Some causes of a burning scalp and hair loss are scalp psoriasis, scarring alopecia and ringworm of the scalp, according to WebMD. Scalp psoriasis causes red, scaly patches on the skin, while scarring alopecia is a hair loss disorder that comes in many forms.
Additional symptoms of scalp psoriasis are a dry scalp and itching and flaking similar to dandruff, notes WebMD. It can be one patch or many and can spread to the neck or ears. The cause is unknown, but doctors speculate that excessive growth of skin cells form the patches. The hair loss results from the sufferer scratching and picking the spots and experiencing stress over the condition. Treatments include oral medication or injections and shampoos, creams and ointments to apply on the skin,.
Dissecting cellulitis, eosinophilic pustular folliculitis and follicular degeneration syndrome are all types of scarring alopecia, explains WebMD. Most types of this disorder result in scar tissue replacing hair follicles. The hair loss can be gradual or rapid, and the patches can be smooth or scaly. Although physical signs other than hair loss may be absent, blistering occurs some cases. To diagnose scarring alopecia, a doctor takes a skin biopsy and looks for hair follicle damage, scar tissue on the skin and localized inflammation.
A communicable fungus causes ringworm of the scalp, or tinea capitis, according to Mayo Clinic. The name refers to the shape of the symptoms, not a worm, as hair commonly falls off in circular patches, which start small and grow outward. The infected skin may be inflamed, scaly or tender to the touch. The remaining hair in infected areas may be brittle. Ringworm can also cause permanent hair loss.
Children and pet owners are more susceptible to infection than others, explains Mayo Clinic. Treatment options for ringworm of the scalp include oral antifungal medications, such as griseofulvin and terbinafine, and medicated shampoos.