Itchy scalp!! Help

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Lothlorien, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    My scalp has been itchy and flaky for weeks now. I change shampoos frequently because a dermatologist told me that build up from using the same shampoo over and over every day will cause itchiness, so I know it's not from that.

    I can't wear dark clothes, because it looks like it snowed on my shoulders. It's so bad. It's really gross and it is driving me bonkers.

    I've been using scalpicin, which takes the immediate itch away, but it doesn't solve the problem.

  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Could you be eating something you're allergic to? I know that I get some kind of scalp eczema when I have too much milk.

    I read this and thought it was interesting:


    Hope you find some relief. I appreciate how annoying it is!
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have been having a problem with hair falling out and I went to a dermatologist. They gave me shots in my scalp. They also told me to only use baby shampoo on my hair and to condition it well. Now I had been having problems with slight dandruff before this all started but it wasnt a real concern. Now, not a problem at all. I dont know if it was the shots or the baby shampoo. I havent been back to the doctor since the last week of August and still no dandruff so maybe its the shampoo. I simply use CVS brand baby shampoo.
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Your link didn't work, gcv. I don't think I'm eating anything that I'm allergic too. It started a few weeks ago and got really, really bad when I went on vacation. I was thinking it was stress. I really need to get myself some Vitamin B complex, because I'm thinking that might be it.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Loth, google "zinc dandruff" and it should come up for you.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Years ago we had that problem and there were two solutions for us. We
    changed shampoos but more importantly I improved the rinsing process. Sure hope you find the answer for your scalp soon. DDD
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I think my boys use Nitrozel or something like that.
    I find hair spray makes me itch a great deal.
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'll google that.

    Fran, I'll google that too.

    I don't really use anything like hairspray, but once in a while. I find that hairspray flattens my hair down, these days. I don't use anything else in my hair (except Frizzease once in a while, but not in a long time....since the summer). This started sometime in October, but wasn't bad until I went on vacation. Then it just hit the fan. I think it's stress. I've been pretty stressed out since the summer.

    I have some prescription cortisone cream. I worked it onto my scalp when I got out of the shower, but it's still itchy.
  9. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I used to have an itchy scalp until I realized that hair products with wheat make my head itch. One thing that helped was putting vinegar on my head, letting it sit for about 20 minutes, and then rinsing it out. That got rid of the immediate itch and worked for a few days.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    NIzoral is a now OTC antifungal dandruff shampoo. It helps if the dandruff is related to a fungal infection.

    Not to be rude, but have you checked for lice? Have your kids been itchy?

    If it sin't that, get some T-Gel shampoo. Neutrogena makes it, and there are house brands that are affordable at Walgreens. Not sure if Walmart has a house brand of it.

    With the Tgel you will first get your hair very very wet. Then use a small dab of another shampoo or the tgel. Work it into the hair and then rinse. Then use a normal size dollop of Tgel. Work it in. You will notice far more suds than the first shampoo. For some reason this stuff does NOT suds up the first time you apply it during a shower. It doesn't matter what shampoo you use first, just rinse it out and use Tgel for a second shampoo. Work it into the scalp really really well. Then let it sit for at least 5 minutes.

    After 5 minutes rinse it out very well. Then use a good conditioner being sure to get some on your scalp to moisturize it.

    Do this daily for 10-14 days. Then you should be able to maintain it using the Tgel 2-3 times a week.

    If Tgel does not help then use the Nizoral. There are house brands of this available now as well.

    Sorry you are so itchy. Be sure to rinse very very well after each step. If buildup is a problem use the Neutrogena shampoo and conditioner once a week (not Tgel, they have one that will handle buildup).
  11. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Ha! I can't help but laugh that this thread would begin within a day of mine.... My head has itched constantly for about 24 hours now, but I know it's the power of suggestion.

