13 greatest remedies and merchandise for a dry, itchy scalp 2023

13 best treatments and products for a dry, itchy scalp 2023

It began out as a easy itch on the decrease again of my head and ended with a scratch that stored me up at evening. Pondering the annoying pink patch that had fashioned in that space was dry pores and skin, I began treating it with dabs of petroleum jelly. However the itch didn’t cease till months later once I went to see a dermatologist who prescribed an anti-inflammatory cream for what turned out to be seborrheic dermatitis, a particularly frequent pores and skin irritation that may be brought on by something from an allergic response to a change in season. She shared I might have discovered earlier reduction with some over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and treatments.

LEARN MORE Greatest Merchandise for Itchy Scalps | What energetic components may also help with an itchy scalp?

Seborrheic dermatitis isn’t the one pores and skin situation that may trigger an itchy scalp. Different issues which will trigger irritation embody psoriasis, folliculitis or contact dermatitis, which happens when your scalp is available in direct contact with one thing you’re allergic to. No matter is inflicting the urge to scratch, chances are high you’re coping with pores and skin that’s pink and irritated. The very first thing it’s best to do? “Cease scratching, which might result in a rise in itching and flaking,” mentioned Dr. Jeanine Downie, a board-certified dermatologist. From there, you may check out an OTC remedy.

Greatest Merchandise for Itchy Scalps

That will help you navigate your seek for OTC merchandise, we requested consultants for perception on merchandise that may assist with an itchy scalp. We additionally used our editors’ personal expertise with these merchandise.

Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

“That is an over-the-counter model of a prescription medicated anti-fungal shampoo and an efficient remedy for a lot of sorts of scalp irritations,” mentioned Dr. Alexis Younger, a board-certified dermatologist. “It incorporates ketoconazole, which controls flaking and itchy scaling by stopping the expansion of fungus.” It is best to use this shampoo twice per week rather than your regular shampoo, in response to the model. “I normally advocate leaving medicated shampoos like this one on the scalp for 5 to 10 minutes to permit them sufficient time to work.” This shampoo has a 4.6-average star overview from 77,503 opinions on Amazon.

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo for Scalp Build-Up Control

This shampoo is one other favourite of Younger. It incorporates 3% salicylic acid, which may also help ease itchiness brought on by psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, in response to the model. Additionally it is freed from perfume, added coloration and preservatives, making it a pleasant possibility for delicate pores and skin. Choose’s editorial director, Lauren Swanson, has used this shampoo beforehand to assist with a dry, itchy scalp. It has a 4.6-average star overview from 1,093 opinions on Amazon.

Kerastase Symbiose Exfoliating Anti-Dandruff Scalp Scrub

This light micro-exfoliating scalp scrub dissolves lifeless cells and flakes utilizing a 2% salicylic acid resolution together with tiny argan and apricot seeds to assist take away buildup, in response to the model. “This scrub may also exfoliate to assist any extra dandruff merchandise chances are you’ll be utilizing sink in higher,” provides Downie. This product must be used twice per week earlier than you shampoo your hair, in response to the model.

Nutrafol Stress Reliever Scalp Microbiome Essence

Younger advised us she sees a variety of folliculitis within the hotter months as a result of it could possibly trigger an increase in sebum, an oil-like substance that may clog pores and trigger micro organism to proliferate. “This fluid consists of each probiotics to maximise the expansion of excellent micro organism and prebiotics to feed that good micro organism,” she mentioned. “They work collectively to attenuate scalp itch and flaking whereas optimizing the atmosphere in your scalp.” This liquid must be utilized on to the scalp each day and never rinsed out, in response to the model.

CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo

This fragrance-free shampoo, designed by a doctor affected by scalp points, incorporates sodium hypochlorite and salicylic acid to appease a scalp that’s susceptible to itching, dandruff or extreme oils, in response to the model. “Sodium hypochlorite is the technical identify for bleach,” mentioned Younger. “Though it feels like it might be irritating to the pores and skin, it’s very light and a very good antimicrobial topical for the pores and skin.”

Kiehl’s Amino Acid Scalp Scrub Detox Therapy

Younger mentioned {that a} scalp that’s flaking, scaling or redness must be washed each day. This scrub gently exfoliates extra oil and sebum on the scalp with a mix of salicylic acid (an ingredient Younger likes for itchy scalps) and sea salt. “For those who’re going to make use of a salt scrub on the scalp, be certain that the granules are small or danger additional irritation,” mentioned Younger.

DHS Tar Shampoo

In accordance with our consultants, shampoo made with coal tar might assist with scalp situations like psoriasis, which causes an itchy, scaly rash. “Coal tar smells horrible however is an anti-inflammatory that works properly to alleviate the itch and scaly patches related to situations like psoriasis,” says Younger. “Let this perfume, PABA and dye-free product sit in your scalp for 5 minutes earlier than rinsing.”

Olaplex No4D Clean Volume Detox Dry Shampoo

If that you must sop up some extra oil and sweat publish exercising, this dry shampoo will do this with out clogging the pores and inflicting itchiness. It really works through the use of an ultra-fine micro starch sourced from rice and rambutan seed extract, in response to the model. Apply, then wait thirty seconds earlier than massaging it into the scalp. “I train each day and this is likely one of the greatest dry shampoos in the marketplace in terms of sustaining a wholesome scalp,” mentioned Downie.

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Scalp and Hair Mist

It’s essential to guard an irritated scalp from ultraviolet rays through the use of sunscreen in that always neglected space. “Basically, I’m not a fan of spray sunscreens however they do play an enormous position in terms of scalp safety as a result of it’s tough to use a cream to that space,” says Younger. “Simply be certain that to use a thick sufficient coating and reapply each two hours within the solar or after going within the water.”

Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Too

Overuse of styling merchandise or leave-in formulation that don’t get absolutely washed out can result in buildup that blocks the pores on the scalp, inflicting itching. “A clarifying shampoo may also help, simply however be sure you observe the instructions otherwise you danger drying out your pores and skin and hair,” mentioned hair stylist Justin Block. This feature from Paul Mitchell must be used as soon as to twice per week. It has a 4.6-average star score out of 8,535 opinions on Amazon.

SEEN Fragrance-Free Blow-Out Creme

Developed by a dermatologist, this non-irritating, fragrance-free styling cream is taken into account to be an excellent possibility for these with delicate pores and skin. It incorporates hemisqualane, a plant-based, sugar-derived different to silicone together with bisabolol, a pure pores and skin soother. “It’s non-comedogenic, which implies it received’t clog the pores in your head,” mentioned Younger. Swanson has additionally used this product and liked the way it handled her scalp whereas making her hair look fabulous.

Garnier Hair Color Olia Oil Powered Permanent Hair Color

“A few of the chemical substances utilized in hair dye may end up in an itchy rash referred to as allergic or irritant contact dermatitis – both from a product allergy or from being left on the scalp too lengthy, inflicting a breakdown of the pores and skin’s barrier,” mentioned Younger. “With the intention to stop irritation, you or your colorist ought to keep away from contact with the pores and skin, making use of the dye to the hair shaft solely.” This everlasting hair dye system is freed from ammonia, silicones, parabens and phthalates—all of which can irritate some folks, in response to our consultants. It has a 4.5-average star score from 12,271 opinions on Amazon.

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

“Excessive warmth can mess together with your scalp’s well being, growing pores and skin swelling and tenderness, which might result in itching, flaking, pink patches and hair loss,” mentioned Downie. “Attempt to hold your dryer set to low warmth and keep away from conserving it on one spot too lengthy.” This dryer controls warmth utilizing a thermal sensor to manage the air temperature, stopping harm to the pores and skin and hair, in response to the model. Dyson additionally says that it has an attachment that’s engineered to diffuse airflow and decrease the temperature by as much as 20°.

What causes an itchy scalp?

An itchy scalp could be brought on by quite a few issues. However our consultants pointed to 4 situations which can be mostly related to an itchy scalp. They’re:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis is a typical pores and skin situation brought on by the overgrowth of yeast, says Downie.
  • Psoriasis is an inflammatory pores and skin situation. The precise trigger is unknown, however it’s regarded as an immune system problem triggered by issues like stress, infections and extra.
  • Folliculitis is a situation that happens when hair follicles get contaminated.
  • Contact dermatitis happens when your scalp is available in direct contact with one thing you’re allergic to.

Put up-pandemic, pores and skin specialists began seeing extra sufferers with itchy scalp situations, notably seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. “A lot of it’s the results of elevated stress ranges and a change in hair-care routines – for instance, individuals are decreasing the frequency of shampooing as they work at home,” mentioned Jane Martin, a trichologist (which is somebody who research the hair and scalp).

What energetic components may also help with an itchy scalp?

For those who’ve determined to make use of an OTC remedy or product to attempt to assist with scalp itch, there are a number of totally different components to search for. Downie mentioned that these are usually the best OTC components to alleviate an itchy scalp:

  • Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal treatment typically used to deal with seborrheic dermatitis, says Downie.
  • Selenium sulfide can take away dry, scaly patches on the scalp and assist ease the urge to itch. Many dandruff merchandise make the most of this ingredient.
  • Pyrithione zinc is one other generally used ingredient in dandruff merchandise, however it could possibly additionally assist with psoriasis. It has anti-fungal properties.
  • Coal tar is used to deal with each psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. It’s derived from coal and is a thick, darkish liquid that may be utilized topically as a remedy.
  • Sulfur has antibacterial advantages which might hold your scalp clear and recent. You’ll typically discover this ingredient in dandruff remedies.
  • Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that targets extreme oil manufacturing and removes lifeless pores and skin cells. This ingredient could be notably useful when you’ve got scalp buildup inflicting you to itch, mentioned Downie.

If you’re utilizing an OTC product for scalp itch and issues don’t get higher inside a number of weeks, it’s best to see a dermatologist who might prescribe a topical anti-inflammatory steroid, mentioned Downie.

Past OTC merchandise, it’s useful to know {that a} food plan wealthy in protein and soy is essential to selling a wholesome scalp and hair, mentioned Younger.

Lastly, your hair-washing routine may also affect an itchy scalp. “Sufferers will proudly share they’re solely washing their hair as soon as per week to stop their scalp from getting drier however the fact is there are a lot of scalp situations that fare higher with extra frequent washing, like seborrheic dermatitis, the place the perpetrator is a yeast thriving in oil and sebum on the scalp,” mentioned Younger, who additionally famous that when you discover that your itchiness is worsening while you go longer between washes, it might be an indication that you must shampoo extra typically.

Meet our consultants

At Choose, we work with consultants who’ve specialised information and authority primarily based on related coaching and/or expertise. We additionally take steps to make sure that all professional recommendation and suggestions are made independently and with no undisclosed monetary conflicts of curiosity.

  • Dr. Alexis Young is a board-certified dermatologist and an assistant scientific professor of dermatology at Columbia College Medical Middle in New York Metropolis
  • Dr. Jeanine Downie is a board-certified dermatologist and director of Picture Dermatology PC in Montclair, New Jersey
  • Justin Block is a stylist at Salon YOSHIKO at Bergdorf Goodman in New York Metropolis
  • Jane Martin is a senior marketing consultant trichologist at Philip Kingsley in London, England

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