Dermatology Expert Forum
itchy scalp
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itchy scalp

I am experiencing severe itching all over my scalp. I have been checked for lice (I have children in public school:o)) and ruled that out. I have had this for about 3 weeks, and it's driving me crazy. I have been using Nutrogena T-Gel shampoo for about a week, but it is not helping. The itching is so bad, that my husband says I scratch my head frantically all through the night. Fortunately, I am a very heavy sleeper so this does not bother me. There is no discoloration of the scalp. It is not flaky, however, I do think it feels like there is an almost sticky film on my hair after I wash it. I guess that could be the shampoo, though. Is there anything you can tell me about this? Do I need to see a doctor, and if so, do you recommend my family physician or a dermotologist? Thank you for your time. ~~~Melissa
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Melissa:

The kind of itching you describe is usually not seborrhea or psoriasis, but stress.  This could come from anything, ranging from major life stress to worrying that you have lice or some other unpleasant problem.

My advice is this: Use a mild, nonmedicated shampoo like DHS or Neutrogena regular.  Take an antihistamnine at bedtime to combat itch, like Benadryl 25 mg or chlortrimeton 4 mg.

If thse measures don't clear you up in 3-4 weeks, I recommend tou see a dermatologist.

Best.

Dr. R
2 Comments
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Dear Melissa,
I read your message and was interested in knowing if you had found a solution.  My problems started after I had my first child.  The itchy scalp problem has persisted for 2 years now.  It's driving me crazy; I have spent so much money on shampoos, soaps, lotions, etc.  The only thing that actually helps me is Tetracycline (antibiotic).  My scalp is intensely itchy all over and very greasy.  Even sometimes after I've washed it it doesn't seem clean.  There is some redness but that could be from scratching.  No scaling or signs of dandruff, etc.  I have been to so many doctors and had tests for lupus, liver disease, hormonal problems but so far nothing has come out positive.  One doctor mentioned folliculitus (folliculitis) which could be plausible.  It would mean an infection of the hair follicles which might explain why the antibiotics work.  I have literally thought about shaving my hair off or seeing if there is a way to "cut" the nerves on the scalp because this is awful.  Now I'm pregnant again and, of course, can't take anything.  If anybody reads this and has a solution please write to: ***@****
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A related discussion, Hair itchiness and white things stuck to hair was started.
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