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View Full Version : Connection between scalp itch and MPB?



25 going on 65
04-01-2013, 08:12 PM
Why do people on the forums say scalp itch indicates hair loss is progressing in people with MPB?
Not saying I believe or disbelieve it, just not sure why this connection is made and I am looking for any insight anyone can share. Thanks in advance :)

BigThinker
04-01-2013, 10:08 PM
Think most of us noticed it in the places we were balding. You'd know for sure if you'd felt it.

burtandernie
04-04-2013, 06:06 PM
Yeah not everyone gets it though so its not a definitve thing but in my case I do get this itch where I lose hair and I personally think androgen receptors play a big role in how strong that itch is for me at least. Its androgen related although it could be both T and DHT people never realize that T is a very abundant androgen that also binds to hair its a fact not just DHT.

mattj
04-08-2013, 12:34 PM
Lots of people get The Itch. I have. No one can really say for sure what the cause is (as far as I know) but it effects the balding area and I'm sure it's linked to the balding process.

Some say that DHT blockers stopped their itching. I would say that's true for me too, but sometimes I get short periods where it returns. It's hard not to worry that The Itch = doom for your hair.

BigThinker
04-08-2013, 12:49 PM
but sometimes I get short periods where it returns. It's hard not to worry that The Itch = doom for your hair.

Same here. Fin has for the eliminated 95% of the itch duration/frequency for me.

However, every couple days I'll encounter a stressful life situation (work, lifting, social) and I'll feel the tingle. It can be really alarming, because I've made a connection my brain that itch = balding -- that's not to say it's absolutely true.

That said, I wonder if I shouldn't be doing something to suppress the itch. Whether it be preventative, like stress management, or a pharmaceutical/topical of some sort. Or, maybe I'm just over-analyzing the situation (probably this.)

cs2257
04-08-2013, 12:50 PM
This is the case for me as well. In addition to the itch, I've seen very small areas of redness on my scalp sometimes where the itch resides.

edit: also, caffeine aggravates that itch for me...anyone else notice the caffeine itch?

burtandernie
04-08-2013, 03:54 PM
The itch is a funny thing because tons of guys with MPB seem to have it, and I battled it from young age seeing derms and trying tons of dandruff shampoos. Nothing ever worked but I think it is androgen related because the only time in my life it stopped was when I tried saw palmetto. I quit saw palmetto a long time ago after having finasteride like effects and said I am using the real proven thing propecia or nothing.
The thing is no one like doctors or derms says there is any connection between MPB and the itch which seems odd to me given how many men have it.

mattj
04-09-2013, 03:45 PM
I guess when derms hear a patient talk about an itch, they put it down to other causes, like dandruff. A lot of guys probably don't even report the itch.

burtandernie
04-12-2013, 02:09 PM
I have this itch and after trying saw palmetto I am nearly sure its from androgens. I stopped saw palmetto because I had sides and I was not sure if it helped me hair or not but the itch was gone.
My itch has moved around over the years as my hairloss moved to different spots but my hair loss is very minor and slow. Right now its at the teenage hairline and the very crown.
Did propecia when it made the itch away get rid of it everywhere like the front,back and everywhere equally or is the itch still around in the front hairline? I remember when I tried saw palmetto the front seemed to be more oily and I still had some itch there I think
My theory is propecia is not strong enough and the front is more sensitive to androgens so that is why its not good at keeping teenage hairlines or the temple hair where MPB starts

BigThinker
04-12-2013, 02:27 PM
I have this itch and after trying saw palmetto I am nearly sure its from androgens. I stopped saw palmetto because I had sides and I was not sure if it helped me hair or not but the itch was gone.
My itch has moved around over the years as my hairloss moved to different spots but my hair loss is very minor and slow. Right now its at the teenage hairline and the very crown.
Did propecia when it made the itch away get rid of it everywhere like the front,back and everywhere equally or is the itch still around in the front hairline? I remember when I tried saw palmetto the front seemed to be more oily and I still had some itch there I think
My theory is propecia is not strong enough and the front is more sensitive to androgens so that is why its not good at keeping teenage hairlines or the temple hair where MPB starts

Interesting.

