Demodex Based Issues

Crawling Sensation on Scalp, Reasons and Treatments

Crawling sensation on scalp
Reading Time: 7 minutes

When a beetle, spider, or other creepy crawlies scurry past you, it is usual to have a crawling sensation on your scalp or other parts of your body for a while, especially if the insect has passed through your skin.

I confess that I had an unpleasant feeling all night when I saw a millipede passing by my seat. And the weirdest thing is that at that moment, I was searching for data to write the current article for Ozidex. For a few days, I remember that I had a sensation  as if something was crawling on my skin. I turned  my place upside down several times. Fortunately, nothing was there.

Although it is normal for a short time to feel something crawling on your scalp or body after an encounter with creepy crawlies, some people live chronically with this unpleasant feeling.

For some, the creepiness sensation is limited to the scalp, but for others, it involves other parts of the body as well. The scientific name of this sensation is “Formication.” Furthermore, this state is also called “Tactile Hallucination.” The term Formication comes from the Latin word “Formica,” which means ant.  It implies the sensation when ants move on the skin.

In this article, we are going to examine the reasons for this feeling and the treatments.

Reasons for That “Creepy Feeling” on the Scalp

Most of the reasons for the crawling sensation are unrealistic. This means that no external factor exists for this feeling, and what one feels is just paraesthesia.

What Is Paraesthesia?

Paraesthesia is an unpleasant sensation on the skin for no physical reason. Tingling, pricking, chilling, burning, numbness are some of these unpleasant sensations. Paraesthesia can occur anywhere on the body, but is more common in the arms and legs.

What is remarkable, though, is that the crawling sensation on the scalp as well as other parts of the body can be real. In other words, parasites and small creatures may move under your skin, which you cannot see. Thus, to realize the cause of formication, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist to rule out any parasitic agent.

Where the crawling sensation is real, Ozidex can help you. Read the rest of this article to understand more.

Unreal Reasons Associated With Formication

As I mentioned, most of the time, the feeling of crawling is a tactile hallucination caused by several factors. In this section, we discuss some of these factors.

Psychological Factors

As in most cases, there are no insects or creepy crawlies crawling on or under the skin; this sensation, which is a dysfunction, is more common in people with mental disorders. Hallucinations, delusion, and problems arising from drug and alcohol abuse are some of the conditions that cause it.




“A sensory experience that occurs in the absence of an external stimulus” – Aubrey Moe, a psychologist with the Early Psychosis Intervention Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Hallucinations can involve any of the five senses of taste, sight, hearing, smell, and touch. Although crawling sensation is often a tactile hallucination, some people, especially those who have abruptly quit alcohol, may also have a visual hallucination. That is, they see insects crawling on their skin.


Dr Philip R. Muskin, a psychiatrist at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center and outgoing secretary of the American Psychiatric Association, describes delusion as “a fixed idea that’s not consensually held” in the person’s culture, and “is not consistent with the world at large.”  


In general, hallucinations are more related to ideas, concepts, and beliefs than to sensations. In other words, delusional people may believe that insects are attacking them.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Prolonged abuse of alcohol, as well as cocaine and amphetamine, can cause the scalp to feel creepy. It is so common for cocaine that you can find the phrase “cocaine bugs”  frequently in literature.

As mentioned above, quitting alcohol abruptly can also cause the visual illusion of insects crawling on your skin and the feeling of crawling sensation.

Environmental Factors

The difference between the above-discussed factors section and the factors I am going to discuss is that the former is “just in your head.” Although there are still no insects, some environmental factors can cause your nerves to react abnormally and send wrong messages. Some of these environmental factors are as follows:

Drug abuse
Taking Some Medications

If you are taking or have suddenly stopped taking the following medications, your crawling sensation may be due to them:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Some of the antibiotics
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Tramadol
  • SSRI/SNRI antidepressants withdrawal
Clinical Issues

Some clinical issues can affect the central nervous system or peripheral nerves and cause a creepy feeling:

  • Strokes
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Tumour
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Skin cancer
  • Syphilis
  • Lyme disease
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Shingles

Pesticide exposure and mercury poisoning can also lead to formication.

