Have you ever experienced an unsettling sensation of pins and needles crawling across your scalp? You’re not alone. Most people have experienced paresthesia, the enigmatic phenomenon causing this tingling occurrence.  While often harmless and fleeting, it can become a persistent and troubling issue. Ignoring the warning signs could have serious consequences, and seeking expert consultation is imperative. Learning more about the causes and treatments will move you in the right direction.

Read on to arm yourself with all the necessary knowledge to navigate this puzzling territory.

Overview of Head Tingling

Head tingling, scientifically referred to as head paresthesia, manifests as a sensation akin to pins and needles, encompassing feelings of numbness and tingling. Beyond the head, this perplexing phenomenon can affect neighboring areas such as the face and neck. In addition to tingling, individuals may encounter burning and numbness sensations, further complicating the experience. Familiar instances of these sensations occur temporarily after falling asleep on the arm or sitting with legs crossed for an extended period. Typically, the sensation diminishes once the pressure is relieved. However, it’s essential to recognize that head tingling has the potential to persist and develop into a chronic condition.

Head Tingling Causes

In most cases, the causes of head tingling aren’t serious. However, head tingling can be due to serious medical issues. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the causes and get a professional evaluation if the symptoms continue.

The most common causes of head tingling include:

Stress and Anxiety

The feeling of stress and anxiety can trigger head tingling; due to your body’s natural “fight or flight” response. When faced with a stressful situation, your body releases stress hormones like norepinephrine, directing blood flow to areas that require heightened alertness. Consequently, this increased blood flow can result in tingling sensations in regions such as the head.

For example, imagine finding yourself in a nerve-wracking situation, like being called upon to speak in front of a large audience. Your body senses the stress and prepares to react, increasing blood flow to your brain to keep you sharp and focused. However, this can also lead to tingling sensations in your head, a byproduct of the heightened physiological response.

As a solution, there are effective stress relief techniques that can alleviate these symptoms. Activities like meditation and behavioral therapies have proven to be valuable tools in managing stress and curbing the occurrence of head tingling associated with anxiety. Adopting these practices can bring your body back to a state of equilibrium, reducing the likelihood of experiencing such sensations during stressful situations.

Sinus Infections and Colds

Sinus infections and colds can also play a role in causing head tingling. These conditions affect your sinuses, which are interconnected cavities located behind your forehead, cheeks, and nose. When infected with viruses, such as those responsible for sinusitis, colds, or the flu, your sinuses can become swollen and inflamed.

As a result of this inflammation, your sinuses may exert pressure on nearby nerves, leading to tingling sensations in your head. It’s like the signal gets a little mixed up when the nerves are compressed due to the swollen sinuses.

Generally, the head tingling should gradually improve once the cold or sinus infection clears up. As your sinuses return to their normal state, the pressure on the nerves eases, and the tingling sensations should subside along with it. It’s essential to be patient and care for yourself during these times of infection, as healing is a natural process that takes time. Remember to rest, stay hydrated, and follow any medical advice or treatments your healthcare provider prescribes to ensure a smoother recovery.


Migraines, notorious for their pulsing and intense throbbing pain, can wreak havoc in your head. This agony often strikes on one or both sides of your head, leaving you in great discomfort. During a migraine episode, you may experience fluctuations in blood pressure and flow within your head, leading to a tingling sensation. It’s as if your head sends mixed signals, causing this peculiar feeling.

Some individuals also encounter what is known as “migraine auras,” which are sensory symptoms that precede a migraine attack. These auras can manifest as various sensory disturbances, such as blind spots, dots or spots in the visual field, light flashes, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and even tingling sensations in the face or head.

In most cases, the tingling sensation experienced before a migraine is temporary and tends to subside as the migraine improves. Understanding these symptoms and recognizing the patterns can help manage migraines effectively. If you experience frequent migraines or have concerns about your symptoms, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial to receiving proper evaluation and appropriate management strategies.

Head Injuries

Head injuries can have profound effects, particularly when the skull base is impacted, potentially damaging nerves in the brain area. Consequently, a range of distressing symptoms can emerge, including numbness, tingling, and even facial paralysis. The brain, being a complex organ responsible for sensory processing, can be significantly affected by head trauma.

In cases where the injury directly impacts the scalp, it can harm the nerves responsible for transmitting head sensations. As a direct consequence of the injury, tingling sensations in the head may ensue.

The prognosis can vary when it comes to head tingling caused by a head injury. Sometimes, the tingling may be temporary and gradually improve with time as the body heals itself. However, permanent nerve damage may occur in more severe cases, leading to long-term symptoms that persist well beyond the initial injury.

If you or someone you know experiences head tingling after a head injury, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention to assess the extent of the injury and initiate appropriate management. Depending on the severity of the injury, medical professionals can determine the most suitable course of action, which may involve medications, rehabilitation, or other interventions to promote healing and minimize long-term effects. Early intervention and proper care can significantly impact the outcome and help facilitate a smoother recovery.


