ZocdocAnswersCan itchy scalps be solved by a change in shampoo?

Question

Can itchy scalps be solved by a change in shampoo?

Is it a good idea for someone with an itchy scalp to change their brand of shampoo? This is what my boyfriend says I should do, but I think that suddenly changing the kind of treatment I've been giving my hair for years could throw off my scalp even more and make the irritation worse.

Answer

Itching and dryness of the scalp is very common, especially in winter months. Sometimes this can be caused by irritation of the scalp by a harsh shampoo, or by an allergic reaction to some component of the shampoo. So the answer to your question is, yes, sometimes changing the type of shampoo is important. Especially if you your scalp has the itchy, flaky look of dandruff, it may be helpful to switch to a shampoo that specifically states that it is a 'dandruff shampoo.' These have special ingredients that cut down on itching and flaking. They are also available in prescription strengths if necessary. Finally, you may have seborrheic dermatitis, which is an inflammation of the scalp that should be considered in chronic cases of scalp itching. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your dermatologist or your primary care doctor might be advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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