How to Treat and Prevent Scalp Acne

Scalp acne is a pimple that appears on the scalp rather than the exposed skin on the body. These are caused when the pores on the scalp become clogged, which in turn causes the area around the hair follicles or the sebaceous glands on the scalp to become inflamed. These blemishes are often hidden by the hair, so they are not as embarrassing as other types of acne, but they can be quite painful. Use proper hygiene along with the right hair products and medical treatments to get rid of it.

Treatments for Scalp Acne

1. Clean Scalp

Keeping the scalp clean is key to keeping scalp acne at bay, particularly for those that tend to have oily hair. Use an oil control shampoo if necessary to control excess moisture on the scalp.

2. Chose Right Shampoo

Those that are prone to dandruff should invest in an anti-dandruff shampoo. These products contain zinc that will help calm the scalp and cure scalp acne.

To summarize points 1 and 2, watch a video for recommended hair products for scalp acne as well as other tips:

3. Avoid Conditioners

Conditioners are designed to help maintain moisture in the hair, and to replace the natural oils that can be stripped when the hair is washed. Those that are prone to excessive oil on the hair should not use these products as they can cause irritation to the scalp that can lead to the presence of acne. Also avoid styling products that have high levels of oil as they can cause a similar irritation.

4. Use Natural Acne Cures

  • Apply a paste of cinnamon and honey to the scalp each night. Leave this on all night and rinse it away with lukewarm water the next morning.
  • A mix of a bit of turmeric powder with mint juice can create a soothing acne medication as well. Apply this mixture directly to the affected areas for 20 minutes, then gently wash it away in lukewarm water.

5. Use OTC Medications for Acne

Using over-the-counter medications for pimples can help control acne on the scalp. Look for solutions that contain salicylic acid and apply this solution with cotton balls on the affected areas until the acne disappears. Products containing sulfur or benzoyl peroxide are also effective in controlling scalp acne. These are particularly effective on clearing out “whitehead” pimples and bringing down swelling on the scalp. Be sure to read instructions carefully to avoid applying too much of these products as they can be quite strong.

6. Take Prescribed Medicine

If your acne is severe, you may need to visit your doctor to get acne medication that can help clear up your scalp. Topical antibiotics and medications to help quell the itching are readily available from dermatologists. Your doctor can also perform an inspection to help ensure that you are not suffering from an infection such as yeast that will require additional medications to properly address.

Understand the Causes of Scalp Acne for Further Prevention

A number of conditions can cause the follicles on the scalp to become clogged, leading to the appearance of scalp acne. Being aware of them can help you prevent scalp acne occur in the first place.

1. Dandruff

Dandruff, known medically as seborrhea, is one of the most common causes of scalp acne. This is caused when the scalp becomes excessively dry, causing a tingling sensation and leading the scalp to become flaky and itchy. As your dandruff becomes more severe it can lead to itchy, painful red bumps to appear on the scalp.

2. Psoriasis

Those with psoriasis will be susceptible to developing scalp acne, or in some cases, acne on neck. This condition can spread down toward the ears as well.

3. Infection

The bacterial infection folliculitis can cause your follicles to become weak, leading to the hair falling out. Once the follicles have become infected with this bacteria, they will become inflamed and can become itchy.

4. Head lice

If the scalp becomes infected with lice, they will attach to the scalp to suck blood. This will damage the hair follicles and cause red, itchy bumps to appear in the affected areas.

5. Skin diseases

Fungal infections or diseases like ringworm can cause the scalp to become itchy and damage the hair. The spots caused by these infections can cause scalp acne to appear and lead to discomfort or hair loss.

6. Heredity

People who have hereditary conditions that make them more prone to acne can increase your risk of suffering from scalp acne as well.

7. Other causes

Poor scalp hygiene increases your risk that your follicles will become irritated. An inadequate intake of nutrients can also lead to poor scalp health that can lead to acne. This can also be accentuated if you consume excessive amounts of caffeine and some drugs. Stress or hormonal imbalances can also increase your risk of developing acne, which can spread to the scalp.


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