I Have a Foul Smelling Scalp and Hair Loss'

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Smelly head and hair lossName: 


Question: I have been dealing with some major hair loss as well as having a very foul scalp odour. My hair has come out in different areas of my head and my scalp is so sensitive from where the irritation is that it has left scar tissue which is becoming very embarrassing. If you can help me to understand what's going on I would for one be very grateful.

Answer: Hi, Casundra. There are a few reasons why the scalp can have an unpleasant odour, such as bacterial or fungal infection, or excessive sweating.

If this is causing irritation to the point where you believe you may have scarring hair loss you will need to see a dermatologist. Any underlying skin condition needs to be treated before any hair loss treatment can proceed.

However, it is important to be aware that no hair loss treatment can regrow hair in scarred areas as the scarring indicates that the follicles have been destroyed. When hair follicles are damaged to the point where they scar over this is known as scarring alopecia or cicatricial alopecia. This hair loss condition cannot be treated although in some instances, where the bald areas are not too extensive and there is a healthy donor area, a hair transplant may be considered. This is very much decided on a case-by-case basis though so would be down to the individual surgeon as to whether they feel it would be possible or not.

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