Pimples on Scalp: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Do you have pimples on scalp? Does it hurt? If your answer is Yes, then keep reading this article because you are at the right place. You will get to know about the painful pimples on your head, also called scalp folliculitis, why do scalp pimples appear, and definitely some effective treatments for getting rid of it.


Why Do Pimples Appear on Scalp?

There are various reasons for acne formation. Some of them are excess of oil (sebum) production by sebaceous glands, blocking of pores, dead skin cells, bacteria, Hormonal changes during pregnancy or at the age of puberty, etc.

The oil glands are situated deeper in our skin which produces sebum. This sebum flows through the hair follicles to the outside of the skin; these follicles may get blocked by dirt or sweat which then it is called pores.

The hair follicles may get blocked when the sebaceous glands produce excess amount of oil, this oil when becomes trapped in the pores, causes enlargement of the pores and then these pores may get burst at some time and encourage the bacteria to go deeper and expand under the skin, which may cause different type of Pimples; whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, zits, cysts, etc.


What Exactly Causes Scalp Acne?

Well, there is not exactly one reason for the appearance of acne on the scalp or on other parts of the body.

Some of them are mentioned blow:

  • Anxiety and Depression.
  • Hormonal disorder e. in women during pregnancy or before period.
  • Pollution
  • Oily Scalp.
  • Poor hygiene.
  • Subjection to certain chemicals and oils.
  • Use of certain Hair Products like Oil, Gel, and Shampoo.
  • Pores are often get blocked due to sweat.
  • The reason of Scalp Acne problem in infants is the wrong diet of their mothers.
  • Some blemishes such as Zits can be the beginning of certain diseases like chickenpox etc. If this is the case, then you need an immediate doctor’s assistance.
  • At the beginning of Puberty, the sebaceous glands tend to produce more oil which often causes clogging of pores. The teenage acne should disappear at the age of 18 to 20 years.

How to Get Rid of Pimples on Scalp

Let’s take a peek at the different available options to treat your scalp acne. Some of them are Self Help treatments, Over the counter treatment and prescribed medications.

Treating the scalp acne is not that easier because of the obstructions created by hairs.

Self Help Treatment to Prevent Scalp Acne

Remember that acne appearance and its treatments always varies from people to people. For example, the reason of acne breakouts can be Hormonal changes for you but can be pollution for others. The same goes for its treatments; One method can remove your acne but wouldn’t be helpful for others. Hope you got my point!

  • Wash your hairs daily

Some people don’t wash their hairs daily and prefer washing it after every few days.

But, if you are having a repeated acne outbreak on your scalp then try to start washing your hairs daily with any normal shampoo you already use.

Washing your hairs daily is helpful in reducing the amount of oil in your hairs which is directly proportional to low chances of acne outbreak.

  • Don’t use conditioners, because it contains oil which can be left on your scalp that encourages the pimple breakout.
  • Brush your Hairs daily

Comb/Brush your hairs daily and gently so that you don’t make the situation worse by hurting your acne. This will help in removing the dead skin cells and separating your hair’s strands which are connected due to breakout problem.

In some circumstances, the dead skin cells have clogged the pores, so removing the dead skin cells can make your pores open which would definitely increase the chances of getting rid of those painful bumps.

  • Leave your scalp Uncovered

One other reason of the pimple breakout can be found in the people who often wears baseball helmets, bike helmets, and other sports gears (for the head). The reason behind this is Pressure and heat applied on scalp, which can cause acne mechanica.

So my recommendation is to wear an absorbent head gear or cover your hairs under the helmet.

Also, make sure to wash your hairs as soon as possible after removing your helmet or any head gear that causes heat, pressure or friction on your scalp.

  • Cleans your Hairs after Workout

The habit of Washing your hairs and removing the sweat after a workout or hard labor work should be adopted to fight your pimples on head.

Sweat is the combination of water and salts which obviously you don’t want to leave it stay on your scalp for a long time.

Please note that don’t wash your hairs straight away when your body is warm enough, wait for few minutes so that your body comes to its normal temperature.

  • Know your Acne Cause

If you frequently suffer from acne outbreak then try to find out the specific cause of it by trying or avoiding different hair products you use daily like gel, shampoo, etc.

  • Finding out your pimples cause can be quite helpful in fighting these irritating blemishes.
  • Trying different products like the products labeled as non-comedogenic, which means they are less likely to block your hair follicles.

Read Also: Different Types of Scars and How to Get Rid of them – A Complete Guide

Using Over-the-counter treatment for Pimples on Scalp

Those products which you can buy without prescription of a doctor.

  • Try Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is the common constituent in acne solutions i.e. acne washes.

It kills the bacteria and helps in clearing the dead skin cells and the excess amount of oil from the scalp.

Side Effects of trying benzoyl peroxide on scalp acne can be the bleaching of hairs, dryness of skin, redness or burning sensation.

  • Use Tea Tree Oil to Get Rid of Scalp Acne

Tea Tree Oil has amazing antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to treat your scalp acne.

Go for a shampoo that contains tea tree oil, or you can use it with a regular shampoo when washing your hairs. It will kill and prevent the bacteria on your affected areas.

  • Aloe Vera for scalp acne

The wonders of Aloe Vera cannot be neglected in the case of acne. Applying Aloe Vera on your scalp acne can do wonders because of its heal promoting properties.

  • Try to acquire a fresh leave of Aloe Vera.
  • Extract the liquid out of it.
  • Apply this liquid on your affected areas.
  • Leave it stay there for overnight.
  • Rinse it with clean and warm water.

If you can’t obtain a fresh leaf, then you can use any of its products like gel, cream, ointment or even preserved juice.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is also found to be useful in treating pimples on the head.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

  • Take 100 grams of ACV.
  • Mix it with the same amount of water,
  • Apply it on your pimples.
  • Wash it off with clean water after 15 minutes.

Precaution: Do not use pure Apple Cider Vinegar on your skin problems and make sure to dilute it first. Because it can cause your skin some serious damage.


Home Remedies for Scalp Acne

Everybody loves nature and wants to give a try to natural home remedies first.

  • Try Tomato Juice

Tomato Juice is quite helpful in maintaining your skin pH level and removing skin acne as well as scalp acne because it contains salicylic acid.

Follow these steps:

  • Take some tomato juice.
  • Apply it on your scalp bumps.
  • Leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  • Wash it off with clean water.
  • Garlic for Pimples on Head

Don’t forget using garlic on your acne can save you a lot of time because it has disinfectant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It has plenty amount of salicylic acid too.

  • Take four peeled cloves of garlic.
  • Make a garlic tea in about 3 cups of hot water.
  • Apply this tea on your scalp acne.
  • Rinse it off with clean water after 10 minutes.



These are some ways for effective treatment of scalp acne by which you can get rid of them completely. Don’t be in a hurry and wait for few days while trying any treatment, But If you think that any of the above treatment is not working for your pimples problem, then I would recommend visiting a dermatologist as soon as possible. Because acne can sometimes be a symptom of many dangerous diseases.

Stay Healthy, Stay Happy and Stay Safe.   

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  1. David Richard


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