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View Full Version : Why the insane itchies?



tigereye
February 1st, 2012, 03:07 AM
I need help with a problem. Over the last week my head has been itching so bad, but it was unbearable last night and this morning, to the point that I just jumped in the shower and washed my hair in the shortest time ever before I ran to my first lecture. What surprised me most was that when the warm water (barely-I think the boiler had only just turned on) hit the back of my scalp, it was sore. I had a few scabs coming off as I shampooed. Usually my scalp gets better after a wash for my usual slight itchies, but today it's wet, and STILL itchy (although not as bad). I'm trying desperately not to scratch.
The thing is, I don't know what the problem is. I have a few theories, but I don't know what it's likely to be.
First thing: my shampoo. I have used the light version of my usual shampoo for years, (I have also had slight itchies on the day before washing for years) and always keep a spare bottle at my parents house for when I go to stay. I went home last Thursday to find my brother (who stays with our parents as he can't get a job to afford a flat) had used up the last half bottle, and there was only the non-light version left. Now that would be ok, if not for having SLS and fragnance much further up the ingredient list. I used it anyway. I wonder if SLS is the issue - I have been searching for an SLS shampoo since I went cone-free.
Also, I did a vinegar rinse after washing last week, but I have done that before and of anything, it calmed the itchies.
The other possible culprit is my conditioner. I have changed conditioner recently (because it was cheap and cone-free). I do only apply conditioner from the ears down, but I don't know if it's in my mind, but it always seems worse around the back where I put my buns. If it is my conditioner, it's probably the fragnance, because I have allergies to some perfumes, and sensitivities to a lot others. This may also be the case for my shampoo.

I don't think henna is the issue, because I haven't hennaed in weeks, and my scalp wasn't bad then.

What's the most likely culprit? Are there other things I may not be thinking of? How can I stop it?

MonaLisa
February 1st, 2012, 03:18 AM
Sorry to hear that!
I suspect it's sore because of your scratching, no matter how gently..maybe you do it not being really aware of it.

I had same problem before summer.
I suspected a lot of reasons, just like you...shampoos, conditioners, oils even..
Even the fact that I washed it 2 days in a row which I never normally do..
But the itching was insane for days and days....weeks even..
I also suspected bed sheets, pillow case...what it's been washed with...etc..

Well it got solved...when lice started showing themselves..:o
I'd never have guessed..
I don't have children, I have no idea how on earth I got them...
And I've dismissed this idea every time it occured to me...didn't seem possible.
I'd suggest you check for lice, as I think it is 1 of the usual reasons for itching!
Good luck!

hellucy
February 1st, 2012, 03:44 AM
I have to agree with monalisa - lice are a very possible cause & sometimes it can take a while to actually find even one to prove they are the problem (I have 3 nursery/school age girls so been there!)
The other thing it maybe is a allergy developing & not necessarily to shampoo/conditioner or washing products - last summer I had a bad case of head itching which then developed further to also include itching inside my ears & also down the sides of my neck & inside my throat it was driving me insane, with anti-histamines it got a bit better but after keeping a food diary it turns out I have an allergy to hazelnuts.
Hope you are able to track down what is causing your itching & treat it - I feel for you as I know how nuts the itching can make you.

Bagginslover
February 1st, 2012, 06:03 AM
Lice would certainly explain why its itching most under your bun-they like warm places, usually places like behind ears and back of the neck, but under a bun would be toasty warm for them too.

When I've had lice, to check I've taken a big piece of white paper (or a close woven sheet would work) turned my head upside-down and combed out over the paper with a fine-toothed comb. Any lice that fall out will show up nicely against the white paper.

As an interesting side note, did you know lice will change colour to match their hosts hair colour?

jacqueline101
February 1st, 2012, 06:43 AM
I hope you do find a reason for the itching. I have not had lice in a long time. I had to do my hair a few years ago. I had never been so miserable I don't know where I got mine from I didn't have any at work. I was shocked when I combed my hair and found them. I had five of them.

StormVixen
February 1st, 2012, 06:49 AM
Possibly some kind of scalp infection (which can be transmitted by fingernails)?

MonaLisa
February 1st, 2012, 07:07 AM
I suspect I got mine in a public transport...But who knows, anyway..I suspected infection too and allergies..but the itch was only on my head...especially nape part..
Lice is pretty harmless though...so don't worry too much.
I killed them with mineral oil and EVOO treatments, and then killed nits with ACV rinses :)
Very hair-friendly..

Anyway, you might not find them if you have only few...
Try looking for nits..little transparent, whitish thingies glued to your hair 1/2inch from roots or so...tear shaped..

