalp and can cause both dandruff and itching.

Contact dermatitis: This occurs when an irritant or allergen comes into contact with the scalp, causing itching and flaking.

Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can cause an itchy scalp and dandruff.

Certain medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, can cause an itchy scalp and dandruff.

Hair care products: Some hair care products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, can cause an itchy scalp and dandruff.

If you're concerned about excessive itching and hair fall conditions don't hesitate to consult a doctor. At Clinikally, you can book an online dermatologist consultation at your chosen time hassle free. They can look and give an accurate diagnosis of your scalp condition and recommend personalized hair care treatment plans for you.

Symptoms of itchy scalp and dandruff

symptoms of itchy scalp

Itching: The most common symptom of an itchy scalp is a persistent or intermittent itching sensation.

Flaking: Dandruff is characterised by the presence of white or yellow flakes on the scalp.

Redness: The scalp may appear red and inflamed in some cases.

Hair loss: In some cases, an itchy scalp and dandruff can lead to hair loss.

Treatment for itchy scalp and dandruff

 Treatment for itchy scalp and dandruff

#1 Over-the-counter dandruff shampoo: Shampoos containing ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, or selenium sulphide can help reduce flaking and itching.

#2 Medicated shampoo: Your doctor may prescribe a medicated shampoo, such as those containing corticosteroids, to help reduce inflammation and itching.

#3 Topical antifungal cream: If a fungal infection is causing you dandruff and itchy scalp, your doctor may recommend a topical antifungal cream.

#4 Moisturising: Keeping your scalp moisturised can help reduce itching and flaking.

#5 Use gentle hair care products: Avoid using harsh hair care products, and instead opt for gentle, sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners.

Home remedies for itchy scalp and dandruff

Itchy scalp and dandruff home remedies

  • Apple cider vinegar: Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and use it as a final rinse after shampooing. This can help balance the pH of the scalp and reduce dandruff.
  • Tea tree oil: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil, and massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for 15 minutes before shampooing. Tea tree oil has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce dandruff and itching.
  • Baking soda: Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to form a paste, and massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for a few minutes before shampooing. Baking soda can help remove dead skin cells and reduce dandruff.
  • Aloe vera: Apply aloe vera gel directly to your scalp and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before shampooing. Aloe vera can help soothe itching and reduce inflammation.

Say goodbye to itchy scalp and dandruff 

Itchy scalp and dandruff solution

Itchy scalp and dandruff are two common conditions that can often occur together. Understanding the difference between the two is important in order to effectively treat them. Dry skin, fungal infection, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions and hair care products are some of the causes of itchy scalp and dandruff. Symptoms of itchy scalp and dandruff are itching, flaking, redness, and hair loss. Over-the-counter dandruff shampoo, medicated shampoo, topical antifungal cream, moisturising and using gentle hair care products are some of the treatment options. Home remedies like Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, baking soda, and aloe vera gel are also effective in treating itchy scalp and dandruff. Consult with a dermatologist if you have severe symptoms or if your symptoms persist even after trying home remedies.


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