What Is Trichodynia And How It Can Be Treated

What Is Trichodynia And How It Can Be Treated


Ask the man on the street what Trichodynia is and, unless he has experienced it first hand, you will probably get a blank stare in return. Or, he might venture a guess. Trichodynia sounds very much like a flower, possibly one with 3 petals. That answer is of course not even close, but the fact is, as far as knowing very much about Trichodynia we are not very close either.

Trichodynia is a medical term, it is also called burning scalp syndrome, and it’s characteristics are burning or itching of the scalp, scalp sensitivity, or a feeling of pain when one combs one’s hair.  Trichodynia also has a close association with hair loss. There is a little bit of chicken and egg relationship between the two however. Does Trichodynia cause hair loss, or is it he other way around? No one seems to know for certain. Can you have one without the other? Certainly. But no one knows why that is either.

Disease, Symptom, or Syndrome?

You can read one article on the subject which treats the disorder as a disease.

The next article you read treats it as a symptom.

A third calls it a syndrome, a collection of diseases or disorders. One person who has had the problem noted that the burning ans pain always seemed to precede hair loss, while others have gone on record as saying it coincides with some loss or hair, or there was no hair loss at all.

Not too many studies have been made on the condition. It appears to affect women more than men by about a 3 to 1 margin, with at least one controlled study seeming to bear that out. On the other hand, men seem less likely to see a doctor about the condition, the theory here being that men by and large accept hair loss, while a woman will fight tooth and nail to keep all the hair she has.

There are a number of reasons for hair loss, the principal one being genetics, while disease, treatment of certain diseases, giving birth, and the environment also can play a role. Stress can play a role too, and there does seem to be a relationship between stress, anxiety, and Trichodynia. It’s also been noted that those with the condition are more likely to have an obsessive personality, or suffer from depression, but there has not as yet been any proof that a relationship exists. Theories abound.

And then there are the urban legends surrounding scalp disorders or hair loss. Wearing a hat does not cause hair loss, though a too-tight hat could damage hair follicles. Frequent washing or shampooing doesn’t cause hair loss either, nor do clogged pores or thinking too much – the egghead theory.  We seem to have plenty of wrong ideas as to what causes scalp problems such as Trichodynia, or what causes hair loss. Unfortunately, we more often than not don’t know the real reasons, nor do the experts.

Cause is Unknown  & Treatment is Difficult

Since the cause is unknown, there is no single treatment, and the condition is generally highly resistant to most types of treatment attempted. Those having the condition are treated on an individual basis. One approach is to treat Trichodynia as a symptom, and then attempt to find and treat the underlying cause. If you are a woman with an obsessive personality, who is suffering from depression, and who is about to give birth, you might be at a higher risk of  suffering hair loss and/or contracting Trichodynia, but no one can tell you why.

There are no medications currently available that are known to successfully treat Trichodynia, though some may provide relief or some degree of control over the condition. Be aware of offers of medications based on “ancient formulas”. As far as we know, the ancients had hair problems similar to ours, and did no better at solving them than we do. “Secret” formulas won’t work either. Treatment is in most cases a trial and error process, and likely will remain so for a long time to come.

Click here to check out the shampoos and scalp treatments that can possibly offer relief.