Know the Truth: Can a Burning Scalp Cause Hair Loss?

Maanvi Kashyap
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Hair Loss

Hair loss and a burning scalp can go hand in hand in some conditions.

A burning scalp is a body signaling that something serious is happening within and needs immediate attention.

A burning scalp doesn’t always cause hair loss directly. 

But it is frequently a sign of a scalp or skin issue that may cause hair loss.

According to the Hair Society of America, 21 million women and 35 million men in the US have hair loss.

Continue reading the article to learn more about burning scalp and hair loss.

Conditions that can lead to a burning scalp

Many conditions can lead to a burning or tingling sensation in the scalp. 

It might also sometimes lead to hair thinning or hair loss.

Some conditions that lead to the burning scalp are:

Burning scalp syndrome

Burning scalp syndromeSource: rattanakun
Burning scalp syndrome

Burning scalp syndrome is an abnormal feeling or sensation on the scalp that doesn’t result from a skin condition.

It is also known as Scalp dysesthesia or trichodynia.

It causes a burning or itching feeling and can have several neurogenic or psychogenic origins.

Burning scalp condition is quite bothersome and irritating.

The elderly population, women, people with diabetes mellitus, and those with a history of mental disorders are all at high risk of this condition.

It does not always cause permanent hair loss but has been linked with male and female pattern hair loss, which are chronic and progressive disorders.

Although the disorder’s precise cause is unknown, researchers believe that stress, worry, and depression may all be contributing factors.

Symptoms of Burning scalp syndrome include

  • Redness
  • Increased hair loss
  • Increased hair shedding
  • A burning feeling on the head
  • An itchy scalp
  • Scalp sensitivity or itching

Treatment

Even though living with Trichodynia can be traumatic, and research is limited, there are multiple treatments for Burning scalp syndrome.

Topical corticosteroids, oral formulations containing L-cysteine, and anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is a condition of the scalp characterized by significant hair loss.

Drug use, trauma, and mental and physical stress are a few things that might cause Telogen effluvium. 

Trichodynia, or burning scalp, is one of the significant symptoms of telogen effluvium.

Tenderness, discomfort, burning, itching, stinging, and diffuse alopecia are some of the characteristics present with Telogen Effluvium.

Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium include:

  • Increase in hair loss
  • Thinning of hair
  • Dry hair

Treatment

Over-the-counter medications like Minoxidil, multivitamins, and supplements can help treat Telogen Effluvium.

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  • Inflammatory scalp disorders

    Many inflammatory scalp conditions, such as scalp Psoriasis, Seborrheic dermatitis, Atopic dermatitis, Scarring alopecia, and Tinea capitis, can cause a painful sensation on the scalp. 

    These conditions can result in dry skin, scaly spots, and a risk of temporary hair loss from continuous scratching.

    Inflammatory scalp disorders do not always cause hair loss.

    Yet, several disorders that can irritate your scalp may also harm your hair follicles and result in thinning hair.

    For instance, Tinea Capitis may impact the hair follicles and result in areas of hair loss on the scalp if it is severe.

    Treatments

    Medicated shampoos, topical antifungals, or antibiotics can help decrease inflammation and other symptoms.

    Allergic reactions

    infections that cause hair lossSource: triocean_from_Getty_Images
    Infections that causes hair loss

    Several permanent and semi-permanent hair colors include Paraphenylenediamine (PPD).

    The chemical might be an irritant, causing direct skin damage, a burning or itching sensation in the scalp or skin, or an allergy. 

    Warning
    Before applying any hair color, always perform a patch test.
    It might have some adverse effects, like allergic reactions.

    Some of the symptoms include:

    • Stinging or burning on the neck, face, or scalp
    • Itchiness or swelling in the skin
    • Throat, mouth, or tongue swelling can make it difficult to breathe and swallow

    Hair coloring doesn’t stop hair from growing, but it can damage the colored hair, leading to hair loss.

    Treatment

    The first treatment is to wash the hair dye as soon as possible to stop the burning scalp.

    Mild shampoos containing corticosteroids or topical medications like Benadryl can also help reduce the irritation.

    Autoimmune conditions

    Autoimmune disorders are conditions where your immune system wrongly targets your body’s healthy cells.

    There may be a burning or itchy sensation in the afflicted regions of autoimmune illnesses like Alopecia areata, Scalp psoriasis, Lupus, etc.

    Good to know
    According to Autoimmune Association, there are more than 100 autoimmune disorders.

    One or more autoimmune diseases are present in 50 million people in America.

    Women make up around 75% of those afflicted.

    These conditions can cause clumps of hair to fall out.

    A tingling, itching, or burning sensation on the skin has been reported by some individuals just before hair loss.

    Treatments

    Corticosteroids and Minoxidil are suggested for hair loss due to autoimmune conditions.

    Takeaway

    Scalp burning or irritation can be caused due to many reasons.

    Sometimes they are also accompanied by hair thinning and hair fall.

    Conditions that can lead to burning scalp and hair loss are burning scalp syndrome, autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata, and telogen effluvium.

    Consult a hair specialist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why is my scalp burning and my hair falling out?

    Scalp burning and hair fallout can happen due to burning scalp syndrome, Telogen Effluvium, Inflammatory Scalp Disorders, or Allergic Reactions. You should always check with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

    Does a burning scalp mean hair loss?

    A burning scalp does not always mean hair loss. But it can be a sign of some underlying scalp or hair condition. Visiting a specialist and getting a proper diagnosis if you are experiencing a burning scalp is always advised.

    Why does it feel like my scalp is burning?

    This can happen due to burning scalp syndrome or other scalp disorders like Telogen Effluvium or allergic reactions that can lead to inflammation. Visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

    Does hair grow back after burning scalp syndrome?

    Yes. Hair can grow back after burning scalp syndrome with appropriate care and treatment. Burning scalp syndrome causes hair loss, but it is not permanent.

    Does a burnt scalp affect hair growth?

    Burns to the head are frequently relatively mild, and the scalp fully recovers. Follicles typically start growing hair after this happens. Once the scalp has healed, which generally takes three months, hair growth usually returns.

    Citations:
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