Let us know how you're doing! I hope it's not some nasty infection or allergy!

rock007junkie
February 1st, 2012, 07:38 AM
Regular SLS shampoos always brings out the itchies for me. Oiling my scalp now in the winter has made this problem better.

pepperminttea
February 1st, 2012, 09:19 AM
Silly question, but have you been stressed lately? When I first got diagnosed with psoriasis they told me it starts due to stress, and then once you've got it you're more or less stuck with it. If you can, ask someone to check your scalp for you to make sure it's not nits, but if it isn't, get an appointment at your local doctor's surgery. Try your absolute best not to scratch it. I know it's frustrating as all hell, but it will only make it worse, and could confuse a diagnosis.

If your scalp's fine, my bet would be on the shampoo; maybe an allergy to the fragrance or a sensitivity to the SLS. I hope you can find a solution soon. :flower:

Sammich
February 1st, 2012, 01:06 PM
I had horrific dandruff, painful AND red, and tiny tiny unseeable specks, after applying chemicals to my hair. (Extention glue)
I used head and shoulders, after a few washes it's calmed down.
Perhaps it's just a really bad case of dandruff/allergies because of chemicals in shampoo/etc? :p

tigereye
February 2nd, 2012, 09:23 AM
Thanks guys.
You may be right about the lice. I never thought about that, because I havent had them in years. I'll have to head out and find another comb. I used to have one in my toilet bag until I left it at my parents house. I'm sure the new combs catch eggs easier anyway. Come to think of it, there have been chances recently for me to possibly get them. I think I avoided them for years because my hair was always up, but I have worn it down more, and as its creeping its way inbetween waist and hip, thats a lot of hair to float around. I was looking after my niece (aged 5) and nephew (10) at the weekend, and had my hair down, plus I ended up in a very crowded club with my friends once they went home.
I'll buy a comb tonight, because I got to buy milk and bread on the way home anyway.
Ugh. I'm itching all over just thinking about the things.

pepperminttea: Yes. I have been stressed recently. My exams just finished last week, and now I'm straight back into lectures. I have days where I have 3lectures directly followed by a 3 hour lab, all in different buildings. If the lice check comes up blank, I'll ask the doc. I got to head in soon anyway, since I'm about to finish my course of meds.
I did get mega stressed out last year - *rant* which was largely the fault of two of my high-school teachers arguing over which class was more important, having their classes at the same time, and not speaking to one another. I was stressed out enough that I was often bursting into tears at nothing (which eventually worked to get the teachers to at least attempt to sort something out). Funny thing is, I took the subjects, not because I needed them, but because I wanted to do them. They were completely unrelated to the uni course I am on, so neither was "more important" than the other. *rant over*
I'm not nearly as stressed now, and do meditation quite regularly to help. But I can't remember if I had my constant slight itchies before that though. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. I'm so used to it now, its hard to remember when it started.

If the nit comb and the doc all draw a blank, I might try patch-testing my hair stuff.

MonaLisa
February 2nd, 2012, 09:28 AM
Let us know how it goes :grouphug:

I hope it's something harmless :)

bedazzlecat
February 2nd, 2012, 09:31 AM
Sebhorric dermatitis maybe?

tigereye
February 2nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
The other thing it maybe is a allergy developing & not necessarily to shampoo/conditioner or washing products - last summer I had a bad case of head itching which then developed further to also include itching inside my ears & also down the sides of my neck & inside my throat it was driving me insane, with anti-histamines it got a bit better but after keeping a food diary it turns out I have an allergy to hazelnuts.
Hope you are able to track down what is causing your itching & treat it - I feel for you as I know how nuts the itching can make you.
That may be a point, but I hope not. I don't particularly want another thing added to my allergy list. I do know I'm already allergic to pine nuts (but not other nuts - which is odd, because I know people with loads of nut allergies who are fine with pine nuts), some fragnances, and rapeseed pollen. I have sensitivities to a lot of the fragnances I am not allergic to.

moxamoll
February 2nd, 2012, 11:41 AM
I do know I'm already allergic to pine nuts (but not other nuts - which is odd, because I know people with loads of nut allergies who are fine with pine nuts),
Just as a side note, despite the name, pine nuts are seeds and thus don't have the same protein complex that is in nuts and which causes the histamine reaction.

As for the itchy scalp, I think folks here have hit everything I can think of. Anything else that comes to mind would be a full body reaction, not confined to the scalp. Good luck!

Moonlake
February 2nd, 2012, 01:45 PM
**********

HintOfMint
February 2nd, 2012, 02:20 PM
Hate to say this, but I giggled like mad when I misread the title.