St. Louis Dermatologist FAQ: Reasons Your Scalp Itches And How to Get Relief

St. Louis Dermatologist FAQ: Why Your Scalp Itches And Getting ReliefIt can become hard to focus on anything else when the scalp itches. It may feel like the itch will never go away, but it is possible to get relief. Eliminating the itch starts with identifying the reason for the itching scalp.

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness and Jackie McGinness, FNP (Nurse Practitioner) provide safe, proven and effective skin care procedures to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding communities. 


Causes and Solutions for Scalp Itchiness

Some reasons for an itchy scalp and dermatologists’ recommendations on what can bring relief are as follows:



In case the scalp is itchy and dry with flakes on the hair and clothing, the person may have dandruff. 

Getting relief

Using a dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments can bring relief in case an individual experiences dandruff. 


Reaction to a Hair Care Product 

A dry, flaky, and itchy scalp could indicate that the person needs to do a better job of rinsing shampoo from their hair. Shampoo residue can irritate the scalp. 

If a person has an itchy scalp along with a rash, they may have a condition known as allergic contact dermatitis. This condition commonly occurs in people who dye their hair. In general, the culprit is a component in the dye known as para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which is an ingredient in black hair dyes. 

Getting relief

In order to stop the itch, the person must discontinue using the product that is causing the response. A dermatologist can help identify the reason for the itchy scalp



Hives are red, elevated, and very itchy bumps that can develop anywhere on the skin, including the scalp. Hives tend to recur and clear within a few hours. At times, hives go away and come back. In case hives come and go for over six weeks, they are known as chronic (long-lasting) hives.

Getting relief

Hives usually clear on their own. However, if they are long-lasting, treatment can help. Dermatologists often treat hives. 



Scabies occurs due to a tiny bug known as the human itch mite. In case these mites burrow into the scalp, the scalp can become very itchy. The most common symptom of scabies is itching. It can be so intense that it can cause sleepless nights. 

Getting relief

A primary care doctor or board certified dermatologist can diagnose scabies. In case a person has scabies, they will need treatment, which is only available with a physician’s prescription.


Scalp ringworm 

Ringworm does not occur due to works. It is an infection that occurs due to a fungus. If a person gets ringworm on the scalp, they will likely have a red, intensely itchy rash. 

Getting relief
In order to get relief, the patient will need a correct diagnosis and treatment for ringworm. 

The treatment of ringworm on the scalp needs prescription drugs. Therefore, the patient will need to consult a doctor. Dermatologists usually treat ringworm. Therefore, it may be helpful to consult a board certified dermatologist. 


Scalp psoriasis 

Around 50 percent of people with plaque psoriasis suffer from a flare-up on the scalp at some point. On the scalp, this condition may lead to reddish patches, dandruff-like flaking, silvery-white scales, and a dry scalp. Scalp psoriasis is usually itchy, with the itch ranging from mild to intense.

Getting relief

There are various treatments for scalp psoriasis. Some individuals get relief from a medicated shampoo or other treatment that they can purchase without a prescription. 

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness and Jackie McGinness, FNP (Nurse Practitioner) receive patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and nearby areas for advanced and innovative skin care treatments.


If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)

Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.

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