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How is scalp skin different from the rest of our skin?

By March 27, 2009 - 10:19am
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I had a bad itch on my scalp and as I scratched it, I must have inadvertently scratched it too hard -- because now I have a small scab there! It made me realize that our scalp skin is so much different than the rest of our skin. I can scratch my arm five times harder than I scratched my scalp, and nothing would happen. What is so different about our scalps? (Mine shouldn't even be that sensitive, I have long hair and brush it a lot.)

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This is interesting. I've actually been dealing with a sore (caused by a mole that was removed) on my young daughter's scalp that has taken forever to heal. Much longer for it to scab over and then heal than on other parts of her body. Her dermatologist says that it's normal -- that places on your scalp take longer to heal, but she didn't explain why, and I failed to ask.... all I know is that yes, it does seem more sensitive and maybe blood flow on the scalp has to do with the longer healing time. (?)

March 27, 2009 - 10:49pm

Well, there is a lot of medical information about the anatomy of the scalp, which sounds like it not only includes the skin but five layers total. So, we may not be comparing apples-to-apples when we ask how the scalp is compared to skin, as skin is just one part (or layer) of the scalp.

From my very limited understanding, it sounds as though the placement of the connective tissue in the scalp is what makes cuts bleed more in the scalp (and produce scabs) than in other areas of the skin, because either this tissue or the placement of it prevents vasoconstriction.

That's all I've got for you! :-) Let us know if you find any more information on this topic.

March 27, 2009 - 12:02pm

Hi Anne,
What an interesting question...I am trying to find an answer for you, but have been unable to. I'll keep looking, and hopefully we'll hear from someone else, too!

March 27, 2009 - 11:48am
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