Sensitive and extremely sensitive scalp

Sensitive and extremely sensitive scalp 

Having a sensitive scalp can be very unpleasant in everyday life. About 60% of women and 40% of men have a sensitive scalp for various reasons. If the signs are severe, we speak of an extremely sensitive or hypersensitive scalp. With the right care, however, the signs can be alleviated.

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Sensitive or extremely sensitive scalp can cause severe discomfort.

What is sensitive and extremely sensitive scalp?

The symptoms of sensitive scalp include burning, tingling, pain, itching and redness. If the symptoms are severe, one speaks of an extremely sensitive or hypersensitive scalp. Whatever the severity of your condition, it is important to consider all factors that cause the sensitivity of your scalp. These include, for example, an unbalanced diet, the wrong shampoo for scalp and hair care, climatic conditions, environmental pollution or even stress. Considering all factors helps to understand the causes of scalp problems and improve the condition of the skin. Sensitive or extremely sensitive scalp can cause severe discomfort.

The main causes

The use of unsuitable shampoos is one of the most important causes of the development of a sensitive scalp. The cleansing substances or surfactants contained in many shampoos can impair the scalp’s natural acid mantle and make the skin sensitive to dehydration and irritation.

1. Aggressive shampoos impair the protective acid mantle of the scalp. 2. The scalp’s skin barrier function is impaired. 3. Micro-inflammations lead to further irritation

Patients suffering from neurodermatitis or psoriasis report that their scalp became sensitive or extremely sensitive as a result of the therapy of these diseases.

If the natural skin barrier is disrupted by one or more of these factors, micro-inflammations of the scalp can become the main cause of increased sensitivity. They appear when the cells of the scalp react to internal and external influences.

In addition, there are other reasons why the scalp is sensitive or extremely sensitive, for example

  • Environmental factors such as UV rays, cold, heat, wind
  • physical or emotional stress
  • Chemicals in soaps, cosmetics, water and some medicines and air pollution
  • hormonal changes, e.g. during pregnancy, the menopause or through the menstrual cycle
  • Food allergies or sensitivities to certain substances in food
  •  Aggressive shampoos affect the acid mantle of the scalp
  • The skin barrier function of the scalp is disturbed
  • Micro-inflammations lead to further irritation

Micro-inflammations and the scalp

What are micro-inflammations? Micro-inflammations are inflammations of the scalp not visible to the naked eye. On closer examination of these skin areas, the Eucerin researchers have come across a significant discovery. They found immune cells and elevated inflammatory mediators, indicating that defensive reactions take place here. If existing causes for this process are not eliminated, the persistence of the micro-inflammations can cause the symptoms to change into a “visible” inflammation.

1. Healthy skin 2. Micro-inflammation 3. Inflammation (erythema)

Skin inflammation


What influence do micro-inflammations have on the scalp? The current state of research strongly suggests that there is a link between micro-inflammation and common scalp problems – such as dandruff, dry scalp, itching and sensitive scalp.


Common misconceptions

There are some home remedies that are said to help against sensitive scalps, such as drinking eight glasses of water a day. Although such home remedies can be important for overall health, they alone will not cure scalp hypersensitivity. There is also insufficient evidence of the effectiveness of other household remedies.

Drinking a lot of water is good for your health in general, but it will not solve the hypersensitivity of the scalp by itself.

Drinking plenty of water is good for your health in general, but it doesn’t remedy the hypersensitivity of the scalp alone.

Care recommendations

Do you have sensitive or extremely sensitive scalp?

You could be suffering from sensitive scalps if..

You could be suffering from a different scalp problem if..

…your scalp is irritated by many shampoos or hair care products: These often contain too aggressive cleaning substances or chemicals.

…you have recently been exposed to one or more of the above influences: Especially if the symptoms appeared shortly after.

…you notice white flakes or yellow scales on your scalp and in your hair: you may have dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.

…you have red, scaly, silvery, shiny spots on your skin: You may be affected by psoriasis.

…your scalp is extremely itchy: Then you may have a dry and itchy scalp.

You should consult your family doctor or dermatologist if you are concerned about your symptoms, if the symptoms are severe, or if your scalp becomes inflamed, weeping or sore.

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