Causes of Itchy Scalp After Lice Treatment

Causes of Itchy Scalp After Lice Treatment
Causes Of Itchy Scalp After Lice Treatment

Have you ever been in a situation where after treating a lice infection, your scalp continued to itch? If you have, you don’t have to fret because you are not alone.

Perhaps you have tried certain treatment but still, feel itchy, and you are considering retreating. Do not panic because the solution is not one that will cause you much.

However, it’s also important to know the actual causes of itchy scalp after lice treatment (which we’ll discuss later in this article), so you know exactly how to fight it.

Head lice are tiny, blood-sucking, and wingless insects. While living in the hair on your head, they feed off the blood on your scalp. The adult louse is almost the size of a sesame seed whereas the nit (louse egg) is approximately the size of a small flake of dandruff.

These lice are transmittable. Before treating lice, you may be infected when the insect sneaks onto your head. There are many ways of getting lice, which include:

  • Touching your head after touching the head of an infected person
  • Using a fabric item that an infected person has previously used
  • Sharing the same personal items with someone who has lice

Additionally, they can be transferred through headbands, barrettes, hats, headphones, combs, and brushes. They can live for an extended period on bedding, upholstered, clothing, or towels.

Most times, preschool and elementary students are more prone to experiencing head lice because they play closely with others while sharing items that have access to their heads. Furthermore, people working in an elementary, preschool, or daycare center share the same risk.

There are important things to consider before concluding that you have been infected. These include:

  • Scabs and sores on the scalp as a result of scratching
  • Feeling crawling on your scalp
  • Extreme scalp itchiness

Nevertheless, if you have treated it and you discovered that you still experience itchy scalp, it is better to reconsider what might be the reason behind this.

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Causes of Itchy Scalp after Lice Treatment

There are certain reasons why you may still experience itchy scalp after treating lice.

1. Sodium chloride in some treatment formulas

You will observe that some lice treatments shampoos use sodium chloride as the main ingredient. While the shampoo may succeed in eliminating your head lice, the sodium chloride content of the shampoo leads to dryness of the scalp and then itching.

Besides sodium chloride, another reason why you may feel that itchy scalp after treating lice is the repeated use of head lice treatments. This can cause irritation and drying of the scalp.

2. Bite sites

This is another cause of itchy scalp after treating lice. When a mite sneaks on your scalp, that particular spot becomes irritated and result in itching. This itching may persist even after treating it pending when the bites have healed completely.

If this doesn’t happen, then you may still experience itching after using all sorts of lice treatment.

3. Allergy to shampoos

Perhaps you have used a deep condition or shampoo to treat lice on your scalp. Unfortunately, some of these shampoos have the tendency to cause an allergic reaction in certain individuals. When this happens, one of the identifiable symptoms of allergy is itching.

Allergy is known to produce some inflammatory responses which account for the itching. So, if you still experience itchy scalp, it doesn’t necessarily mean you still have lice.

The best way to handle such problems is to use shampoos that are milder on your scalp or contain a natural ingredient that hardly causes any form of allergy on you. Harsh shampoos should be avoided at all costs if they are responsible for the problem.

4. Scalp infection

Another critical reason for experiencing itchy scalp after treating lice is scalp infection because of regular scratching of the head. Scratching the scalp can cause breakage on the skin and result in scalp infection.

If not detected and treated early, scalp infection can produce inflammation which is characterized by redness and itching of the skin.

5. Allergy to lice excreta

As the lice feed on your blood they also defecate on your scalp. Individuals with sensitive skin are likely to develop an allergic reaction to the excreta even though their scalps have been rid of the lice.

This itching is likely to persist for a few days until the remnant of those excreta has been washed off your scalp.

Causes of Itchy Scalp After Lice Treatment

6. Eczema

One of the skin conditions that easily affect your scalp and cause it to itch is eczema. While dermatitis can cause you uncomfortable itchiness, it is usually not too easy to know that it is the underlying cause of the itching until the hair is cut to expose the skin of the scalp.

7. Surviving lice

You may have treated your hair for lice but what if all the lice did not die? The possibility is that some of those surviving lice are still biting you or the nits that were not eliminated have hatched and now feeding on your blood thereby creating some of the aforementioned problems.

You may not be able to conclude that there are surviving lice until there is evidence such as spotting new nits around the hair follicles or physically seeing adult lice crawl around the scalp or on your body.

8. Psychological reasons

Some persons may experience itchy scalp after treating lice due to psychological issues. In this case, even when the lice have gone, the individual feels something is moving on their scalp and hence continue scratching the head.


Before seeking help for your itchy scalp after lice treatment, there is a need to first be sure what is causing the problem. Be sure to employ the right treatment for whatever is responsible for the itching.

If the itching is unbearable seek the help of your doctor or dermatologist. However, there are various hair treatments out there which you can employ to take care of the problem.

While some can specifically treat any of the causes we have identified above, others are designed to eliminate the itching.

No matter the cause of the itching, rest assured that your problem is treatable. You only need to make the right diagnosis and then make use of the right treatment.

I believe by now; you already know the causes of itchy scalp after lice treatment and how to fight it. If you enjoyed the article, please help us spread the word by tweeting and sharing it with your friends.

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