    Seriously, though, I used to have a problem similar to what you describe. Denorex worked for me for a long time. After several years, though, the problem seemed to run its course, and I've been able to use whatever cheap shampoo I wanted for a long time. I really wonder if for me it was an angle of the eczema I've dealt with since babyhood. The eczema symptoms come and go--not always the same areas of my body--as the dermatologist told me is typical and would probably be the case for the rest of my life. I've always noticed flares during periods of stress, though, as I think is common as well. Other times, it's other systems of my body that rebel during stressful times. One way or another, though, my body always complains when I'm not handling my stress very well.

    My little one has similar issues with her skin--particularly her scalp. Honestly resembles cradle cap that never goes away. This has definitely complicated things for us during the past 24 hours. Separating the skin flaking from the nits.... Ugh! I know. Irrelevant--at least I hope so for your sake:)

    Heredity might be relevant though. My aunt had a very similar problem; my dad too; now my daughter--all three involving scalp but other skins areas too at different times. Do you have any patterns like that?
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Nope, no lice. I had just responded to bankrupt's thread about that.

    I've been using T-gel, for a few weeks now. Not really helping. I haven't tried Denorex. I think I'd like to try the Nizoral first. I think I'll run out to the drug store and try that.

    husband stopped and got some B complex and I took some E as well.

    The vinegar idea sounds like it might work, especially if it is a fungal thing, but that would buuuuu---uuuuurrrn!

    I had this problem a long time ago when I used the same shampoo over and over. It was so bad that when I got my hair permed or colored it hurt like hell! I'm do for a color treatment soon and I'm dreading it. Maybe if I just get highlights without the roots done, it won't bother me.

    Oh....and rinsing...not a problem. I am a shower fanatic. I'll stay in the shower for a long time. Rinsing out isn't an issue for me. OTH, the hot water is an issue....I like my shower water very, very hot and I know that's bad for excematic skin or scalps.

    My daugher, on the other hand......ick. She's so bad about rinsing her hair properly! I've been doing her hair and seen globs of dried shampoo in her hair. Gross!
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    That's what we had.....just like your daughter. I used baby oil on easy child/difficult child and difficult child when they were flaking. It did the trick but the key was rinsing.
    Sorry your problem isn't that simple, Loth. DDD
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you have been doing the Tgel I would go to the nizoral right away. The vinegar does sound like it would burn.

    Just likeing showers and being in them is not enough to rinse your hair well. You have to actively work the hair around, like you are shampooing, or the top will be well rinsed and the bottom will not be. If I don't work my hair I end up with the underside of my hair not being wet at all - even after 10 minutes in the shower!

    Use cooler water when rinsing. It will help cut down the itching.

    I have gone through this myself. I got past it after I broke down and bought the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil shampoo. I would work it in super well and then plug up the bathtub and soak for 30 minutes, then rinse and condition. It took leaving it on that long to help. You could have husband use cotton to apply tea tree oil just to your scalp, but it might take a whole lot of tea tree oil.

    The version of the Paul Mitchell stuff sold at Sallys will not work. It takes the brand name to have enough tea tree oil in it to work.

    My kids have all had that cradle cap looking problem. When the big flakes of skin come off it is painful for them. Washing, conditioning, even combing is painful when it is acting up. I have found the tea tree oil shampoo can help it. I also have left conditioner on it for 30 mins and/or done hot-ish oil treatments. The conditioner worked best for us.
  15. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Surprisingly, the vinegar didn't burn me. I was worried about that, too.

    Go slowly to be sure.
  16. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I have this problem as does easy child. I can literally scratch wounds into my scalp. Not good! I've tried a ton of products and even prescribed ones from the doctor. To no great change. There are great ideas here, and many can help. For me, I'd improve but it doesn't stop it.

