Scalp Acne - What is it and How to Treat It
By Charles Hopkins
Published 11/27/2007 | Health
Just about everyone knows what acne is and this it commonly breaks out
on the face, chest, arms and on the back. Acne also appears on other
parts of the body as well, but unless you're someone with acne in one
of these "other" areas, you may not have realized this.
If you think about what acne is - a skin condition - it makes sense
then that acne can appear almost anywhere on the body. One area in
particular that is not often associated with acne is the scalp.
Scalp acne, the mildest form of which is also known as scalp
folliculitis, probably occurs more frequently than most people even
realize. This form of acne is most often triggered during times of high
stress. This irritating scalp condition usually develops whenever the
scalp becomes oiler than usual, such as when the hair isn't washed
frequently or when hair care products that contain a considerable
amount of oil are used.
Scalp acne is very itchy and that makes it difficult for those wha
have it to leave it alone. In its mildest form, the pustules are small,
crusty and they get very sore. they appear mainly on the upper forehead
at the hairline. A person can have just a few pustules or there can be
A more severe form of scalp acne called acne necrotixa miliaris is
characterized by inflamed larger papules with black-colored crusts.
This form of acne can leave behind scars that resemble those resulting
from Chicken Pox.
There is an even more severe form of scalp acne that primarily
affects African-American men but can actually affect anybody,
regardless of race or gender. This extremely rare condition is a
combination of large cysts and smaller pustules and papules that grow
to be very large.
Treatment for Scalp Acne
The mild form of scalp acne can be treated the way most other acne
is treated. Keep the affected area clean by using a product that
contains salicylic acid. Please remember though that these products can
and usually do cause excessive dryness. So be sure to use the product
on the affected areas only. For better control apply using a Q-Tip or
Since oily hair is a contributing factor to scalp acne, using
shampoo that is formulated for oily hair and scalp is another good
option. Hair care products designed especially to treat seborrhea have
also been used successfully. And since many people use more than just
shampoo on their hair, its a good idea to check the labels on all hair
care products and make changes as necessary.
What Not To Do When Treating Scalp Acne
One thing that should not be used to treat scalp acne is any
product that contains benzoyl peroxide. The peroxide, when it comes
into contact with hair can change the color of the hair and result in a
less-than-desirable look. Those who have chemically-textured their hair
are most prone to hair trouble when benzoyl peroxide is used.
Never attempt to treat the more severe forms of scalp acne without first speaking to a doctor or a dermatologist first.