What causes itchy & bumpy scalp?

Updated June 13, 2017

Having an itchy and bumpy scalp may cause you to feel discomfort and embarrassment, especially if the itching is intense and persistent. Depending on the cause of your itchiness, treatments for your scalp may include changes in personal habits, home remedies and medications to reduce your symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic and the National Library of Medicine, the causes of itching and bumps on your scalp include skin disorders and allergic reactions.


Infections such as staphylococcus bacteria, ringworm (fungus) and chickenpox may cause itching and bumps on your scalp and can spread to other areas of your body.


If you have intense itching and bumps all over your scalp, inspecting your scalp and hair closely may reveal parasites, such as head lice or scabies.


Changing hair care products, or getting a chemical treatment done on your hair can cause an allergic reaction, resulting in symptoms such as swelling, hard bumps and itchiness.

Skin Disorders

Skin disorders such as dermatitis and acne can cause itching and bumps on your scalp as well as on your neck, chest, arms, legs and face.

Chronic Conditions

Psoriasis and eczema can occur on your scalp as well as elsewhere on your skin, and can cause intense itchiness, flaking and thick scales or bumps on your scalp.


If the itching and bumps on your scalp persist for more than one week or get worse, medical evaluation may be needed to determine whether you need treatment.

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About the Author

Jessica Lietz has been writing about health-related topics since 2009. She has several years of experience in genetics research, survey design, analysis and epidemiology, working on both infectious and chronic diseases. Lietz holds a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from The Ohio State University.