Scalp or face sensitivity

Hey All,

Do any of you guys have any scalp or face sensitivity even when you don’t have a headache? I literally cannot put anything on my face or scalp without triggering migraine. I first became aware of this in about 1995 when I began using this special herbal shampoo that had essential oils of some sort in it. About 30 minutes after the shower I would develop head fog and feel sleepy for hours afterwards – but only from that one shampoo, exactly what happens now even if I simply put water on my head or dive into the ocean. Putting anything on my face is out too, such as sun block etc. All will kick of head pain, sleepiness, and head fog to some degree. This is one of the most infuriating aspects of my particular migrained (a suitable synonym here might be rotting) head. Sometimes having this disease is like having a nice big rotten patch on an otherwise shiny-looking apple.

Scott :evil:

Yes, my scalp is VERY sensitive. Last week I went to get my hair cut. I always get my hair washed ahead of time (that’s just how they do it). By the time the “shampoo girl” was done, I was actually crying and knew I would not be able to sit up to get my hair cut. I had dysarthria and could not move enough to transfer into the wheelchair. I could tell it was coming on while the shampooing was happening because the nausea was starting. I had to struggle to keep from vomiting.

In my “former” life, having my hair washed and my head massaged was one of the most relaxing things I could think of having done. Now it even hurts if I shampoo my own hair. :frowning:


Yes Scott!!! I also have had major face and scalp sensativity…this is very difficult when one needs to wash their hair!!! About 2 years ago when it was at its worst, my husband would wash my hair in the sink, and then that way, if a migraine was triggered, i wouldn’t be stuck in the shower!!! I am now able to wash my own hair thanks to all my migraine preventatives!!! :mrgreen:



I have the exact same problem with showers and washing my hair! I can only use one type of shampoo (there’s nothing in it really; amazing it even suds up) and even water, no matter what the temperature kicks off head fog and sometimes pain depending on my overall trigger load. So with preventatives you’ve managed to switch this mechanism off? What are you taking again Pam?

Thanks … Scott

Hi Scott!

I don’t know if I would go so far as to say the mechanism is turned off, but I would feel very comfortable saying that its like we put a hedge around the full on migraine symptoms…so in other words, I still have a lot of symptoms, but they are contained…does that make sense? For example, 2 years ago when I was in the shower (not knowing what was wrong with me with all these bizarre symptoms) and my head began to feel very woozy, only this time it didn’t stop…I was washing my hair and my scalp was VERY sensitive feeling…so that is when the nystagmus began and the non-stop vomiting etc and I had to be taken to the ER…long story a bit shorter…so I was finally dx with this migraine syndrome after learning that I have a very strong family history of migraine…before that I walked out of the hospital understanding that I had VN!!! Anyway I was put on Nortriptyline first then Verapamil which I asked for because my bp was slightly elevated and I figured if the doc wanted to put me on a bp med, I may as well ask for verapamil and try to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and then about 1 year ago, I still wasn’t great, so I asked for Effexor…I felt like my mood could use just a bit of elevating…I am sure I had some depression going on because I had been so sick for so long with no hope, ya know? Anyway, I am currently taking 75 mg of Nortriptyline, 480 mg ER (or SR) of Verapamil and then 75 mg Effexor (SR or ER). My triggers are such a pain in the rear, that I probably meet my migraine threshold daily by just waking up!!!
So anyway, I would say that my typical day, I am at about 85%…so truly I am happy for this because I was bed-bound by this horrid thing!!


Hey Pam,

Wow, you’ve sure been through the wringer. Your sensitivity to triggers sounds similar to mine although I don’t get sent into dizzy orbit for the most part so haven’t had to do anything drastic for years apart from trickle in some SSRI or serotonin enhancer of some sort. I get whalloped here and there but by chilling out things usually come back to a tolerable baseline. But, I still have all of this sensitivity shit going on that does my head in and creates a lot of discomfort. If I could eliminate the scalp problem it would reduce the hassle of this condition by >50% easily. I notice that if the trigger load is low (namely, if I eat plain rice and drink water LOL) that the scalp thing doesn’t go off nearly as bad. This suggests that better migraine control would lower it further. Next on my list of drugs to trial is Neurontin and Lexapro but not until after my trip later this month. No way I want to be on a jet or sitting in Thailand freaking out on some new med. Better the devil I know right now.


Hi Scott,

I don’t have a problem with the shower or putting anything on my face or scalp. However, air blowing in my face, even softly, is a big trigger for me. I have a space heater on the floor at work and if I turn it on, the indirect air flow up from the floor triggers me. It is the same with the heater in my car. It is just plain weird…


Hi Scott,

I have no problem with shower to putting anything in my hair either. What i enjoy is a head massage especially around the temples…seems to give me some help…but it’s only temporary. But if i’m having a very bad day then i don’t want my head touched.