Scratching the scalp permanently damages the hair

Itchy scalp: Here's what you can do for itching and dandruff

Itchy and flaky scalps plague many people. Illness is not always the cause. Incorrect hair care or unsuitable shampoos are often the trigger. What is particularly harmful to the scalp and what is important when washing hair.

An itchy scalp is maddening: you are constantly scratching and that only makes things worse. Redness, flaking, and even bloody spots are not uncommon when the itching on the head becomes rampant.

Itching and dandruff: Dry scalp is the most common cause

The most common cause of itchy spots and dandruff is a dry scalp, for example due to mistakes when washing your hair. According to experts, hot water, frequent washing, too much shampoo and shampoo residues are a real challenge for the sensitive scalp. Even a tint or color that was not tolerated can cause itchy and possibly flaky areas.

"Psoriasis, neurodermatitis, fungal infections or seborrheic eczema can also be behind normal dandruff," explains dermatologist Dr. Dirk Meyer-Rogge. Especially with skin diseases or systemic diseases such as neurodermatitis or psoriasis, those affected can also suffer from hair loss.

Home remedies for itching and neurodermatitis

"Against dry skin in neurodermatitis sufferers, it can help to grease the scalp overnight with olive oil up to two times a week," says Meyer-Rogge. This oil treatment is also suitable for dry, itchy scalps that are not caused by this skin disease. The oil should be gently massaged into the scalp and ideally left on overnight. Since olive oil is difficult to wash out, it is best to apply it together with castor oil to make it easier to wash your hair afterwards.

In addition, experts often recommend coconut oil as well. It can soothe the skin and also has a slight antibacterial and antifungal effect on bacteria and fungi.

Anti-dandruff shampoos are often too harsh on the skin

The choice of shampoo also affects the health of the scalp. Many people use dandruff shampoos for itchy scalps. However, these usually intensify the dryness, so that the itching increases.

Even conventional shampoos are unsuitable because of the aggressive substances they often contain, such as zinc pyrithione, selenium disulfide or piroctone olamine. Organic shampoos, which are often enriched with thyme, juniper or clay, are gentler and therefore usually better tolerated.

It is best to use pH-neutral shampoos without silicone

According to experts, silicones in shampoos can significantly disrupt the balance on the head and affect the balance of fat and moisture. The silicone wraps around the hair like a sheath, making it easier to comb and increasing the shine. However, it has a caring effect neither on the hair nor on the scalp.

According to experts, pH-neutral shampoos that do without silicones, fragrances, dyes and preservatives are better. In addition to sensitive shampoos for adults, baby shampoos are a possible alternative to the product previously used, as they degrease the scalp less and often contain additional care substances, such as olive oil. Everyone has to try for themselves which shampoo is best for the scalp.

If the head does not stop itching, it is better to see a doctor

If the itching does not subside despite mild shampoo, regular oil treatments and an extension of the washing intervals, you should consult a dermatologist. A thorough examination of the scalp will clarify whether the itchy, flaky scalp may be due to allergies, eczema or a fungal infection.

"An anti-inflammatory dandruff shampoo can help people with psoriasis, a special fungal shampoo is recommended for seborrheic dermatitis and a fungal medication is used for fungal infections," summarizes the dermatologist Dirk Meyer-Rogge. Otherwise, the same applies here: With normal hair care, less is often more.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.