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View Full Version : What is wrong with my scalp? OMG.



ysabet
May 2nd, 2013, 08:40 AM
My scalp and I have a loooong history of disagreements. I think it should be soft, not itchy, and not dry. Right now, I have a patch about the size of my palm on my crown/top of my hair where it's hard, dry, itchy (I keep scratching it bloody when I sleep) and flaky. This can't be good for my hair-growth ambitions! I've tried a detox shampoo (Naked Detox) and today an ACV soak/rinse. I've put a new filter in my filtering showerhead, so my water is a little softer (damn you, London water). I'm also (with some success, although not much) sleeping on my hands so I don't scratch it so much. I probably need to see a dermatologist or something, I realise this, but are there other things I can try to help my scalp get better?

A few salient points:
- My hair doesn't get greasy, even after a month or two without anything more than a length-rinse to wash out water-soluble product and surface dirt. It is always, always dry. Same with my face - for some reason, my sebum is waxy rather than oily, and there isn't much of it to start with.
- I do have super sensitive skin.
- I often have an itchy/dry scalp if I use water that is too hot, too hard, or after I shampoo. Especially if I'm stressed. I recently had a stressful few weeks, which I think triggered this mess.

.... help! Please. :)

PrincessIdril
May 2nd, 2013, 08:47 AM
I really would suggest going to a dermatologist, as it sounds a little bit like scalp psoriasis. Especially as stress is a common trigger for psoriasis.
Perhaps try moisturising your scalp with coconut oil (or something similar) and see if that helps as all?

ysabet
May 2nd, 2013, 08:55 AM
Hm, I only have macadamia, EVOO, and some face oil on hand. OTOH, the face oil REALLY helps my skin, so maybe it'll work on my scalp too .... Thank you! I forgot about oiling totally. Silly me.

Sham
May 2nd, 2013, 08:58 AM
I second the dermatologist suggestion. However something that's works for me (I have a small patch that is dry and flaky/itchy near the nape of my neck on my scalp) is Jojoba oil. I would rub it on straight as often as I could. Jojoba oil is the oil that is closest to sebum I believe, and it was fine with my sensitive skin. Just make sure it's 100% pure.

cranberrymoonz
May 2nd, 2013, 09:07 AM
The first thing that comes to mind is: quit the poo! The only use for it is to remove oil and since you don't have any, you don't need it. Try water only, conditioner only, stretching washes or a mild sulfate free shampoo. In addition, oil your scalp. Especially jojoba oil is great for skin, hair and scalp because it is a mix of oils and wax esters like natural sebum. Look into herbal tea rinses too, there might just be one that helps. Definitely go and see a dermatologist, you never know if it might be something more serious...

One thing that helped me a lot with my sensitive skin is to use perfume free products:)

ysabet
May 2nd, 2013, 09:16 AM
My shampoo is very mild, sulfate and paraben free (I usually use Weleda Moisture and Shine). I only shampoo to my ears, and that only about once every week or two. Unfortunately, the air in London is REALLY awful, and my hair gets quite dirty if I leave the house! Even with the filtered shower, WO isn't enough to get the dirt and grime off, annoyingly enough. I was WO back in Brisbane for a couple of years, although I eventually found I do need to shampoo at least once every month or so, to get rid of product buildup.

Thank you for the advice! I shall attempt to locate some Jojoba oil post haste.

Nini
May 2nd, 2013, 11:37 AM
Have you tried to shampoo more often?

Angelica
May 2nd, 2013, 11:59 AM
There are specially formed shampoo on the market for those suffering with dry skin conditions. If you are diagnosed with a skin condition such as eczema, sometimes the GP will even prescribe it for you. In shops such as Boots, these shampoos are rather expensive but well worth it. I would avoid anything that is scented on your scalp for now and you need something desperately to stop yourself scratching when you are sleeping, this will only make it worse. Wear gloves, and make sure your nails are cut short. Please tell your GP about all your symptoms. He can refer you to a dermatologist or a trichologist if need be. In the mean time there are things you can do to help yourself. You might find that cool or cold water rinses will help your symptoms and anti allergy tablets can help with itching as well. These steps will help whilst you await a doctor's appointment. Good luck and I hope your condition improves soon.

lapushka
May 2nd, 2013, 04:23 PM
Treatment, and what best to use for your scalp, is going to depend on the diagnosis, and these things are best left to the professionals. Go see a dermatologist sooner rather than later. There's no use scratching your scalp bloody. Go see a doctor already! :)

leslissocool
May 2nd, 2013, 04:27 PM
Sounds like psoriasis, I have it, I would go to a doctor to make sure it's really that then try hot oils on scalp.

