Hi, I am a 21-year-old female. I have always had seborrheic dermatitis, so my scalp has always been scrubbed during shampoos, with nails, until I was about 16, when I learned it was not alright to do.

Sometimes (about a few times a year) I scratch my seborrheic dermatitis if it is itchy, or run my fingertips through my hair (with a bit of pressure) to push out blackheads on the scalp. Hair rarely comes out. Today I was running my fingers through my hair (with pressure) intermittently all day, and ended up losing about 10-20 hairs (I did not comb or wash my hair for a few days, though). When I play with my boyfriend’s hair, I end up removing his blackheads too, through fingertip-rubbing, about a couple times a month. Did I cause any permanent damage to our hair follicles?

Thanks!

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If you pick at your scalp and repeat the process in the same area, you may lose hair permanently (see Trichotillomania Learning Center). So while I don’t know if you caused permanent loss, it’s doubtful at this point. Losing 100 hairs a day is normal, and since you didn’t comb or wash your hair for a few days it’s entirely possible that those hairs were already fallen out and just trapped.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common condition and there are many good commercial products out there that can address it with traditional shampoos like Head and Shoulders (one of my favorites).

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, trichotillomania, dermatitis