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Symptoms, Causes & Treatment of Scalp Infections

a woman scratching her scalp

Symptoms, Causes & Treatment of Scalp Infections

Scalp cleanliness is very important as it relates to the growth of hair. How healthy does it grow? Many small children and infants face problems of scalp infection. The scalp can be infected due to fungus or bacteria that enter the scalp from hair follicles or if the skin is damaged.

Eczema and psoriasis are the best examples of infection on the scalp of your head. This is the most common type of skin condition that causes flaky skin. There are many causes for scalp infection caused by bacteria and fungal infection on the scalp. The symptoms of scalp infection differ from person to person and can be treated by ointments, medicated shampoos, and creams. The symptoms may include redness, itching, and cradle cap in infants.

Scalp infection if untreated can further cause hair loss or many kinds of skin infection on the scalp. But there are many more causes of scalp infection and hair loss which can be genetic or due to diet.

Types of scalp conditions and skin conditions of the scalp that cause infection:

  • Hair loss or hair damage is the common type of scalp condition that involves breaking the hair or creating small patches on the scalp. 
  • Baldness occurs in men known as male pattern baldness. This is either hereditary or happens due to male sex hormones or due to nutrition deficiency.
  • Hair loss or other scalp conditions are also caused due to thyroid hormones. If thyroid hormone is affected it leads to many changes in body functioning. The types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hashimoto's disease, or Graves' disease. This disease too causes hair loss and in severe cases may lead to balding.
  • Hair loss and many scalp conditions also occur due to using hair styling tools, various hair products that contain chemicals, and shampoos that cause thinning and breakage of hair.
  • Many autoimmune diseases also cause hair loss and scalp infection.
  • Cradle cap is seborrheic eczema the skin condition caused in infants and in adults is known as dermatitis that causes itchy, flaky, and scaly patches on the skin of the scalp or head is known as dandruff.
  • Psoriasis is another common skin disease that affects the scalp that causes dry, red, and scaly patches on the scalp and it also causes inflammation on the skin.
  • Leishmaniasis is a parasite that causes skin inflammation.
  • Ringworm is another skin infection that generally occurs in children.

Skin condition is also affected by many other health issues that consist of:

  • Some skin conditions are caused by lice which is a small insect that occurs on hair and scalp causing itchiness to the scalp.
  • Sensitive scalp occurs due to damage to arteries that supply blood to the head.
  • The accident causes head injuries or fractures in the head.

Causes of scalp conditions are autoimmune diseases, genetics, hormonal changes or disorders, etc.

Symptoms of scalp conditions

Few symptoms of skin conditions that might be visually inspected are:

  1. Hair loss, hair breakage, or hair thinning 
  2. Redness on scalp skin
  3. Itchy scalp
  4. Inflammation on scalp or skin
  5. Pain
  6. Scaly patches
  7. Flaky skin
  8. Male pattern baldness 
  9. Lice on the hair and scalp
  10. Psoriasis
  11. Ringworm 
  12. Alopecia
  13. Eczema

The symptoms may or may not be related to scalp condition so it is very important to identify the symptoms and treat the underlying cause. It is always necessary to see a doctor if your skin condition is severe and they would suggest a blood test and might examine your hair, head, and scalp.

Examination becomes important to know whether the skin condition is due to thyroid hormone change or due to some other health conditions.


Treatment for scalp infection or condition depends on the identification, and symptoms of the disease. The symptoms vary from person to person and also the treatment depends on these symptoms.

It is very important to know whether the scalp condition is due to nutritional deficiency if-then supplementary diets help to relieve the scalp condition.

Hair transplantation is also the treatment for more hair loss but should be medically prescribed by the doctor. This can treat the hair loss process.

Medicated ointment, creams, shampoos also can treat the skin condition by removing lice or other insects in the hair and reducing itching on the skin. There are also many home remedies that are natural remedies to prevent scalp infection.

Also following a good hair care routine is recommended to every individual but also the skin condition does not necessarily mean that you are not hygienic. 

Take Away

Scalp condition is caused by many reasons and there are treatments for the same based on various symptoms which differ from person to person. This skin or scalp condition may be uncomfortable but treatment is effective but sometimes it may not be effective and the option that you are left with hair transplantation at it may also cause hair loss. So in case of any symptoms that relate to hair loss or balding or scalp condition always consult a dermatologist or a doctor and take medicated creams, ointments, and shampoos based on the doctor's prescription.

It is also very important to take care of your skin, hair, and scalp by following a good haircare and skincare routine and using products that do not contain chemicals that destroy the hair and scalp.