Burning scalp and hairloss

by Susie
(Granbury, TX)

Dear Wray, I am a healthy 46 year old and have been on Mircette, the low dose BCP, for many many years. All was well until June 2010 when A LOT of hair began coming out and my scalp was burning. This lasted 10 days.

In September it started again and by the end of November I lost over 50% of my hair. My GP doc was no help--no advice about my hair problem but he told me my blood tests showed I was menopausal (my FSH was <.7) and my Thyroid T4 was .9 so he put me on Synthroid. I felt fine except for sleeping 9+ hours each night. The pharmacist was a Dr. Lee fan and suggested I go off the pill and start on progesterone cream. I did that and within 3 days my hair loss and burning slowed. I was using a 1% cream and used 2.5 grams twice a day. Then I got my period and stopped using the cream and by the 2nd day my hairloss increased a lot. So I began using 1.25 grams once a day. Now the hairloss slowed again but not as much as I'd like.

I just changed to Emerita 1.5% cream and am using 1.25 grams twice a day. How much do you think I should use? Did you ever hear of buring scalp along with hair loss? Could it be hot flashes concentrated on my head? Will my hair grow back? I have no other bothersome menopause symptoms. I am taking Biotin and B vitamins. I will probalby switch to your 3% cream since I seem to need so much. Thank you for any advice you have for me. Susie

Comments for Burning scalp and hairloss

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Dec 30, 2010
Burning scalp and hairloss
by: Wray

Hi Susie I'm relieved your pharmacist suggested going off the pill, please see our page on Contraceptives. Your progesterone has been suppressed for years, as the pill stops ovulation, but it doesn't stop an egg maturing. As you are now in Peri-menopause, ovulation naturally slows, but mature follicles also slow down. The pituitary senses this and increases LH to stimulate a follicle to mature. But LH also stimulates the secretion of androgens, this causes hair loss, often called male pattern baldness. I don't understand how an FSH level of less than 0.7 could be menopausal, it's indicative of someone in puberty! Unless the lab uses a different reference point, see Medline FSH. The same goes for the T4, see Medline T4. If your thyroid is 'slow', it's more than likely due to a lack of vitamin D, please have a test done, see the Vitamin D council website. A lack of vitamin D also reduces the benefits of progesterone. The burning scalp could be caused by a lack of vitamin B2, I suggest you try taking about 100-150mg/day. Biotin is good for hair loss, about 2-3 mg/day, also 2000mg/day inositol, 2000mg/day cysteine and 100mg/day thiamine (B1). Take care Wray

Jul 24, 2014
Same Issue
by: Renee'

I experienced the same problem 48 years old burning scalp and hair loss for the past month. I have Hypothyroidism my FT4 was .8 on Synthyroid and Cytomel. Seems worse around period, noone could tell me what was wrong. Going to try Progesterone cream and see if burning goes away, thank you for sharing your story.

Oct 03, 2014
Same Symptoms
by: Anonymous

You just described what I have been going through over the past year. I am 40 and have hair thinning associated with burning scalp and arms (my arm hair has thinned as well)typically around menstruation. I will have a few months with little shedding and then it will start all over again. My Vitamin D levels were severely low and I have wondered if that has contributed to my symptoms. I will look further into progesterone.

Thanks for sharing!

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