Do you have an itch on your forehead that demands to be scratched? Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, can be caused by a wide array of irritants, infections, or psychological conditions.
Your forehead itch may be difficult to self-diagnose, but is probably caused by a simple irritant that can be treated at home. However, if your itchy forehead is accompanied by other symptoms or is causing you stress, consider scheduling a visit with your doctor.
An itchy forehead can be caused by a variety of irritants, both man-made and natural. In most cases, an itchy forehead is temporary and highly treatable.
Itchy forehead with no rash
Here are a few causes that may apply to you:
- Allergies. If you’ve come in contact with something that normally causes an allergic reaction, your forehead may be itching due to allergies. If you have no known allergies, you may be experiencing a seasonal allergy. Wash your face to prevent any residual irritant from causing itching. Try to avoid or limit contact with the allergen.
- Hair or hair-care products. Often, hair-care products (such as hair dyes, shampoo, hair spray, and mousse) can contain harsh chemicals that may cause itching, dry skin, or irritation to your scalp and forehead. These include mineral oils, sulfates, alcohols, and fragrances. If you think that a new hair-care product may be the cause of your itching, stop use immediately.
- Headwear or headbands. Wearing headwear such as helmets, hats, bandanas, or headbands can cause an irritating itch. This may be due to a reaction of your forehead skin to the fabric or to the trapped heat from wearing the headgear. Consider going without headgear for a few days to see if your symptoms change.
- Dry skin and hygiene. Your itchy forehead may be caused by dry skin or acne. If you have visible dry skin, wash the area and apply a nonirritating moisturizer to the area. If moisturization does not heal or improve your itching, consult a doctor.
Itchy forehead with a rash
A rash is typically defined as an inflammatory reaction to an irritant on your skin. A forehead rash can appear red, purple, or white and have a variety of textures.
If you have a visible rash on your forehead and you’re unsure of the cause, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Other common causes of forehead rashes include:
- Heat rash or sunburn. If you have a rash on your forehead and have been outside in warm weather, you may be experiencing heat rash or sunburn. Heat rash and sunburn typically go away by themselves, but you can also use over-the-counter lotions and gels to relieve the itch and promote healing. In the future, consider taking preventative measures by staying in the shade or avoiding tight headwear.
- Insect and spider bites. If you have a raised bump on your forehead or red marks, this may be due to an insect bite. You can prevent this type of itching by wearing bug spray or a head covering. If you have a blister accompanied by a red bump, you may have been bitten by a spider. Call your doctor if the bite does not heal in a few days or if you begin to experience fever, nausea, or vomiting.
- Stress. A stress rash can appear on any part of your body. Your face and neck are likely places for a stress rash or hives to occur when you’re experiencing a stressful or traumatic situation. You may also be itching due to anxiety or an existing psychological disorder which may or may not cause a rash. If these symptoms continue or reoccur often, see your doctor.
- Infectious disease. You may have come in contact with bacteria that has caused an itchy forehead rash such as chickenpox, measles or ringworm. If you believe you have any of these diseases, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.
The good news is that you can treat most symptoms of an itchy forehead at home with household or drugstore items. At-home treatments include:
- baking soda
- colloidal oatmeal
- ice packs
- nonirritating lotion
- gentle soap
- over-the-counter antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), fexofenadine (Allegra), or loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)
While experiencing severe forehead itching or rash you should avoid:
- hot showers
- scented lotions
- exposure to excessive heat
- overexposure to sunlight
- harsh soaps and shampoos
- contact with known irritants
During pregnancy, women go through various hormonal changes and imbalances. This may cause a variety of pregnancy-related skin conditions.
Skin conditions resulting from pregnancy include:
If you have a preexisting skin condition, hormonal changes may affect how your condition presents itself. Some conditions are reported to improve during pregnancy such as psoriasis and Fox-Fordyce disease. The good news is that many skin conditions that appear or change during pregnancy will go away postpartum.
An itchy forehead can be caused by hair products, insect bites, heat, or a host of other irritants. Typically, if you’re experiencing an itchy forehead, you can treat it at home with natural or over-the-counter items.
If you have a severe rash, other symptoms, or the itch will not go away, see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment options.