Diabetes, a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, can have far-reaching effects on the body. Among the potential complications, untreated high blood sugar can lead to nerve damage, known as diabetic neuropathy. While it is more prevalent in the feet and legs, this nerve damage can also extend to other areas, such as the face and head, resulting in sensations of numbness and tingling.

The nerve damage in diabetes occurs due to prolonged exposure to high blood sugar, which can impair the nerves’ ability to function correctly. When nerves in the face and head are affected, individuals may experience tingling sensations, as if tiny pins and needles are pricking their skin. These sensations can be unsettling and concerning, and it’s crucial for individuals with diabetes to be vigilant about their blood sugar levels and seek proper medical care.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative disease that targets the central nervous system, causing a myriad of symptoms. Among these, numbness and tingling sensations are frequently experienced, particularly in the face, neck, and head regions. Many individuals describe this sensation as a prickling feeling accompanied by numbness.

In addition to head tingling, MS can lead to other concerning symptoms, such as muscle weakness in the arms and legs and issues with coordination. These symptoms can significantly impact daily life, affecting mobility and overall well-being.

Since MS is a chronic condition, the symptoms may persist and can worsen over time. It is crucial for individuals experiencing head tingling, along with other symptoms like muscle weakness, to seek medical attention promptly. Generally, a neurologist specializing in diagnosing and treating nervous system conditions is the most suitable healthcare professional to address MS-related concerns.

Seizures and Epilepsy

Seizures and epilepsy, both neurological disorders, can lead to episodes of numbness and tingling in the face and head. One form of seizure, known as simple partial seizures, specifically targets a specific area of the brain, allowing the individual to remain conscious throughout the episode. However, during these seizures, one may experience tingling sensations and other symptoms like dizziness and distorted vision.

The nature of simple partial seizures makes them relatively brief, typically lasting only a few minutes. Despite their short duration, they can be quite disconcerting and leave individuals feeling unsettled afterward.

Neurodegenerative Conditions

Neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can lead to head tingling and other symptoms such as tremors, muscle weakness, and forgetfulness. Recognizing these accompanying signs is important. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seeking medical attention promptly is vital.

These conditions are known for their progressive nature, meaning that symptoms might not be noticeable in the early stages but tend to worsen over time. Therefore, early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for effectively managing these conditions and improving those affected’s overall quality of life.

Getting a comprehensive evaluation from a doctor is essential if you suspect the presence of neurodegenerative conditions. Neurologists and other specialists can conduct thorough assessments to determine the nature and extent of the condition. This early evaluation enables the implementation of suitable treatment plans and support measures to address the symptoms and challenges associated with neurodegenerative conditions.

Other Conditions

Head tingling can be caused by various conditions, including autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Sjogren syndrome. Infections like Lyme disease and shingles can also lead to tingling and numbness in the face and head.

Chronic conditions like high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies, and brain tumors can contribute to head tingling. Surprisingly, even poor posture can impact surrounding nerves and result in numbness and tingling sensations. If you experience head tingling, it’s essential to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate care.

Head Tingling Treatments

As a starting point, addressing head tingling at home is often sufficient, given its temporary nature, allowing it to resolve on its own. Lifestyle changes can play a pivotal role in improving symptoms. Some essential steps include reducing stress, ensuring sufficient sleep, maintaining a regular exercise routine, practicing good posture, and incorporating relaxing activities like walking into your daily routine. Furthermore, addressing and managing any chronic health conditions with an experienced neurologist can positively impact head tingling.

The next crucial step is treating the underlying head tingling condition. Begin by compiling a list of your symptoms and communicating them to your doctor. Antibiotics and over-the-counter cold medications may suffice for cases related to a cold or sinus infection. In situations involving diabetes, lifestyle changes and medications may be necessary to control blood sugar levels effectively. In other instances, it is advisable to consult an experienced neurologist for a thorough evaluation of all symptoms and to receive specialized neurological care.

A professional neurologist will conduct physical and neurological assessments during an evaluation and recommend appropriate neurodiagnostic procedures based on your specific symptoms. Once the root cause is determined, a comprehensive plan can be devised to relieve symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Collaborating with a neurologist ensures personalized and expert care to address symptoms of head tingling effectively.

See an Experienced Neurologist About Head Tingling Today

Having acquired a more comprehensive understanding of the causes and treatments for head tingling, you can confidently explore avenues for relief.

At Neurocare of Nevada, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional neurological care in Las Vegas. Dr. Gobinder Chopra, an experienced triple-board-certified neurologist, has been serving patients in the area since 1999. Our expertise extends to a wide range of conditions, including brain injuries, neuromuscular disorders, multiple sclerosis, migraines, and more. We are dedicated to offering high-quality treatment options, incorporating the latest technology to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. To make an appointment, contact us today.