Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lupus & The Itchy Scalp!

Case of thee Angry Itch!

Haha! Yes, that is me.

A morning bi-weekly routine for me unless I want to moan & groan about the horrors of being a "itchy scalped victim"! About a few months ago I woke to find a curious rash across the apples of my cheeks and the bridge of my nose. It was a reddish hue & was so tender that it ached when touched!

I had experienced my very first malar butterfly rash and it was accompanied by a tender and itchy scalp. I went out of my mind trying to figure out why my scalp was so irritated. I couldn't remember if it was a symptom of lupus or not. I spent hours on the internet trying to figure it out, searching through my lupus food diary to see if it was something I ate, and nothing! It turns out that sometimes when you "taper" or decrease your medicine dosage your body goes into a sort of shock trying to adjust to the new dosage. Hence sending some of us into a lupus flare which can range from lightly moderate to very severe.

Now don't get me wrong! I was extremely excited to hear that I would be tapering down to only 10mg of Prednisone after originally being on about 25-30mg months ago. I just didn't realize how much hard work it was going to be on my what do I do to battle these "tapering woes"?

About twice a week I have to scrub my scalp with a coal tar shampoo to reduce the itchiness and redness of
my scalp. I picked up an affordable one at the dollar store. It's similar to one made by Neutrogena called T-gel. If you can afford it; Nioxin is an AMAZING product for dermatitis, itchy, and inflamed scalps! I have an amazing lupie sister who send me samples of the soothing serum so I don't rip my scalp to the skull, ha!

I also use a hair butter-creme from Miss Jessie's called: Curly Butter-creme. It has peppermint oil in it and is very soothing on the scalp. If that's too pricey, just use peppermint oil itself on your scalp. A SITE that provides awesome home remedies for an itchy scalp! My favorite ones to use are the peppermint oil as well as the lavender oil. Even diet can help relieve your scalp woes! Try incorporating foods that are rich in vitamin b, vitamin c, zinc, and iron like spinach, green veggies, yogurt as well as seeds and nuts which are all beneficial for the scalp and hair.

*Take note that adding thee above foods to your diet also help ALL itchy skin and not just the scalp! A site that provides natural home remedies for itchy skin can be found HERE. Let me know what works for you & what doesn't!

Also always remember to talk to your doctor! Whether it's your Rheumatologist, or a Dermatologist; your lupus specialist should know whenever there is pain, or a change in you or your body. Let them know your aches and pains so that they can help. & of course talk to your fellow lupus sisters and brothers! Chances are one of us has experienced something similar and can offer helpful suggestions on what to do.

If you have some suggestions you'd like to share about battling a itchy scalp, please feel free to share!
Hope I was able to help! As always keep in touch & remember you're NOT alone with lupus!

Love, Tiffany


  1. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this!! I've had terrible dandruff for months (enough that when I got my hair cut I was asked about it) and I've been struggling to find something that works. I was beginning to think it was the scalp but I never thought it could be caused by the lupus.

  2. You're welcome Sean! Let me know how some of the treatments work for you. It seems a lot of us are having the same itchy woes, and the doctors seem to have no idea what to do with us, lol! Glad I could help.

  3. When OTC treatments for my lupus scalp rash don't work, a penatrating prescription steroid cream that my rheumatologist prescribes helps. Rubbed in while my scalp is damp, or before fixing my hair again the next day it stays put and works until the next shampooing without too much residue. Coal tar shampoo works great on my husband and daughter's psoriasis!

  4. Thank you for sharing Lupus Adventurer! I'll def look into asking the rheumy about a steroidal cream if these solutions don't work. But so far so good!

  5. Thanks for sharing. I like to keep my hair in shape. I use Carrol's Daughter for the natural aspect but that's the or natural is very expensive. I take biotin and eat healthy but I thought the over use of tar cause hair lost?

  6. Oh Tiffany, I could just squeeze you right now! (The thrilled and friendly sort of squeeze ;) ) At my wits (aka, scalps) end, I tried the serum you display here and O.M.G......relief! Thank you SO much for sharing this and, beyond that, for putting all your experiences out there. You are one fabulous Lupie! All the best to you, Headstrong (no longer "Headitch")

  7. @ SisterGirl I use natural coconut oil, and I also take vitamins like zinc, magnesium, and vitamin b complex to help aid in hair growth. Carol's Daughter is too expensive for my budget! Try going to natural health stores to find affordable oils. I think as long as you are eating the right nutrients and keeping your hair moisturizes the coal tar shampoo is fine. It's only twice a week!

    @Headstrong You're welcome lovie! Yes, the soothing serum works wonders for my itchy scalp! So glad I could actually help! *hugs*

  8. That was one of the first symptoms of Lupus that I had!! My normally pale (as an Irish gal's scalp can be) was bright red and sososo sore. I could hardly stand to touch it myself! I am going to have to try some of the things you suggested as I am trying to stay away from the scalp medication my derm gave me. Thank you for posting this!

  9. @Erin *hugs* You're welcome! Let me know how it turns out for you.

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  11. I get so sensitive I cannot shave and it looks like my beard has grade A dandruff, I leave a coat of dead skin on mt T shirt

  12. Thanks for posting this. As an African American I found that perms elevated my itchiness so about a year ago I went natural and my itchy scalp has improved tremendously. I am glad you posted info on some products that would be good because I've been looking for some for a while now.

  13. Tiffany, finding this was such a blessing to me- I was starting to think I was going to scratch my scalp off! My lupus has been wacky since I had major surgery in April and my meds dosages have changed since that time. I'm very fair and my scalp has been blood red and hurting soo badly! I'm excited to send hubby on a drugstore run to try some of the things you suggested! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Been reading through you old posts and we use the same shampoo! Although I've found if you leave the bottle upturned when you next open it it will uncontrollably spew everywhere!

    Noticed your comment on twitter as well - I know it's disappointing when your "friends" abandoned you but only a spoonie will really understand a spoonie condition. We don't need those "friends of convenience" when we have each other. Keep your chin up, love.

  15. Tiffany thank you so much for your advice. I was diagnosed with lupus after giving birthday to my daughter 6 years ago and it has been such a battle, most recently with my hair. I cut it very short and went natural hoping it would help but it still itches constantly and I have tried so may things and have become depressed. Thank you so much and I look forward to trying these remedies, I wont give up:) God bless you.



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