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DID YOU KNOW AN ITCHY SCALP COULD BE A SIGN OF SCALP INFECTION?
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHY DOES YOUR SCALP ITCH?1,2
Many conditions can cause an itchy scalp.
The most common of these include:
1. Dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis.
3. Psoriasis (an autoimmune disease that causes raised, reddish, scaly patches on the skin or scalp).
4. Head lice (tiny nits or eggs) attached to a strand of hair.
5. Allergic reactions possibly from hair dyes, eczema and atopic dermatitis.
SIGNS OF A SCALP INFECTION?
Scalp infection is a term commonly used to define various conditions of the skin on the head. While an itchy scalp can simply be the result of a sensitive scalp, a persistent itch can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. A scalp infection can lead to scratching, discomfort, and pain in more severe cases. Sometimes, inflammation, flaking, scabbing or skin lesions accompany the itching, although your scalp can itch without any visible changes to the skin.
WHAT CAUSES A SCALP INFECTION?
Various conditions can cause your scalp to itch, from dandruff to ringworm, or something more serious like an infection.2 While the scalp, like skin anywhere on the body, is prone to infections from many different types of infectious agents; fungal and bacterial infections are by far the most common.3
COMMON TYPES OF SCALP INFECTIONS
HOW TO RECOGNISE A SCALP INFECTION4
Look out for:
- clusters of small red bumps or white-headed pimples that develop around hair follicles
- pus-filled blisters that break open and crust over
- red and inflamed skin
- itchy or burning skin
- tenderness or pain
- large swollen bump or mass
- itchy, scaly or bald patches
- If you experience any of these symptoms, you may have a bacterial, fungal or viral infection.
DOES INFECTION TYPE IMPACT TREATMENT?
For fungal infections, the length and type of treatment can vary depending on:
• the type of infection;
• how severe your symptoms are and
• if you have any other immune system health issues.
Some courses of treatment (including basic self-care), can be as short as a few days, while other courses of treatment can be as long as eight weeks, for instance a ringworm infection of the scalp.
A mild bacterial infection may clear up in a few days with basic self-care measures. For more serious or recurring symptoms, you may need to consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Viral infections are a result of systemic illness. For instance in the case of chicken pox, herpes, or shingles, viral lesions may appear on the scalp.While the treatment of a systemic infection requires oral systemic medication, basic self-care measures can help to prevent secondary infections on top of the viral lesions.
5 SIMPLE STEPS FOR SELF-TREATMENT6
To assist in eliminating the cause of the infection and soothe symptoms fast and effectively, use a Medicated Shampoo. Using a specially formulated shampoo may reduce the risk of spreading the infection to family members or classmates. It’s also important to avoid sharing personal items such has combs, hats and towels.7
If your condition is widespread and has not shown any improvement after a few weeks of self-treatment with Medicated Shampoo see your doctor or pharmacist.
A single agent shampoo available on shelf that kills bacteria, viruses and fungi6
TIPS TO PREVENT SCALP INFECTION
You can also take the following preventative steps:
- never share hats, combs or towels
- wash your hands regularly
- treat scalp lesions immediately
- maintain a clean scalp
- keep a Medicated Shampoo handy to help you to defeat viruses, fungi and bacteria before they get a chance to make their home on your scalp.6,8-9
1. What causes itchy scalp? Available at http://www.healthline.com/symptom/itchy-scalp. Accessed in February 2017. 2. Do You Have an Itchy Scalp? 5 Common Problems and Fixes. Available at https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/04/itchy-scalp-5-common-problems-and-fixes/. Accessed in February 2017. 3. Scalp Infections Causes, Types, Pictures. Available at http://www.healthhype.com/scalp-infections-causes-types-pictures.html. Accessed in February 2017. 4. Diseases and Conditions: Folliculitis. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/folliculitis/basics/symptoms/con-20025909. Accessed in February 2017. 5. Antifungal Medicines. Available at http://patient.info/health/antifungal-medicines. Accessed February 2017. 5a. Scalp Infections Causes, Types, Pictures. Available at http://www.healthhype.com/scalp-infections-causes-types-pictures.html 6. Betadine® Medicated Shampoo approved package insert. 7. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/scalp-problems#3. Accessed February 2017 8. Shiraishi T, et al. Evaluation of the bacterial activity of povidone-iodine and commercially available gargle preparations. Dermatology 2002; 204 (Suppl 1): 37-41. 9. Kawana R, et al. Inactivation of human viruses by povidone-iodine in comparison with other antiseptics. Dermatology 1997; 195 (Suppl 2): 29-35.
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