How to interpret a burning sensation in the head

Updated April 17, 2017

A burning sensation in the head or scalp may be due to various reasons, some of which are more serious than others. It’s important to identify the root cause to pursue the right treatment option. If you or someone you know experiences this symptom, you’ll find the following possibilities helpful.

Consider nerve damage when you feel any type of tingling, numbness or burning sensation on the scalp. One possibility could be due to a damaged or injured nerve, which can occur due to a number of conditions affecting the nerves, such as diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, neuropathy and multiple sclerosis.

Keep in mind that neuritis (nerve damage) may occur due to vitamin deficiencies. Such vitamins include thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

Notice whether you started losing hair at around the same time that the burning sensation started. A burning on the scalp is sometimes associated with many hair follicles entering a resting stage (telegon stage) at the same time. A sudden change in diet, medication, extreme emotional stress or a protein deficiency can cause hair follicles to enter the telegon state. New hair growth stops during this stage, resulting in hair loss.

Determine if itching accompanies the burning sensation. If so, the culprit could be sunburn or chemical burn. A reaction to a new hair product is another possibility.

Be aware that a scalp fungal infection may also be responsible for the burning sensation. If you also experience general hair loss, this could be the reason. Fungus can grow down the hair follicle, causing it to fall out.


Boil some water and add a few bags of chamomile. Let it cool down a little bit until it’s warm and apply compresses to the affected area. Chamomile is soothing to the scalp.

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