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What Makes my Scalp So Sensitive? What Can I do?

Sensitive skin, also referred to as reactive, hyperactive reactive, intolerant, and irritable skin, is defined as the onset of prickling, burning, or tingling sensations with or without pain or pruritus.

Similarly, to sensitive skin, scalp sensitivity is characterized by presence of prickling burning or tingling sensation on the scalp and various factors are known to cause this type of conditions.

Therefore, it is prudent to read through this article to get more insight on the causes and the ways to treat this condition if you happen to be the victim.


These causes include:

Synthetic and ultraviolet irritation

A wide assortment of chemicals can possibly chafe the scalp and cause torment and affectability. Albeit for all intents and purposes any concoction can conceivably bring about scalp affectability, unforgiving chemicals, for example, hair color, perpetual wave arrangement and hair straighteners will probably bring about torment and affectability than shampoos, conditioners and other ordinary hair items.

The topical hair development tranquilize minoxidil (Rogaine) can likewise bring about scalp affectability in a few people. The sun likewise can wreak ruin on the scalp. Like whatever remains of the skin, the scalp can support sunburn, particularly along a section line or in territories where the hair is diminishing. Wearing a cap while outside is the most ideal approach to keep a scalp sunburn.

Skin disorders

Skin issue influencing the scalp can prompt scalp agony and affectability. Seborrheic dermatitis, for instance, is an endless incendiary skin condition that regularly influences the scalp and in addition the eyebrows, ears and overlays nearby the nose. Red, flaky, oily, irritated patches describe this condition. Scratching these patches can prompt scalp torment and affectability.

Psoriasis is another normal skin issue that every now and again influences the scalp, particularly close to the hair line. Approximately 50 percent of individuals with psoriasis have scalp association. Irritated, red, patches create due an expanded rate of skin cell development. Psoriasis patches can be delicate, a side effect that frequently exacerbates because of scratching.

Diseases and Infestations

Scalp folliculitis alludes to delicate, pimple-like knocks emerging from the hair follicles, ordinarily along the front hairline. This condition is accepted to speak to a fiery response to creatures in the hair follicles, for example, yeast or vermin.

Now and again, it is because of a bacterial disease. Other bacterial skin diseases, including impetigo and cellulitis, can likewise influence the scalp and cause a delicate rash. Lice and ringworm, a parasitic contamination of the scalp, commonly cause extraordinary irritation. Scratching the included zones regularly prompts soreness.

Individuals who have had chickenpox can create shingles in later adulthood. This condition happens because of reactivation of the varicella-zoster infection, which causes chickenpox and shingles. Shingles can include your face and scalp and is regularly connected with agony and affectability, which normally starts before the rash shows up.

Neurologic and vascular causes

Cerebral pains are once in a while joined by scalp torment and affectability. With strain migraines, a few people encounter scalp delicacy alongside a band of snugness or weight around the head. A few people with headaches additionally encounter scalp affectability alongside throbbing or throbbing agony, normally on one side of the head.

Mammoth cell arteritis (GCA), otherwise called transient arteritis, can likewise bring about cerebral pain and scalp delicacy. This condition includes vein aggravation, as often as possible prompting sanctuary cerebral pains and scalp delicacy. GCA requires critical therapeutic consideration as it every now and again influences the courses of the eyes and can prompt vision misfortune.

Other neurological conditions can likewise bring about scalp torment. Occipital neuralgia causes sudden, extreme, cutting torment in the back of the head close to the neck. It might be the aftereffect of past injury in a few examples.

Trigeminal neuralgia causes comparative sensations in the face and front portion of the scalp. Tumors of the tissues that cover the cerebrum, called meningiomas, are an uncommon reason for discontinuous scalp and facial agony.

Injury and hair loss

A hit to the head can bring about transitory scalp wounding and delicacy. With a high-vitality blow, it’s critical to look for restorative assessment to decide if a cerebrum damage or skull break has happened. This is particularly imperative if the harm was joined by loss of awareness, regardless of the possibility that exclusive for a few moments.

For reasons that stay vague, ranges of the scalp influenced by balding are once in a while touchy. This manifestation, known as trichodynia, influences around 20 percent of ladies and 9 percent of men encountering male pattern baldness, as indicated by a review distributed in 2002 in the diary “Dermatology.”

Other causes of sensitive scalp include:

  • Dandruff is a common complaint, affecting places of the body where natural oils collect. It can cause red, scaly patches on the scalp. While not a sign of poor hygiene or disease, many people seek treatment out of irritation or embarrassment. Rarely, dandruff can also be caused by fungal infection or ringworm.
  • Psoriasis of the scalp can also lead to scalp tenderness and flaking or crusting skin. Unlike dandruff, the skin is dry with a silvery sheen. Stress, hormones, dry air, or cold weather can trigger psoriasis.
  • Lichen planus can also cause the scalp to flake or scale. This condition is also usually brought on by periods of stress or as a side effect of medical treatments.