I didn't really notice the itch much during the early recession at the hairline/temples -- something I hadn't thought about until reading your post.

When thinning started hitting the vertex and crown, that's when the itch became glaringly uncomfortable.

Regardless, the itch is gone now (excluding stressful situations), and for that I am thankful.

jamesst11
11-10-2015, 08:00 PM
I want to bump this thread because this topic is interesting... has anyone ever theorized that the "itch" is in itself a hair, or multiple hairs, in an area that have shed and are just waiting to be removed? It seems like a hair that is ejected and just kind of sitting there, waiting for some force to remove it would cause an "itch" to the surrounding tissue.

Dench57
11-11-2015, 06:45 AM
The "itch" is microinflammation set off by DHT.

Hubris
11-11-2015, 07:20 AM
The "itch" is microinflammation set off by DHT.

Is this backed up by any research or is it just speculation? It seems plausible to me, but as far as I am aware, the MPB itch that a lot of us complain about isn't part of any of the mainstream AGA theories.

I also used to get a very itchy head before starting treatment, but I just put it down to having bad skin. Now that I'm on this forum and others are complaining about it, it does make me wonder if there is more to it.

jamesst11
11-11-2015, 09:05 AM
If the itch was indeed caused by inflammation from androgen activity... then why do so many balding or bald people not have it?

burtandernie
11-11-2015, 06:11 PM
I didnt realize I kind of repeated myself a few times in this post sorry. I dont think there is any proven link between the itch and MPB though its all just speculation still or could be some other underlying cause.

wriggles
11-12-2015, 04:02 AM
Can anyone describe 'The itch'? Is it a general itch all over or in certain spots? Is it a frantic itch that keeps you awake or a constant background itchiness?

Dench57
11-12-2015, 05:09 AM
I'm talking specifically about the "MPB itch". Not SD, psoriasis, folliculitis, dandruff or any other skin/scalp condition that could be causing it. I'm certain that the "MPB itch" is caused by androgens. We know that perifollicular inflammation is present in most cases of AGA. DHT sets off a cascade of microinflammation (subclinical - cannot be seen, which is why dermatologists don't know shit about it) where many pro-inflammatory mediators (cytokines, leutrokienes, prostaglandins etc) are overexpressed, leading to miniaturisation and eventual fibrosis of the follicle. This microinflammation manifests itself as itching, burning, tingling etc and can be directly correlated to areas with the most noticeable hair loss/thinning.

I don't understand how people can say there is no link between this very unique itch/tingling sensation and MPB when there are hundreds, if not thousands of posts and threads out there on every hairloss forum, with everyone reporting this exact sensation in areas of thinning, usually when their hairloss first starts or becomes aggressive (androgens kicking into action). As far as I'm aware there's no clinical study that proves a definitive link between these sensations and AGA, but considering the abundance of identical anecdotal reports, plus the knowledge we have about inflammation in AGA....I think its safe to say there is a direct correlation.

burtandernie
11-14-2015, 02:17 PM
Well there is danger in doing this. A link someday might be found, but right now I have never seen a study showing a link between the two. Stories dont prove a link though they could all be caused by different issues or a common issues that is not MPB but some immune system thing separate from MPB. We dont know

As far as I'm aware there's no clinical study that proves a definitive link between these sensations and AGA, but considering the abundance of identical anecdotal reports, plus the knowledge we have about inflammation in AGA....I think its safe to say there is a direct correlation.

