Why does my scalp itch and hurt

When the scalp hurts

Anyone who has ever tied long hair in a tight ponytail knows that the scalp hurts afterwards. But where does it come from when it hurts without an obvious trigger? There are many causes.

Almost every fifth German has chronic problems with theScalp. No wonder: the skin is our most sensitive organ and reacts sensitively to touch and external influences such as cold and heat. Our scalp is particularly sensitive.

Sensitive area: the scalp

Like the skin on the rest of the body, the scalp also consists of three layers and is constantly renewed: In the deeper layer, new cells are constantly being created that migrate to the top layer of skin, where they become keratinized and worn away - for example when we comb our hair or wash it or just run your fingers through it.

Above all, the scalp contains countless hair roots, but also sweat and sebum glands, nerve and immune cells. The scalp is therefore sensitive, but usually does not hurt.

Possible causes when the scalp hurts

In some cases, the causes of scalp pain are more obvious:

  • Skin diseases: Psoriasis, Eczema and other skin diseases permanently irritate the skin's nervous system. The result: itching, burning or pain.
  • Lice infestation: Will the scalp of parasites likeLice When attacked, it usually becomes red, itchy, and painful.
  • Skin fungus: In contrast to lice infestation, a fungal disease of the scalp is not so easy to recognize. One indicator: it is often associated with hair loss.
  • Wash and blow dry: If you wash your hair too often, the scalp will dry out because the natural sebum layer does not have time to regenerate. Frequent hot blow-drying also makes the skin dry. The result: the skin is less elastic, reacts more sensitively to external influences and becomes more prone to small cracks. This in turn allows bacteria and fungi to get into the skin. The scalp and hair roots become inflamed and cause pain.
  • Hair care: Incompatible ingredients in hair dyes, permanent wave solutions, shampoos and other hair care products can irritate the scalp. Too much chemistry It also dries out the scalp. The result is the same as with too frequent washing and blow-drying: skin and hair roots can tear and become inflamed.
  • Hairstyle: (Too) tightly fitting hairstyles tear at the roots of the hair and irritate them. Even if you style your hair with a stiff comb or a brush with sharp-edged bristles and press too hard, our scalp can be damaged.
  • Headgear: Bicycle helmets or hats can put pressure on the scalp and roots of the hair and cause pain, especially if they are too tight. It is possible that the headgear does not get enough oxygen to the scalp, so that it sweats excessively - the ideal breeding ground for the skin's own bacteria. If they get out of hand, they attack the scalp.
  • Sunburn: Anyone who is prone to sunburn and has rather thin hair quickly gets reddened skin on the head, which hurts and peels.
  • Tension: Neck tension can easily expand up into the scalp muscles. If the tension lasts too long, the blood supply to the scalp deteriorates. The result: pain and in some cases even hair loss.
  • Migraines and tension headaches: Headaches can also make the scalp sensitive to touch.

Blow-drying that is too hot and frequent can be a cause of trichodynia. (c) Ccolourbox.de

Nerve damage as a cause of irritated scalp

A not immediately apparent reason for a sore scalp isdamaged nerves: Nerve pain (technical term:neuralgia) are for example replaced by a Shingles (herpes zoster) caused. It occurs mainly on the back and chest, but can also occur on the face or neck. The first symptom is a general feeling of illness and a slight fever. After a short time, patients complain of burning pain and sensory disturbances. A vesicular rash is typical of shingles, but sometimes it doesn't.

Stress can lead to a sensitive scalp

If there are no obvious causes for the symptoms and / or if they occur suddenly, they could too psychosomatic causesto have:stress and burn-out, for example, can lead to tension and thus tension in the neck. Many people also tend to grind their teeth when under stress. This also often leads to hardening of theNeck muscles and a headache. Both are possible causes of a sore scalp.

When to see a doctor

If you have the feeling that your sore scalp has something to do with your hair care routine, you should start there and avoid certain products, hairdressing techniques, etc. The complaints keep up though multiple days a dermatologist should be consulted. Maybe there is one Fungal disease to blame for the pain that can not be seen under the hair. Also one neuralgia must be treated by a doctor.

Therapy and preventive measures

Since the scalp hurts for a variety of reasons, there is no uniform treatment method. As a rule, one tries to identify the causes and act accordingly. For example:

  • Avoid chemical hair products
  • Do not comb and style too vigorously
  • Treat dry scalp with special oil. Do not wash your hair and blow-dry it with hot water every day.
  • Get rid of parasites quickly, for example with special shampoos and tinctures against lice (pharmacy)
  • Wear a hat in the blazing sun to avoid sunburn
  • Preventing stress, for example by doing it regularlyAutogenic training orProgressive Muscle Relaxation

When the scalp hurts: trichodynia

If the scalp is overly sensitive to touch and even combing the hair causes pain, something is wrong. Doctors then speak of oneTrichodynia (Greek: hair pain). The term also becomes colloquial"Hair root catarrh" used.

The causes of hypersensitive and painful scalps have not yet been adequately researched. For this reason, it is often difficult for the attending physician to make a diagnosis and initiate treatment. Still, there are ways to find out what causes trichodynia and what to do about it.

> If the scalp itches and burns