Scalp Injuries

How often do we think about our scalp?  The layer of skin covering the head (excluding the face), usually goes ignored unless it is injured and causing pain. 

A damaged scalp can be agonising.  Injury can come from many sources but could be the result of a chemical burn or perhaps a scalp tattooing procedure that went wrong.

Not only can scalp injuries cause physical suffering, but they can also leave victims permanently disfigured.  In December 2016, Becca Peet, 21, told Metro magazine that she was left with a bald patch the size of a tennis ball following a chemical burn caused by hair dye.

Chemical and thermal burns to the scalp, and injuries due to scalp tattooing are preventable.  If you have suffered a personal injury during these types of treatments, you may have a claim for compensation.

What is a scalp injury?

A scalp injury can occur when a chemical such as a hair dye or bleach, burns or irritates the skin covering the skull.   Scalp injuries can also cause hair loss or baldness, as well as hair damage.  A chemical burn on the scalp from bleach can permanently damage the follicle of the hair and leave permanent scarring.

What types of scalp injuries are there?

Types of scalp injuries include:

Hair Loss / Baldness

If bleach or other chemicals are applied to the scalp and as a result cause a burn or allergic reaction, the hair follicle may be permanently damaged causing hair loss and bald patches.

Harsh chemicals can also damage the shaft of the hair, causing it to break, resulting in temporary or permanent hair loss.

Burned Hair / Scalp

Burned hair and scalp can be painful and distressing.  The scalp is a very tender part of the body, and it can be difficult to treat wounds effectively with creams. 

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns on the scalp can be extremely distressing.  Such injuries are caused by bleach or other strong chemicals used in the hair industry being left too long or reacting badly with skin.  The pain of a chemical burn can be agonising, leaving victims with permanent hair loss due to the damage to the hair follicle.

Infection

If a chemical burn or irritation is not treated correctly, an infection can result.  Infections can also occur in scalp micro pigmentation procedures where needles are being reused, and proper sterilisation practices are not put in place.

If a scalp injury does become infected, you may have symptoms which include poor healing and a foul smell from the wound.  In some cases, you may see red streaks running down over the neck – from inflamed lymphatic vessels.  If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible. 

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic dermatitis that occurs in sebum-rich arrears such as the scalp.  It causes burning, itching and redness.  In severe cases, yellowish to reddish, scaly pimples appear along the hairline, behind the ears and in the ear canal.  Hair loss can result if the condition is left untreated.

Scalp Tattooing

scalp tattooing or scalp micro pigmentation

Scalp tattooing, also known as scalp micro pigmentation is essentially the process of having your scalp tattooed with tiny dots that resemble the appearance of stubble, giving you the look of a short, ‘number one’ haircut.  It has gained popularity over recent years because it is viewed as a quick, non-surgical, relatively painless way of dealing with hair loss.

The procedure for scalp tattooing

Unlike regular tattooing, scalp micro pigmentation does not penetrate the skin’s surface deeply.  The colour of the pigmentation can be matched to your natural hair.  Scalp tattooing maintains its colour, so you will not end up with a faded look as the years go by.

The practitioner should have a consultation with you and reach an agreement as to how you want the tattooing to look.  They will also examine your face shape, and hair colour, so you get the most natural result.  During the procedure, hundreds of tiny dots are added all over your scalp.  A sitting typically lasts around three hours, and if the whole head is being treated, a few sessions may be required.

The risks associated with scalp tattooing

Much of the risk associated with a scalp tattoo rests on the skill and experience of the practitioner.  The replication of shaven hair is a specialist skill and should only be performed by those who have the required knowledge and training.  Unfortunately, there may be tattoo artists with little or no experience in scalp micro pigmentation procedures, “having a go” at scalp tattooing.

Clinics offering this type of treatment at bargain prices should be approached with caution.  True scalp micro pigmentation is not cheap owing to the standard of equipment needed, and the skill and expertise of the provider.  Unskilled or inexperienced scalp tattooists may fail to perform the necessary tests for allergies and/or reaction to the product used, resulting in irritation, burns or scarring. 

Infections can also result from sub-standard cleanliness practices or using poor quality, defective or incorrect equipment.

There is no excuse for harm or damage to result from a scalp micro pigmentation procedure; if it goes wrong, it is likely to be the fault of the practitioner.

