Are you experiencing an itchy scalp after working out? You’re not alone. Many of us get an itchy and dry scalp during and after exercise. The exact cause is likely to vary quite a bit, but itchiness is common, normal, and perfectly natural.
The exception to this rule is where you have a scalp-related problem that has been caused by a medical condition. If you experience itchiness 24/7, but it gets worse when you’re training at the gym, you should probably get a check up from a doctor. They’ll be able to let you know if you have a fungal infection, psoriasis or eczema. A specialist treatment/shampoo will be able to ease your discomfort in no time.
As you might expect, people who go running or exercise at the gym regularly tend to be more body-conscious. Consequently, it’s common for gym-goers to overdo the use of hair and styling products. If you find that you’re washing your hair every day, taking really hot showers, or regularly using blow dryers and curling tongs, try doing these things less often. Your scalp will likely thank you for laying off a bit.
There’s probably nothing wrong with the health of your scalp that a few simple lifestyle adjustments can’t correct. You don’t have to quit exercising or get struck by immediate panic, but you should be aware of its causes and take precautions. If you still cannot avert the itchiness, then you should take a closer look at the best itchy scalp treatments so that you can start to feel better again.
What Are the Possible Causes of Itchy Scalp after Working Out?
When you exercise, whether it is jogging or sit-ups, your scalp will sweat, just like any other part of your body. It is one thing for some parts of your body to sweat more profusely as there are more glands in that area. Areas like the armpit, neck, and groin folds sweat more during exercise. The scalp sweats more than most parts of the body.
When you sweat, the pores in the skin open up. They let out oil, salt, fat, and water which cumulatively form sweat. The more you exercise, the more you will sweat. Now, this sweat reacts with the bacteria that are already on your scalp. The salt further adds to the equation. Eventually, you have an itchy scalp after going to the gym.
It must be noted that itchiness develops during the workout, but will only affect you after the session has been completed. You won’t feel the need to scratch your scalp during the workout. When your scalp dries out a bit and the sweat settles down with the bacteria, fat, salt and oil, you will start to experience the itchiness.
Dandruff or dry scalp is the simplest explanation. You may also be able to observe signs of a skin infection if you have one. You can then consult a dermatologist and find out the exact cause. One reason why you’ll have an itchy scalp during a workout is called induced urticaria.
Urticaria would not only cause itchiness but will also undo some of the benefits of your workout. You will struggle to lose weight, you may not be able to exercise up to your potential endurance level and your efforts may be in vain. It may even mean that you have to stop working out due to the itchiness. You have to understand the causes of urticaria. The causes can be different for various people.
Diagnosing an Itchy Scalp after Working Out
If you already have dandruff or a dry scalp, then you should cleanse your scalp, wash your hair with a natural shampoo and then go to the gym or hit the jogging track. Working out with an unclean scalp may cause itchiness and you will fail to recognize any other reason. To identify the exact cause and diagnose an itchy scalp after working out, you should maintain impeccable hygiene.
Once you eliminate dandruff and dry scalp from the equation, you need to know if it is urticaria or just the sweat reacting with the bacteria on your scalp. You can get this diagnosed by a doctor or conduct your independent diagnosis in the gym with a friend nearby. You simply have to figure out if eliminating sweat gets rid of the itching sensation.
- Pro Tip: The moment you have an itchy scalp, wipe away the sweat, as much as you can. Gently attend to the roots of the hair, use a soft towel and soak up the sweat as much as you can. That should contain the extent of itchiness.
You may not get total relief since you aren’t washing your hair and scalp but the sensation will be bearable. Then, it may just be your sweat reacting with the bacteria. If not, you must get checked for urticaria.
Exercise-induced urticaria occurs when you consume a certain food and your immune system responds in a negative way. This can trigger blisters, splotches, and itchy scalp. Itchiness can also be a side effect of hives. There are many food allergies that can cause itchy scalp after exercise.
You may develop a certain degree of resistance to those foods over time, but you must get it diagnosed to address the problem. Unlike when sweat and bacteria cause the itchiness, urticaria will make exercising difficult.
Treating Itchy Scalp after Working Out
Ensure that your scalp is clean and free of bacteria. For this, moisturize your scalp and hair regularly. You must wash your scalp once every two or three days with a shampoo that is appropriate for you. Use an antibacterial shampoo to cleanse the scalp of bacteria and unblock the pores.