Interestingly, some natural physiological conditions, such as the onset of menopause, can also cause this issue. So, if you are at the beginning of this period, experiencing such a sensation is not unusual.

Real Reasons Associated with Formication

This is where the sensations become a reality. There is no hallucination or delusion. The tiny creatures are really crawling under your skin.

Head Lice

Head lice are common at school age, especially in cold countries like Canada.

They are wingless insects that live on the human scalp and feed on blood. The female lays 3 to 4 eggs a day. The eggs are oval and 0.8 mm long. They are visible in the form of small bumps attached to the hair string. This insect itself, although tiny, can be seen with the naked eye.

In addition to head lice, there are body lice that can cause itching and a creeping sensation on the body.

Fortunately, the diagnosis and treatment of lice are simple. If lice are causing the creepiness, seeing a dermatologist or even a general practitioner can fix the problem in a few weeks.

Ringworm of the Scalp (Tinea Capitis)

Contrary to the name, the Ringworm of the Scalp is not an actual worm. This issue is caused by the overgrowth of a special kind of fungus on the scalp, which can easily and quickly be transmitted by direct contact from one person to another and from human to animal, and vice versa. Using shared brushes, towels, and other everyday personal items can cause the transmission.

People with weakened immune systems are more likely to get this type of fungus.

In this complication, the scalp gets itchy and scaly in circles, and the hair falls out.

Antifungal treatment should be done quickly to relieve the person of this fungus and prevent it from spreading to others.

Demodex Mite

Demodex mites are microscopic organisms that are different from head lice. They are not visible to the naked eye and feed on skin oils instead of blood. Most importantly, they live naturally in small numbers on most people’s skin. They live under the skin, inside the follicles and sebaceous glands. Demodex lay eggs there and reproduce in the same place. 

They are sensitive to light. Thus, they come to the surface at night, mate and then return by sunrise.

Their movement on the skin’s surface can be one of the reasons for the crawling sensation on the scalp and other parts of the body. This creepiness sensation becomes obvious when the number of Demodex increases. Numerous factors, including infectious skin problems and weakened immune systems, can give them the opportunity to over-reproduce.

Demodex has eight tiny legs and crawls on the skin at a speed of 16-18 cm per hour. So, when a large number of Demodex mites move simultaneously, the feeling of crawling can be really felt.

People who carry large numbers of Demodex feel more itchy and creepy at night.

Demodex Mites Online Quiz
Find Your Results in Just 5 Minutes! Most people have found the results of their Demodex population density by answering these carefully crafted questions.

Formication Treatment Options

What is essential in treating the crawling sensation on the scalp is the underlying cause. The doctor determines the treatment based on the diagnosis. 

Usually, a general practitioner, a neurologist, and a dermatologist are the ones who play a role in the final diagnosis.

In cases where the feeling of creepiness is caused by psychological issues – which is often the case – treatments related to psychiatry and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are prescribed.

In the case of clinical issues, such as diabetes, the underlying disease needs to be controlled or treated. Medications that cause creepiness should also be changed by your doctor if it is possible.If the feeling of crawling on the scalp has a real cause – that is, the parasites – the treatment focuses on eliminating them. With the removal of these parasites, the crawling sensation also disappears.

How OZiDEX Helps You about Your Crawling Sensation

Ozidex is an Australian company that has developed a product exclusively formulated to fightDemodex mites. This unique product is PROCUTiN and can eliminate Demodex on your scalp and body, as well as surrounding surfaces.

If you do not know whether the creepiness sensation is related to Demodex, take this short online test to know how dense the Demodex mites are. If you have a high concentration of Demodex, the feeling of crawling on your scalp is likely related to that.

PROCUTiN may also be effective against a variety of other parasites, such as head lice. Many of our customers have reported that PROCUTiN removes lice, insects and bugs. For this reason, this product may be effective in eliminating other real causes of the crawling sensation.

So, try it, and share the result with us.

Furthermore, PROCUTiN contains antifungal and antibacterial compounds that can remove harmful bacteria and fungi that cause itching. You can reclaim your skin health by eliminating them.

In conclusion, I can say if the cause of the creepiness sensation on your scalp is real, you can give PROCUTiN a chance to help you solve this problem.

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