Suffering from both a burning scalp and hair loss? The two do seem to go hand in hand together at times. Yet having a burning scalp does not necessarily lead to hair loss, and hair loss for the most part is physically, though not always mentally, painless.
Tying burning scalp and hair loss together does seem to make some sense. After all, you have a problem that affects your scalp. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if the hair follicles were involved, such that hair production could be negatively impacted if not shut down all together.
Yet, suffering from an itchy scalp or burning scalp is fairly common. So is hair loss, at least among men, although more women than you might think have a hair loss problem as well. Yet, what the connection is between burning scalp and hair loss remains rather fuzzy.
There are several reasons for hair loss, with a predisposition for losing hair due to genetics leading the way. We have a tendency towards baldness if our father or grandfather were bald, and our scalp may remain completely itch and pain free during the hair loss process.
Why is my scalp burning?
There are many different diseases and disorders that can affect the scalp, whose causes remain unknown, and the burning scalp condition is no exception. Sometimes, an infection can be the root cause behind a scalp disorder, but an infection does not appear to be a likely candidate as far as burning scalp is concerned.
An immune system disorder might be a possibility, but this has yet to be proven. The body’s immune system controls and orchestrates inflammation within the body, and if the immune system goes haywire for any reason, unexplained inflammation could result.
As far as burning scalp is concerned, it’s unknown whether the immune system is in any way a root cause of the condition, or if there is another cause, and the immune system is simply doing its job.
The relationship between cause and effect of a disorder whenever the immune system is involved quite often takes on a chicken versus the egg characteristic. We really don’t know whether a burning scalp is the cause of a problem or is a symptom of something else.
What causes burning scalp and hair loss?
A number of experts who have looked into the problem have taken the position that hair loss leads to a burning scalp situation, and not the other way around.
When we lose our hair – we reserve the term shedding for dogs and cats – we more often than not lose it in a somewhat insidious manner, one hair at a time. It’s not all that uncommon however for some people to lose hair in chunks, and it is those people who are most apt to experience the burning scalp and hair loss at the same time.
One theory about burning scalp syndrome is that the pain is not real, but imaginary, and is caused by some disorder that may not have anything to do with your hair or your scalp. As having been a sufferer of this, I personally don’t subscribe to this theory, although I do feel like I should mention it anyway.
This theory has gained some credence among some medical doctors and psychiatrists, but not so much among their patients. When you are in pain and visit your doctor, you don’t like being told “it’s all in your head”. The doctor is right, of course, to the extent that all the pain we feel is due to our brain telling us it’s there, but the brain isn’t what is hurting. What the doctor is really saying is that we’re imagining things.
Whether the pain is real or imagined doesn’t much matter to anyone experiencing it. It’s not fun, I’ve been through it. Besides feeling a burning sensation, the scalp may experience itching, the top of the head may feel sensitive, and it hurts to comb the hair.
How to stop a burning scalp, meaning what can be done?
The medical term for burning scalp syndrome is trichodynia. Giving the condition a medical name hasn’t helped much, since there is no agreement as to whether trichodynia is a disease, a symptom, a syndrome, or something that’s “all in your head”. In any case, I have found Nioxin Shampoo and Scalp Therapy to be a huge help, as others have as well.
P.S. Want a weird tip on how to relieve the burning? Try putting some Listerine on your scalp. Sounds stupid, but it works. I’ve tried it.