Paresthesias are described as abnormal sensations such as burning, tingling, prickling or the sensation of needles and pins. Tingling may occur in different areas of the body because of injuries, trauma as well as nerve compression. It is normal for these types of sensations to manifest on the scalp due to the large number in sensory nerve endings in the scalp.

This article will examine the various reasons for scalp and head sensations, as well as possible solutions.

The causes of Head Tingling based on the senses

The itching, tingling or burning sensations you feel in your head or scalp could be due to different reasons including migraines, dermatitis and scabies.


Skin conditions that are inflamed typically result in plaques, red patches and scaling on the scalp. They also trigger the release of histamine which can cause itching. Particular dermatological conditions that could cause scalp itching are: 1

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis: A type of eczema which causes the appearance of red patches and yellow scales on the face, particularly on the scalp.
  • Scalp psoriasis is an chronic, autoimmune, and inflammatory skin condition that results in itchy, red skin lesions that scaly on the scalp.
  • Atopic dermatitis: A type of eczema that results in red, dry, irritated and itchy skin
  • Contact allergic dermatitis: a reaction to the skin that results from exposure to an allergen irritating chemical
  • Angiolymphoid Hyperplasia and Eosinophilia An increase in blood vessels that are surrounded by white blood cells. This creates discolored nodules on the skin.
  • Central centrifugal cicatricial hair loss A condition of inflammation which causes loss of hair in the hair follicles by scar tissue
  • Lichen planopilaris is an inflammation condition that causes patches of permanent hair loss, primarily on the scalp
  • Folliculitis decalvans: A rare condition that causes inflammation in the follicles, which is often chronic and painful. It can result in permanent hair loss


The burning of the scalp, usually coupled with itching, is usually an indication of inflammation from infections of the scalp and head which can result from microorganisms like fungi and bacteria or from parasites , such as hair lice or mites. They include: 1

  • Pediculosis capitis (head lice)
  • Tinea capitis (ringworm)
  • Scabies (mites)
  • Impetigo (bacterial skin infection)
  • Folliculitis decalvans (rare form of alopecia that causes hair loss)
  • Cutaneous larva migrans (hookworm)

It can also happen as a result of irritation, especially those with sensitive skin or an chemical allergy. This could include:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair products
  • Hair dyes
  • Detergents
  • Chemical hair treatments
  • Temperatures that are cold or hot


The sensation of tingling in the scalp is caused by over stimulation of sensory nerve endings within the scalp’s skin that can be caused by neurologic conditions or injuries that cause nerve damage. This includes: 1

  • Spinal cord and brain injuries
  • Brain tumors
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS chronic disease that affects the spinal cord and brain)
  • Postherpetic neuralgia (a complications that arises from shingles)
  • The facial nerve is atypically affected (nerve irritation of facial nerves)
  • Wallenberg syndrome (caused by strokes in the brain stem)

Damage to the nerves that may cause headache tingling may also result from inflammatory conditions that can cause nerve damage in the course of time, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)
  • Kidney disease chronic (CKD that causes damaged kidneys that are unable to longer properly filter blood)
  • Cholestatic liver disorders (caused by blocked or decreased flow of bile out of the liver)
  • Liver cancer
  • Dermatomyositis (an auto-immune disease that is a problem for the muscles and skin)

Comfortable Head Tingling

Autonomous sensory meridian reaction (ASMR) is the term used to describe the sensation of the sensation of tingling and pleasure in the scalp. The sensation of tingling can occur due to specific audiovisual triggers, like tapping, whispering as well as certain hand motions. The sensations of tingling aren’t detrimental and are often helpful in helping people to relax. 2

When the Sensation Remains

Tingling sensations could occur and disappear, however, should the sensations be persistent and last longer than an entire week, you must arrange a visit to your physician. The tingling of your scalp may be an indication of a skin issue or a nervous system disorder, systemic illness or sensitivity reaction that requires a proper diagnosis and treatment.


Treatment for tingling on the scalp and the head is determined by the root cause.


Inflammatory disorders often require medication like corticosteroids. They can be taken orally or applied topically on the scalp. This medication reduces inflammation and also the burning, itching, and burning.

Gels, topical lotions and foams to moisten the scalp and reduce dryness may also ease the sensation of tingling and itching, particularly when it is caused by various forms of dermatitis and psoriasis.


Treatment for scalp tingling caused by nerve endings that are overstimulated often requires medication to lessen inflammation and to prevent abnormal neural signals. The medications that are prescribed are antihistamines, medicines to reduce seizures (such like gabapentin) and antidepressants.

The application of lotions or shampoos that have cooling ingredients such as menthol and camphor can produce a mild anesthetic effect, which can reduce the sensitivity of nerves and tingling sensations on the scalp.


All skin conditions require medical attention based on the type of pathogen or parasite triggered the illness. Topical or oral medications to fight fungi, bacteria lice, mites or worms can be recommended by your doctor.

Systemsic Terms

A specific treatment plan for chronic conditions is required to address the root cause behind your scalp feeling tingly. These may include medication, following an anti-inflammatory diet and working out regularly to lessen the spread of inflammation throughout your body.

Things to Test at Home

Shampoos with zinc pyrithione selenium sulfide, ketoconazole and coal tar, have anti-inflammatory effects . They can also aid in reducing scalp inflammation and the sensation of tingling.


The scalp is tingling and can cause sensations of burning and itching, could be the result of a myriad of skin ailments such as infections, nerve systems disorders, systemic disorders and chemicals in hair products and more. Treatment for scalp tingling can depend on the root causes, which may include medicines to treat inflammation-related conditions and infections. It is also possible to treat the symptoms by avoiding triggers, and using applications of topical treatment on the scalp.

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