Cradle cap, an oily, yellow crusting on a baby's scalp. It is common in babies and is not a part of any illness. It does not imply that a baby is not being well cared for.
Dandruff, a shedding of the skin on the scalp that leads to white flakes on the head, neck, and shoulders. It may be caused by a form of a skin condition called eczema, which causes increased shedding of normal scalp skin cells. Hormonal or seasonal changes may make dandruff worse.
Head lice, tiny wingless insects that cause itching and raw patches on the scalp. Head lice are most common in school-age children.
Scalp conditions that may need medical treatment include:
Ringworm, an infection of the outer layer of the scalp and in the hair. It usually causes a rash made up of circular patches with raised, red edges that resemble worms. The rash spreads from these edges, often leaving the center clear, giving it a ring shape.
Ongoing (chronic) skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and seborrhea.
An uncommon, recurrent skin condition called lichen planus. This condition appears more often during stress, fatigue, or exposure to medications or chemicals.
Treatment for scalp symptoms depends on the underlying cause. A health professional can evaluate the cause of your symptoms and recommend treatment.