Scabs on the scalp are not nice to deal with. It can be itchy, and the constant scratching is potentially embarrssing. It feels uncomfortable and doesn't help our hair to stay in place on a night out either! In severe cases, an itchy and scabby head may even cause hair to fall out and start thinning.

In this article, I explain the causes of scabs on the scalp and look how to prevent and heal it. I also recommend some of the best products for your scalp.

Low Range Itch Control Shampoo

Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo, Stubborn Itch Control, 4.4 Ounce
Amazon Price: $6.99 $4.30 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 27, 2015)
This T-gel shampoo is especially formulated for those suffering with scalp psoriasis, dermatitis and dandruff. It's anti itch formula stops you scratching so much, which can have a negative effect and make scabs worse.

What Causes Scabs on the Scalp?

Although there are a number of conditions that can lead to scabs on the scalp, the scratching doesn't help. The most common causes of itching that lead to scabs on the head are psoriasis, dandruff, eczema and sunburn.[1]  It's not just dry skin that can suffer from this problem either, people with oily skin or sensitive skin can suffer from it too.

Scalp Psoriasis is one of the more common scalp problems. It causes red patches of skin, on the whole or part of the scalp, which can be covered in silvery-white scales. Scalp psoriasis can be very itchy, and uncomfortable, although some people do not have discomfort.[2]

There are also other causes of itchiness of the scalp such as lice and fungal infections.  Also, prolonged scabs and itchiness of the scalp can sometimes be a warning of more severe underlying health problems.[1] Therefore, you should get a professional diagnosis before you self-treat the problem.

How can I avoid Scabs on the Scalp?

If you are suffering from scalp scabs, don't scratch! As tempting as it may be, it is more likely to heal if you leave it alone.

Visit your general practitioner or dermatologist, who will give you a professional diagnosis. Your GP will then prescribe you something to help resolve the problem and make any necessary specialist referrals. 

If you suffer from scalp scabs persistently, your GP may diagnose you with scalp psoriasis or scalp eczma and prescribe you an ointment such as 'betacap'. Betacap contains the active ingredient betamethasone valerate - a corticosteroid used for inflammation of the skin.  Usually, betacap is applied twice daily.  Your GP will tell you if there is any reason why you dhould not use 'betacap', for example if you are pregnant or taking any other medicines.[3] Also, don't use betacap or betnovate treatment on open sores.

In cases where the wounds have become infected, you might be prescribed an anti-biotic ointment. Make sure that you use your precribed ointment exactly as directed by your doctor, otherwise your skin problem may continue longer than necessary.

Mid Range Scalp Treatment Shampoo

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair And Scalp Treatment Unisex, 16.9 Ounce
Amazon Price: $24.99 $16.15 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 27, 2015)
This Paul Mitchell hair and scalp treatment shampoo contains tea tree oil which has excellent healing properties. It also contains peppermint and lavender for a relaxing and sweet smelling natural fragrance.

Five tips for a Healthy Scalp

  1. Protect your Scalp from the sun - Your hair is not enough to protect your scalp from the sun and it's harmful ultraviolet rays.  Don't be afraid to use suncream or, if your scalp is too sensitive, cover up with a hat.
  2. Don't wash your hair too often - this can stimulate oil glands and irritate problem skin.
  3. Dry your hair properly with a hairdryer - when hair is left wet (especially when long hair is left wet and put up in a pony tail) this can make scabs on your head much worse.
  4. Chamomile, oatmeal and eucalyptus oil can help calm the itching and hydrate the scalp.
  5. Choose a gentle medicated or botanical shampoo - too many harsh artificial ingredients can make scabs on the scalp worse. Try shampoos with natural ingredients such as Tea tree oil.

Suffering from Dandruff?

Dandruff is a common scalp problem where white and grey flakes of skin fall from your itchy, dry scalp and onto your shoulders. If your dandruff is combines with  with the skin condition seborrhoeic dermatitis you may also experience additional symptoms such as scaling and itching of the skin.

Suave Scalp Solution AntiDandruff Shampoo, Nourishing Coconut and Shea Butter, 14.5 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Amazon Price: $29.75 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 27, 2015)
This coconut and shea butter anti-dandruff shampoo is the best rated anti-dandruff shampoo on amazon. It is very effective and excellent value for money.

Premium Range Shampoo

Arbonne Premium Intelligence shampoo with T-tree oil is a swiss formulated natural shampoo that works great on an annoying dry scalp. It is vegan, botanically formulated and contains no parabins. There is also a thermal fusion hair and scalp revitaliser.  Apply this after shampooing and conditioning and simply leave it in for 5 minutes.

My favorite shampoo for an itchy and scabby scalp has to be the Arbonne FC5 nourishing daily shampoo. This cleared up the scabs on my head within 5 days.

FC5 Range - ArbonneCredit:

Have an Indian Head Massage

The best thing that I ever did for my scalp was to have an Indian head massage. The oils used in Indian head massage ayurvedic healing properties that will help scabs to heal. The practice has been used in India for over a thousand years. The massage also releases stress and tension that has built up in the tissues and muscles of the head and neck.[6]

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Indian Head Massage in Essence
Amazon Price: $49.19 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 27, 2015)
Learn how to do Indian Head massage with this excellent guide. It contains everything you need from the origins of Indian head massage to illustrations showing you different massage routines.