Our expert says:
Hi Jolene, thank you for the question and I am sorry to hear what you have been through in the past 5 months.
This is a difficult question to answer over the net as there are a number of causes of sudden hair loss and most of them require blood tests and/or skin biopsies. Following your description it certainly sounds like some form of infective or inflammatory cause and as such one should strongly investigate along these lines. For completeness sake I have listed all the causes of hair loss below and my advice would be to do some research (through Google) and once you have narrowed it down take it along with you to your family physician for specific investigations. It will also be easier once the inflamed burning scalp appears to see you doctor who can investigate and take skin scrapings, swabs for MC&S, and perform a skin biopsy.
Hair loss is divided into a number of broad groups:
The differential diagnosis of diffuse, extensive, sub acute and chronic non-scarring hair loss in women include:
Telogen effluvium: stress related or after pregnancy, or sfter significant weight loss
Androgenic alopecia: usually genetic and typically has no hormonal changes
Sex hormone abnormalities
Iron deficiency: iron levels normal so further in depth tests required
Connective tissue disease
Drug induced alopecia
Alopecia areata: some causes include Tinea capitis, secondry syphilis, and frontal fibrosing alopecia
Scarring alopecia(I would definitely look into these):
Infection: bacterial, fungal, viral
Inflammatory dermatoses: SLE, lichen planus, scleroderma, Sarcoidosis, necrobiosis lipoidica
Blistering disorders: cicatricial pemphigoid, porphyria cutanea tarda, epidormolysis bullosa
I hope the above helps as one can find sites that will describe the above causes and the symptoms one can experience with each; I am hoping you find a similar descriptive process that can help the doctor in making the diagnosis and therefore start you on the correct treatment regime. I strongly feel that this is an inflammatory or infective process and needs to be treated urgently. Another option is to print my answer and take it to your family doctor who should be able to assist you further.
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