Advice on How to Deal With an Itchy, Thinning Crown

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Question: I’ve had an itchy, red, sore crown for a long time (it often feels sore to the touch) and now my hair appears to be thinning there.

Itchy Scalp Itch Scratch Hair LossMy hairline seems fine and my hair is thick elsewhere. I’m not shedding hair in great amounts either but my crown definitely feels thinner, and I can often feel other things on my scalp such as a hard build up on the base of some hairs and little gritty bits that feel like rock salt. I can’t even brush my crown gently because it still burns.

The itching and burning is constant. Any advice?

Answer: Hi, Calum. The itchiness around your crown could account for your hair loss in that area if you have been scratching your scalp there.

Scratching can lead to hair breakage, which looks like thinning hair, as it causes the strands of your hair to become weak and snap in two. When the hair snaps it leaves behind short, frizzy and thin ends. This is hair damage rather than a hair loss condition, but it can still give the appearance of hair thinning especially when concentrated in one area, such as the crown.

Scratching can also leave the scalp more prone to infection, so wherever possible it is best to avoid touching your scalp except when you are washing your hair. Another possibility in extreme cases is Traction Alopecia, which can often be successfully treated, so - as you can see - there are various possibilities regarding why you may be experiencing a thinning crown.

In relation to the reason for the itchy scalp, from what you say, it sounds as if seborrhoeic dermatitis could be a possibility but we cannot give you a true diagnosis without first assessing your scalp. In cases of sebderm, touching affected areas of your scalp and then touching your face can make this form of eczema spread so make sure you wash your hands regularly, at least until you have a confirmed diagnosis.

It is important to have your scalp condition diagnosed by a professional so that treatments and therapies can be recommended. A hair loss specialist will be able to do this for you and devise a suitable treatment course to deal with both your scalp issues and any damaged hair.

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