Compared to the rest of our body, our scalp has the most number of hair strands growing on it. The genetic reason for this is that the scalp covers the skull which houses one of the most important organs in the body, the brain. During winter, our hair protects our scalp from too much cold, and when summer comes, it protects our scalp from too much heat. Also, because of the hair on our head, our scalp is more sensitive to UV rays than the rest of our body.

There are times, however, that our scalp will tingle or feel sore from too much cold or heat. These are the times when there are too few hairs growing on our scalp or when our hair has thinned out. When the scalp is painful, there is surely hair loss, and sometimes, a migraine that come along. However, when only the skin on the scalp hurts, it is not migraine at all.

The Ponytail Syndrome

According to medical text, pain on the skin of the scalp is called Trichodynia. It is a condition where the patient experiences a painful burning sensation on their scalp. This hair pain is also called “ponytail syndrom” because the pain is felt on the crown of the head as if the hair there is pulled taut like in a ponytail.

Trichodynia is often associated with hair loss, but some studies show it has no connection to hair loss. Its causes may be psychosomatic in nature, such as stress, depression or anxiety. The incidence of trichodynia is often seen in women because they experience hormonal changes more frequently, and are likely to be more emotional than men. They are also more concerned with hair loss than men, and therefore, are more likely to seek medical advice on it.

Scalp Why Does my Scalp Hurt?

Too Much Hair Being Shed?

Hair loss is medically referred to as either telugum effluvium or androgenic alopecia depending on the causes. Since trichodynia is accompanied with hair loss, the shedding of hair may have caused the pain much similar to the phantom limb syndrome.

We normally shed hair in regular intervals. The hair shedding has two phases: telugum and anagen. In the telugum phase, the hair does not grow and remains so for at least 3 months. Then when it starts growing, it enters the anagen phase, where new strands push out the old. This phase takes about 3 years on average. The length of hair strand will depend on how much and how fast the hair grows.

In times of stress, anxiety or depression, more than the normal number of hair strands may suddenly go into the telugum phase. They may stay in that phase up to 6 months, which is far longer than the average 3 months. When the hair strands go into the anagen phase, that is when they fall off.

Too many hair falling can clearly cause concern in anyone. But after being interviewed by doctors, patients are found to have experienced great physiologic stress 1 to 6 months earlier. Physiologic stresses that can induce telogen effluvium include febrile illness, major injury, change in diet, pregnancy and delivery, and starting a new medication. Immunizations have also been reported to cause acute hair shedding.

Final Reminder

If the pain remains longer and shows up with rashes on the scalp, it is best to see the doctor. The cause of scalp pain may not be as harmless as psychosomatic or physiologic stress, but an underlying medical condition.

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Categories: General, Health

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