My itchy head is driving me crazy

A few months ago I started waking up in the mornings to me scratching my head, specifically around occipital region of my skull. It has now become a nightly thing, but it’s still in the same area. Now, I’ve had dandruff off and on in my later years, but this itches so much worse. There is no flaking in the region, there is no bleeding, and it is a major pain in the ass, but nothing more than that (so I hope the moderators let this stay in the forum unlocked). Have any of you ever had anything similar? Is this dermatitis? Anything else I should consider?
Another thing: I’ve had dandruff now for like six months. It varies in strength, and I’m using Selsun-blue and another non-prescription strength anti-dandruff shampoo, but it just won’t disappear. Why the hell not? So needless to say I’m usually caught walking around amongst people with a beanie on, but now that we’re getting closer to the summer it’d be nice to be able to walk around without said clothing and dandruff free. Any ideas are welcome.

I have to use Neutrogena shampoo because I have terrible skin allergies. I can get itching, flaking, peeling, rashes, etc.

Is your skin/hair really oily?

No, <feels his hair for a few seconds> I wouldn’t say that it is ridiculously oily. Pretty much what it has always been. I’ve tried hypoallergenic shampoo already, and although it might reduce the itching for a day, it hasn’t appeared to be a better choice than anything else I’ve used. My girlfriend suggested that all this might have to do with a dry scalp and said that I might get moderate success if I bought conditioner. Done. And it made no real difference. So I’m pretty much at square one.

If you wash your hair every day, you might be drying out your scalp–if you don’t have oily hair.

I have oily hair and skin, so I need to wash them every day or I get itchy, peely places on my face, behind my ears, and on my scalp. Intense itch.

You might try seeing how many perfumes/dyes you can drop from your everyday use. Like in detergent, deodorant, etc.

If it were on exposed skin or along your hair line, I’d suggest you try some hydrocortisone cream to see if that helps. But if it’s in amongst your hair, that would probably get messy. I have to use it every day on my face because of my allergies.

Something about the coal-tar shampoos works much better for me than the Selsun Blue stuff.

And now I’m feeling all sympathetically itchy!

You know, for awhile I was thinking that the hair wax I use might be the culprit, but I’ve ceased usage and months later it’s still itching, so I guess it wasn’t that either. Hmm… I do use perfume/cologne, but since that’s not in my hair it shouldn’t make a difference, I’m guessing. And unlike you I’ve luckily been spared from having the itch elsewhere on my head =) But who knows, it might be spreading. I guess I’ll have to visit the pharmacy again and probably a dermatalogist for good measure. I would have liked to try the Coal-tar shampoo, but I’ve never even heard of it let alone see it in the store :rolleyes:

Hate to suggest this but could it possibly be head lice? When my daughter was young she got lice and gave them to me. I remember that, before we discovered that we had lice, my head iched like crazy.

My sister uses coal-tar shampoo for her scalp problems and I’m fairly certain she gets it at the local super drug store (walgreens, eckerds, rite-aid). Maybe you can find an on line source?

It’s the Neutrogena shampoo. It’s dark brown and stinks and is tingly on the scalp. There’s also Denorex, which is cheaper. Suds it up and leave it on your scalp for 5-10 minutes.

You should be able to find it at a supermarket or drug store.{C55FB0CC-7B62-4395-A439-ACBD985019F2}

Well, there’s your problem right there! Quit sleeping with your head in…

Huh? “Just a figure of speech”, you say?

Oh. Um… never mind


More seriously… has anything changed, such as your laundry detergent? How old is your pillow? It’s certainly worth looking into whether there might be some environmental allergy thing going on.

And it’s certainly not a bad idea to consult your doc, or maybe even see a dermatologist.

Glad that so many of you have such valuable ideas =)
I considered that it might be lice, as well, but my girlfriend checked and she didnt see anything. Plus the fact that it’s localized to the back of my head and nowhere else (that should be a clue, right?). There have been no changes when it comes to laundry, i.e. I have the same detergent, I changed sheets and pillowcases regularly, and the pillow I have is less than a year old.
I guess I’ll have to resort to something stronger when it comes to shampoos. I’ll have a look around in the pharmacy for something that packs a punch. Unfortunately I don’t have access to Wallgreens, walmart or any of the other stores cited as I live in Europe. And our damn country has a monopoly when it comes to medicated products, but that’s a whole other story.
Thanks for the help guys!

Oh crap! I totally forgot about this: I’ve also noticed that there are other areas on my body that have started itching, though definitely not as seriously as my scalp. I have a little area on my upper thigh that itches every now and then plus where my lats are (the itchiness here is bilateral). Don’t know why I haven’t realized that there might be some connection between the itch-episodes.

Best see a dermatologist. There are prescription shampoos. You might be developing a skin/scalp condition that requires medication.

There’s also the possibility of eczema, which a dermatologist can identify for you. Symptoms can very wildly. Problem is, there’s no cure. You just have to find a shampoo that keeps the symptoms at bay best for you. I use Bumble & Bumble for a daily wash, which doesn’t seem to aggravate things like many others.

That was my first thought too.

Tea Tree Oil may work. We’ve only tried the actual TTO, not TTO based shampoo. Mr. Adoptamom will sometimes have itchy flaky scalp like you’ve described and he’ll rub the TTO into his scalp, let it sit awhile (10-15 min?) and then shampoo normally. It’s also safe to use on the other itchy spots you have.

Denorex, available at your local drug store. Burns like a mother but then feels damn good.

I was going to ask if you replaced your pillow yet. An allergen could be in there.
Nevermind if it’s a whole body thing.

One can develop allergies to things that were previously nonallergens. Thus, you might have developed an allergy to the same laundry detergent or fabric softener that you’ve used for years.

One of the warning signs of diabetes is itchiness. Get yourself checked out for it.

Diabetes huh? Shit. Just happens to run in my family.
But you’d think that the diabetes would manifest itself in another way as well.
Read on wikipedia that itching might be a sign of cancer as well… wow, I couldn’t dream up stuff like that.
I guess I’d better change detergents as well.

The Neutrogena tar shampoo is call T-Gel. I use it off and on when my scalp gets itchy.

It’s right at the spot where your head hits the pillow, yes? Could it be some kind of heat rash? Or an allergic reaction to dust mites on the pillow?