how to treat scalp acneBad news – you’ve developed scalp acne! Good news – it’s not tough to prevent and cure it if you learn the science behind it. So, let’s do that.

What is Scalp Acne?

Understand that your scalp is skin and just as acne can develop on the rest of your skin, it can develop on scalp too and looks no different than that on the rest of your body. It can simply look like pimples, zits or non-inflammatory acne. Zits or boils on the backside of your head can also be considered as scalp acne. Scalp itching can be the first sign of scalp acne but scalp acne can turn much more painful if left untreated. The zits can grow bigger and turn into cysts which may have to be drained and can even cause scarring. Hence it’s important to control scalp acne as early as possible.

How is Scalp Acne Caused?

Just like pimples on face, scalp acne or pimples on scalp develops when hair follicles or pores get clogged by oil, bacteria and dirt. This can occur when:

  • Your sebaceous glands secrete excessive sebum (natural oil produced by skin to keep itself moisturized). This excessive sebum can clog your pores and acne is caused.
  • Dead skin cells or dandruff can also clog pores.
  • If you spend most of your time in the sun or perform vigorous workout, but don’t wash your hair regularly, the excessive sweat can clog your pores.
  • You don’t wash your hair totally clean. As a result, the hair products you use clog your pores.

How to Treat Scalp Acne?

If you’re thinking on how to treat scalp acne all the time, first and foremost thing to remember is to avoid squeezing the boils, although it can be hard to resist. Popping pimples can spread the bacteria in it to adjacent pores or follicles and thus can cause more pimples. Also, you should avoid combing or brushing around them and also avoid rubbing the skin vigorously while shampooing. Treating scalp pimples is the same as that on your face. First you should wash the area with a medicated shampoo or an oil-free cleanser. This will help unclog pores and exfoliate your skin gently.

After this, apply a topical acne pimple treatment or cream. This will reduce acne-causing bacteria and soak up extra oil which should help clear up the spot in a few days.


Once you get rid of the irritating zits, you should try to prevent new ones from coming. For this, avoid spending more than 2-3 days between shampooing and avoid oil-based hair-care or cosmetic products. It’s also necessary to wash hair, preferably with a zinc shampoo, after wearing tight-fitting helmets or hats. Also, wash your hair right after exercising to wash away the sweat.

So, cheer up now and start treating your scalp acne. Come on, you can do it!