I'm new the forum although I'm not new to scalp picking. It all started about 7 years ago when I was 20. I've never caused scabs as far as I know, but have a lot of stubborn dandruff as well.
Back to when I was 20... I overbleached my hair and not sure if it was falling out from the root or just breaking off from damage of the hair shaft. So I chopped off over a foot of hair just to not see long hairs everywhere. Gross... A few months later, my friend got headlice. Granted, I had not even seen her during that time, it caused me to compulsively pick at my scalp just thinking of the bugs. That is the first time I ever started scalp picking. I have not stopped since. I went to the dermatologist and was prescribed ketoconazole because my scalp was flakey, This was supposed to clear this up. Also tried Nioxin. Nothing worked on the flakes, my hair loss became ridiculous and just running my hands through my hair (not pulling), I would loose 5-10 hairs at a time. So.... I shaved my head and pretty much became a depressed recluse. Even quit my job! Scalp biopsy showed folliculitis which was treated with clobetasol and prednisone. Pretty sure they didn't work. My hair did grow back although the dandruff never cleared and I never stopped picking for long. Granted throughout this time I used every anti-dandruff shampoo out there. Also used apple cider vinegar.
I've always had thin hair, so I'm not sure if it grew back entirely or not. But for years I had long hair down to my back.
Over the past year, I noticed at my widow's peak, I could see more scalp than usual. Not surprising, that was where I picked the most. Usually I pick when I'm watching tv alone or doing homework. It's usually subconscious but sometimes when I'm really stressed I don't care that I'm doing it. However, recently it's been getting worse, so I never pick there anymore and moved to other spots (my whole rest of the head basically). Had another scalp biopsy a year ago saying "probable seborrheic dermatitis". Well thanks doc, but how can it be probable? I am still irritated because now I still alternate dandruff shampoos and even use tea tree oil or olive oil. Also used fluocinolone. Not all together, but over the last 6 months. Nothing helps. I am still always flaky. Small, dry flakes. But I am left with no widow's peak and the rest of my hair is obviously thinning. Had to cut my hair and redo my part just to hide the fact that you can see my scalp. Don't know how long it'll be "hideable". (Also had to cut my hair because I need to have it up for nursing school but putting it up made my widows peak feel like it was burning or the hairs were being pulled). But I can't seem to stop picking and am frustrated with why the treatments aren't working. I'm guessing maybe possible scalp damage from all the scratching and picking? I don't try to pull out the hairs but they fall out when I pick or comb my hair. Sometimes I'll be good a whole week and still nothing. And my scalp is still flakey as soon as my hair dries no matter if I use oils or shampoos. I can't tell if the flakes are from oil or dryness. I do experience eczema on other areas of the body which I never pick.
My dermatologist sucks and was wasting all of my money (seriously I would get charged for her to just look at my scalp and not do anything). I do have a scalp biopsy where they are going to take a sample of where I am actually losing the hair and having the pain. The pain is a new symptom, maybe it'll be a new clue. But there's no redness or sores so why it hurts, I don't know.
Anyways, yes, I just blabbed a lot, but if anyone has suggestions or been through something similar, I'd like some input because I feel very alone in this.