Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I see a Dermatologist for scalp burning and hair loss"
I am a 42 year old woman. My scalp has been burning itching and I have lost my hair. Should I see a dermatologist?
I highly recommend seeing either your dermatologist or your primary care doctor. When approaching hair loss it is first important to define whether it is occurring spontaneously or as a result of damage to the hair shafts from an inflammatory process in the scalp. Given the fact that you are noticing some burning in the scalp, it seems likely that it is the second of these two possibilities. This is in some ways good news, because it means that if you can diagnose and reverse the process that is causing the scalp inflammation, the hair loss should resolve spontaneously. One of the most common causes of the scalp symptoms you have would be seborrheic dermatitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the oily parts of the skin like the scalp and facial creases. It leads to redness, itching, scaling (and hair loss). It can sometimes be treated with simple dandruff shampoos, if it is not too serious, but most cases require steroid lotions or shampoos and maybe antifungal lotions prescribed by your doctor. Other possibilities would be tinea capitis, which is a fungal infection of the scalp, and folliculitis, or bacterial infections of the hair bases. Your doctor will be able to figure out which of these is going on.
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