January 28, 2010 in Features

Ease itch with mineral oil

Peter H. Gott, M.D.
 

DEAR DR. GOTT: I have been scratching my head from morning until night. Not only is it uncomfortable, annoying and nerve-racking; it is also embarrassing. I hope you have had experience with dry scalp and can tell me what to do. It has been constant for a month now, and I’m fed up with it.

DEAR READER: Dry scalp is a common condition. It causes itching (with resultant scratching), dandruff and/or a red, scaly scalp.

The good news is that it is easily treated with over-the-counter antidandruff or dry-scalp shampoos and preparations. You may also want to apply mineral oil nightly, followed by covering your head with a shower cap. In the morning, wash out the oil, and your scalp should be well moisturized.

If after trying these options you are still experiencing itching and scalp dryness, you should be examined by your primary-care doctor, who can offer prescription shampoos or ointments. He or she might refer you to a dermatologist for further evaluation.

There is a similar condition known as scalp psoriasis, and the treatment is similar but lasts longer.

To provide related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Dermatitis, Eczema and Psoriasis.” Other readers would like a copy should send a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a $2 check or money order to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.


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