Scalp Health 101

Taking care of your scalp may not be at the top of your skin health priority list as much as your face, hands, or even elbows, but it’s just as important as any other area. Improving your scalp health can not only improve your comfort level but can even help with your hair health and growth

Because we care about your skin from head to toe, here are a few common scalp concerns, how to identify them, and what you can do to prevent them from popping up.

What are common scalp issues?

Most scalp troubles are fairly easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. They include:


Dandruff affects 50% of people worldwide. If you have dandruff, you may experience flaky, dry skin on your scalp, which can cause itchiness and visible skin flakes. 

Dandruff can be caused by a variety of factors, from using the incorrect shampoo to cold, dry weather. Diet, stress, and excessive hair styling may also contribute to the problem. Hair products formulated to address dandruff symptoms can be the most effective way to treat it, but your dermatologist can also offer recommendations catered to your needs. 


An unusual pink tone to the skin of your scalp can indicate a variety of things. One of these is seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that presents similarly to eczema. People with this condition may experience a red, itchy scalp, as well as the dreaded flakes of dandruff mentioned above. One cause of seborrheic dermatitis may be an overreaction to Malassezia, a naturally occurring yeast. 

Other causes of scalp redness may involve other underlying health conditions, such as ringworm, psoriasis, folliculitis, or even lice. Consult your doctor if you have persistent symptoms, to determine the root cause. 

What can I do to keep my scalp healthy?

One of the best ways to tend to your scalp is to avoid getting a sunburn on your head. Wear a hat when you’re outdoors, particularly in intense sunlight. 

You can also protect your scalp by first protecting your hair. Wear a swim cap when you go swimming, and use the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair and skin type. 

There are also several scalp care products available to help you maintain a healthy head. Ingredients in these may vary, but can include exfoliating elements—even the same salicylic acid you might use on your face. Be patient, as some experimentation (and time) may be required before you land on what works best for you. Consulting with a dermatologist may fast-track your best solution. 

Implementing some diet changes can also improve your skin, and therefore your scalp. Including some antioxidants and probiotics with your diet (or through supplements) can improve the health of your scalp. 

Knowing exactly what steps to take to maintain a healthy scalp can be a challenge, especially with so many products in the market. Olansky Dermatology & Aesthetics prioritizes our patients’ individual needs and goals to achieve healthy, comfortable skin. We are ready to answer any questions you may have, and to guide you towards your first steps to a healthier scalp!

If you have tried everything, and are still experiencing an itchy and scratchy scalp, schedule an appointment with us by calling 404-355-5484, or visiting our website.