Itchy Forehead: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

An itchy forehead may be caused due to skin conditions like eczema, contact dermatitis, dandruff, and acne. Certain cosmetic products may trigger itching due to an allergen. Other causes include sunburns, stress, and pregnancy. The symptoms include burning, dryness, redness, scaling, and itching etc. Washing your face with cold water, using aloe vera gel, applying sunscreen may help ease the symptoms.

More often than not, an itchy forehead is not an indication of a serious health condition; however, it should not be overlooked. Along with a burning or stinging sensation, you may notice inflamed skin, dryness, scaling, redness, small blisters or bumps, or reddish rings. You may even run a temperature.

There is no specific ailment that affects just the forehead. It could be caused by an allergic reaction on the skin, an infection, or even pregnancy. Here is a list of some common causes, beginning with the most benign, that may trigger an itching sensation on your forehead.

1. Covering The Forehead

Keep wiping your forehead clean every once in a while to ensure that sweat does not settle on it.

If you wear hats, scarves, bandanas, or even a helmet, constant friction with your headgear may also be a reason for your itchy forehead. The dirt, heat, and sweat trapped on your skin cause irritation on the forehead and the scalp. Covering it further will only make the situation worse and you may develop rashes. Therefore, if you are using headscarves or hats or any other accessory to cover your head, make sure they are clean and you remove them from time to time so that your skin is not exposed to too much dirt and sweat.

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2. Allergic Reaction To Skin And Hair Products

In most cases, cosmetic products for your face can be to blame. Makeup allergy is common, and if a particular product doesn’t suit you, it may leave you with blotchy skin, rashes, and itchiness. This can affect the forehead, cheeks, and any other part of the face that tends to be oily. Poor gut health can also lead to acne in the forehead.

4. Sunburn And Hell’s Itch

Sunburns often cause the skin to peel and itch mildly. If your skin is sensitive to the sun or harsh light, the itch may be more severe. Some people complain of another rarer but more severe, painful itch called hell’s itch. It’s not known why certain people are more prone to hell’s itch, but being light-skinned and having habitual low exposure to the sun are risk factors.

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5. Seborrheic Dermatitis

A common skin condition that affects the forehead is seborrheic dermatitis, a form of eczema. It causes scaly and red patches of skin, particularly on the scalp, and other oily areas of the skin. Dandruff or dry flakes on the scalp are also caused by seborrheic dermatitis. However, it can also occur in other parts of the body like the face, chest, and back.

6. Pregnancy

Some pregnant women may experience an itchy forehead as a side effect of the hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy.This may be more prominent in those women who may have acne during their pregnant months.

7. Infections And Health Conditions

An itchy forehead may also be due to infections and serious skin or health conditions including:

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8. Nervous Tic

Not all causes of an itchy forehead are due to a skin condition. Sometimes, psychological factors like stress, anxiety, or nervousness can also cause an individual to develop itchiness as a nervous tic, making them scratch their forehead every time they experience similar feelings.

Symptoms Of An Itchy Forehead

The following are the some of the most common symptoms of an itchy forehead.

Treating an itchy forehead can be quite simple depending on the severity of the itching. There are a couple of easy remedies that you can try at home to relieve the symptoms of an itchy forehead.

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Remedies And Treatments For An Itchy Forehead

If you have an itchy forehead, the first and safest step is to visit the doctor and know the real cause of the itching. With professional medical advice, the itching may reduce almost instantly. However, if the itching is not too severe, you try a few home remedies as follows:

1. Goossens, An. “Contact-allergic reactions to cosmetics.” Journal of allergy 2011 (2011).
2. Żukiewicz-Sobczak, Wioletta A., Piotr Adamczuk, Paula Wróblewska, Jacek Zwoliński, Jolanta Chmielewska-Badora, Ewelina Krasowska, Elżbieta M. Galińska, Grażyna Cholewa, Jacek Piątek, and Jacek Koźlik. “Allergy to selected cosmetic ingredients.” Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postȩpy Dermatologii i Alergologii 30, no. 5 (2013): 307.[ref] So a new foundation or face powder may make your facial skin itch. Sometimes, a particular product may not be suitable for your skin type – for instance, applying astringents on a dry skin can make it itch. Other irritants include harsh soaps and facial creams.

If you experience stiffness in the neck, a severe headache, choking, sudden swelling of the face, or pain in any part of the body, then it could be an anaphylactic shock caused by a severe allergic reaction. It’s a medical emergency.

While unwashed hair falling on the forehead can cause itchiness and rashes, some hair styling products like hair gel may even have an adverse reaction. Hair dyes and perm agents too could affect your skin and cause itching and even rashes. Therefore, before you purchase a skin care or cosmetic product, do a patch test to ensure your skin is not allergic to it.

3. Acne

The itchiness caused by acne is easily distinguishable from other skin conditions. Oily skin, clogged pores, or an infection can cause acne in both adolescents and adults.[ref]Forehead Rash? Here’s What You Should Know. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

3. The Risks of Tanning. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
4. Forehead Rash? Here’s What You Should Know. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
5. Seborrhea: What It Is and How to Treat It. American Academy of Family Physicians.
6. Itchy Forehead Meaning, Superstitions, Rash or Acne? Know Facts.
7. Facial psoriasis. DermNet New Zealand Trust.
8. Primary Biliary Cholangitis/Cirrhosis. British Liver Trust.
9. Tinea Versicolor Overview. American Academy of Dermatology Association.
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