5 Most Effective and Safe Ways to Deal With Acne on the Head

One of the most uncomfortable places with the appearance of acne is the head area. Like regular acne, pimples on the head can be caused by a mixture of oil and dead skin cells that clog up the hair follicles. But unfortunately, the cause of acne on the scalp is not that simple. 

This review will discuss how to deal with acne on the head and whether it has anything to do with using hair care products.

What Causes Acne on the Head?

Dirt on the scalp can be caused by various skin diseases; some are benign, and some are more serious. The most common dirt or blemishes on the scalp are acne, seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff. Fortunately, the treatment for this type of scalp blemish is simple. This condition can easily be treated with anti-dandruff and anti-acne medications.

Stress conditions and lack of sleep can also cause acne on the scalp. When your cortisol levels increase, your body is more likely to produce oil. This excess oil can cause acne. 

In addition, acne on the scalp is potentially caused by hormones. If you often find pimples on your head, there is one proper treatment method. Bottom line: Check with your respective dermatologist, who can help you figure out the type of acne and the best treatment.

The same rules apply to preventing acne on the scalp as they do on the face: keep your hands away from the pimple. Touching and squeezing pimples will only result in more pimples.

How to Overcome Acne on the Head

1. When Washing: Lather, Rinse, Repeat

If you are prone to oily hair, acne on your head could be caused by excess oil. You definitely want to wash your hair every day to get rid of oily hair, but you only need to wash your hair 3 times at most to avoid drying out your hair. 

Look for shampoos with ingredients like salicylic acid or cortisone. Salicylic acid is meant to help reduce dandruff and oil production on your scalp. While cortisone helps treat inflammation and dryness. Shampoos with cortisone are usually only available at doctor’s clinics, so check with your dermatologist.

If you prefer a regular shampoo that adds volume or makes your hair soft, feel free to use a second shampoo after using a shampoo formulated for acne.

2. Avoid Touching Pimples on the head

If you want to touch a pimple on your scalp, avoid squeezing and scratching it as much as possible. Squeezing or scratching a pimple can allow bacteria to enter it, delaying healing time and making it more irritating. 

If the pimple is very itchy, try pressing it gently. Adding a little pressure can help relieve itching and won’t open up the pimple either.

3. Exfoliate the Scalp

Using a scalp exfoliating treatment once a week can help rid your scalp of excessively dry skin. Tea tree oil, as an antibacterial, is an oil you can use to treat acne (just like you would on your face). Add a drop of tea tree oil to your shampoo to help treat your scalp and hair. 

Although exfoliating helps remove excess oil and dry skin, it is better to use a chemical peel (such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid) rather than a physical peel. An irritated scalp will be worse if you apply a physical exfoliator. 

If you feel you have to use a physical exfoliant, use something gentle, and only use it when your scalp isn’t seriously irritated.

4. Avoid Using Hair Oil

Avoid using hair products that contain excessive oil that will thin the hair layer. While oils are great for moisturizing hair, they can cause buildup on the scalp. Keep hair repair treatments and deep conditioning masks away from the scalp. Instead, use a conditioner to treat damaged tips, as this can add excess oil to the roots.

5. Don’t Hesitate to Use Acne Products

You can treat mild acne on the head with most over-the-counter acne products. It’s best to avoid products that contain benzoyl peroxide as they can cause bleaching or discoloration of your hair. 

A mild moisturizer containing salicylic acid is a good choice for treating small spots on the scalp and won’t bleach your hair either. But if acne persists or becomes very severe, consider talking to a dermatologist about an acne medication that might work better for you.


Those are some tips for dealing with acne on the scalp caused by a lack of routine and the use of inappropriate hair care products. Pay attention and follow the proper hair care routine to avoid acne on the scalp.


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