Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I have scabs on my scalp?"
My scalp is extremely dry and has scabs on it. They are almost like really dry pimples. I haven't done anything different to my head or my hair so I don't know what to do. Switch shampoo?
A dry scalp is a very common problem. Your issue sounds mostly like dandruff. This is a problem where the skin of you scalp die and flake off. This causes the appearance of a dry flaky scalp. Another condition that is closely related to dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. This is a type of skin irritation and eruption that occurs on areas of skin that produce oil. The scalp and part of the face are included. This can be treated with topical anti-fungal medications or other types of creams. Finally, a dry area of scalp where there is hair loss may be a fungal infection of the scalp called tinea capitis. This is an infection that must be treated with oral medications. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can examine your scalp closely and determine what you have. If what you have is simple dandruff, then your doctor can recommend a selenium or ketoconazole based shampoo. If your problem extends out to skin not covered by hair, then you may benefit from an anti-fungal cream or possibly a steroid cream. If what you have is tinea capitis, then you can get a prescription for an oral anti-fungal medication.
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