Get Rid Of Scalp Acne: 1 Stop Resource
What Is Scalp Acne?
Natalie Aguilar, a well-known esthetician and dermatological nurse whose clients include Sophia Vergara and Rita Ora, says that the skin on our scalp is different from the skin on our face and to get rid of scalp acne takes special care.
She says, “The skin on our scalp is thicker, has more blood vessels, and has more hair follicles and oil glands than any other part of the body.” “The sebaceous glands also make oil, which helps protect the hair and scalp. Sometimes, though, the glands make too much oil. ” When sebum gets stuck in the hair follicles on the scalp, this is what can cause pimples.
What causes scalp acne?
Just like when you get pimples on your face, there are many reasons why they might show up on your scalp. Dr. Zubritsky says that acne on the scalp can be caused by many things, such as bacteria, oil or product buildup, hormones, or inflammation. Her advice: See a dermatologist if the pimples on your scalp don’t go away or look like they’re getting worse (read: “they’re multiplying and/or getting angrier”).
This will help you figure out what’s going on and make sure it’s not something more serious. Sometimes, bumps on the scalp that look like pimples are actually caused by more serious inflammatory diseases like lichen planopilaris or discoid lupus, or they could even be skin cancer, says Dr. Zubritsky. “This is especially true if you have symptoms like bleeding, itching, flaking, or pain.”
Shampoo and the other products you use on your hair can also make your scalp break out. Products with a lot of oil can clog the pores on the scalp, and products with alcohol or sulfates can irritate the skin or make the scalp produce more oil, says Dr. Zubritsky.
What’s the difference between folliculitis and scalp acne?
It turns out that if you have painful bumps on your scalp, you may have folliculitis instead of acne, even though the two are pretty similar. Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, tells SELF that acne can happen on the scalp, but what looks like acne is more often folliculitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, folliculitis happens when a bacterial or fungal infection makes the hair follicle inflamed and causes acne-like bumps at the roots.
“These painful bumps can look like acne and can be caused by occlusive products (like waxes, oils, or dry shampoos), excessive sweating, and bacterial infections,” says Dr. Gohara. Some of the treatments for scalp acne and folliculitis are the same, like avoiding products that clog your pores and washing your hair regularly. However, if your bumps don’t go away, you should see a dermatologist to find out if you have folliculitis and, if so, how to treat it best. (More on that in a minute.)
Hairline vs scalp acne
Even though acne on the hairline and acne on the scalp can have the same cause, they usually do not. “Hairline acne can be part of normal acne vulgaris, folliculitis, or “pomade acne,” which is caused by the buildup of oil and waxes from styling products like pomade, hairspray, and hair gel,” says Dr. Zubritsky.
On the other hand, pimples on the scalp are usually caused by how often you wash your scalp, the shampoos and other hair products you use, or other diseases that affect the scalp, such as lichen planopilaris or discoid lupus.” She says that heavy, occlusive makeup or wearing a hat a lot can also cause acne or folliculitis at the hairline because the friction causes irritation and the fabric can trap oil and bacteria.
What’s the best way to treat scalp acne?
What’s causing the pimples on your head will help you figure out the best way to treat them. Dr. Gohara says to take a step back and think about what you might have changed in your hair or face routine that could have caused your scalp to break out (e.g., going longer between showers, loading up on dry shampoo, trying out new hair products, etc.).
If any of these sound like you, it’s time to get rid of some of your products and make some changes, like sticking to a regular cleansing schedule. Depending on your hair type and lifestyle, this could mean shampooing every day or once a week. “It’s important to wash your hair every day,” says Dr. Zubritsky, “especially if you use a lot of styling products or sweat a lot.” If you tend to get acne on your scalp, she also says to avoid using heavy hair products like waxes and oils, which can clog the pores on your scalp and cause more breakouts.
What’s the best shampoo for scalp acne?
When your scalp is breaking out, it can feel like a double-edged sword when you try to decide what shampoo to use. On the one hand, you want something that will give your scalp a deep clean to get rid of product, oil, and sweat buildup, but on the other hand, you don’t want anything too harsh that could irritate your already sensitive skin.
