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Scalp pain causes immense discomfort in and around the scalp. Your head feels heavy when gripped by an excruciating pain. The pain could also be mild and it can spread gradually towards your forehead and extend till the neck. Painful scalp might also cause immense irritation and numbness in the head as well. You experience dizziness and a dull thud in your head while resting or being in motion. The intensity and location of the pain form the basis of diagnosis and treatment.

Associated Symptoms

Painful scalp is associated with many types of health disorders. Your scalp might swell, turn red and itch simultaneously. Throbbing pain is sometimes associated with numbness and tingling sensation in the head. Dizziness and headache are common. You can also experience hair loss when there's an infection in the scalp. The pain is sharp and poignant if you have an internal head injury. Severe shooting pain in the scalp is also a symptom of neurological disease.

Causes

While a normal headache can cause mild pain in the scalp, disorders of the central nervous systems or carcinomas on scalp can trigger severe headache. We shall explain you the different reasons behind scalp pain in the next content.

Minor Pain
The common causes of scalp pain are headache, head injury, migraine, sinus headache and muscle tension. Infection of the scalp skin also causes pain. Cellulitis, tinea captitis, skin abscess and scalp skin lesions are some skin diseases that cause pain in the scalp. Hidden wounds present in the scalp also give rise to pain. You will also experience pain in your scalp if the roots of your hair are weak.

Scalp pain might also result from herpes zoster infection. It infects the skin covering your scalp. A condition known as pediculosis, wherein your head is severely infested by lice. Fungal infection causing tinea capitis causes scalp tenderness and bald patches. Sebaceous cyst and impetigo are some reasons behind experiencing tenderness in the scalp.

Severe Pain
Severe pain in the scalp needs immediate medical attention, as there might be serious underlying disorders. The common disorders associated with this type of pain are:
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Cervical disk disease
  • Optic neuritis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scalp neuritis
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Temporal arteritis
  • Brain tumor
  • Angiosarcoma of scalp
  • Cellulitis
  • Cervical migraine
  • Cervigogenic headache
  • Contact dermatitits
  • Paget's disease
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
Treatment

A mild pain can easily be treated at home. You should never neglect the pain if it persists for a long time. It is always advisable to visit doctors if you are suffering from acute scalp pain and get the right treatment before it gets delayed. At home, you can take warm compress on your head. Massage your head with pain relief balm to get immediate relief. A cold compress also helps if you are not suffering from cold. Crush some ice and wrap them with a towel or a handkerchief. Take the compress twice or thrice and make sure you do not apply ice directly on your scalp. You can go for a hot oil therapy to get the much-needed comfort.

Acetaminophen and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen and Naproxen are also pain relievers. However, these drugs should not be taken frequently. It's always better to seek a doctor's advice, if you are regularly suffering from pain in the scalp.

Severe scalp pain is certainly a cause of concern. Today there is advanced treatment for such types of disorders. Therefore, go for a medical check up and get the right treatment from a reputed clinic.