Scalp Acne – What It Is, How It Forms And The Treatments


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Scalp acne, the mildest kind of what is also known as scalp folliculitis, happens more often than most individuals understand. Almost everybody knows what acne is and that it normally breaks out on the face, chest, arms and the back. However, acne can also appear on other parts of the body. Unless you actually have acne in one of these other ‘areas’ you may not have seen this acne type.

Scalp acne and those similar to it, are frequently triggered throughout periods of great stress.  This irritating scalp condition typically forms when the scalp becomes oilier than normal, for instance when the hair is not washed as commonly or when hair care products that contain a significant amount of oil are used. 

Scalp acne could become very itchy and for that reason it can be very hard for those who have it to leave it alone.  In its mildest form, the pustules are small, crusty and they are sore.  They will develop mainly on the upper forehead by the hairline.  A person can have only a few pustules or he/she can have a lot of them. 

A more severe form of scalp acne is called Necrotica Miliaris.  This sort of acne is characterized by inflamed larger papules with black color crusts.  Necrotica miliaris can leave scars that look like those from Chicken Pox.  There is an even more severe kind of scalp acne that mainly affects adult African American men, but can still affect anybody, irrespective of race or sex.  This very rare acne condition is a combination of large cysts and smaller pustules and papules that can grow to be very big. 

Treatment for scalp acne 

Mild scalp acne treatment is similar to most other face or body acne treatments.  Simply keep the affected area clean by using a product that has salicylic acid.  Keep in mind, however, that these products may cause excessive dryness so try to use only on the affected areas.  For better results, apply using a cotton wool or ball. 

Since oily hair can be a main contributor factor to scalp acne, it is very important that you use a shampoo that is designed for oily hair.  Hair care products formulated particularly to treat seborrhea have also been used with good success.  Because many individuals use more than just shampoo on their hair, it is a good suggestion to verify the labels on all hair care products and make changes as needed. 

Don’t attempt to treat the more severe forms of scalp acne without consulting with a doctor or dermatologist first. 

Another thing you should remember is that you should not treat scalp acne with any product that contains benzoyl peroxide.  The reason for this is because when peroxide comes into contact with hair, it can change the color of the hair and result in a ‘non desirable’ look.  Those people with chemically-textured hair (for instance those with perms) or color-treated hair are more likely to experience hair problems when benzoyl peroxide comes into contact with their hair. 


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