“I recommend shampoos for scalp acne that don’t have sulfates, are non-comedogenic, don’t have any fragrances, and don’t have any oil,” says Dr. Zubritsky. “I also like shampoos with salicylic acid or coal tar, which is a common ingredient in dandruff shampoos and can reduce the amount of oil on the scalp and open up clogged pores.”
naturally Get Rid Of Scalp Acne?
The most natural way to get rid of acne on your scalp is to look at the products and ingredients you’re using and get rid of anything that might be clogging your pores or causing irritation (e.g., waxes, oils, excessive dry shampoo, etc.). But if you want “natural” skin care products (a term that is not regulated by the FDA, by the way), tea tree oil is another ingredient to look for and think about adding to your scalp care routine. Dr. Zubritsky says, “It calms inflammation and kills bacteria, so it’s a great choice for people who want to try an alternative treatment.” 2 Look for shampoos and other hair products that have the essential oil in them.
How long does it take for scalp acne to go away?
As with most skin treatments, getting rid of acne on your head probably won’t happen right away. “In about six to eight weeks, you should see fewer new pimples and the old ones should start to go away,” says Dr. Clay-Ramsey. Still, you won’t see these results unless you work for them, so follow your doctor’s orders and/or the directions on any treatment products you’re using.
Can you pop your scalp pimples?
The answer from all of our experts: a resounding “nope.” “Absolutely no picking!” says Dr. Gohara. It can be tempting for people who like to pop their pimples (we see you), but all of the dermatologists we talked to agreed that picking at your head acne can make it worse, introduce bacteria, and cause a serious infection.
If you have to pop your pimples over and over, these tips for people with body-focused repetitive disorders might help you stop. You just can’t stop yourself? Keep the area clean and leave the bump alone while it heals. If you touch it when it’s open, the risk of infection and scarring goes up a lot, and you should try to avoid that. Self-care is sometimes a form of self-control.
I still can’t get rid of scalp acne. What’s next?
In this case, it’s time to take better care of the scalp. Aguilar says that sweat and a buildup of products can lead to acne on the scalp. So, if you’re always putting things in your hair or working out without washing it afterward, she says to buy hair-cleansing products with acne-fighting ingredients like clay, salicylic acid, and tea tree.
But if you can’t shampoo, try rinsing your scalp with apple cider vinegar that has been diluted (one part vinegar to three parts water). Federico says that ACV is a great way to prevent acne. “I like things that have either salicylic acid or apple cider vinegar in them,” he says. To keep your hair from drying out, wash it two to three times a week, use a scrub, an apple cider vinegar rinse, and a deep conditioner. You can’t go wrong! “
Well, you might be using the wrong products to style your hair. Dr. Rubin also says that you should look at the ingredient lists of your favorite products to see if there are any non-comedogenic culprits. He also says that there are a few things you should stay away from.
“Oils are one ingredient in hair care products that could clog pores and cause breakouts,” she says. Even though not all oils clog pores, coconut oil and cocoa butter are two that tend to do so. Even though oil-free products are less likely to clog pores, they could still do so depending on what they contain.
You can also use your favorite skin care products or masks to treat spots on your acne-prone scalp and give it a treat. Aguilar says to put a mask on your scalp once or twice a week.
“After shampooing, you can put plain, full-fat Greek yogurt on your scalp. “Leave it on for 10 minutes, then wash it off,” she says. “Greek yogurt with full fat is naturally high in probiotics and has lactic acid in it. Bad bacteria can be controlled by probiotics, and lactic acid is a gentle and natural way to get rid of dead skin. “
She also recommends Masque Bain de Plantes by Biologique Recherche. This mask is made from plants and has ingredients that help control the rate of sebum production and clean the skin and scalp. You can even put your favorite acne treatment serum right on the scalp to help blemishes on the scalp heal faster. The Storm Serum from Isla Beauty and the Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule have helped my acne a lot in the past.
Acne on the scalp is pretty common and is treated the same way acne on other parts of the body is.
When trying to get rid of scalp acne, a dermatologist will usually suggest topical medicines, which may include medicated shampoos that you use every day.
To get rid of scalp acne, a person can change the hair care products they use or increase or decrease the number of times they wash their hair in general.
Acne on the scalp can sometimes be a sign of something worse. If a person’s scalp acne doesn’t get better after treatment, they might want to talk to a doctor about other treatments or diagnoses.
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