Scalp Conditions: How To Manage Them

The scalp is a sensitive part of the body that can be affected by various conditions if not well taken care of. Some of the most common and serious scalp conditions are dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. Other less serious conditions include oily scalp and hair and an itchy scalp without scales or crusts.

The presence of dandruff on the scalp will cause shedding of flakes from the head to the clothes or bedding. The condition is caused by too much production of sebum from the scalp. It can be treated by washing the hair every one or two days a week with anti-dandruff shampoo. However, if the condition is severe, one should see a dermatologist to recommend the right treatment.

Another scalp condition is seborrheic dermatitis, which is characterized by a moist scalp that is itchy and inflamed, covered with yellowish crusts. Sometimes it can affect the nose, eyebrows and cheeks. The itchy sensation makes it worse because it leads to scratching which leads to more inflammation. The inflamed areas become vulnerable to infections like yeasts,fungi and bacteria.

Little s known about the cause of sebbhoreic dermatitis and since it is more serious than dandruff, treatment should be sought from a dermatologist. Special shampoos together with other treatments like corticosteroids will be recommended and although the condition can not be cured,it can be managed effectively.

Scalp psoriasis is more serious than seborrheic dermatitis although they almost have similar symptoms. The main difference is that its crusts look a bit dry and thick and can lead to bleeding if an attempt to remove them is made. It can also affect the elbows, feet, knees and hands. Treatment of this condition is usually by creams and ointments and oral medicines like cyclosporine or methotrexate. All these should be recommended by a dermatologist.

Dermatologists Determine Different Causes Of Itchy Skin

Many people suffer from itchy skin. It can be very uncomfortable and irritating that typically requires almost constant scratching. This condition can have hundreds of possible causes. It is also known as pruritus. It may be a result of a rash or other conditions such as psoriasis or dermatitis that can be treated with lotions and medications. Some itchy skin is a symptom of an internal disease, like liver disease or kidney failure. This is much more serious.


Even with the itchy feeling, the skin may appear normal. However, in other situations, it may have reddened patches, bumps or blisters. Even if it appears normal, most people should contact their doctor and schedule a check-up. It is usually better safe than sorry. A person may have a more common skin disease like psoriasis or it can lead to a potentially life threatening condition like liver disease. When a doctor identifies the cause of itchy skin, he or she can then treat it.


Most cases of itchy skin show up in small areas of the body, such as on the arm or leg. However, it can also make the person want to scratch his or her entire body. Other symptoms include redness, blisters, dry skin or scaly patches. The severity of the itchiness can vary.


However, if it lasts more than two weeks or does not improve with any over-the-counter lotions; it may be a good time to see a doctor and a dermatologist, who specializes in skin diseases. These doctors will take some tests and blood work to determine a diagnosis.


Itchy skin, which does not have any other obvious skin changes, is most often caused by dry skin (also known as xerosis). This condition usually occurs in the fall and winter months, when the humidity is low, or situations where the person washes or bathes excessively.


Other possible causes can be rashes or skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis chickenpox or lice. In these situations, it typically affects specific areas of the body. It can also be associated with liver disease, kidney failure, thyroid problems and cancer. This itchy skin usually affects the whole body.  More causes include nerve disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Others may be allergic reactions to some foods, poison or side effects from specific drugs.


Some treatments for itchy skin include corticosteroid creams applied to the affected areas or oral antihistamines to relieve the itchy feeling. There is also light therapy that typically involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light.  The dermatologist can also proscribe some short-term relief, such as topical anesthetics such as benzocaine or ointments such as menthol or calamine.


If home remedies are more your style.  For those widespread itches, a person could soak in a baking soda bath. Also a warm bath with 1 to 2 cups of finely ground oatmeal can ease the itches.  Another American folk remedy involves using a lemon to treat itchy skin, such as squeezing lemon juice on the itchy skin and allow it to dry.