Skincare Blog

Scalp Acne: Causes, Prevention And remedy

Scalp acne or scalp folliculitis is a condition that leads to pimples along the hairline. They may look like raised bumps, whiteheads, blackheads, pustules or pus-filled bumps, or cysts embedded under your skin.

Pimples on scalp are caused when your hair follicles get clogged, promoting bacteria to enter the pores along your scalp line.
While a mild case of pimples on the head clears up on its own, a severe case of scalp acne may cause scarring, pain, or hair loss and bald patches in the long term.

Let us learn about some common causes behind scalp acne, and how we can reduce them naturally.


CAUSES BEHIND PIMPLES ON HEAD

  • Scalp oiliness
    When your scalp is naturally oily, it produces more sebum. This makes your pores more prone to getting clogged and causes your hair to get greasy while attracting dirt from the environment. Hence, people with oily scalp are more likely to get pimples on their scalp.
  •  Product build-up
    Leftover residue from hair products like hair oils, conditioners, and styling treatments like hair gels and hair sprays can lead to clogged pores on your scalp, and cause scalp acne.
  •  Scalp congestion
    Irregularity in hair-washing, and ignoring your hair hygiene can cause dead skin cells to accumulate on the scalp and enter your pores. This leads to congestion on your head. When these dead skin cells are unable to leave your scalp, it causes pimples on your head.
  • Scalp irritation and allergies
    Ingredients in hair products that do not suit your skin and scalp, act as allergens. They may lead to contact dermatitis, inflammation, itchiness and bumps on your scalp. This may cause you to constantly scratch your scalp, leading bacteria to enter your pores, and developing acne.
  • Overactive sweat glands
    It is either seen during puberty, or in people suffering from hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. Overactive sweat glands on our scalp attract more dirt and congestion while creating favourable conditions for bacteria to enter our pores and cause pimples.
  •  Hormonal imbalance
    Research indicates that hormonal fluctuations in puberty have been linked to overactive sebaceous glands on skin and scalp. This leads to conditions such as increased oiliness, scalp dermatitis, acne and dandruff.
  •  Wearing rough headgears
    Wearing headgears and hair accessories for long hours can cause friction along the hairline and lead to stress bumps. It also prevents your hair from getting enough oxygen, thereby promoting sweating and congestion.
  • Weather conditions
    Extremely hot and humid weather can cause your skin and scalp to sweat, and produce more sebum, causing them to become greasier and congested. This may lead to scalp acne in the short term.
  • Lifestyle stressors
    Consuming certain foods over a long period of time, and experiencing stress and anxiety can aggravate the skin and scalp to produce more oil, and create favourable conditions for scalp acne to pop up.
  • Genetics
    Concerns such as hormonal imbalances, and overactive sebaceous or sweat glands are often hereditary. These start manifesting in people during their prepubescent or pubescent stages of life.

HOW TO REDUCE PIMPLES ON THE SCALP NATURALLY?

  •  Use suitable hair care products
    Following a proper hair care routine designed with products that match the requirements of our hair and scalp helps to balance the natural oils while preventing scalp acne.
    For example, a suitable hair care routine for oily scalp may include using a clarifying yet gentle and non-stripping shampoo, followed by a few drops of lightweight carrier oil applied on hair ends for hydration.
  •  Maintain hair hygiene
    Wash your scalp and hair once or twice a week, according to your hair and scalp type and the weather conditions. Extremely oily scalp paired with humid weather conditions may need to be washed thrice a week for preventing dandruff and congestion.
  • Inhibit oil production on the scalp
    Comb your hair no more than twice a day to prevent over-stimulation of your scalp. If your scalp gets oily sooner, try using an organic dry shampoo to keep excess oil at bay. Refrain from washing your hair daily. It may cause dehydration, causing your scalp to go into overdrive and produce more oil.
  • Be gentle with your hair
    Avoid using hair accessories and headgears for prolonged periods. Choose hairstyles that are not tight, and accessories which do not add stress to your scalp and hair strands. 
  • Practise healthy living
    Avoid eating fried foods very often, and include wholesome home-cooked meals into your routine. Practice yoga and meditation for eliminating stress.
  • Use tea tree essential oil
    Research indicates that tea tree essential oil exhibits strong antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to minimise acne and inflammation, and promote wound-healing on skin and scalp.
    Use a few drops in your favourite Juicy Chemistry organic carrier oil or hair oil, and massage the blend on your scalp once or twice a week.
  •  Exfoliate your scalp
    Weekly or bi-monthly exfoliation of the scalp can help to loosen dead skin cells, prevent your pores from getting congested, and stimulate your scalp to improve blood circulation and promote healthy hair growth. It is a great tool to prevent pimples on the scalp.
    However, do not use a scalp exfoliator if you have pus-filled acne, scalp irritation, or inflammation on your scalp or hairline.

DIY SCALP AND HAIR EXFOLIATOR

  • Step 1 – In a clean bowl, add ¼ cup fine pink Himalayan salt or sea salt.
  • Step 2 – Add a tablespoon of cold pressed neem oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil to the bowl, and mix well.
  • Step 3 – Wet your hair and scalp in the shower. Take some scrub and massage it gently on your scalp. Leave the scrub in your hair for a few minutes to let the oils soak into your scalp and hair.
  • Step 4 – Shampoo and condition as usual.

Note – Every ingredient performs differently on different hair and scalp types. Remember to patch test products and remedies on a small portion of your inner arm before applying them to your scalp or hair.


JUICY CHEMISTRY PRODUCTS THAT HELP TO REDUCE PIMPLES ON SCALP

  • Cold Pressed Neem Carrier Oil
    Our ethically sourced Cold Pressed Neem Oil is pressed from the fruits of the Neem tree.
    It is rich in antioxidants that stimulate blood circulation and provide protection against free radical damage.
    Our Cold Pressed Neem Oil is effective against dandruff and scalp acne. It reduces scalp itchiness and promotes healthy hair growth. It is best used as a scalp massage oil.
  • Australian Tea Tree Essential Oil
    Australian tea tree leaves are rich in monoterpenes that help to calm acne and reduce dandruff.
    Our Australian Tea Tree Essential Oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant, which is native to Australia.
    It nourishes dry scalp, regulates sebum on oily scalp and reduces scalp irritation.
    A few drops of our tea tree essential oil mixed with a carrier oil can be used as a therapeutic hair and scalp massage oil. It can also be used for aromatherapy in an oil diffuser due to its fresh and uplifting aroma.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Who can use Juicy Chemistry's cold pressed neem oil and Australian tea tree essential oil?
    Anyone who does not have sensitivity to neem and tea tree can use our neem oil and tea tree essential oil on the scalp and hair. However, we do recommend patch testing new products near your hairline before applying them on your scalp or hair.

  • How long does neem oil and tea tree oil take to show results?
    Our hair experiences months of stress before it starts showing signs for concern. Hence, time taken by any natural remedy to show visible results depends on how far the concern goes. When it comes to using natural ingredients for hair growth, dandruff removal or controlling pimples, consistency and patience are key.

  • How to make the most of our oiling experience?
    Allow our organic hair oils to get absorbed into your hair for a couple of hours before shampoo. You may also wrap a warm towel on your head after oiling to create a steam treatment for your hair. This method also allows hair oils to penetrate better.

REFERENCES –

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834713/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22998411/