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Have itchy painful sores on scalp. What could this be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 14955 Questions
Hi I have these sores on my scalp with become both itchy and painful. After a couple of days they scab over. I am too embarrassed to show my doctor but my scalp is full of them at the moment. I have been quite stressed of late due to money issues and I wonder if this could have contributed to this. I would appreciate some indication what this might be. Thankyou very much XXXXXXX
Posted Fri, 19 Apr 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Your symptoms can be related to different possible conditions.
It is more likely secondary to an infection, the scalp can be infected by fungi or bacteria. Both of these can potentially result in hair loss.
Fungal infections usually present with ring shape areas that are associated with itching and scab formation. They are often painful.It requires the use of oral antifungals for 3 to 4 weeks, these can be combined with antifungal shampoos.

Folliculitis can also occur on the scalp and can progress to involve deeper aspects of the scalp causing boil formation (carbuncles) in some persons. It is inflammation of the hair follicle caused by a bacterial infection.Topical and oral antibiotics are used.

Stress can cause hair loss (condition called telogen effuvium), if this is a symptom, but would not contribute to the sores on the scalp. The presence sores is indicative of infection.
You would need to, if possible , visit your doctor because the only way to accurately diagnose the cause would be to examine them closely.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have itchy painful sores on scalp. What could this be? 5 minutes later
Just wondering if this could also be a symptom of sarcoidosis?

Thankyou for your answer XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 13 minutes later

Sarcoidosis can affect the scalp, most commonly it would cause hair loss or alopecia. This alopecia is sub divided into scarring or non scarring alopecia.

Having said that, everyone is different and reacts differently to conditions but it is not one of the more commonly associated features.

Please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have itchy painful sores on scalp. What could this be? 25 minutes later
Some of the hair follicles are thick,long and white. Is this folliculitis?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 9 minutes later

It is possible that it is folliculitis but a fungal infection can also present in the same way.The white discoloration can unfortunately occur in either infection.
It would best, if possible, for you to visit your doctor.

If you are not comfortable visiting your normal doctor, you can consider a dermatologist.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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