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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Scalp Problems
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions

Scalp Problems

Alternate Names : Scalp Conditions

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Scalp problems are conditions or symptoms that affect the skin of the top of the head.

What is going on in the body?

Scalp conditions can be minor problems, such as a minor infection that may be easily treated and "cured." Or a scalp problem may be much more serious, such as a life-threatening cancer.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Problems on the scalp may be caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • acne or pimples
  • eczema, an itchy swelling and redness of the skin
  • allergic reactions, such as to shampoos, hair sprays, or food
  • hormone changes, such as diabetes, or a low thyroid hormone level known as hypothyroidism
  • excessive irritation, such as shampooing too often
  • trichotillomania, a condition in which a person pulls out his or her hair due to psychological problems
  • anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder that causes people to not eat enough to maintain a normal weight
  • dandruff
  • cradle cap in infants
  • psoriasis, a skin condition that causes red scaly sores
  • moles, which are usually harmless, but in rare cases, can turn into melanoma, a serious skin cancer
  • cancer of the skin
  • ringworm, an infection of the skin caused by a fungus
  • head lice
  • physical or emotional stress
  • pregnancy
  • autoimmune disorders, in which a person's immune system attacks his or her own body. For example, the autoimmune disorder called systemic lupus erythematosus can cause hair loss.
  • medications, including vitamin A, oral contraceptives, or chemotherapy
  • trauma or injury, such as insect bites, cuts, or burns
  • bacterial infections
  • hair loss
  • HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, which can cause infections and rashes
  • Many other conditions can also affect the scalp.


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    Scalp Problems: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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