Dench57
11-16-2015, 04:41 AM
Oh I'm not claiming it as fact, its just my opinion but one I'm pretty certain about personally. If we relied on clinical studies before we accepted any theory, we wouldn't get anywhere. Clinical studies are expensive and are only conducted with good reason. Its unlikely there will ever be a study into this phenomenon. There's no study that shows Minoxidil or 5ARi's cause shedding - and yet thats pretty much regarded as fact in the hairloss community. The "MPB itch" only occurs in areas where the hair is sensitive to DHT. How could it be anything other than DHT?

jamesst11
11-16-2015, 09:14 AM
I agree with Dench.... if not true, it would just be WAY too much of a coincidence. My first 8 months on finasteride, I had itch, and creepy crawling feelings EXACTLY where my hair started falling out weeks and months later. When the feeling stopped, the hair loss slowed down. When it came back, it sped up. I could pinpoint on my head precisely where these locations where and they are the ones that are balding the quickest. There HAS to be something to this, guaranteed. Plus, there are a million other stories of this. I believe that if you are experiencing MPB, you don't HAVE to have these sensations to lose hair, BUT if you are experiencing MPB and DO... Then you are guaranteed to lose hair in those areas.

25 going on 65
01-01-2016, 09:32 AM
Have experienced MPB itch since i started this thread in 2013. It is in areas where hair loss is going on. There is 100%, definitely a correlation. Hair loss sufferers have talked about this forever, doctors are pretty clueless about it but it probably is connected w/ inflammation

burtandernie
01-01-2016, 10:27 AM
Would taking fin help this itch, make it worse, or have no effect? Why?

Hubris
01-01-2016, 01:16 PM
Would taking fin help this itch, make it worse, or have no effect? Why?

I can only speak personally, but once I started taking finasteride my MPB itch subsided.

jamesst11
01-01-2016, 01:34 PM
Would taking fin help this itch, make it worse, or have no effect? Why?

My PERSONAL opinion is, by taking finasteride, it MAY make it better... but, like a LOT of us have experienced, it may get dramatically worst and rapidly increase your rate of hair loss. Finasteride is f*cked up.

25 going on 65
01-01-2016, 05:42 PM
Would taking fin help this itch, make it worse, or have no effect? Why?


Anecdotes vary....I do not remember having MPB itch til like the last couple yrs. Even on dut + fin. However using Nizoral shampoo 5-7x weekly helped a lot, just have to use conditioner or else it is too harsh

questionkid
04-26-2016, 09:09 AM
The itch is a funny thing because tons of guys with MPB seem to have it, and I battled it from young age seeing derms and trying tons of dandruff shampoos. Nothing ever worked but I think it is androgen related because the only time in my life it stopped was when I tried saw palmetto. I quit saw palmetto a long time ago after having finasteride like effects and said I am using the real proven thing propecia or nothing.
The thing is no one like doctors or derms says there is any connection between MPB and the itch which seems odd to me given how many men have it.

Can you share the exact product of saw palmetto you used? I'm having bad itches just above the central hairline for hours on end and it's killing me. I'm almost certain I'm losing hair there too, despite taking finasteride.

Aj1
04-26-2016, 01:14 PM
The itch was driving me insane . I researched and researched and I agree I believe it's dht attacking the folicles . I found a cure for the itch . Histamine causes the itching sensation in the body...take anti histamine tablets , the ones for hayfeaver and allergies . It works . The cheapest work the best I find . I do not think it stops the hairloss but the itch goes . It's worth it!

burtandernie
04-26-2016, 03:45 PM
I took the gelcaps from GNC for the 320mg that are a bit pricey, but after using other brands of the common veggie caps they were the only ones that ever worked. Maybe in liquid form its absorbed better I have no idea honestly. While I was on it though it made the itch go away for me, but the temples/front still kind of itched. It mainly removed the itch from the middle and crown only, but it completely removed it for me when nothing else ever did. Could it have been placebo effect? Certainly could have, but I had some effects on it that make me think it was not.

