You’ve suffered from other migraine symptoms – maybe headache, or visual aura, nausea – but what about migraine scalp tenderness? Is it a sign of something more serious?
When your migraine symptoms change, or become much worse, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. In the case of migraine scalp tenderness, it’s not likely to be something serious, but it could indicate a change – and you may need to change to a treatment which will be more helpful.
The most common reason for a tender scalp for a migraine patient will be cutaneous allodynia. Even brushing your hair may be painful. Although most common on the scalp, allodynia may also affect your arms, or other parts of your body.
For a migraine patient, the symptoms are temporary (they generally come and go with migraine attacks). They often come early in the migraine attack, before the headache strikes (if it does).
Some doctors may recommend a change in treatment if you have allodynia. It’s a controversial topic, but it may be worth investigating with your doctor.
However, scalp tenderness can be a sign of other conditions, such as giant cell arteritis (GCA). GCA will likely cause headache as well. If your headache just isn’t going away, see your doctor right away. GCA can lead to permanent tissue damage and even blindness.
Various skin disorders can also lead to tenderness or pain which comes and goes. Chemicals that are bothering your skin, shingles, and infections. It could also be a sign that the medications you’re taking are causing problems.
Although migraine scalp tenderness may not be a serious change in your symptoms, it could still indicate a change in treatment. But if your symptoms change, or the tenderness and/or headache isn’t going away, it’s another sign that you need to talk to a doctor or specialist.