Alternate Names : Scalp Conditions
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
anorexia nervosa, an eating
disorder that causes people to not eat enough to maintain a normal weight
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
physical or emotional stress
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
HIV, the virus that causes
AIDS, which can cause infections and rashes
Many other conditions can also affect the scalp.