What Causes Itching Scalp and Hair Loss?

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Infection, allergies, medications, nutrition and personal habits are all potential causes of scalp problems such as itching and hair loss, says WebMD. Most scalp problems are not due to serious conditions, but any persistent, unusual symptom is a good reason to see a doctor.

Hair loss is the most commonly reported scalp problem, according to WebMD. Most hair loss or thinning is due to heredity, but other causes include damage from hair products and tools. Bleaching, dyeing, and styling with heat are hard on hair and can cause thinning and breakage. Frequent twisting or handling of hair also causes hair loss. Various cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, cause hair loss, as do certain diseases, such as lupus. Insufficient nutrition and excessive stress also lead to thinning hair. A more serious cause of hair loss is toxicity due to heavy metals such as arsenic and thallium.

Dandruff is a very common cause of itchy scalp, says WebMD. Eczema is a potential cause of dandruff, as are fungal infections and seasonal changes. Psoriasis is another skin condition that sometimes affects the scalp. In school children, head lice is a frequent cause of scalp itch. The fungal infection known as ringworm can also affect the scalp. Skin cancer sometimes manifests as an irritated or sore spot and can affect the scalp. Any unusual discolorations or sores that do not heal on the scalp are cause to consult a physician.