Dear DR.

I’ve been following your blog for a while now and finally worked up the courage to email in. I approached my doctor a short while ago about hair thinning and a red and itchy scalp but was brushed off with some anti-dandruff shampoo and told it was “just the weather”. I have a history of psoriasis and eczema, plus some dandruff but don’t recall my scalp ever being so itchy.

Following the itchiness, I began using the shampoo recommended but still no real benefit, to make matters better I decided to go for a buzz cut and get a number two over. It has since grown out a little, but I noticed afterwards some red patches on my scalp particularly around the crown and itchiness, the hair also looks like it’s begun to thin but I’m unsure if this is just the crown and way the hair grows or the start of balding. I was wondering if the itch could mean the onset of thinning? I’ve also fairly light hair and skin so was unsure if that makes a difference to the appearance plus the fact this is the shortest my hairs been in a long time as it used to be quite long and is still thick.

Any help regarding the possible thinning and or itch would be most appreciated.

Yours faithfully

The itch you’ve experienced could be related to the hair loss you’re seeing, but it’s not a common thing to have an itchy scalp because of genetic hair loss. I haven’t been able to pinpoint a link, but some people have told me they’ve experienced itchiness during thinning.

You should try seeing another doctor, perhaps someone that specializes in skin disorders (like a dermatologist), if you felt that the doctor you saw was too passive. You could have an allergy, a fungal infection, or something else entirely. It could even be scalp psoriasis or eczema, which you do have a history of.

Scratching the itchy scalp would produce the redness, and if you are aggressive you could end up causing traction alopecia, where the hair falls out due to the constant scratching.

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