How Can I Treat an Itchy Scalp and Dandruff?

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  • Written By: Kaiser Castro
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2019
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Dandruff is not a contagious condition. Most occurrences of dandruff are usually associated with a dry and itchy scalp. Treat the problem by using a formulated shampoo with the right conditioner. Using a light oil to help soothe the scalp and going through your bathroom to remove alcohol-based products can also relieve scalp issues.

Many dandruff shampoos come in different formulations, so make sure to select the correct formula that correlates to your condition. Dandruff shampoos formulated with zinc pyrithione are antibacterial and will help to ward off flaking due to bacteria. If you are suffering from flaking due to seborrheic dermatitis, then pick a shampoo that uses tar. Salicylic acid is an active chemical exfoliator found in some dandruff shampoo, but it can be drying to the scalp. While effective, try to avoid salicylic acid as it can further aggravate itching.

Simply shampooing the hair correctly can help to alleviate an itchy scalp and help to remove dandruff. When shampooing, make sure to exfoliate the scalp by lightly massaging it with the tips of your fingers. Keep massaging the shampoo into the skin to alleviate the itchy scalp and dandruff. Allow the product to sit on the scalp for a few minutes so that the suds can break down the build-up of dead skin.


Once done with the shampooing process, use a hair conditioner designed for your itchy scalp and dandruff problem. Check to see if the conditioner is thick and creamy. A creamy conditioner usually means that it is highly moisturizing, allowing it to relax the scalp.

If the itchy scalp and dandruff is persistent, then use a leave-in product to alleviate the uncomfortable sensation. Lavender oil, avocado oil, and chamomile oil are noted as being able to calm an irritated scalp. Spot-treat areas that are incessantly itchy by dabbing a small amount of the oil onto the affected area, making sure to wipe off any excess product.

Step back and re-evaluate your hair care regimen, especially if you are a product junkie. Alcohol in mousses, pomades, and hair sprays can dry out the scalp, which can facilitate an itchy scalp and dandruff formation. Once you reach up to scratch your scalp, you will agitate the skin and create more dandruff. Help prevent itching in the first place by reducing the use of products that are formulated with alcohol. Better yet, replace these alcohol-based products for substitutes that are free of the drying agent.


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Post 3

@discographer-- I think that you should see a doctor because some scalp conditions cause these symptoms and may not be treatable with remedies and over-the-counter products.

I had a scalp fungus infection a few years ago. I had a very oily, itchy scalp with dandruff. I washed my hair every day but it was still so very oil and smelly. The doctor said that it's a fungus infection and prescribed me an anti-fungal shampoo. The shampoo got rid of my symptoms in two weeks.

Scalp psoriasis is another condition that can cause these symptoms and which requires doctor's care.

Post 2

@discographer-- I recommend tea tree oil if you're not allergic to it. Don't use it undiluted, dilute it with another oil or add a little bit to your regular unmedicated shampoo. You will see that it makes a huge difference in just a few days.

Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and it fights inflammation. It will soothe the scalp, help balance oil production and relieve the itching.

If you're not fond of tea tree oil, then try aloe vera shampoo. Aloe vera is also very soothing. It hydrates the scalp without making it oily and it's a great remedy for itching.

Post 1

I've tried several different types of over-the-counter dandruff shampoo within the past few months. Nothing seems to work for me. I have a lot of dandruff and my scalp itches all the time. It's hard not to scratch my scalp but doing so causes dandruff to fall off and it's very embarrassing. I don't know what to do.

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