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What are some causes of burning scalp with hair loss?

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Quick Answer

A burning scalp accompanying hair loss can be symptoms of cicatricial alopecia, states WebMD. They can also be signs of ringworm of the scalp, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Cicatricial alopecia causes the hair to fall out in patches with scar tissue replacing the hair follicles, explains WebMD. The condition differs from the more common alopecia areata because the hair loss is permanent due to the scarring.

In cicatricial alopecia, the patient may experience scalp pain and itchiness in addition to hair loss, particularly in cases that progress quickly, states WebMD. Slower spreading cases often cause little discomfort, and patients may not immediately notice the condition. Affected sites can also develop scaling, blisters, inflammation and changes in skin pigment. Treatments for the condition include antibiotics and topical steroids.

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.

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