Fed up with burning scalp? There's hope.
If you've found this the chances are you've Googled 'burning scalp' as I have when I first encountered the problem over a year ago.
I was so frightened with what I was reading about hair loss, I clicked off and never searched again.
But I want to let you know if you are suffering with this problem there is hope.
Mine first started when I was on holiday, it happened suddenly and I notice when I brushed my hair more strands than usual came out. This was accompanied by a distinct burning sensation that I though must have been sunburn.
After coming home to the UK the problem persisted. I was under a lot of stress having just broken up with my boyfriend and now I had to worry about my hair falling out! I remember sitting on the train from the airport gently pulling on my hair and five to ten hairs would come away easily. All the while it was burning, a sensation that seemed to move around my scalp, from one side to the other. I felt sick with worry when I realised it wasn't sunburn and I went to see my doctor.
They gave me special shampoo and a steroid liquid. When this didn't work I went to a consultant who put me on a type of anti-depressant Citalopram, which apparently works by dulling nerve endings. He thought it could be some kind of neuralgia. This appeared to work for a few weeks and then the problem was back. Hair still coming out to excess.
I was so scared of losing my hair, I kept checking it with a hand held mirror so I could see the back. I did this every time I went to the bathroom. Sometimes I'd wake in the night petrified about all my hair coming out. I had met someone new and when he text me to say my hair was all over his pillow and how funny it was I almost died. He had no idea quite what I was going through. I started to wear my hair up a lot as I became paranoid it was starting to thin. In the street I would check out everyone's head of hair as they past me, I felt obsessive but there was nothing I could do about it.
I'm writing all this because if you have a burning scalp now, I know you'll identify with all that I'm saying and I want you to know there's a chance it WILL get better all by itself.
Right back to the story...in general, the pain seemed to intensify then dull, at it's most painful I'd be in tears, unable to concentrate at work. After another doctors visit, one told me that it could be stress related and to go home and have a drink! He looked at me like I was crazy and so I decided to try and ignore the problem to see if worrying less about it would ease the pain. After 6 months of ignoring it the best I could, it was still nagging away at me!!!
I went back to the doctors, they did blood tests but ultimately found nothing wrong. By this point I had told those closest to me what was wrong, they all told me that I had a full head of hair and that I needed to try and stop worrying. My new boyfriend was amazing - and still is! - unlike the doctors he doesn't think I'm nuts and would ask each day 'how's your head today?' He didn't even laugh when I invested in a retro ice bag to place on my head when it got really bad!!!
I can't give you a cure to this as I am still living with a burning scalp BUT...for some reason, after a year and a half, the pain has started to subside. I can now go for days without thinking about it. If you imagine the pain as volume control, it's like the volume has been turned right down, just the faintest burn/tingle. This i can live with!!!
I am using special prescribed shampoo one a week - maybe this helps. Mentally I am no longer stressing about my hair coming out - I think this certainly helps and my hair is coming out less, still more than it ever used to but no one else notices but me.
I think this condition is a real catch 22. The more you worry the more you burn so accept the fact that the pain is real, try and treat your hair like you did before the burning scalp began - so if you want to use your favourite conditioner on the ends of you hair - do it. Just by treating yourself as you did before the burning began really helped me.
I'm at a stage now where I can even book a hair cut appointment. Something I have done only once since I've had this problem! I was always terrified they were going to be rough with me and make the pain worse.
Even if writing this helps one person I'll be happy. I just felt when I was at my worst the terror of looking at websites which spoke only of definate hair loss and depression really upset me!!
So there IS hope. Be patient, ride the storm and hopefully your scalp will calm itself down and give you a well earned break!