Many people have hair or scalp problems. Hair may thin or fall out, break off, or grow slowly. Dandruff or an itching or peeling scalp may cause embarrassment and discomfort. Hair and scalp problems can be upsetting, but they usually are not caused by serious medical problems.
Hair loss, including thinning and breaking, is the most common scalp problem. Most people lose from 50 to 100 hairs per day.
Hair gradually thins as people age, although not all people are affected to the same degree. Hereditary thinning or balding is the most common cause of thinning hair. You can inherit this from either your mother's or father's side of the family. Women with this trait develop thinning hair, while men may become completely bald. The condition can start in the teens, 20s, or 30s.
Babies often lose their fine baby hair, which is then replaced by mature hair. Because of changes in hormones, women often lose hair for 1 to 6 months after childbirth or after breast-feeding is completed.
Other possible causes for excessive hair loss, thinning, or breakage include:
Itching, flaking, or crusting of the scalp
Itching, flaking, or crusting of the scalp may be caused by:
Sores, blisters, or bumps on the scalp
Painful sores, blisters, or bumps that develop on the scalp may be caused by:
Skin cancer can occur on the scalp, particularly in areas not well-covered by hair. It can destroy skin cells and tissues and, in some cases, spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Skin cancer may appear as a growth or mole, a change in a growth or mole, a sore that does not heal, or irritation of the skin. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer, and melanoma.
The treatment for scalp problems depends on what is causing the problem.
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
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