How to Get Rid of Scalp Acne
Acne is most commonly thought of on the face, chest, and back, but it can actually occur in other locations as well. One place acne can occur is on the scalp. Scalp acne can be frustrating for many people, as it can be painful, be difficult to style your hair because of the pain and trying to make sure the spots are not visible, and if you are prone to oily skin and hair it can feel like an uphill battle. But there are a number of remedies a person can try to help treat acne that forms on the scalp.
What Causes Acne on the Scalp
Acne all over the body is a result of pores that create sebum, or oil. When the oil on the scalp, dry skin and bacteria combine, they can block the pores and create pimples on the scalp. For people with oily hair or dandruff this can be more common of a problem as there is a higher presence of oil already, and flakes of skin present to create a blockage to the pores. Like other forms of acne, scalp acne can be a result of changes in a person’s hormones.
This is why many teenagers deal with acne. It is also why women on their period, who are pregnant or going through menopause may experience changes in their skin and acne when they have not otherwise. Stress and certain medications can also cause a person to be more prone to acne, and if they have an oily scalp and dandruff, they are even more likely to experience scalp acne.
Symptoms of Scalp Acne
Scalp acne is not as commonly talked about because it is usually hidden by a person’s hair. Many people are already embarrassed to talk about their acne, so having it on their scalp, it is easier for them not to address it with someone else out of embarrassment. But scalp acne can become very painful, make it difficult to properly clean hair, and difficult to style hair, including combing or brushing it.
Because many people’s scalps are more tender than other areas of their body, scalp acne may feel more sore. It often can clear up with minimal interventions, but treating it can be difficult because the hair often gets in the way of the scalp.
Even though it often clears up on its own with minimal interventions, it is important to treat it so that is does not continue to cause problems or develop into a case of folliculitis. Folliculitis is a bacterial infection which causes inflammation of the pores, and requires antibiotic treatment in order to heal properly.
Tea Tree Oil
- One of the best treatments for skin ailments is tea tree oil. There are many hair care products on the market today which contain tea tree oil. It helps with dandruff, but it also has natural antibacterial properties which can help to heal acne on the scalp.
- Using a tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner is one option if you have developed scalp acne. It also has a pleasant scent, and can tingle the scalp bringing some relief to the itching and burning the acne may cause.
- If you like how tea tree oil hair care products work and smell, they can become your regular product of choice, and be preventative for future outbreaks of scalp acne occurring in the future.
- If you do not want to use these products, you can also purchase tea tree oil at a health food store and many pharmacies. Simply take a couple of drops and add it to your shampoo while you are using it, or add it to olive oil or coconut oil and give yourself a “conditioning treatment” which you then wash out with shampoo.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- The use of apple cider vinegar is endless. It can be used to treat a number of skin ailments, including acne. The treatment is both antibacterial as well as antiseptic, making it ideal for treating scalp acne.
- And it can help to correct an pH imbalance you might have on your scalp, to help ward off future instances of scalp acne. To use it to treat your scalp acne, take a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a couple tablespoons of warm water.
- After you wash your hair, apply the mixture to your damp hair and wait five to ten minutes. Then rinse your hair with water before towel drying your hair. Your bathroom may begin to smell like vinegar but it will go away fairly quickly.
- You can also drink a tablespoon of vinegar twice a day to help improve your gut health. Poor gut health often appears as skin ailments.
- Just like skin ailments elsewhere on the body, aloe vera gel straight from the plant can help to improve scalp acne. Aloe vera has been proven to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent and has anesthetic properties. Not to mention, aloe is a natural antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial, making ideal for treating skin conditions.
- To use it to treat your scalp acne, simple take the gel from the plant, place it on the affected area. Wait five minutes and then rinse the hair with warm water. Do this several days in a row to see the most improvement.
- While many hair care products on the market contain aloe in them, this is one of those things which really works best straight from the plant when being used to treat acne. After your acne has cleared up, if you want to use an aloe containing product for prevention it is an option.
- Tomato juice has been used for years for a number of things from removing the scent of a skunk to treating acne. Part of this is because the tomato is a great source of naturally occurring salicylic acid.
- This is commonly found in many acne treatment products because it helps to dry up the acne blemishes. To use this remedy, simply apply tomato juice directly to your scalp and allow it to sit there for ten minutes.
- Then rinse your hair with warm water until all of the tomato juice is gone and the water runs clear. After a few days of doing this, you will notice the tomato juice has dried up the excess sebum, or oil, from the scalp and the acne has begun to clear.
Proper Hair and Scalp Care
- Many people think about shampooing their hair but they often do not think about how to care for their scalp. Just like your hair, your scalp needs to be washed regularly. This helps to prevent excess dirt and oil from building up and clogging the pores on your scalp.
- If your regular shampoo does not seem to be enough for stopping your outbreaks from occurring, consider using a tea tree oil shampoo. If this still does not help, consult with your doctor about a shampoo with salicylic acid in it to help prevent future outbreaks. Like your hair, your styling tools also need to be cleaned regularly.
- This will help to prevent bacteria and dirt from clogging pores on your scalp. Even if you do not shampoo your hair daily, try rinsing your hair and scalp each night to remove any buildup. While washing and rinsing your hair, make sure to massage, do not scratch, your scalp to help loosen up any debris.
- If your hair is naturally oily, limit the amount of conditioner you use so it does not clog your pores. Look for a conditioner that is oil free, lightweight, and then apply it only to the ends of your hair and avoid contact with the scalp. If you have a breakout, try to go for hairstyles that do not require additional hair products to style it.
If you find your scalp acne to been painful, consider using a warm compress to help relieve the area affected. Simply get a clean face washcloth wet with warm water and hold it on the area until the cloth is no longer warm.
You can do this same thing a few times a day if it provides you relief. It can sooth as well as help to unclog the pores on the scalp. If you are prone to acne, consider your haircut options. Longer hair is more prone to being oily and developing acne.
But shaving your head often leads to causing acne to worsen or deal with ingrown hairs at the same time. Instead, look for a hairstyle that is in between to lessen the risks of scalp acne. Also, when going outside in the sun, remember to protect your scalp from burning. Wear a hat, or look for shade to reduce the risks.
Burning the scalp can complicate the healing process more, and may lead to an additional infection as well. Lastly, no matter how tempting it might be, do not scratch your scalp, or pick or squeeze and the spots as it will only delay the healing process or cause greater infections.