Pimples anywhere are annoying. But pimples on your scalp can be particularly troublesome — itchy and cause discomfort.
You can’t cure what you haven’t diagnosed. So the first step in getting rid of these scalp zits is understanding the cause. Once you know what you’re dealing with, it’s easier to find an effective treatment.
There are different creams for pimples at every stall you will come across today. So rather than trying to dab pimple creams on your head without gunking up your hair, start with understanding the root and extent of the problem.
Scalp Pimples: What You Need to Know
There are two likely culprits of pimples on your scalp: common acne and folliculitis.
Acne, including scalp acne, is caused by clogged pores, sebum production, inflammation and bacteria.
Hormonal changes, medications, skin care products and even athletic equipment like headgears can make you more prone to acne on your scalp and forehead.
Folliculitis is very similar to acne and is an inflammatory response to bacteria or fungi in the hair follicles.
Whether the pimples on your scalp are caused by acne or folliculitis, they’ll likely respond to the same treatments.
Does Folliculitis cause your Scalp Pimples?
Folliculitis is a condition closely related to acne, according to research. It responds similarly to treatment and may have similar causes.
Chronic folliculitis is more common in men than women and may be caused by bacterial, viral or fungal factors. While the precise cause of folliculitis isn’t completely understood, it’s believed to be an inflammatory response to conditions — like bacteria or yeasts — within the hair follicle.
Folliculitis looks like acne, too, which makes discerning the difference difficult.
The condition results in small, itchy bumps or pimples on the scalp and hairline. These bumps may itch, become sore and crust over.
Scalp Pimple Treatments
Getting a proper diagnosis from a healthcare provider or dermatologist is essential for determining how to treat your scalp condition and managing breakouts. However, whether folliculitis or acne, at least some of the treatments would be similar.
Both of these conditions may be improved by oral antibiotics such as tetracycline drugs and isotretinoin.
Acne treatment may also include the use of topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide. Treatment for folliculitis may consist of topical steroid creams and antihistamines.
Other solutions may include adjusting the skin and hair care products you use.
Steer clear of oily products that can clog your pores, and consider a dandruff shampoo with antifungal medicine or a good scalp tonic that conditions the scalp.
If you’re a hat-wearer, give your head a break, especially if you’re sweating. And you know that favourite hat you haven’t washed since you bought it? Throw it in the washing machine.