Q:

What should you do about an itchy scalp and hair loss?

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Quick Answer

Before deciding how to handle an itchy scalp or loss of hair, it's important to find out what is causing the problem first, advises WebMD. In order to make an assessment, set up an appointment with a dermatologist or hair loss specialist to determine the reason for the scalp problem and loss of hair.

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Full Answer

According to WebMD, an itchy scalp can be caused by seborrhea, eczema or contact dermatitis. WebMD defines contact dermatitis as a skin inflammation that is caused by contact with an allergen. In turn, a rash often appears on the scalp.

Severe reactions may result in large blisters, swelling and redness, according to WebMD. The site says that a rash is usually seen around 48 hours after exposure. WebMD adds that soaps, detergents, cosmetics, shampoos, certain plants, jewelry or latex can all be the cause for the condition.

With respect to hair loss, WebMD recommends that people eat two or threes servings of protein each day. The site says that protein is found in chicken, eggs, fish, meat, tofu, dried grains and nuts. WebMD adds that treating the hair gently and shampooing the hair less often also decrease the amount of hair lost due to the aging process or styling.

WebMD says that prevention includes using wide-toothed combs and hair brushes that feature smooth tips. Also, it is better not to comb or brush the hair when it is still wet. The site says to avoid hair styles, such as braids or ponytails, and to limit the usage of styling aids such as dryers, hot rollers and curling irons. When a dryer is used, choose a low heat setting.

Prevention Magazine states that hair loss can occur as the result of heredity, excessive styling or immune system disorders, such as alopecia areata.

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