SCALP, ITCHY

Description and Possible Medical Problems

If your scalp is itchy and frequent shampooing has no effect, you may have either head lice or dermatitis, an inammation of the scalp that may or may not be accompanied by flaky dandruff. Though it’s commonly believed that only children get head lice, adults can get them, too, though the experiences that most adults have with lice are restricted to those in the pubic area.

Head lice are very contagious and are spread through physical contact and clothing. Though it is hard to see a louse itself, you will be able to see lice nits, or eggs, which resemble small grains of rice, in your hair.

If you have contact dermatitis, your scalp will be red, swollen, and itchy. You may also experience blistering and/or flaking if the condition becomes chronic. Dermatitis may appear for a variety of reasons, from contact with a chemical irritant to an allergic reaction to hair sprays or gels, shampoos, or coloring products.

Treatment

If you have head lice, you should see your physician, who will prescribe a special shampoo for you to use along with a special comb to remove any remaining nits. It’s a good idea to throw out and/or burn any hat or headgear you might have been wearing during the period of infestation. You should also make sure that all bed linens are thoroughly washed in hot water.

If you have dermatitis, the treatment depends on the specific cause. The best treatment and preventative are avoidance of the particular irritant or allergen. Your dermatologist may recommend the use of a special corticosteroid cream or ointment to reduce the swelling and redness. In most cases, you’ll feel better in a day or so.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 10:13 am and is filed under General health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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