Home Forums Ask a Doctor a PCOS Question Ask Dr. Sari (PCOS: excess hair/thinning hair and acne) Scalp is burning and my hair is thin and horrible

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  drsari 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #3233

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    My scalp sometimes get very sore, burning and stinging. My hair is still thinning and I see more scalp than hair on my head. The only reason why I wash my hair now is becauseI read somewhere that sebum exceted from the scalp can have the hormones that cause hair loss.

    I am still taking saw palmetto, iron, zinc and B12 supplements and I cannot show my head in the sun or I look bald. I haven’t seen any sigificant hair growth. I just want the hair to get thick with no thin gaps.

    At the moment my scalp really hurts and it is on fire. it is tender and sore. My GP and the consultants say that I do not have PCOS because I am not obese which really upsets me because the scan came back positive twice and I have all the problems related to it. My dermatologist fobbed me off with a suggestion of Regaine – with makes your hair fall out more after a fortnight – so I haven’t used it.

    I read that patients can take anti-androgen medication alongside the contraceptive pill. Is this correct? Since I live in the UK it is really difficult.

    I have cried uncontrollablly due to my hair. I am only 27. I am starting now to look for wigs now.

    Will taking Biotin and Beta-sitosterol help too?

    😮

    #16906

    drsari
    Participant

    @Elizabeth 1977 wrote:

    My scalp sometimes get very sore, burning and stinging. My hair is still thinning and I see more scalp than hair on my head. The only reason why I wash my hair now is becauseI read somewhere that sebum exceted from the scalp can have the hormones that cause hair loss.

    I am still taking saw palmetto, iron, zinc and B12 supplements and I cannot show my head in the sun or I look bald. I haven’t seen any sigificant hair growth. I just want the hair to get thick with no thin gaps.

    At the moment my scalp really hurts and it is on fire. it is tender and sore. My GP and the consultants say that I do not have PCOS because I am not obese which really upsets me because the scan came back positive twice and I have all the problems related to it. My dermatologist fobbed me off with a suggestion of Regaine – with makes your hair fall out more after a fortnight – so I haven’t used it.

    I read that patients can take anti-androgen medication alongside the contraceptive pill. Is this correct? Since I live in the UK it is really difficult.

    I have cried uncontrollablly due to my hair. I am only 27. I am starting now to look for wigs now.

    Will taking Biotin and Beta-sitosterol help too?

    😮

    Dear Elizabeth,
    Thanks for your post. I am so sorry to hear about the difficult time you are having, and how frustrated you are with the medical care that you are receiving. This will be a long reply b/c I want to address all of your concerns.

    First, I want to address how to diagnose PCOS. If your GP said you can’t have PCOS because you are not obese, that is incorrect. At least 50% of women with PCOS are thin. To diagnose PCOS, we rely on both the symptoms experienced by the woman and also lab testing.

    Most experts consider that a woman must have evidence of both lack of ovulation manifested by irregular periods AND signs of excess male hormones to be diagnosed with PCOS. Some experts also require the presence of polycystic ovaries to diagnose PCOS.

    The symptoms can include: weight gain, hair loss or unwanted hair growth, acne, irregular menses (or excessively heavy menses), difficulty getting pregnant, skin tags, Acanthosis nigricans (brown skin patches), ovarian cysts (in PCOS these are multiple, small, immature cysts in a string-of-pearl-like appearance on ultrasound), fatigue, mood swings, and sleep apnea.

    Here are the tests done to diagnose PCOS:
    – free testosterone and DHEA-s- elevated in PCOS
    – Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)- usually low in PCOS
    – Fasting insulin- elevated in PCOS. Results greater than 9 indicate insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is usually the underlying cause of PCOS, as you may have read about on our site. Some doctors may also order a 2-hour post-prandial insulin test, along with a 2-hour post-prandial glucose test. For the post-prandial insulin, results over 25 or 30 may indicate insulin resistance.
    – Fasting glucose or 2-hour post-prandial glucose test- elevated in PCOS. Using this information in combination with the insulin levels helps to diagnose insulin resistance. Also, women with PCOS have a higher risk of diabetes.
    – LH: FSH- In PCOS, we would expect LH to be elevated in comparison to FSH.
    – ultrasound to check for the presence of ovarian cysts. Even if the ovaries do appear normal, the absence of ovarian cysts does not mean that you don’t have PCOS. Not everyone with PCOS has ovarian cysts.

    If your GP is not open to ordering these tests or seems uneducated about PCOS, can you switch to a different GP, or see an endocrinologist or gynecologist? Again, if you have many of the symptoms and ovarian cysts, the lack of obesity is NOT reason enough to rule out PCOS.

    About the burning, stinging scalp: this is actually not a symptom I have heard before related to PCOS. I suggest you post about this on some other PCOS forums (like soulcysters.net) to see if other women with PCOS have experienced it. Homeopathic Sulphur or Arsenicum might help- but it would be best to see a homeopathic practitioner to get the best remedy. Washing your scalp with nettles leaf tea and rosemary tea may also help, as these 2 herbs are beneficial for scalp health. If you need more specific instruction for how to make a strong herbal tea, write back.

    The nutrients and herbs you are using are good for hair loss, but if you have PCOS you might consider using the Insulite PCOS System to fully address the hormonal imbalance and underlying insulin resistance. Correcting the hormones and insulin resistance can improve the symptoms of PCOS, including hair loss, though it can take awhile. Check out http://www.pcos.insulitelabs.com to read more about the System.

    Yes, here in the USA doctors do prescribe anti-androgen medications and the birth control pill together. However, it is important to rule out if your hair loss and scalp problems are the result of a medication side effect. Birth control pills can sometimes cause hair loss, as can other medications. Low thyroid function, nutritional deficiencies, and extreme stress can also cause hair loss, so be sure to rule out these other causes. To check thyroid function, your doctor can do a blood test for TSH, free T4, and free T3. I am curious about your nutritional status because the burning sensations can be indicative of some B-vitamin deficiencies.
    I hope this addresses some of your concerns, Elizabeth. Please post again anytime! Hang in there and keep looking for answers…

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