I really like the menthol shampoo, like the selsun blue (I use the knock off) after a hot oil treatment, it makes my scalp cool and soothes the itchyness. You can try CWC (condition, wash root, rinse then condition length) if it's too drying for the hair. Hot oil is really the only thing that ever soothes stress breakouts, along with a menthol shampoo.

Have you tried cold rinses? Shower normally, then the very last rince you can use ice water/really cold water to rinse your scalp so it's super cold. This is like heaven on my itchy scalp and menthol shampoo.

rock007junkie
May 2nd, 2013, 04:50 PM
I used to have a lot of scalp issues and tried everything under the sun. The only thing that worked and solved those issues for good (haven't had a problem since) is oiling my scalp with castor oil before washing my hair. This oil has some anti-bacterial properties that helps tremendously with scalp issues. It also absorbs dirt (I believe this is why it is used in the oil cleansing method). I would recommend mixing it with another oil since it's very thick in consistency.

http://www.howtomakeyourhairgrowfast.net/how-does-castor-oil-help-hair-growth.html

Audhumla
May 2nd, 2013, 07:52 PM
Hmm OP, I would suggest seeing how much fat you get in your diet.
Hard waxy sebum is a symptom of insufficient dietary fat consumption.
I have sensitive skin too and if I don't make sure I eat enough fat and different kinds of fat then it upsets my skin.
Maybe your scalp is having a problem like that where it cracks from being dry then those little cracks in the skin get irritated.

ysabet
May 3rd, 2013, 10:41 AM
Hmm OP, I would suggest seeing how much fat you get in your diet.
Hard waxy sebum is a symptom of insufficient dietary fat consumption.
I have sensitive skin too and if I don't make sure I eat enough fat and different kinds of fat then it upsets my skin.
Maybe your scalp is having a problem like that where it cracks from being dry then those little cracks in the skin get irritated.

I get quite a lot of dietary fat; around 40g a day or more when I bother to measure it, most of that saturated. I get stupidly hungry if I don't get enough fat - although I do struggle to eat enough in a general sense.

misspurdy06
May 3rd, 2013, 01:29 PM
Sounds like you have developed some psoriasis on your scalp. My sis has the same problem. She gets it because she refuses to stop eating things she is allergic to. These allergic reactions cause her immune system to go into overtime.

She gets those thick crusty patches on her scalp and complains but continues the behavior that causes them.

My guess is if you don't know what is causing it. Have your doctor do a blood panel for food allergies. Also because it is spring some seasonal allergies could be to blame.

Happytresses
May 3rd, 2013, 03:41 PM
I have seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp and some areas of my face. I went to the derm and he gave me a shampoo. I use only once a month now and I do not have any flakes. Interesting enough, once my scalp cleared up, so did my face. Go to the derm. I agree with lapushka.

Audhumla
May 3rd, 2013, 07:41 PM
I get quite a lot of dietary fat; around 40g a day or more when I bother to measure it, most of that saturated. I get stupidly hungry if I don't get enough fat - although I do struggle to eat enough in a general sense.
The RDI for a sedentary woman is 65-70g/day, but anyway like others said your scalp is probably psoriasis.

jacqueline101
May 3rd, 2013, 10:08 PM
I agree see a doctor something isn't right.

ysabet
May 6th, 2013, 05:44 AM
It is neither allergies nor intolerances, unless I've developed some new ones (always possible, I suppose). I already have a very strict diet, and I'm extremely cautious about new foods and other substances, having had some really awful reactions in the past. I'll triple check to make sure, though.

ysabet
May 6th, 2013, 05:53 AM
The RDI for a sedentary woman is 65-70g/day, but anyway like others said your scalp is probably psoriasis.

... based on a 2500 calorie a day diet, yes. I struggle to get 1200 calories a day. I have appetite suppression going on because of a medication I take to mitigate a medical condition. I will definitely be asking my GP for a referral to a dermatologist the next time I see her, that's for sure. I've added it to my list of things to talk about at my next appointment. In the meantime, I'm going to try oiling my scalp, and changing my leave-in conditioner, which seems to be a slight irritant.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions! It is very appreciated.