What Causes a Burning Sensation in the Head?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 14, 2020 11:32:44 PM ET
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Trigeminal neuralgia is a common cause of a burning sensation in the head, says Right Diagnosis from Healthgrades. This condition results from irritation or compression of the fifth cranial nerve, which enervates a large portion of the head and face, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia range from sudden, severe, shooting pain that persists for several hours to a constant, less intense, burning sensation in the head and face, explains the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The pain often occurs following a light touch to the face, such as when a person is shaving, putting on makeup or brushing her teeth. For some patients, even a breeze against the face initiates intense pain. The condition typically gets better for short periods but recurs at regular intervals, and the severity of the pain usually worsens over time. It is more common in people over 50 but can happen at any age. It also occurs more often in women than in men.

Another medical condition that sometimes causes pain in the head and face is Bell's palsy. This condition is the result of temporary paralysis of the seventh cranial nerve, states the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Although typical symptoms include drooping of one side of the face, drooling, excessive tearing of one eye and changes in sense of taste, some people also experience a headache and pain around the jaw or behind the ear on the affected side.