While an itchy scalp is not always a sign of impending baldness, there is sometimes a connection between this type of irritation and hair loss. In this blog, we discover the skin conditions, infections and auto-immune disorders which can cause both symptoms.
Dandruff is perhaps the best known cause of an itchy scalp. The condition causes dry, flaky skin on the scalp and although irritating, it isn’t a direct cause of hair loss. However, scratching to alleviate the itchiness can break the skin. This can result in inflammation and increase the risk of infections, which can cause hair loss. The same situation can occur with atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema that causes a red, irritated rash.
Scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) is a common fungal infection which causes itchy, scaly patches of hair loss. It is treated with anti-fungal medication and hair loss usually regrows by itself. However, in severe cases where the infection has caused damage to the hair follicles, the bald patches may be permanent. Folliculitis is caused by bacterial or fungal infection, resulting in inflamed follicles, itchiness and hair loss. Like ringworm, it is treated with medication and hair will normally regrow when the scalp has healed.
There are several auto-immune disorders that can affect the scalp. Psoriasis can cause itchy, scaly patches. If the sufferer scratches at them, there is a risk of skin infection, and hair can be damaged or pulled out. Lichen planopilaris is a rare hair loss condition that causes itchiness and the development of bald patches. Alopecia areata also causes patchy hair loss and may be accompanied by an itchy scalp. The hair loss caused by psoriasis may regrow by itself, however lichen planopilaris and alopecia areata can result in permanent baldness.
It’s important to remember that an itchy scalp doesn’t necessarily mean that your hair is going to fall out. Most people who experience itchiness find that it will go away without causing any hair loss. However, it is always a good idea to get a check-up with your doctor if you have any concerns.
For those who have experienced permanent hair loss, there are solutions available. Vinci Hair Clinic offer surgical, non-surgical and medical options for men and women with a variety of hair loss conditions.