Best shampoo to relieve sensitivity

In case you happen to have a sensitive scalp, normal shampoos can result to redness and irritation on your scalp leading to appearance of sore scalp. When the scalp is sore, it is difficult to braid and plait your hair. Also, itching can result to hair loss or hair fall.

Here are some of the recommended shampoos for sensitive scalp:

L’Occitane Aromachologie Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

L’Occitane Aromachologie Anti-Dandruff Shampoo — designed for use on sensitive scalps — contains natural ingredients like lemon, thyme and pepper that treat the hair without harsh chemicals. The shampoo gently foams as it is applied and soothes the scalp while cleaning the hair.

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is designed for young children, but it’s not just for the little ones. The lack of irritants and chemicals in the formula make it ideal for use in adults with scalp issues. ConsumerSearch.com recommends the baby shampoo for those looking for a mild shampoo that won’t leave buildup or irritate the scalp.

Fuller Beechwood Gentle Brush

If you’re looking to avoid irritation while brushing your hair, look for a brush like Fuller Beechwood Gentle Brush. The brush features soft and natural boar bristles that glide over hair without irritating the underlying skin. The brushes are flat, easy to use and also recommended for those with thinning hair.

Free & Clear Hair Conditioner for Sensitive Skin and Scalp

Free & Clear Hair Conditioner for Sensitive Skin and Scalp can be used as a daily conditioner without causing irritation to the scalp. The product was designed for those who want to avoid scalp-aggravating chemicals. It contains no dyes or added fragrances. It washes away without residue and leaves the hair feeling healthy without damaging the scalp.

Sensitivity to hair color and dye

Most people tolerate hair dye without a problem, but it can cause a reaction in some users. These reactions, known as contact dermatitis, are due to various chemicals in different types of hair dye.

Some of the symptoms associated with sensitive scalp after hair dye include; scalp redness, flaking, itchiness, and burning or stinging. Contact dermatitis caused by hair dye can be due to direct chemical irritation of the scalp or an allergic reaction.

Washing the hair with a mild shampoo will remove any residual hair dye on the scalp. An over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) might help with scalp itchiness but can cause drowsiness.

Also, it is recommended to see your doctor if you have scalp irritation related to hair dye that persists for more than 2 days or is severe.

During pregnancy

Pregnancy is associated with sensitive skin since some parts of the body appear to be dry and flaky. In case the scalp tends to become itchy and dry, it makes the scalp to be sore.

Here are the major causes of the sensitive scalp sores during pregnancy:

  • hormonal changes
  • headaches
  • blood pressure and pimples
  • hair loss and inflammations

Natural remedies and cures

These home remedies for a sensitive scalp include:

1. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil massaged daily into the scalp has shown some promise for treating hair loss, according to MedlinePlus. Subjects suffering from alopecia who used a variety of essential oils–including lavender–had more hair growth than the control group, although more research is needed. Used topically, lavender may cause sensitivity to the sun. It’s toxic if ingested.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile is known for its soothing properties, which can help treat a sore and itchy scalp. Let the tea steep in boiled water for about 20 minutes and then strain it. Let it cool completely and use it as a rinse after you’ve shampooed your hair.

3. Neem Oil

Add neem oil to your shampoo to get its soothing effect. Neem oil is taken from a species of evergreen. It’s a natural antibiotic and calms a sore or itchy scalp. Apply about 15 drops to an application of shampoo and gently massage your scalp. This cleanses the scalp and clears debris from hair follicles, strengthening them. It can be toxic, according to an article at Health-Care-Clinic.org. In fact, it’s often used as a natural pesticide. So keep it away from the kids if you’re using it.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has many useful properties for soothing the scalp, although no studies exist showing that it regrows hair. It has been shown to be a mild analgesic, so adding 15 drops to a half cup warm water and then massaging that gently into your scalp could relieve some tenderness.

Tea tree oil is also an antifungal, says an article in the Journal of the American Podiatriac Medical Association, so if the scalp tenderness is caused by a fungal growth, it will treat that, too.

  1. Sensitive Scalp: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500070/
  2. Help for a Sensitive Scalp: http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sensitive-scalp#1
  3. Scalp Pain: Causes, Treatment, And More: http://www.healthline.com/health/scalp-tenderness#overview1
  4. Sore scalp during pregnancy: https://www.hairyscalp.com/sore-scalp-pregnancy.html
  5. Sensitive Skin During Pregnancy: http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/whose-body/skin-sensitive.aspx

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