What other symptoms might occur with an itchy scalp?

An itchy scalp may occur with other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms can affect the skin and scalp and other body systems in some cases. For example, you may have joint pain if your itchy scalp is caused by psoriatic arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder.

Skin symptoms that may occur along with an itchy scalp

An itchy scalp may occur with other scalp and skin-related symptoms including:

  • Blistering

  • Burning

  • Cracked skin on the scalp or skin

  • Hair loss and thinning hair

  • Itchy elbows and knees

  • Pain

  • Rash or marks on the skin

  • Redness, irritation or inflammation

  • Scaling, flaking or cracking of skin

  • Skin discoloration

  • Sores or lesions from scratching

  • Tiny white specs at the base of the hair (lice eggs, nits) or small moving parasites in the hair, eyebrows or eyelashes (head lice)

Other symptoms that may occur along with an itchy scalp

An itchy scalp may occur with symptoms related to body systems other than the skin and scalp including:

  • Cold skin and poor toleration of the cold

  • Decreased appetite

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Flu-like symptoms (fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, aches, and pains)

  • Joint pain and stiffness

  • Poor concentration and memory problems

  • Problems with the nails, such as yellowing or pitting or brittle nails

  • Red, watery, itchy eyes

  • Sneezing and runny nose

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain


What is an itchy scalp?

An itchy scalp is an inflammatory reaction of the skin underneath the hair on your head. An itchy scalp is a common problem, particularly among adults. An itchy scalp may or may not be associated with a visible rash or broken skin.

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What causes an itchy scalp?

The most common cause of an itchy scalp is dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis, which is believed to be caused by a combination of oily skin and overgrowth of yeast. Environmental and lifestyle factors, such as hair products, acne, stress, and obesity, appear to increase the risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis.
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Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases, Eczema

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