There are many types of irritants that cause discomfort and itchiness on the scalp. Lice is a major culprit for scalp irritation but can sometimes be hard to diagnose. If you have searched for lice and nits and are not seeing any evidence of lice there are a few other options to consider.
A fairly common autoimmune disease, psoriasis impacts less than 3 percents of adults in the United States. The National Psoriasis Foundation states this condition is usually set off by some type of adverse reaction to stress, certain medications or a skin problem such as a sunburn, rash, scratch or vaccine. Psoriasis is determined as clumps of silvery looking scales on the skin that are itchy and swollen. It is often found on the scalp and causes painful, flaking blotches of skin that result in open sores and bleeding. If you suspect you are dealing with psoriasis it is best to contact a healthcare provider.
Dandruff is a noninflammatory skin condition that greatly impacts the scalp. Dandruff is the result of large clumps of skin cells flaking off of the scalp and falling onto hair strands or clothing. Genetics play a large role in who has dandruff, as well as dry and oily skin, certain skin yeast, and even using too much shampoo or shampooing the hair too often. Nearly half of adults will experience some form of dandruff in their adult life. It is not contagious and can be usually kept at bay with the consistent use of over the counter dandruff medicated shampoos. One large indication that your itchiness is a result of dandruff is that scratching the scalp results in large gray and white flakes being scratched off of the scalp. Usually bleeding or open sores are not associated with dandruff.
Allergic reactions of the skin can be caused by any number of things. Certain dyes, perfumes or soaps used in shampoos and cosmetic products can affect people in adverse ways. Pay attention to any new products that may be causing scalp irritation or inflammation. Try switching to products that are hypoallergenic or that use natural, fragrance-free ingredients. For some people, specific scents or chemicals in a particular brand can trigger an allergic reaction. You can know if these products are the culprit of your skin condition when you stop use and symptoms subside after just a few days or even hours. Benadryl or Cortisone will help you to diagnose if allergies are the problem as well. These over the counter medications will work quickly to alleviate pain and ease the itchiness.
Generally, lice symptoms can take up to four weeks to surface. Lice nits, or eggs, take roughly ten days to hatch and start searching the scalp for food. In a few weeks time nits have grown to large adult lice. That is usually when itching, red bite marks, and skin inflammation really start to occur. Remember, lice are nocturnal. They are active at night and will scurry away quickly to avoid any light. They are also minuscule in size and very difficult to spot with the naked eye. Nit Wits Lice Clinic in Louisville is a great place to come for help in determining if lice are the culprit for your itchy scalp. Head lice checks are painless and quick. Our professional staff will be able to pinpoint nits or lice and help you resolve the problem if you do indeed have lice.