Scalp acne or Scalp Folliculitis is the inflammation of the hair follicles in the scalp. Small, itchy, pustules push up though the scalp and are most irritating when they occur around the visible hairline. The usual reaction of people who get it would probably to use the same acne product as they do for acne on other parts of the body.
However, some of the best acne products for the face can have harsh stripping properties that will dry out the hair. Moreover, if benzoyl peroxide is used on colored hair, it will most probably have a bleaching effect. (More of the best scalp acne treatments are discussed below.)
Painful Scalp Acne
In its severe form, scalp acne is characterized by large cystic-like bumps along with smaller pustules and papules, which are filled with pus, and can be quite painful.
The number of lesions varies, but even a few lesions can become worse and numerous because they tend to be very itchy and are difficult not to scratch. When they are subjected to even the slightest contact, they become sore and encrusted.
This can lead to permanent scarring and hair loss over the affected areas, creating unsightly bald patches. Severe scalp acne can be very resistant to treatment and it is recommended that the sufferer seek medical help immediately. A doctor usually prescribes oral medication (antibiotics or isotretinoin) or systemic steroidal treatments.
Causes of Acne On Scalp
Experts vary on the causes of scalp acne, although it is generally agreed to be the inflammatory reaction of the scalp to components found in the hair follicle—sometimes hair products that become trapped but mostly microorganisms, such as: yeast, bacteria, and mites.
Cures and Treatments for Acne On The Scalp
Needless to say, since severe scalp acne can have very traumatizing results, it is best to arrest the condition in its early stages. Following are some of the best acne products for treating scalp acne that can be purchased without a prescription:
- Vitamin B5. Also known as Pantothenic Acid or D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B5 can be used to get rid of scalp acne. Large amounts are taken daily. One popular and effective brand is Vilantae. Click here to learn more about using Vilantae brand Vitamin B5 (D-Calcium Pantothenate) to treat your acne.
- Mild shampoo – wash as often as desired, then just condition near the hair ends
- Antidandruff shampoo – could be helpful since it contains anti-fungal agents (e.g., Ketoconazole or Ciclopirox)
- Shampoo for oily hair/scalps – only for oily scalps, then follow up with astringent
- Salicylic acid astringent – use a lightly soaked cotton ball only over the affected area
- Topical niacinamide – to reduce inflammation and oil production (e.g., Acnessential)
Of the non-prescription Scalp Acne treatments listed above, Vitamin B5 is probably the best for treating acne on the scalp because of sheer convenience. Taking a pill is easy and entails no mess at all.
Prescription medications for severe acne at scalp include:
- Topical antibiotics (e.g., Clindamycin solution, Erythromycin solution)
- Topical steroids
- Oral antihistamines
- Oral antibiotics (e.g., Tetracycline)
- Oral IsotretinoinOf the prescription cures for acne affecting the scalp, the oral route is probably the best for this form of acne, because topical treatments can be quite messy because of the hair on your head.