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Dr Jones
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Category: Dermatology
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Experience:  MBBS MD
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What causes an itchy scalp with small lumps?

Resolved Question:

I have an itchy scalp, back of the neck and ears with small insect bite like lumps possibly from the scratching hidden in the hair. There are no open sores and as far as I know I do not have lice. The itching is pretty much constant until I have a cold bath/shower where I get a hour or so relief
I also get really itchy skin after intense exercise/hot baths but this I can control with anti-histamines, there are no visible signs to indicate what is wrong apart from the occasional red patches which seem to randomly appear
I have been to the doctor and was given a blood test which came back normal as well as being prescribed 'Emollient Cream' as I had quite dry skin (although I don’t know why as I drink plenty of water)
This has only recently started this winter so perhaps the dry weather has something to do with it
The skin rash I can cope with but the itchy scalp is driving me crazy.

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer.

Your symptoms are simulating fungal infection these are quiet characterized by itching and dandruff. Antifungal shampoo like nizoral (ketoconazole) can be extremely helpful in your case. I think this treatment should provide significant relief in your case. For time being you may consider use of antihistamines.

Please ask if I have left any of your query unanswered or if there are any doubts.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Surely if this was a fungal infection the doctor would have sent me for a test of some sort? Is there any way I can confirm there is a fungal infection?

Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

Routinely no tests are needed or asked in case of dandruff (fungal infections), it’s a clinical diagnosis. And it is the foremost and commonest cause of scalp itching, dryness, and scaling. I think this cause should be ruled out before considering any other cause.

I would suggest you to use nizoral shampoo which should be helpful and that will confirm the cause. It’s pretty common to have such infections and respond well to treatment.

I hope that answers your question.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Sorry to sound ignorant but does that mean the itchiness on the rest of my skin is a symptom of this too?

Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

Yes itchy skin behind ears and on neck can be due to same reasons. Some patients may even have itchy eyebrows.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Sorry I wasn't clear, I was referring to itchiness on my legs/chest/arms

All the symptoms appeared roughly the same time, I will try Antifungal shampoo and see how it goes

Thanks

Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

No surely they are not due to same reason.

Please describe these symptoms and associated complains in detail so that i can help you?

Is rash associated with it?

Any history of allergy?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

A few months ago (during the cold weather) I started getting random itching on my legs, there are no visible signs on the skin at all.
So I did nothing about it for a while (and switched back to the old conditioner), however the 'rash' spread to the rest of my body (arms, chest, genital area, and mostly legs) so i went to my local GP who prescribed 'Emollient Cream' and antihistamines as well as a blood test.

The blood test came back normal (I am afraid I have no idea what they checked for) and the cream doesn't seem to stop the episodes of itching.
When I scratch I get red welts so I have been doing my best to avoid doing so,

Recently however I have been getting a very itchy scalp and neck leading me to make this post, if I have a bath it relieves the itching for about a day and it returns (I did not notice this in my original post as I have started going to the gym so rarely go without a shower/bath at the end of the day).

It can't be dehydration as I drink a fair bit of water, and try to avoid anti-histamine’s (benadryl) unless it becomes unbearable.

One thing to note is that i get the worst episodes if I have a hot bath or intensive exercise, but the irritated neck and scalp doesn't even rely on this.

Please let me know if you want more specific information.

Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for inputs.

From symptoms i think its type of dermatitis. Local corticosteroid creams should provide relief in that case. I think you should give try to this cream and if symptoms persist i would suggest you to see a dermatologist.

You can take following precautions

Take brief, lukewarm baths. Apply lubricant immediately following the bath. Keep your fingernails filed short. Select soft cotton fabrics when choosing clothing. Consider using antihistamines to reduce scratching . Keep yourself cool; avoid situations where overheating occurs.

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