What to do if you suffer damage from a scalp tattoo

If you suffer damage from scalp tattooing, it is imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury solicitor to establish whether you can make a claim for compensation.  If the provider failed to test the product used to create the pigmentation on a small patch of skin before they performed the procedure and you suffered an adverse reaction, they might be liable for negligence.  This would also be the case if dirty equipment was used, resulting in an infection.

What are the symptoms of a scalp injury - including a chemical burn?

If you have suffered a chemical burn to your scalp, signs and symptoms can include:

  • irritation, redness and a burning sensation around the affected area of the scalp
  • numbness
  • blisters could form, or the skin may go black
  • severe pain
  • vomiting
  • dizziness and shock
  • temporary or permanent hair loss

What types of compensation can you claim for a scalp injury?

If you have suffered a scalp burn or injury, caused by chemicals or a scalp tattooing procedure, you may be entitled to claim financial compensation for the damage you have suffered.  Damage could include:

  • time off work and loss of income
  • medical treatment
  • psychological pain and suffering

Is it possible to make a claim for a scalp injury?

If you have suffered a damaged scalp through the negligent actions of another person or organisation, you may be entitled to compensation.  At IBB Claims, our legal experts understand what is involved in claiming compensation for scalp injuries and strategise for a successful claim.

What do I need to do to make a claim?

Contact us as soon as possible, and we will take care of everything for you.  From organising a medical examination, gathering evidence, instructing expert witnesses, through to negotiating a settlement, you can rely on us to make your scalp injury claim as simple and stress-free as possible.

What information will I need to make a scalp injury claim?

We will talk to you about what caused your scalp injury, gathering evidence about the actions taken by the person responsible to establish whether they were negligent.  We may also require you to have an independent medical assessment.  Throughout this process, your solicitor will provide their full support.  We pride ourselves on our client care and attention to detail.  You can be confident that we will always keep you updated on the progress of your case.  At IBB Claims, you will be provided with the direct dial and email of your lawyer so you can ask questions regarding your case when you need.

What is the process of making a claim?

Firstly, you need to instruct an experienced personal injury and negligence lawyer, who will listen to your case and establish whether you have grounds to make a claim of negligence.  The team at IBB can assist you with evaluating whether you have a chance of successfully claiming compensation for your scalp injury.  We understand you may be feeling embarrassed about the reasons and nature of the treatment that resulted in your damaged scalp.  You can be assured we will evaluate your case in a sensitive, compassionate manner.

We will build the case for negligence and then write to the person or organisation responsible for your scalp injury, informing them that you are making a claim for compensation because of the injury you have suffered.  If the defendant denies that they were negligent and caused you to suffer harm, we will advise on further action to achieve the best outcome, to negotiate the best settlement for you.

How long with the claim’s process take?

It depends on the complexity of your case and the severity of your scalp injury.  Our experienced personal injury solicitors will work hard to settle your case as quickly as possible so you can get on with your life.

Will I have to go to court?

If the defendant contests the claim, we will file proceedings in court on your behalf. In most cases, claims for personal injuries are settled before the case reaches trial.  At IBB Claims, we understand how worrying attending court is for victims of negligence. Therefore,  we strive to obtain a settlement outside of formal litigation.  If you are required to attend court, we will provide you with full support and guidance.

How much will it cost to make a claim?

At IBB, we provide ‘conditional fee arrangements’, otherwise known as ‘no win, no fee’.  This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay legal fees to our solicitors.

Because we are shouldering the risk of your claim, you can be confident that we believe it has a reasonable chance of success.

You can further protect yourself by taking out After the Event (ATE) Insurance to cover the other side’s costs if you are told to pay them by the judge; this is something we can arrange for you.

We will fully explain all your options when we meet you.

By instructing us to manage your claim for scalp injury compensation, you can be confident that you have the best possible chance of success.  We will expertly guide you through the process, providing support as and when you require it.

If an early settlement is not possible, you can be assured that we will robustly fight your claim, protecting your interests and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

At IBB , we can help ascertain whether you have a valid claim for damages and will advise and represent you to ensure you receive compensation for a negligent scalp micro pigmentation procedure.

Scalp injuries can be serious, resulting in scarring, hair loss and psychological distress.  Although financial compensation can never entirely make up for the damage and loss suffered from a scalp injury caused by the negligent actions of another, it can help fund cosmetic treatment to repair the damage.

If you would like further information on making a compensation claim following a scalp injury, please call our office on 0333 323 1637 or email enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk.