Many dermatological conditions can cause scalp pruritus of varying degrees, but it can be difficult to make an accurate diagnosis as signs are often nonspecific.
- Scalp pruritus may be a feature of many common dermatological conditions including seborrhoeic dermatitis, psoriasis, pediculosis, eczema and lichen simplex chronicus. In some patients, androgenetic alopecia is associated with itching and irritation of the scalp.
- Scalp pruritus can also be a prominent feature of contact dermatitis and rare conditions such as dermatitis herpetiformis, lichen planopilaris and trigeminal trophic syndrome.
- Psychological issues, particularly anxiety, may exacerbate or manifest as scalp pruritus.
- Identifying distinguishing features in the patient’s history and examination to make an accurate diagnosis is important. Sometimes a therapeutic trial is required before the diagnosis is known.
- A definitive cause for scalp pruritus may not be found in some cases, but empirical topical treatments may still help to alleviate symptoms.