Can Dry Scalp Cause Bleeding?

There are so many potential reasons for a dry scalp. Finding out the underlying cause can make it easier to treat. Unfortunately, it often has different side effects. Sometimes, that can even mean that a dry scalp causes bleeding.

This kind of bleeding can lead to painful sores on the scalp or even scabs on the scalp that won’t heal. Even if it doesn’t cause the bleeding, an extremely dry scalp is often itchy. When you scratch your head, you could actually ‘cut’ it open, causing it to bleed.

When your scalp does bleed, you increase your risk of possible infections. Bacteria, dirt, and debris can easily get into these cuts and openings, causing even more problems.

If you have a scab on your scalp that won’t go away, it’s important to start treating your really dry scalp as soon as possible. It isn’t just a minor inconvenience. It could indicate that you have a more serious medical issue. If your scalp has started bleeding because it’s dry, you need to find out the cause in order to put a stop to it.

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What Does it Mean When Your Scalp Bleeds?

There are different reasons your scalp is bleeding. As we stated already, finding out the cause can make it easier to stop the problem. The good news is that many dry scalp problems are minor and can be treated.

Even if you have a permanent condition that affects your scalp, there’s a good chance it can be managed relatively easily. Taking care of the skin of your scalp can help to reduce your chances of it cracking open or bleeding.


Ringworm (tinea capitis) is a fungal infection that isn’t connected to worms of any kind.

Instead, it gets its name from the circular shape that appears on the skin because of it. Aside from the distinct round shape, other common symptoms of ringworm are scaly patches on the scalp and itching. It’s extremely contagious. Though it usually occurs in children, it can happen to anyone. It’s even contagious from animals.

The thick, scaly patches that can form due to ringworm can cause intense itchiness. They may even form scabs on your scalp. If left untreated, ringworm can lead to scarring of the scalp and even hair loss. So, it’s not surprising it’s one of the biggest culprits that can cause your scalp to bleed.

Here’s how to get rid of ringworm of the scalp.

Recurrent Psoriasis

Psoriasis can show up almost anywhere on the body, including your scalp.

It’s a condition that never entirely goes away if you have it. But, it can be managed, and most people who have it can lead full, healthy lives. Scalp psoriasis can cause thick, silver-looking scabs to form on the scalp.

If you have a scab on your scalp that won’t heal, it may be a symptom of psoriasis. Unfortunately, these scabs lead to a lot of itching, which can cause your scalp to bleed even more.

Again, it’s impossible for psoriasis to be permanently cured. But, it can be managed through things like medicated shampoos. For severe cases, steroid injections may be needed to keep the condition under control.

Most people with psoriasis experience ‘flare-ups,’ rather than dealing with it all the time. It can feel virtually impossible not to scratch at your scalp. So, finding a treatment that keeps it under control is essential for people struggling with it. You’ll likely find that ERA Organics Eczema and Psoriasis Cream helps to soothe the uncomfortable symptoms.


Folliculitis, as you might expect, affects hair follicles on your scalp. It causes itchy sores on the scalp that are filled with pus.

These sores are also usually inflamed. If they burst open, they can cause your scalp to bleed. This condition can even lead to hair loss. Again, itchiness is a nasty symptom of this condition that makes it easy to scratch open your scalp.

Unfortunately, the type of scabs that can form due to folliculitis can quickly spread and often recur. Everything from medicated shampoos to oral medications can be used to help treat this condition.

A specific form of this condition is called Eosinophilic folliculitis. This is most common among people who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. If you do have HIV or AIDS and develop scabs on the scalp, it’s important to see a doctor right away for the best form of treatment.

Scalp Eczema

Also known as seborrheic eczema, this condition causes irritation, redness, and scaling of your scalp. This leads to inflamed scabs all over your skin that can spread to your face and neck if not treated. In some severe cases, it can even spread to other areas of your body.

There isn’t one known cause of eczema. But, like psoriasis, it will not go away on its own and may continue to flare up over time. It can be treated with creams and medicated shampoos that are meant to ‘loosen’ the scales and help them not to itch as much.

Contact Dermatitis

This isn’t a medical condition that starts from within. Rather, it occurs when you react to something you’ve touched or used. The most common culprits for the scalp are things like hair products. It could even be caused by something in nature, such as poison ivy.

The symptoms of contact dermatitis will mimic any other type of allergic reaction. On the scalp, you can develop extremely dry patches that lead to itching and burning. Scratching at these patches can lead to bleeding, and you can develop scabs that won’t go away if you keep itching at them.

The good news about contact dermatitis is that it usually goes away on its own. If it continues or gets worse, you may need to see a doctor for a topical treatment. The best thing you can do if you have an allergic reaction that affects your scalp is to avoid scratching it as much as possible. And, of course, stay away from the irritant that caused it in the first place.


Dandruff is a common scalp problem. Most people think dandruff is the same as dry scalp, but that isn’t true.

  • Important: Dry scalp flakes and dandruff flakes are two different things. Dry scalp flakes are usually small and white. Dandruff flakes typically have a yellow or grayish tint to them, and they are larger. They may even feel greasy or oily. That’s because dandruff is often caused by a build-up of oils and debris on the scalp.

Regardless of the cause, it’s common knowledge that dandruff can lead to a lot of itching. As you now know, the more you scratch at your head, the higher your risk is for cutting it open and causing it to bleed.

There are many different shampoos and treatments for dandruff, such as Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo. In most cases, medicated shampoos or over-the-counter ointments will do the trick. In some severe cases, you might need certain prescription medications.

Head Lice

No one wants to think about getting head lice (pediculosis), but they are more common than many people realize.

They are typically prominent with children, but anyone can get lice. If you do have head lice, you may feel them moving around your scalp. At the least, they will likely cause an itching sensation. Itching can lead to scabbing, which in turn can lead to infection.

