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Protect Your Crown: Unveiling the Hidden Dangers of Scalp Touching & How to Prevent Infections

In the vast realm of personal hygiene and skincare, scalp health often gets overshadowed. Yet, the habit of touching the scalp frequently – whether consciously or unconsciously – can pave the way for an array of unnoticed yet significant issues, chiefly the onset of scalp infections. This article delves deep into the unexplored consequences of scalp touching, and how it might be a precursor to various scalp infections.

A Breeding Ground for Bacteria

The human hand is a carrier of numerous bacteria and germs, thanks to the myriad surfaces and objects we come in contact with throughout the day. When we touch our scalp, there’s a high probability of transferring these microbes onto the scalp. These microbes, given the warm and moist environment of the scalp, find a breeding ground to multiply, potentially leading to scalp infections.

Microbial Flora: A Delicate Balance

The scalp, like other parts of the skin, harbours a community of beneficial bacteria that aid in maintaining its health. However, incessant touching can disrupt this delicate microbial balance. This disruption can create an opportunity for pathogenic bacteria to thrive, leading to infections that can manifest as dandruff, folliculitis, or even seborrheic dermatitis.

The Role of Sebum and pH Level

A healthy scalp is characterized by a balanced sebum production and an optimal pH level that keeps the skin barrier intact and prevents the growth of harmful microbes. Scalp touching not only facilitates the transfer of bacteria but also might affect the pH level and sebum distribution. Over time, these alterations can weaken the scalp’s defence mechanisms, making it more susceptible to infections.

Aggravating Pre-existing Conditions

Individuals with pre-existing scalp conditions such as psoriasis or eczema might find that frequent scalp touching exacerbates their symptoms. The irritation from touching can inflame the scalp further, making it a conducive environment for secondary bacterial or fungal infections.

So, how often is too often when it comes to touching your scalp? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of scalp touching that is considered too much will vary from person to person. However, it is generally a good idea to avoid touching your scalp excessively. If you find yourself touching your scalp frequently, try to break the habit.

Tips To Help You Avoid Touching Your Scalp:

  • Be mindful of your hands. If your hands are dirty, wash them before touching your scalp.
  • Avoid touching your scalp when it is wet or sweaty. This can make it more likely for bacteria to grow.
  • If you have a scalp condition, such as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, avoid scratching your scalp. This can irritate the scalp and make it more susceptible to infection.
  • If you have to touch your scalp, do so gently. Avoid rubbing or picking at your scalp.

By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of developing a scalp infection.

Other Factors That Can Increase The Risk Of Scalp Infections:

  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Wearing tight-fitting hats or hairstyles that put pressure on the scalp
  • Having a history of scalp infections
  • Using harsh hair products
  • Having a skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis

If you think you may have a scalp infection, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Scalp infections can be difficult to treat, so it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.

Here are some of the common symptoms of scalp infections

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Scaly skin
  • Pain
  • Pus
  • Drainage
  • Hair loss

Prevention and Precautionary Measures

Awareness is the first step in breaking the cycle of habitual scalp touching. Here are some preventive and precautionary measures one can adopt:

  • Hand Hygiene: Ensuring proper hand hygiene by washing hands regularly can reduce the risk of transmitting germs to the scalp.
  • Mindfulness and Habit Tracking: Developing mindfulness towards the habit of scalp touching can help in reducing its frequency. Habit tracking apps can be instrumental in this regard.
  • Seeking Medical Advice: If you notice symptoms of a scalp infection, it’s prudent to consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate treatment and advice.
  • Hair and Scalp Care Routine: Incorporating a hair and scalp care routine that includes regular cleansing with pH-balanced shampoos can help in maintaining scalp health.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Ensuring a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support skin and hair health can be a natural defence against scalp infections.


The link between scalp touching and the onset of scalp infections is a pertinent topic that warrants more attention and awareness. By fostering healthy habits and maintaining an attentive scalp care regimen, one can safeguard against the unseen consequences of scalp touching. Remember, a healthy scalp is the foundation of beautiful hair, and taking steps to minimize unnecessary scalp touching can be a cornerstone in promoting overall scalp and hair health.

As individuals, we must strive to remain vigilant and cognizant of the unseen dangers that lurk in everyday habits, adopting measures that can help maintain the delicate balance of our scalp ecosystem and ensure its long-term health.


  1. American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). Scalp conditions: Signs, symptoms, and treatments. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/types/scalp-conditions
  2. Borda, L. J., & Wikramanayake, T. C. (2015). Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: A Comprehensive Review. Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.13188/2373-1044.1000019
  3. Grice, E. A., & Segre, J. A. (2011). The skin microbiome. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 9(4), 244–253. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro2537
  4. Clavaud, C., Jourdain, R., Bar-Hen, A., Tichit, M., Bouchier, C., Pouradier, F., … & Guillot, J. (2013). Dandruff is associated with disequilibrium in the proportion of the major bacterial and fungal populations colonizing the scalp. PloS one, 8(3), e58203. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058203

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 6, 2023

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