Itchy scalp (scalp pruritus) is a prevalent condition caused by different skin disorders or can be due to an underlying illness such as diabetes and anxiety. Moreover, seborrheic dermatitis is the most prevalent cause of an itchy scalp, an inflammatory skin disorder commonly known as dandruff. It often affects oil-producing regions, including the scalp and face. Seborrheic dermatitis can be caused by mental and physical strain, hormonal shifts, environmental changes, and yeast overgrowth.
Moreover, conditions like eczema, psoriasis, ringworm, contact dermatitis, and even head lice may also contribute to an itchy scalp. For example, allergic dermatitis is characterized by an itchy scalp and a rash. Scalp pruritus can also be due to harsh chemicals such as dyes and fragrances on hair products. Nonetheless, the first treatment step is understanding what’s triggering the itchy scalp. Dandruff, for instance, is treated by regularly cleaning the hair with specialized topical treatments.
Essential oils, colloidal oatmeal, and other OTC remedies may help soothe itchy skin. Furthermore, several natural ingredients often available at home, such as coconut and olive oil, can be incorporated as a home remedy. However, an itchy scalp that won’t go away with over-the-counter treatments may require oral medications, formulated shampoos, and a lifestyle change.
Oils extracted from aromatic plants are called essential oils wherein healthful plant compounds are absorbed by the skin or scalp when applied. Several essential oils, such as argan and jojoba oil, are used as home remedies for skin problems, including scalp pruritus. In recent years, argan oil has gained popularity as a home cure for dry hair. Because of the abundance of omega fatty acids it contains, argan oil is also an excellent remedy for dry skin. In addition, its phenols alleviate scalp problems by keeping the pH in check and reducing oil production.
Other essential oils, such as peppermint and lavender oil, may help halt hair loss and protect the scalp. The antibacterial properties of lavender inhibit the development of germs and yeasts, alleviating itchiness and dandruff. On the other hand, menthol, a naturally occurring chemical, is abundant in peppermint oil. Because of its cooling properties, menthol may be helpful in soothing skin allergies that cause itching. After shampooing, peppermint tea can be used as a rinse. However, do not apply essential oils directly to the skin or scalp. Instead, it should be diluted in a carrier oil or added a few drops in shampoo, thus washed thoroughly with lukewarm water.