JohnMPB
04-27-2016, 10:03 AM
Keep in mind that the original Propecia trials required all participants whether in the treatment group or placebo to use a medicated shampoo (specifically tgel) to combat ant inflammatory scalp condition (seb derm) in order to not confound the results.

This, imo, should tell you how frequent scalp issues such as sd or other inflammatory changes in the scalp are common in mpb. Obviously 100% of people won't experience itch/inflammation but I know I sure do.

burtandernie
04-27-2016, 07:47 PM
Niz didnt seem to help me much with my itching. The saw palmetto really made me strongly believe for me its androgen related, but science/doctors say there is no known cause/effect there so I dont know. Could have been some placebo effect I guess. Maybe for me its worth trying finasteride. Just removing the itch alone would make it worth a try. For me shampoos in general do nothing maybe at best they help for that day, and the next day its back. I think for me its androgens causing this, but until I try fin I wont know for sure. I just dont want to use fin and have been putting it off. I dont like the idea of using a drug and being tied to a doctor to get refills.

Parker317
08-25-2016, 11:44 AM
Hey everyone,

First time post here, I just stumbled upon this thread/forum by simply Googling MPB Itch.
I definitely have to say I agree with some of the other posters that this isn't just coincidence. I started getting the itch around 3 years ago when my hair loss really started. At first I didn't pay much attention to it, but it got more aggressive and more annoying - and what are the odds, so did my hair loss.

Nioxin system seemed to help a bit in the beginning, but I never found Nizoral extremely effective at resolving the itch either. What's weird is that it's not a normal itch, like one on your arm or leg, that you can scratch and usually goes away. This itch is in a very precise spot, it changes time to time, and a scratch doesn't make it go away. Usually I would have to kind of hit/tap my head or use a pen or something pointy to kind-of pin-point the spot where it was. It did get extremely annoying. Usually it was in the crown or front of my hair...areas where more scalp was starting to show.

I just started Fin exactly a week ago and am already feeling about 80% less itch, I don't think that's just a coincidence.

I also wonder if it has anything to do with Rogaine...Quite possibly most of us are using it or have tried using it but never tied the two together..Maybe new hairs = itch? Though I presume it's the former.

Best of luck to you all.

burtandernie
08-27-2016, 07:23 PM
If fin made your itch 80 percent better wouldnt you say its DHT then that was the main cause of your itch if it alone helped that much? I tried saw palmetto years ago and it was the only thing that helped my itch but it was night and day difference. I quit because I didnt know if it helped my hair or not and it was giving me sides similar to fin. I thought about trying finasteride though to see if it helped.
I know for me im reasonably sure finasteride would help my itch and for me its androgen related just based on saw palmetto helping me so much convinced me its that. Everyone is different so that is not for everyone and fin does carry some real risks that has prevented me from ever trying it. Not a huge fan of drugs for cosmetic problems its very questionable to me if hair is worth your health.

Raxxar
11-19-2016, 03:33 AM
I wanted to bump this thread because I am also in a situation that is similar to people on here. Actually I am on the verge of possibly taking finasteride/propecia sometime this week but in a span of less then 2 years I lost well over 50% of my hair..

Super aggressive hair loss and its all because of a constant itch I've been battling with combined with seborrheic dermatitis I assume since I now even have dry flaky skin in my ears..the itching is the worst though.

I am hoping maybe fin will help because at this rate I would not be surprised that I'll be completely bald in another 2 years. And the interesting thing is its not like my hairlines is't there, I have occasional hairs along the sides, but ever since the itching begun the dramatic hair loss started, it just does not seem like genetic mpb.

btw im a 23 year old male.

k9gatton
11-19-2016, 07:04 AM
Why do people on the forums say scalp itch indicates hair loss is progressing in people with MPB?
Not saying I believe or disbelieve it, just not sure why this connection is made and I am looking for any insight anyone can share. Thanks in advance :)

That is a strange thing to say. Have to agree. Because there are lots of different reasons for going bald. Androgen Alopecia is certainly not the only cause.