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How To Soothe A Tender Scalp? Risks And Causes

A tender scalp often feels like pain, numbness, irritation, itching, throbbing, sensitivity, and inflammation on the scalp. These symptoms can appear together and can be a symptom of the underlying cause of autoimmune diseases.

Sometimes tender heads can be pronounced and look like peeling and flaking of the skin on the scalp. Many factors can cause this tenderness. It can be anything from yeast infection to dandruff.


Keep reading to find out possible reasons and symptoms for tender heads and what you can do to soothe them. 

What Causes Scalp Irritation?

Scalp irritation can be caused by several reasons affecting your everyday life. It is important to find what is causing your scalp irritation to ensure getting the right treatments. 

Let’s know what causes scalp irritation:


Infection of the hair follicles can cause sensitivity to the skin of the scalp. Conditions like furunculosis, folliculitis, and furunculosis can also affect the scalp. They can feel sore, painful, and tender to touch. Moreover, these infections can appear on the neck, back of the head, and even the armpit. Further, these lesions can be painful and sometimes even have pus in them. 

Skin disorder

Skin conditions like dermatitis are common, which can cause skin inflammation. It can also look like itchiness, rash, swollen and red skin. The skin might even occur as flaky or blisters. The symptoms can be triggered when coming in contact with things like:

  • Particular hair products
  • Particular cosmetics
  • Certain soaps
  • Pollution
  • Water
  • Laundry detergents
  • Poison ivy


Tension headaches can be responsible for scalp pain. Problems like stress, anxiety, and depression can further worsen the symptoms. In short, the pain and tenderness usually have something to do with the nerves. 

Use Of Unsuitable Products

Some people use products without knowing the harm that they can cause. Sometimes, products like shampoo, hair masks, and conditioners carry ingredients unsuitable for the hair or scalp in the long run. As a result, these products can cause damage to the hair’s health and irritate the scalp. Therefore, It is essential to understand what kind of product ingredients suit your scalp to avoid any significant problems.

Temporal Arteritis

The temporal artery is a blood vessel. It is on the side of your head and in front of your ear. In this condition of temporal arteritis, the temporal artery gets inflamed and feels tender when touched. Symptoms of this condition include jaw pain, headaches, visual disturbances, etc. 


Sometimes lice can appear in the form of dandruff and flakes. You must seek immediate attention if you have an itchy scalp or redness on the crust. Moreover, lice are contagious and can affect your hair and scalp severely. They certainly can live for a long time on the scalp. And their eggs live even longer. 

Underlying Scalp Condition

Some underlying causes can be the reason for scalp tenderness that weakens the skin. A weak scalp barrier can not provide maximum protection. Consequently, this results in a loss of moisture and an increase of bacteria-like irritants. 

Varied Other Causes

Some other causes for scalp tenderness can include the following:

  • Cysts
  • Acne
  • Sunburn
  • Hairstyles that include tight ponytail
  • Using hair products that are not appropriate for your hair type
  • Using hair styling tools
  • Infections of the scalp

Sometimes for some people, the scalp can become so sensitive that even a light touch to the hair or scalp can be painful. While in many others, the scalp can become numb. The numbness happens due to a pinched nerve or an injury. These kinds of nerve problems are rare. 

Risk Factors 

People with oily or dry scalp are more prone to scalp pain. They may also have sensitive skin in other areas. These symptoms can worsen if you experience problems like:

  • Anxiety`
  • Depression
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Stress
  • Living in a cold climate

Varied Skin Conditions

Scalp tenderness can be linked to many skin conditions like

  • Sunburn
  • head lice
  • Psoriasis
  • Insect bite
  • Rashes

How can you treat scalp tenderness?

Soothing a tender head or scalp can depend on the symptoms and how much the problems affect you. Some people have mild symptoms, while others have very aggressive scalp problems. 


Use Suitable Products

A good hair care routine is the first and foremost step in caring for the scalp. Change shampoo according to your hair problems and stick to that. Gently brush your hair, and you can also take over-the-counter medication for pain. As a result, these pain relievers can also help with headaches and migraines. 

Use A Product That Targets The Problems

For problems like hair pulling and itching, you can try scalp soothing treatments like Tender Head’s Hair Oil and Hair Grease, which can help you relieve these problems and also reduce inflammation, dandruff, and flaky scalp. 

Get The Skin Condition Treated

If you have severe flaking or peeling of the skin on the scalp, that is visible very clearly. Then it is clear that you have a scalp irritation that is causing your scalp to itch or become flaky and dry. These conditions can worsen over time. If these persistent problems interfere with your everyday life, you must visit a doctor ASAP!

Oiling The Hair

Certain oils like rosemary, lavender, or essential oils can help in healing sores that may be causing tenderness or pain in the scalp. However, you must dilute the oils before applying them to the scalp. Because applying undiluted oil directly to the scalp can worsen the symptoms. Also, you can patch-test the oils before using them on the scalp. Apply on the forearm for 24 hours. And if the results are positive, only apply them on the scalp.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is often advised to use natural oils like coconut, mustard, vinegar, and curd and drink eight glasses of water to treat a sensitive scalp. Although drinking water is good for your health, it won’t treat your scalp problems alone. These are some myths in the name of home remedies that can further increase your condition because these remedies are not proven to be effective. It is better to go for products that are made to treat scalp treatment. If the situation seems out of hands, consult with your doctor asap.

Many people experience tender scalp on one spot on the scalp. This tenderness can also be linked to various medical conditions like tension headaches, migraine, and autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, rashes, wounds, etc.

If you experience itching, pain, or irritation on the scalp, you might have an inflamed scalp condition. An inflamed scalp can have redness, flaking, or peeling of the skin on the scalp.

In some cases, tender scalp can go away without any treatment. You can also take some steps to treat your tender scalp without any medical supervision. For instance, gently massage your scalp in a circular motion using your fingertips. In addition, using soothing hair products can help relieve a tender scalp.

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