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What are the causes for pain in the scalp area?

Q: My boyfriend is having pain on the top of his head for a number of weeks now. He says that the painful area is numb. He went to many doctors, but no one has any idea about what is causing the pain. They told him to apply some anti inflammatory gel. But he does not have nay swelling. What could be causing this?

A:There are many causes of pain in the scalp region. Commonest is an injury, and so a careful review of any possible trauma (be it laceration, blunt injury, or burn) to the area is important in determining whether injury is the cause. Other possible causes include infection of the skin or tissue just below the skin and nerve related pain. This latter cause is often due to irritation of the nerve that supplies the painful area, as it exits the spine in the neck, and can be due to disease of the vertebral disk, or degenerative disease of the spine bones and/or ligaments. Since the pain has not improved after several weeks, a visit to your physician is warranted. A careful review of the nature and location of the pain, as well as a careful examination would be important in determining the cause of the symptom.

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