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Thread: Scalp pain

  1. #1
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    Default Scalp pain

    I have been asking MD's for over 2 years about pain on my scalp; the pain you feel when you have your hair in a pony tail too long. Right now the pain is constant - there is nothing I do that will relieve it and the frontal hair loss is extreme during this time. Is there anything I can do or will it continue until I lose all my hair? I feel very desperate.

    Elaine

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    Elaine I have scalp pain too. Mine is different from yours more of a stinging with a pink scalp. I've had it 3 years. I would love to hear Dr. Redmonds thoughts

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    Hi - I hope he responds. I live in NYC where he practices. I just might have to make an appointment although I imagine he is very expensive. I will keep you up to date.

  4. #4
    Medical Advisor Geoffrey Redmond, MD, FACE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaine2692 View Post
    I have been asking MD's for over 2 years about pain on my scalp; the pain you feel when you have your hair in a pony tail too long. Right now the pain is constant - there is nothing I do that will relieve it and the frontal hair loss is extreme during this time. Is there anything I can do or will it continue until I lose all my hair? I feel very desperate.

    Elaine
    Scalp pain is very common. I was taught in medical school that it is psychological but realized many years ago that this is incorrect. Scalp discomfort consisting of itching, or burning, or a pulling sensations is commonly associated with hair loss. It is also common during the menopause transition when it is often, but not always, associated with increased hair shedding.

    Wearing a ponytail is one of the worst ways to style hair. Usually the hair is pulled back too hard, resulting in irritation of the follicles and loss of hair in front. Hair is particularly vulnerable when there is also a hormonal factor. The only solution is to use a loose comb or brush and separate tangles by hand. Best of all, for a woman noticing hair loss at her front hairline, is not to put hair in a ponytail at all.

    Scalp pain is often, though not always, associated with inflammation near the hair follicles. A common cause is pulling hair too hard when brushing or styling. I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of handling hair gently.

    Also common is itching due to a condition termed seborrheic dermatitis. Sebum is the oil of the skin and excessive amounts promote bacterial growth, leading to inflammation and itching. Secretion of sebum is triggered by testosterone. Often women with scalp seborrhea think their scalp is dry because they have dandruff. Actually dandruff is a sign of oily skin. All skin flakes but these are only noticeable when the skin is oily, causing the flakes to stick rather than fall off.

    When women with alopecia have oily hair and scalp this usually indicates that testosterone is involved in causing the hair loss. Treatment with a testosterone blocker such as spironolactone usually revolves the problem over a period of a few weeks. Also important is to wash hair daily or at least every other day. The best shampoo for oily hair or flaking scalp is, in my experience, Neutrogena T-Gel. The regular strength is adequate. Topical steroid foams can help but may cause thinning of the skin is used too often.

    Seborrheic dermatitis and use of testosterone blockers iare discussed in detail in my recent book, It's Your Hormones.
    Geoffrey Redmond, MD
    The Hormone Help Center of New York http://www.hormonehelpny.com/
    Author, It's Your Hormones

    It is not appropriate to make medical diagnoses or treatment recommendations over the internet. Replies to questions intended as general information and not as medical advice for any individual. An appropriate health care provider should be consulted for specific advice.

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    Smile Patient of Dr. Redmond's

    Hi,

    I'm new to this site, but just wanted to put my two cents in - Dr. Redmond is completely right when he says that negative posts and posts regarding side effects etc. are more common than the good news posts, and unfortunately for the reason he gives: when I was unhappily losing my hair, I visited the forums every day. Since last year, when my hair loss first slowed (after beginning Diane 35) and then stopped (when I finally worked up the motivation to go to NYC and see Dr. Redmond, who prescribed Spiro for my problems).

    Dr. Redmond was a great source of comfort, beginning with his book and continuing with his willingness to respond to questions and concerns. When I returned home to Canada, I had difficulty in convincing my family doctor to prescribe Spiro for me (for my 'minor' problem - which to me was crippling - hair loss was ruining my life, beginning with my self-esteem and destroying all my happiness as a result), but I contacted Dr. Redmond again, who gave me a new prescription and the encouragement to persist. He answers my emails readily.

    Once I achieved success, my life began again in earnest - and I failed to report my success. I am so sorry - because I know how many times I returned to these sites for support and hope. There IS hope!!! Good luck to all of you....and thanks to Dr. Redmond and his staff.

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    Default scalp pain

    Quote Originally Posted by elaine2692 View Post
    I have been asking MD's for over 2 years about pain on my scalp; the pain you feel when you have your hair in a pony tail too long. Right now the pain is constant - there is nothing I do that will relieve it and the frontal hair loss is extreme during this time. Is there anything I can do or will it continue until I lose all my hair? I feel very desperate.

    Elaine
    Hi Elaine,
    I too had sudden scalp pain starting back in 2000. It felt just like you described - like I'd been wearing my hair in a pony tail too long, and had just let my hair down. Owww! I had alot of other illness along with this, but I found out later that this symptom had to do with arterial arteritis. Arterial arteritis goes hand in hand with Polymyalgia Rheumatica, which is what they FINALLY diagnosed me with.
    I keep the burning down with 2 enteric aspirin and 2 advil per day - in fact I don't have burning as long as I do this. These 2 pills are anti-inflammatories.
    You might have your doc run a Sed Rate test. This test simply tests for any inflammation in your body, period. (I was a lab tech for 34 years.) A CRP test also tests for inflammation. Both tests together could help your doc. I also had a Cortisol test done - the saliva test is more true. I have super high Cortisol levels - this can cause hair loss. Cortisol is a stress hormone - the fight or flight response hormone.
    Now, as to what to do about the hair loss, I've yet to find the answer. I've tried to find something to counteract the high Cortisol level, but I can't. But still looking - that's why I'm on this website. The good doctor of this site might look for an answer for us.

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