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Itchy, stinging, flaky scalp with brittle, dry hair
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Itchy, stinging, flaky scalp with brittle, dry hair

Hello Dr.,

About a year ago I received a hair cut to removed the relaxed (straightened) ends of my hair. It was a very close cut leaving maybe about an inch or less of hair on my head. I had the same cut about a year previously dfrom a different salon without any complications. On this occasion, immediately afterward, I noticed several unusual and uncomfortable symptoms:

1. Hair was very, very brittle and dry.
2. Scalp had itching, stinging and burning sensations that increased with time.

About two days later I went to urgent care. They did not really know what was wrong but prescribed a steroid and ketoconazole shampoo (2%). A couple more days and the symptoms had not improved, so I went to my doctor who prescribed an antibiotic in addition to the others. The antibiotic helped to improved the stinging, but my scalp never returned to the norm it previously was. It remained very flaky, my hair remained very dry and brittle, and I would get the occasional itching that would usually go away with a deep shampooing.

Months passed and now, within the last 2-3 weeks, the miserable stinging itch has returned. It is so persistent that I can not concentrate at work or sleep at night. In addition, now my scalp is sore from the scratching. The hair remains brittle. I have tried the following shampoos: Selsum Blue for dry, itchy scalp; T-Gel with Menthol. The T-Gel helped reduce the itching and flaking to not-as-severe for about a day before it all returned worse than ever. I have also used Scalpcin to spot treat itchiness with minimal effectiveness.

I am at a loss to a solution now. I would like to return to my normal hair texture and non-itching scalp from a year before this nightmare hair cut. I will be so grateful for whatever help provided.

Thank you very, very much!
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7 Comments Post a Comment
535822 tn?1443980380
This seems to be very prevelent and I think that it could be a fungus passed around by hairdressers I know of 3 people here who got it, so perhaps try to get an anti fungal shampoo or cream can be used on your scalp .I never see Hairdressers bringing out combs and scissors from a sterilising liquid do you? so anything can be passed around from head to head .
563773 tn?1374250139
Since you’ve got the complaint of itchy scalp, you may be suffering from Tinea Capitis or Ringworm (fungal infection) of the scalp. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that occurs on the face, body or scalp. The symptoms of Ringworm or Tinea Capitis include a dry itchy scalp, scaling, crusting, inflamed nodules, hair loss and tender enlarged lymph nodes on the neck.  

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your dermatologist. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

Avatar f tn
Thanks to you both for your comments. I returned to my doctor for help with my scalp and he again prescribed the antibiotic and ketoconazole shampoo. I have been alternating it with the T-gel, and although it leaves my hair very dry, the itch has calmed down and the T-Gel helps with the flakes. But if I skip one or the other the miserable itch and flakes return. My doctor gave me a referral to a dermatologist so I will continue this routine until my appointment. I hope to have more updates.

Thanks again!
Avatar m tn
Dear adrasteia
i have 2 important question to you ?
1-what is the type of antibiotic which prescribed to you ??
some antibiotic cause increase the fungal infection if you have
and all Topical streiod cause increase the fungal infection if you have
tell us about the antibiotic which prescribed to you

2-Do you have any scales in your scalp ???

again i think that the Ketoconazole shampoo cause stinging and burning your scalp .
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