What Are the Causes of Dry Scalp in Teen Girls?

A dry scalp can have side effects that cause social discomfort for teen girls, like frequent head scratching and flakes left on the shoulders. While your daughter may want to treat her dry scalp at home, she may need to see her doctor if she has other symptoms. A doctor can give advice on how to banish or reduce problems associated with dry scalp.

Dry Scalp and Dandruff

One of the most common causes underlying a dry scalp is dandruff, a condition believed to be caused by overproduction in the oil glands, according to child development experts at the Kids Health website 1. Though boys are more likely to suffer from dandruff, teen girls who are overweight, have a condition that affects the immune system or suffer from oily skin are also at increased risk of having dandruff. Most girls will find that daily hair washing with a mild shampoo will cause dandruff to gradually disappear. If the problem continues, take your daughter to her doctor for additional help.

Eczema and Psoriasis in Dry Scalp

Eczema can appear on the head, leading to a dry scalp and red, itchy flakes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Stress, allergies, heat and sweat are thought to play a role in eczema flare-ups, according to the Boston Children's Hospital website. Another condition, psoriasis, is much more common in girls than it is in boys, according to the AAP. Stress can aggravate psoriasis. A doctor can analyze your daughter and offer the best course of treatment for her condition. A teen who has psoriasis or eczema should not try to treat the condition on her own.

Other Causes of Dry Scalp

Your daughter's dry scalp may be temporary and normal, according to the Kids Health site. Teenage girls may notice a dry scalp during cold, dry weather, such as that typical of winter. Buildup from hair products may also create the appearance of a flaky, dry scalp. If your teenager washes her hair frequently, she may be stripping away the oils on her scalp, contributing to dry skin. Reducing hair washings and using different hair products may cause a flaky, dry scalp to go away over time.

Additional Information

The presence of a dry scalp does not mean that your teen daughter has poor hygiene, according to professionals at the Kids Health website. Dandruff, psoriasis and eczema are also not contagious conditions. If your daughter is concerned about her scalp, she should see her doctor or a dermatologist for more help.