    I find that deep moisturizing treatments can be a real benefit. I don't know what is used at the salon, I just know its a all natural moisture treatment (intense therapy treatment) and it is a big help but costs what I can't afford right now. Tea tree oil all natural shampoos have at times worked miracles for me. My biggest favorite though is a weekly bear oil treatment at home. It can be purchased at health food shops etc. I warm the oil in a pot of hot water, I soak my hair in the oil and rub gently but firmly into the scalp and then cover my head with a towel made as hot as possible with water (after covering it in a hair cap). I've been known when my scalp is really bad, to sleep with the oil in, cap on and then wash my hair the next morning. After a few weeks, my scalp usually ends up wonderfully healthy and not itchy, no flakes. Maybe it would help you too??
  17. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    How do you get the oil out of your hair? I remember when that slicked hair was big in the 80's and people using baby oil or vaseline in their hair and ended up using Palmolive to get it out, which leaves the hair really dry. (My little brother put vaseline in my hair when I was sleeping once, as a joke and I had to use Palmolive to get it out. It left my hair really gross for a while)
  18. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Loth, my oldest son had the same problem. I tried the dandruff shampoos, including Nizoral and nothing helped. I tried changing shampoos and Scalpicin. The derm gave him a stronger prescription version of a hydrocortinsone liquid and that cleared the inflammation right up. Ah...relief at last!

    The other thing that helped was suggested by my hairdresser. She suggested using a restorative conditioner called Mastey Superpac on his scalp. I'd rub a bunch in, cover with a plastic bag and then a stocking cap and leave on for about 30 minutes. This gave immediate relief and lasted for a few days but it never fully cleared up until we used the prescription stuff on him a few times. It seemed to me he had to clear up the inflammation to have a clean slate to work with. If he's a little itchy now we just go with this.

    For maintaince what I found works best was to use Neutrogena Anti-Reside shampoo. It strips the oils so it sounds counter-intuitive but coupled with a good quality condition (He uses Mastey Moisturee) the combination has kept it away once that initial problem was totally cleared up.

    None of this is cheap, but the itching was making him nuts.
  19. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I tend to do the oil treatment on a weekend I'm not planning on a big social thing or anything. Spend Friday night sleepign with the cap on. Wash well and rinse well and repeat on Saturday morning. Again on Sunday. The oil tends to wash out quite well, perhaps a tad time consuming. I find it worth the extra time to get some relief on my scalp.
    Funny timing on this thread, I'm flaking badly myself and have been falling asleep at night with S/O lighting scratching my head (I'm a big baby, and a spoiled one lol). Its definitly time for me to do a treatment.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I just got back from the dermatologist and talking about hair etc. My hair is thinning and it's 'barrasing.

    I found that Dollar General has a cheap $2.00 Bottle of Anti-Itch shampoo for scalps (THEIR OWN BRAND) and NOT the dandruff shampoo.....that I use alternating with Sebastians +1 shampoo. My scalp is back in balance. I am also a vinegar user and have been since I was a kid. Do NOT get it in your eyes. It burns like sin. WHITE vinegar only -

    As far as the flakes and the itch and the rest? He said white people wash their hair FAR too often and rid their hair of essential oils and strip, color, perm, etc. - I am 45, I've never colored my hair, and haven't had a perm for over 20 years. Before that? I hadn't had one for 25. So that logic was phooey. I also haven't cut my hair for 20 years. It's not grows however long it will - then falls out. 3-5 years is the life for a hair. Those people with long long hair? They're freaks. (It's called the Angora gene) go figure. My hair is as long as it will ever be. Top of my jeans. Huh.

    As far as all the goop, conditioners....Worthless. He said I could put stuff on my hair every single day to help it be non-frizzy, silky, stop this stop that? And I can throw my money out the window. Great. So what about the balding? -Well I'm trying generic Rogaine for 6 months....We shall see.

    In the mean time? If your scalp is dry and flaky? Putting things ON your head may temporarily help, but he said that massage to get the essential oils would help, and not washing so much. When I did wash? Baby shampoo or something mild like Neutrogena. Rinse, RINSE RINSE RINSE and a dab - DAB (tiny dab) of conditioner on the ends - NOT the scalp....let the roots breath.

    That's what I was told - Cost me $60 Rosacea is good, and the Rogaine generic seems to be working.....3weeks in.....I use the Dollar store scalp shampoo once a week. Then shampoo and rinse.