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wen06862 wen06862

Scalp is very painful, Itchy, flakey, oozing blood & sticky fluid. Help

My scalp has been getting worse with the above symptoms for the past few years. Starting with an itchy scalp. I have seen the doc about it several times over the past year, but the problem is still there.

Out of the blue, my scalp started to flake, so I used medicated / specialist shampoos - over the counter stuff - & it kept it under control up to a point, but didn't get rid of the problem.

It has now become so painful that I got some (steroid) shampoo from docs & tried it for the first time on the 8th of May 2016. Since then I've been in agony, vomitting & severe scalp pain - I ended up in Urgent Care at our hospital (I'm in the UK) last night (12th May 2016)


I'm assuming that the steroid has gone through my scalp as I've got scabs which ooze when they are disturbed. I'm assuming that the steroid is in my system, causing problems.

The doc in the hospital, seemed uninterested & said go back to your GP & get a referral to see a specialist -which may take some time. He just said it was Dermatitis.

Meanwhile, has anyone any suggestions as to what I can try, the pain is horrendous, painkillers are not working. The only thing I've tried so far is warm water to soothe my scalp. (I can't brush or comb my hair, haven't since 8th May) I'm getting to the point where I could chop my hair off. (I have lost a bit of hair - no bald spots but it is thinner)

The liquid filled bumps are oozing & NO, I'm NOT scratching my head, even though I want to. (I've even got somewhite cotton gloves to stop me from scratching)

I'm disabled, I'm on a low income, I can't afford private medical care,



27 Replies

  • danR danR wen06862

    Hi wen06862,  unfortunately in the UK it usually takes some time to get an appointment with a dermatologist.

    The symptoms you are describing sound familiar to me. For years I used to have these rather large flakes on my scalp. Removing the flakes would reveal red raw inflamed skin oozing a fluid. My scalp used to be very itchy but after scratching it would hurt. I got used to just pat my scalp with the back of my hands instead of scratching it.

    Your dermatologist will have to find out what is causing your skin problems. In my case it turned out to be a contact allergy to sulphonated fatty acids. Worst of all, these are found in virtually all shampoos and even the medicated ones prescribed by my doctors. That's why steroids and fungal shampoos did not work for me. 

    After avoiding the substances causing the allergic reaction my skin improved almost overnight. I immediately noticed that the itching is subsiding and after a week or so the flakes and redness disappeared as well.     

    Until you see a dermatologist you could try to use the mildest shampoo you can find. At times when my scalp is itchy I use just conditioner. You could apply it generously and massage it very gently onto the scalp. Then rinse your hair very well.  

    In your case the trigger might be something else. If it would be just an allergy your face and/or hands would likely be affected as well.

    Hope you soon find relief for your skin condition. I remember how agonising the itching can be.    

    • wen06862 wen06862 danR

      Thanks for replying

      I've found out a few things since posting this question,

      Other women with similar problems are like me having menopausal symptoms - hot flushes & hot sweats, which make the scalp moist- so that seems to increase flakyness (I'll ask doc)

      I've got a problem with steroids obviously (have never had steroids in any form before)  -  I haven't had the severe pain on scalp before I tried the steroid "shampoo", so will stick to what was keeping the shedding under reasonable control, until I get to see the specialist.

  • gayle96515 gayle96515 wen06862

    Hi there

    It sounds as though you have sebhorreic dermatitis, which is what I suffer from.  Sometimes the problem is something as simple as hard water!  However, for most of us, the cost of installing a water softner is too expensive. 

    The only thing that I have found helps me, is once a week is to do the following:

    2 x teaspoons of olive oil

    1 x teaspoon coconut oil

    1 x teaspoon castor oil  (will help the hair to thicken up - mine became quite thin but after a year of doing this treatment, my hair is fantastic now)

    1 x teaspoon almond oil

    Most of these you can get from a super market - the castor oil - best buy it from an Asian/Indian shop as it is much cheaper than the chemist.

    I normally mix the ingredients in a small stainless bowl and then insert that bowl into another bowl of hot water - just to warm up the oils and melt the coconut oil.  You don't want it too hot - so be careful.

    I then apply it to the scalp and hair (over a bath) and place a bath cap on my head.  I leave this for as long as I can and if the sun comes out, I sit outside so that the sun can warm up the oils too and help with my scalp.

    To wash it out, I apply shampoo first and mix it up as best as possible and then apply water.  If you apply water first, you will not get the shampoo out as oil and water do not mix.

    With these types of skin conditions, the more moisturation you can put on the skin/scalp the better.  This has helped me immensely but needs doing every week to keep the condition at bay.  Sometimes, I apply 1 drop of rosemary essential oil to the mix, as this is an antiseptic but no more, as rosemary essential oil is strong.

    I hope this helps.  I do sympathise.  I also suffered from the scratching, cracking and oozing behind the ears.  That I now have under control, and it is no where as bad as what it has been.

    Hope this helps.

    • wen06862 wen06862 gayle96515

      Thanks for replying.

      I've been keeping it under control by using some of the things you use but I have allergies to some oils, so have gone back to my natural shampoo which contains Rosemary oil, Tea tree oil, & cyprus oil (which I do not react to) The old shampoo I used to use was "Polytar" which is no longer available in chemists, that helped a lot too.

      My main problem was the allergic reaction to the (prescribed) steroid shampoo, so I won't be trying that again  (never had any type of steroid before).

      My doc has referred me to a specialist, until then I can cope now my scalp has calmed down


  • eleanor08047 eleanor08047 wen06862

    hi .. that's very sad to hear .. im not suffering with same skin disease as yours . but i have a guttate psoriasis and i have went to several dermatologists already.. all they prescribed seems not to work for me .. i do research on my own and im using a triderm ointment, if quadriderm is available in your country the better .. it works for different kinds of skin disease .. . my brother used it in his head too when he was suffering of ring worms .. .  i am also applying natural treatment to my skin and the improvemnt is really noticeable . i apply baking soda mixed with a virgin coconut oil on my skin .. .

    also, maybe your condition is getting worsed because the shampoo or the medicines you took is not suitable for your body .. you better used natural then .. .

    • wen06862 wen06862 eleanor08047

      Hi, thanks for replying.

      I only use natural products on me, which has helped the condition.

      It was the steroid shampoo which caused severe problems. not the natural products I've used for years.

      Until I get to see the specialist (doc has sent request) I'm using rosemary, tea tree & cyprus oils which is helping a lot

    • wen06862 wen06862 mary ann00045

      It wasn't Psoriasis, Dermatitis or any other similar problem.

      It was a burrowing mite as I have said in my reply further down the page.

      The flaking & itching was caused by the mites faeces.

      Unless you have been to the part of the world that I have, it is unlikely you have the same problem


  • gayle96515 gayle96515 wen06862

    Hi there again

    Just be cautious of applying too much essential oils, as some of them are extremely powerful.  Also, be aware that you may have developed an allergic reation to the essential oils. 

    If not allergic to oil - have you tried avocado oil?  Fantastic for inflammed skin conditions.

    • wen06862 wen06862 gayle96515


      The oils are in a tried & tested (35 years) shampoo - which is produced by a trusted manufacturer - it is helping keep the problem under control

      My main problem was the bleeding scalp - which WAS caused by an allergic reaction to the other shampoo, which I hadn't used before, which contained steroids, which my doctor supplied.

      Now I have gone back to my original shampoo, (which contains rosemary, tea tree & cyprus oils) the problem has lessened.

      I don't use neat oils on me - I thought I'd put that in my post, but must have got distracted.

      For some reason, avocado oil makes me itch !!! (always) My mum used to use it,  I can eat avocados with no reaction. (aren't we weird sometimes)


  • Gofoitgal Gofoitgal wen06862

    Psoriasis, maby some over the counter NIZ will help but it stopped working for me and they prescribed clobex. It comes about with high levels of stress and there is no permanant cure. It's genetic though I know of only me in my family who has it, it can stay fitment till you stress to much.

  • wen06862 wen06862

    Hi All,

    Just by accident, I talked to a friend (who is a nurse) who works in skin problems & she took a sample of the scabs & had them tested......

    Well the results were horrid.....

    IT was NOT psoriasis, exczema, dermatitis etc

    It was a LIVING, skin burrowing mite, which after just over a week of treatment was gone - That was 6 MONTHS ago..... I now have no problem at all.

    If only they could have checked my scalp properly in the first place

    • danR danR wen06862

      Thank you very much for posting this update. I am very happy that (by chance) you found a cure of this nightmare of a skin problem.

      I goes to show that dermatologists at times prescribe medication without trying to thoroughly investigate the cause of the skin problem. That's why you were prescribed strong medication that did not help but instead caused severe side effects.

      It is amazing how fast your skin condition improved after you finally received proper treatment. 


    • emily71668 emily71668 wen06862

      What medication/ttreatment was prescribed for u?   I have had similar sypmtoms  and this has been going on for a year now.

      ​Thanku and also so glad to hear u found out what it mom actually has mentioned to me that mine could be due to mites.

  • Forceyle Forceyle wen06862

    Hi wen I have just read your thread and I am amazed you got the treatment you needed I am suffering the same thin could you put up what the exact name they said you have and what treatment they give you I would appreciate it no one here in N.Ireland knows what it is or how to treat me. Thanks

  • amanda 65900 amanda 65900 wen06862

    I have this problem and I literally tried everything, NOTHING worked... EXCEPT!!! I used nizoral shampoo and would scrub all the scabs and flakes gently, washed my hair twice. Take a spray bottle fill half way with hydrogen peroxide fill the other half with bottled water and sea salt. When you get out of the shower starting from one side of your head, part it all the way down. Then spray the mixture of peroxide and water, keep parting making sure to get all of your scalp sprayed with the mixture. You don't really want to just dump it on your head because it dries out your hair. This has been a MIRACLE for me!!!! It will clear up within a few days ! Once it has cleared up just keep using nizoral shampoo. If you see a flake or feel your scalp starting to itch getting a flare up again just do the spray on the scalp. I'm telling u this works !!

  • BlossomBee BlossomBee wen06862

    Hi there,

    I'm worried sad I just found a very sore looking wet patch in my 9yr old daughters hair with clear sticky liquid that turns into yellowy clumps in her hair. It's weeping a lot. I noticed the clumps yesterday but thought it must be food she got stuck in her hair! She also has another hard lump that has appeared lower down her towards her neck, which she said is painful.

    I'm taking her to the doctors in the morning but I feel like I get fobbed off - I've heard stuff like it's viral, or shes probably got dry skin etc. (she has mostly always suffered nausea, loose stools, rashes, abdominal pains along with more recent bouts of chronic mouth ulcers. She has already had 2 oral abcesses in her little life leading to extractions).

    She's had a blood test recently for inflammatory markers, but these came back normal. I feel like she can't just be that unlucky, she's only 9! sad

    Thanks in advance for any comments suggestions or advice. smile

    • marju31830 marju31830 BlossomBee


      Very sorry to hear about your daughter' s problems. Please read my answer to[url=] wen06862 for scalp trouble. You are right, going to see a doctor usually only makes one feel annoyed. Within 60 seconds you have a piece of paper in your hand and are heading toward Boots to become a lucky owner of some useless product that only makes things worse. Been there...

      I am wondering whether your daughter has an allergy to dairy, her stomach pains could well indicate something of that nature, it is very common. Or, her gut bacteria could be out of sorts, so live yogurt will sort that out. Any yogurt that says 'lactobacillus' on the pot will do. There are some lovely ones with fruit, plenty of choice. A small pot a day is enough for a child.  Also, sugar destroys gut bacteria balance and white flour products do the same, so avoid those as much as you can.

      PLEASE stop using any supermarket shampoos, even those for children. They are irritating to scalp, I myself make my own as I cannot tolerate any shop shampoo. Baby shampoo for example  makes my head feel like on fire. See again info on 'wen06862 '.

      Lots of love,


  • marju31830 marju31830 wen06862


    I am very sorry to hear that you have so much trouble with your condition and hope to be able to bring some relief to you. My daughter had severe eczema in her childhood and as given the usual steroid-and petroleum based gunk treatment which did not help. She eventually 'grew out It' and years later I started to study natural eczema treatments and now have some knowledge which has proven very useful  and helped many sufferers. One lady had eczema from childhood and eventually it got so bad on her hands that she had to wear gloves at all times and between every finger there was a crack. Her doctor had given up with her and so she heard of me through my daughter and we tried a trusted method on her hands and it began to work in two days. 

    It is obvious to me that the steroids and other medications have ruined your scalp and it is in such a poor state that it really needs very gentle treatment, no more medicines or anything from the doctors. The 'medicine'  you will benefit from is Calendula plant, also called Marigold. You need to either pick fresh flowers and leaves, or buy it dried, for example from ebay, it is very cheap. Then you make a 'tea' as you do ordinary tea, pour boiled water over a handful of Calendula in a jug, cover with a saucer and let steep 15-25 minutes.Then drain through a sieve, press the liquid out with a spoon to get everything out, and use on the affected part as a wash. In your situation, just pour onto your head and leave it on your scalp. Do not wash away but let it sink in and soothe. You need to do this several times a day at first as your scalp will begin to heal, but it does not happen in few minutes, give it a couple of days. Calendula soothes and calms down itch, it heals damaged skin and closes wounds. It is truly a miracle plant and I tell everyone with eczema to just wash the affected part with the infusion (tea), soak painful hands in it as the lady I mentioned, or dab on face with a ball of cotton wool or muslin cloth. You can also buy Calendula cream, but I would not put any cream on your head, only the infusion. Avoid all medicated and supermarket shampoos to start with, let your scalp heal and calm down.However, it is important to keep clean, so you can buy a shampoo which contains Decyl glucoside. I copy and paste here for you: "Decyl Glucoside is obtained from 100% renewable raw materials, through a combination of plant based fatty alcohol, decanol which is derived from coconut and glucose (corn starch). Decyl Glucoside is a mild, and gentle, surfactant and because it does not dry the skin it is ideal for the formulation of personal hygiene and toiletry products.!" In fact it is so mild that it is used in hospitals to bathe premature babies whose skin is too delicate to cope with any other kind of soap.

    These are the ingredients you need and with patience they will help you and Calendula is very cheap. If you have a garden you can grow your own as well. The shampoo is of course more expensive, that is why I make my own as my scalp does not tolerate any shop shampoo either. The ingredients are costly to begin with but a lot cheaper on the long run than any ready made shampoo.

    I must also mention also that your general health and diet are  important. Drink plenty of water, eat fruit, avoid sugar like a plague and try to eat wholemeal bread and cereal, brown rice etc.  Also take a good multivitamin plus mineral tablet daily.The skin, including your scalp, is a large organ that needs looking after from the inside even more than the outside, so take care of it. I know that stress which skin conditions bring along, there is no peace and the stress alone can make things worse. Try to relax, enjoy the goodness of Calendula and try not to worry. 

    God bless,


  • marju31830 marju31830 wen06862

    Hi again...

    I just read your update and am so happy to hear that you found the reason for your problem and a cure, great! My message was not needed but maybe it will help someone else.

    All the  best,


  • chantel83639 chantel83639 wen06862

    This sounds a lot like my condition. I have been diagnosed with a rare condition called lichen planopilaris. In relation to this condition is lichen planus which affects the skin and mucosa areas. So far it is understood to be autoimmune and there is no cure and hard to control. A biopsy will give the definitive answer!

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