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"What can cause an itchy scalp?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat can cause an itchy scalp?


My seven year old son keeps complaining that his head itches. I've looked at it time and again and don't see anything wrong, I've even switched his shampoo. What might be causing this at such a young age?


An itchy scalp is an inflammatory reaction of the skin underneath the hair. It is a common problem and there are few things that are more annoying than an itchy scalp. Although it may be tempting to attribute the itchiness to simple dandruff, there are a variety of more serious conditions that can cause an itchy scalp, such as infection, inflammation, parasite infestation, allergies, and autoimmune disorder. Head lice is a common cause of an itchy scalp as it spreads with close contact, particular among children in your son's age range. Usually the itch is behind the ears and at the back of the head where lice prefer to live. There is also an entity called seborrheic dermatitis, or an inflammatory skin condition that usually presents as scalp scaling (dandruff). Another common skin condition is psoriasis that, on rare occasions, can cause itch on the scalp. In some cases, an itchy scalp can begin suddenly and disappear quickly by itself. The possibility is a mild allergic reaction. If the itch persists, seeking prompt medical care is necessary. It is good idea to schedule a visit with a dermatologist to have it checked out to rule out a serious underlying condition that requires medical treatment (such as an autoimmune disease, although it is a rare cause). Hope this helps.

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