Burned Scalp and Dandruff

Woman with a scalp problem
Photo: Elenavolf/Shutterstock
Q: I wonder if you can help me at all. Nearly 8 months ago, a hairdresser burned my head badly with color, to the degree of bad weepy blisters. I have never suffered with dandruff in my life and believe I am not now and neither does my doctor.
However, my scalp since has continually shed dry flakes to the degree of embarrassment even when I touch it gently. The doctor has now prescribed Betnovate Steroid solution which helps while I am using it, but as soon as I stop, it just returns. The soreness has gone, but the irritation persists slightly.
I have tried just about every shampoo for dandruff (this makes it worse), dry scalp shampoos, which has cost me a fortune, but none have made any noticeable effect. Hairdressers are also now doubtful about using color, and at present will only highlight, so as you can image, I am a little frustrated to say the least.
My desperation now leads me to searching on the internet, as my doctor can suggest nothing else and says that I will probably have to use the lotion forthwith about twice a week. It is not nice to use during the day as you can appreciate it messes your hair, so I have to use it at night. Can you help me please with any suggestions at all? Many thanks in anticipation.

A: First of all, I am terribly sorry you have experienced the trouble and discomfort you have. However, you say that your doctor doesn't think this is a case of dandruff (and as dandruff is fungal-based I can understand why), but you don't say what he does think is the cause. He must have some idea since he has prescribed a topical steroid cream to treat the issue.
I'm concerned that you are bypassing your doctor on this issue. Perhaps the best course of action would be to consult another doctor. Consider looking for a skin specialist - a dermatologist - who may be more familiar with treatments for this type of condition.
I also wonder whether or not your stylist performed a patch test prior to performing the color application which burned you so badly. I also wonder specifically what type of color process was being performed. If the stylist was using a bleaching agent directly on your scalp, he/she shouldn't have. Most salon bleaching agents are designated for "of the scalp use" only.
I would advise you to try to discover what specifically was used and investigate this matter. At the very least, the salon could be liable for your doctor's bills and damages.
See also:
Dandruff facts and causes
Can stress cause dandruff?
Hair bleaches and scalp irritation
Does permanent hair color sometimes make the scalp feel numb?