Who Counted?

The average person has about five million hairs on his or her body [source: MedlinePlus].

Itchy Scalp and Hair Loss

A characteristic of ringworm is its round patches of broken-off hair. The patches may look like they have dots, because the hair often breaks off near the scalp and leaves a bit of stubble. If there are no complications, hair lost because of ringworm will grow back.

In some instances, ringworm can result in an inflammation called a kerion. A kerion is a painful bump with a thick yellow crust. The spongy bumps may ooze pus, and the victim may experience a fever and swollen lymph nodes, too. Kerion is most frequently a complication of ringworm in young children, but it's rarely seen in anyone older than elementary school age. The side effect can lead to scarring and permanent hair loss, so it's important to seek medical attention if the problem is suspected. In addition to the antifungal topical medications for ringworm, a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic and an oral corticosteroid to reduce swelling [source: Skinsight].

Psoriasis can also lead to hair loss, but it doesn't come from the psoriasis itself. Psoriasis-related hair lost can be a result of too much scratching, which can pull on the hair. Second, hair loss may result if the sufferer is too forceful in removing the psoriasis scales. Gentle treatment -- brushing and combing rather than picking -- is the best way to deal with the thick scales. Moreover, some psoriasis treatments can be too harsh for some people. The harshness can stem from the product itself or how it's used. Finally, stress is a factor in psoriasis-related hair loss. It may ease a victim's stress to know that psoriasis-related hair loss is usually a temporary problem [source: American Academy of Dermatology].

Modern medicine can do a great deal to bring relief from itchy scalp and minimize the chance of permanent hair loss. For lots more information, visit the links on the next page.