An over-the-counter head lice medication can be used. But, you should try to remove nits and eggs from the hair and scalp if you can. There are specialized combs for this.

  • Important: Because lice are so contagious, it’s important to clean everything the person with lice has come in contact with. If you or someone in your family has had it, be sure to check everyone in the house. Things like pillows and bed sheets should all be washed, and you should never share hair tools. Furniture and clothing should also be sanitized.

If there’s a piece of good news about lice, it’s that it’s not something that frequently returns like psoriasis. It doesn’t lead to other health or skin conditions and is relatively easy to treat and get rid of.

Is a Bleeding Scalp a Sign of Cancer?

Symptoms of a skin cancer that affects the scalp can be different from person to person. The most common type is melanoma. Other cancers can occur, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

The symptoms of melanoma include:

  • Brownish/black spot on the scalp with irregular borders
  • The appearance of a dark mole that seems to change over time
  • Scaly growth that bleeds or crusts over
  • Sore that doesn’t heal

So, can your scalp bleeding be a sign of cancer? Unfortunately, in some cases, it can. If you have a lot of hair, you might not be able to see some of the other symptoms of melanoma on your scalp. Or, you may think it’s another type of skin condition that isn’t as serious.

Melanoma is a skin cancer that needs to be treated right away. The sooner you’re able to start a treatment plan, the better. Treatment can range from removing the growth to something as intense as radiation or chemotherapy.

It’s a disease that MUST be diagnosed officially by a medical professional.

I have a scab on my scalp that won't heal

What Else Can Cause My Scalp to Itch?

It doesn’t always have to be a skin condition that causes your scalp to become dry and itchy. Sometimes it’s circumstantial or environmentally-related. Sometimes, it may be due to specific lifestyle choices.

So, if your scalp feels dry and is starting to itch (or even bleed), you may also want to consider the following explanations:

  • Weather: Those who live in a dry, cold climate may be more at risk of a dry scalp. Protect your head from harsh conditions by wearing a hat and using moisturizing agents.
  • Sun: The sun can also cause your scalp to itch, especially if you develop a sunburn. Again, protect your head in any harsh weather conditions. Sunburns can be extremely painful and cause a lot of itching.
  • Sweat: Whether you exercise regularly at the gym or have an excessively sweaty scalp, it can cause your scalp to become itchy. Dirt, sweat, and oils can build up and cause flaking to occur, too. If you scratch open your scalp and some of this dirt gets inside, bacteria can grow and cause an intense infection.
  • Hairstyles: If you put your hair in a tight ponytail frequently, it could be damaging your scalp and causing itchiness. Wearing updos can pull on your hair follicles. Not only can it cause discomfort and itching, but it could lead to hair loss.

Thankfully, these issues can usually be remedied quickly with a few simple changes. You should do what you can to protect your head from extreme conditions.

It’s also a good idea to adopt a proper hair care routine that locks in moisture without making your hair and scalp greasy. The healthier your hair and scalp are, the better they’ll be able to fight against some of the factors listed here.

What Happens When You Scratch Your Scalp?

Bleeding is one of the main problems that can occur when you scratch your scalp. No one wants to look down at their fingers and see blood after scratching their scalp. But, it’s not the only thing that can happen when you have an itchy scalp.

Some of the other problems you might experience include:

  • Flaking/dandruff
  • Infection
  • Painful scrapes
  • Hair loss

These problems can be painful, irritating, and embarrassing. If you needed another reason to try to stop, consider these. That’s why it’s so important to find the underlying cause of what’s causing your scalp to be dry and itchy. A bleeding scalp is bad enough, but you’ll likely have at least one more of these problems to deal with.

Just like getting a scratch anywhere else, the damage done usually isn’t permanent. If you do get an infection, it can cause other problems. But, cuts and scrapes on your scalp will often go away on their own once you’ve stopped. If you have a recurring condition that causes scabbing, treating or managing it is the best way to stop the urge to itch.

What does it mean when your scalp bleeds?

How to Get Rid of a Dry Scalp

Getting rid of a dry scalp greatly depends on what is causing it in the first place. If you have a skin condition, things like psoriasis and eczema may require specific medications. Or, you may need to use medicated shampoos.

There are home remedies that can help deal with a dry scalp. Your options include:

  • Tea tree oil: Has antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Tea tree oil can heal a dry scalp or any bacteria that may be causing it. It can also add moisture.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Used to help balance out the pH balance of your scalp. Apple cider vinegar also contains antifungal properties.
  • Coconut oil: This is a great moisturizer that also has antifungal properties. You can use coconut oil as a hair mask regularly to lock in moisture and keep your scalp healthy and hydrated.

If you’re concerned that your hair products or your environment is causing problems, you can change them easily. For most people, switching to products that contain natural ingredients can make a significant difference.

Many hair products contain harsh chemicals and preservatives that can pull moisture from your scalp and hair. Using a natural or organic product, like Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo, can restore moisture and won’t strip your scalp of any nutrients.

What Should I Do if My Scalp is Bleeding?

If your scalp is bleeding, the best thing you can do is to find out why. The bleeding itself is probably a result of scratching your head. But, it’s itchy for a medical reason. There are many possibilities as to what could be causing that itching sensation.

Once you figure out what’s causing the itch and the bleeding, you can take active steps to fix the problem. Remember that scratching at your scalp can cause much more than just bleeding. The main issue is that you could be putting yourself at risk of infection.

If you have a scab on your scalp that you can’t get rid of, don’t panic. Do what you can to stop scratching your scalp and find the underlying cause. Thousands of people have a dry scalp, so you’re not alone. But, it’s also possible to find a way to treat or manage these medical conditions.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.