There are many different conditions that can irritate the scalp and many of these can also result in dry flakes (dandruff) which can be embarrassing and unattractive. As such there are also many different scalp treatments that can treat the various problems.
Many of these treatments revolve around adding moisture to the skin. A lot of scalp conditions are caused by the scalp being too dry and therefore becoming flaky and itchy and as such helping the skin on the scalp to produce more moisture is a good way to lessen a range of scalp conditions.
One scalp treatment involves changing the diet in order to help the body add moisture and rebuild tissue and organs. Often a dry scalp and dry skin is caused by a lack of essential fatty acids that produce moisture in the skin. At the same time it can be a result of a lack of vitamins and minerals or protein. In order to repair a dry scalp then a patient can simply consume more fatty acids and oils in general. One good source of fatty acids is fish such as salmon or tuna which will also provide the body with the body and amino acids it needs to make repairs to the body. Alternatively you can improve your diet with supplements such as omega 3 fatty acid, a vitamin and mineral tablet and amino acids or protein shake.
This change in diet might be best accompanied by a change in shampoos as particularly strong shampoos can dry out the skin. Similarly washing the hair too often can prevent the body from producing its own moisture. Look into using a more mild shampoo (or a specific anti-dandruff shampoo) and try to wash your hair less often. Though it will become greasy, this grease is still moisture and this is important for those who have a lack of moisture on their scalps.
If your scalp and skin is incredibly dry and flaky then you might have a more serious condition that goes beyond a deficiency of anything in your diet. Seborrhoea is a condition where the body is more susceptible to yeast and can have a mild inflammatory reaction as a result. This tends to affect not only the scalp, but also the face, ears and neck area which will tend to flake and ‘crust’. Another symptom is a yellow-ish crust along the hairline.
To treat seborrhoea will usually require an anti-fungal shampoo, or an orally administered anti-fungal drug. In some cases seborrhoea is also again linked to a lack of fatty acids in the diet. As such a change in diet and the supplements mentioned above can still be a highly affective scalp treatment.
A similar condition to seborrhoea is psoriasis. Psoriasis is distinct from seborrhoea in that the marks around the hairline tend to be silvery rather than yellow. It also results in smaller ‘scales’ and causes the scalp to look pink rather than red. This is caused by the scalp creating new skin cells more quickly than it should which build up on the surface and raise a red area called ‘plaque’. Often this occurs with seborrhoea and the two are often confused so you should still use anti-fungal shampoo and a supplement of essential fatty acids. At the same time you should use shampoos containing coal tar extracts and salicylic acid and should use anti-psoriasis drugs for example calcipotriol.
All these conditions are caused by dry flaking skin, either as the result of a reaction, a sensitivity, or an incomplete diet. However there is another major cause of itchiness which is head lice. These live inside the hair and spread from person to person by climbing or jumping between scalps. Once settled they will then reproduce laying eggs and hatching and sucking blood. This obviously causes an itching sensation along with the feeling of having them ‘crawling’ in your hair. Again it is embarrassing and itchy and can also cause dandruff. Normal infestations tend to begin with around 20-30 lice and hundreds of eggs but these numbers can go up as lice eggs hatch into the thousands. The most obvious sign of lice is the appearance of the lice themselves on the white scalp and the tiny white lice eggs which can be identified by a friend or relative looking through your hair at your scalp.
As such a different scalp treatment is needed here which can kill the lice. The most simple method is to use a fine comb (you can get specialist nit combs) while washing your hair which will pull the nits out of your hair. Brush and wash thoroughly and use an anti-lice shampoo. Do this for a few days even after you think they are gone to get rid of any eggs you missed on first attempts. Also wash your bed clothes and vacuum your room. If you choose instead to use a natural aid instead of a shampoo then some people swear by using oils in order to cause them to ‘slip’ off and to smother their oxygen supply.
If none of these seem to identify and nullify the cause of your itchy scalp, then you should see a doctor who can diagnose your condition and recommend the best scalp treatment for you.