ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have an itchy spot on my scalp?

Question

Why do I have an itchy spot on my scalp?

I am a 27 year old female and I have a spot on my scalp towards the back of my head that itches and sometimes gets dry. I have never had anything like this before. I have had this spot for about 4 or 5 months and I don't know what it is or what I should do. Should I see a doctor or dermatologist about this?

Answer

I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor about this problem. Any spots on the skin that are troublesome for this long should be checked out, because they may need to be treated. One possibility is that you have seborrheic dermatitis. This is on the same spectrum as dandruff but obviously more evolved. It is essentially an inflammation of oily parts of the skin like the scalp, eyebrows, and facial creases that causes redness, itching, and scaling. Many simple cases can be treated in a straight forward manner with an antidandruff shampoo. However, other will require a steroid cream to quiet them down. There are some cases of seborrheic dermatitis that probably involve some role for fungal colonization as well, so sometimes your doctor will recommend an antifungal cream. Another possibility would be tinea capitis, a fungal infection of the scalp. This usually causes hair loss in a typical pattern surrounding the spot and is easily diagnosed by your doctor. Most cases of tinea capitis will require oral antifungal medicines to clear up. There are other conditions that can occur on the scalp as well, including psoriasis. The best way to move forward is to talk to your primary care doctor to get a diagnosis!

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

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