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May 31, 2011 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Any advice for a tingling scalp?

A patch of scalp on the back of my head has been tingling continually for four days now. It feels like a small current is being passed through it in waves. It's not itchy, it actually feels like it's moving. I've never experienced anything like it before. It started the same day as I got my hair cut, but I think this is just co-indicence. (The salon washed my hair first, but if it was a reaction to the product, I would have expected it to be much more general and to have gone by now.) I haven't changed any of my own hair care products, I'm not on any medication, have no pre-existing conditions, there's no other weirdness at the site, like spots or lumps, and can't think of any reason for it.

I can't concentrate at work and it's getting sore from my constant attempts to scratch it into oblivion. I really don't want to bother my doctor with what amounts to an itch - do I? Please tell me there's a really simple over-the-counter cure.
posted by londonmark to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Please bother your doctor.

(I wish I would have "bothered" my doctor many years ago for something that "wasn't a big deal" and now I can't even pick up my young kids...)
posted by TinWhistle at 7:21 AM on May 31, 2011

Stop scratching it. From your description, it sounds neurological, or at least not like a topical skin problem. See your doctor.
posted by wondermouse at 7:29 AM on May 31, 2011

IANYD, but it some like some sort of localized nerve pain, such as Occipital Neuralgia. I get the same thing (feels like someone stuck a low volt battery to the back of my head) and found that I had some very minor pinched nerves in the C2 area. The pain was very severe, though, giving me terrible headaches, light sensitivity and numbness in my left arm.

Typical treatment failed to work for me (I had epidurals, pain blocks and even had nerves burnt in my scalp - no, it's even more painful than it sounds!).

Acupuncture has been extremely effective in keeping the muscles around the neck from tightening up. Proper posture at work (I work on computers most of the day) and a lot of stretching helps.

I've been almost pain free for over two years.

Call your doc.
posted by johnn at 7:36 AM on May 31, 2011

That honestly sounds like what I'm experiencing all over now: a post-USA Memorial Day sunburn from a day at the beach.

So could it be that you A) got more hair cut off than you thought, B) might be losing a bit off the top, C) spent some extra time out in the sun without a hat, or D) some/all of the above.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:12 PM on May 31, 2011

When they washed your hair at the salon, were you leaning back into one of those sinks with the semi-circle cutout for your neck? Those things are like little torture devices, ugh. You might very well have a pinched nerve.
posted by amyms at 2:31 PM on May 31, 2011

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