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Painful scalp infection, no superficial symptoms, swollen occipital lymph node, hair loss. Reason?

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painful scalp infection but no superficial symptoms
Dear Expert,
I have been experiencing intense pain periodically in my scalp accompanied by hair loss for about 6-8 months now. There is also a swollen occipital lymph node on one side of my head that started about the same time this painful hair loss started.The pain is incisive and feels local to the scalp not underneath. However I never have any superficial symptoms such as papules, pimples, cysts, or scale. Further, there is never any itching involved with this condition. The pain and hair loss is centered around the top of my scalp and is diffuse in nature, becoming most noticeable in the past couple of weeks. The pain seems to come in waves lasting for a couple weeks every 3-4 weeks. I have been to the dermatologist two to three times and each time they say that they can not diagnose me despite the pain and swollen lymph node because I have no specific area to biopsy. There is one nodule in the back of my head but it is not located where the pain is and I do not think it is related. Any indication what could be causing this hair loss? And if I do not have any visible scarring do you think the condition is irreversible or permanent?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Gaurang Krishna 1 hour later
Hello ,

Thanks for writing in.

This is an undefined condition that I have come across quite frequently.

Tell me, do you experience more pain when you try to pull your hair?
Do you feel some abnormal scalp sensitivity?

This problem is still unnamed and most doctors usually ignore this (thinking it is patient's imagination). But I feel it has something to do with sensitive nerves in the scalp.

To be XXXXXXX I am not sure if I am correct as this condition is still not defined by science yet.

You may try nerve stabilizers like gabapentin and vitamin B12.

Talk to your physician about this. Some of my patients have benefitted with this treatment.

You may also get your sugar and Vit B12 levels tested.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.
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