Like Aliens, but out of my head
January 27, 2012 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Some sort of weird twitch on my scalp. Armchair diagnosis plz

Early 20's male, got my hair cut from medium to fairly short last Friday, known to have a dry scalp at this time of year.

For the last two days I've had this sensation a bit left of the center of my scalp, almost like a bug is crawling there. Ew! But I've checked thoroughly, and there's nothing strange going on among the hairs in that region. I know how to spot even small ticks.

My only thought is that there's some very small muscle group (aren't jaw muscles somehow connected up there?) that's spasming in small amounts. It happens maybe 3 times in a row every 15 minutes. Not really a nuisance, just a curiosity- anyone know what this could be?
posted by MangyCarface to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
As you're in your early twenties, you might not yet realise that you will get occasional and temporary strange things going on with your body for the rest of your life. The general rule is not to take seriously any mild condition that hasn't stuck around for at least a week. I know you say you're more curious than worried, but this will almost certainly be gone long before you get a chance to get it properly checked out. I am not a doctor in the usual sense of the word, but I can safely diagnose this as a passing twitch.
posted by cincinnatus c at 6:35 AM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]

Your hair is now short enough that you may be feeling the breeze from a ceiling fan. Notice your surroundings next time this happens.

My son has very sensitive skin and a dry, itchy scalp. Most shampoos, including dandruff shampoos make him itch. The only thing that works for him is L'Occitane shampoo and conditioner for sensitive or irritated scalp. It has a purple label and smells like fruit loops. It is more expensive than other shampoos but since your hair is so short it will last a long time. It is the only conditioner that I know of that you can use on your scalp, without getting any sort of funky build-up.

If there isn't a store near you, you can order online. I signed up for their club thingie and I get lots of free stuff for them. I've purchased both online and in stores with great success.
posted by myselfasme at 7:37 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

It may have nothing to do with the haircut. It's probably just a random twitch as cincinnatus c says.

To offer some comfort (or discomfort) I'll share my story about a similar but much more intense symptom:

A few years back, I started having random pain that ran from my ear to the back of my scalp. It was like an electric shock, and was sometimes so painful and startling that I would actually gasp or let out an involuntary "OH!" when it happened. It usually happened at night when I was trying to sleep. The shock/pain would hit and if my eyes were closed, I would see a bright flash of light. But it went away instantly every time. After a week or so of this, I checked with Dr. Google, and suspected that I might have shingles or some other nerve-related illness. I determined to make an appointment to see the doctor as soon as I could.

But then it stopped as suddenly as it came. Never had it happen again. At my regular checkup, my doctor opined that it was just some random misfiring of the nerves. It was certainly miserable and a bit scary when it was happening, so it's hard to understand how it could be "nothing" but indeed, it was nothing.

I'm 50 years old, and have been in reasonably good health my whole life, but I can say that there are all kinds of "nothings" that come and go for no real reason.
posted by The Deej at 8:03 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's what's called a nervous tic. They come and go. I get 'em in the muscles around my eyes, occasionally.
posted by Rash at 8:11 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had this when I was going through a period of some pretty intense stress in my life and it was basically that my normal eye tic had migrated to my head. I did not think something like that could happen, went to the doc and all the rest and he said "Stress" and sure enough when the stress went away, so did the scalp symptoms. Still a good idea to get things involving nerves to get checked out, but wanted to let you know that there might be a totally boring explanation.
posted by jessamyn at 8:31 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Possibly Vitamin D related. You can get a test of your levels.
posted by cda at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Shit! I ran out of vitamins a week or two ago and I'm always low on D due to diet/lifestyle(endocrinologist checks it often). I'll try remedying this, thanks!

Also, maybe smoking a bit more weed for the stress factor
posted by MangyCarface at 8:58 AM on January 27, 2012

Too much caffeine can cause tics.
posted by Duffington at 9:06 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

After getting into mindfulness meditation, one of the things that surprised me the most was just how busy my body was. There are throbbing, itching, pulsating and stinging sensations going on all the time but I'm aware of them only occasionally.
posted by Orchestra at 3:37 AM on January 28, 2012

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