Dermatology Community
53.9k Members
Avatar universal

Horrible Scalp Odor

I’ve been suffering with severe scalp odor for almost 2 years now. I’ve tried a number of over the counter and prescribed medications in order to get rid of the smell, but nothing has seemed to work. I wash my hair daily, and I keep my pillow cases and sheets extremely clean, but I’m still embarrassed every day by the odor that emits from my scalp. I’ve recently shaved my head bald, thinking that would help get rid of the smell, but the odor seems to come through even stronger now because I don’t have any hair product to mask the smell. I’m at my wits end, and I really need some help, please…..I’m a struggling college student with no health insurance, so I can’t afford to seek consultation from another dermatologist. Listed below are some of the medications I’ve taken in the past. Any suggestions that can be given to me would be greatly appreciated…


3 Responses
563773 tn?1374246539
Two possibilities are there for your symptoms. First of all, stress or hormonal changes may lead to excess oil produced by the oil glands in your scalp. This causes the harmless bacteria that live in the scalp to proliferate and feed off the oil, which produces the odor.

Second possibility is of a fungal infection causing tinea capitis. It is contagious and can spread direct contact with someone who has the condition, or if you touch contaminated items such as combs, hats, clothing, or similar surfaces. Diagnosis is by clinical examination of the scalp as well as a skin lesion biopsy with microscopic examination. Anti-fungal medications, taken by mouth, are used to treat the infection.

It is important to keep the area clean. A medicated shampoo, such as one containing selenium sulfide like selsen may also help.

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your dermatologist. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

Avatar universal
my head has a bad odor.sometime shampoo 3 time a day,but after shampoo few minutes smell get back..my head smell like burn? please help me. im asian and i do not have medical insurance,no money for dermatology..Ican't work because i feel embarassment to people i work with..i think i do not have space in this world.because i can't go socialized to other friend like other normal person do...I hate my self because of this smell on my head...please help me...
Avatar universal
try organic tea tree anti-dandruff shampoo.
Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions