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

Posted , 16 users are following.

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,



1 like, 27 replies


27 Replies

  • Posted

    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.    

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    • Posted

      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.

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  • Posted

    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.

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    • Posted

      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


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  • Posted

    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 .. .

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    • Posted

      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

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    • Posted

      wen06862  PLEASE REPLY to now 3 of us desperately wanting to know what the med, or whatever treatment, cured Ur ITCH prob.  We seem to be experiencing the same!!!!
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    • Posted

      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


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  • Posted

    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.

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    • Posted


      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)


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  • Posted

    Hi there

    Sorry to hear about your reaction to avocado oil. 

    What about olive oil?  Also soothing for the scalp and extremely nourishing.

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  • Posted

    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.

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  • Posted

    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

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    • Posted

      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. 


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    • Posted

      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.

      Report Reply

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