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Dealing With Scalp Acne? Here’s How to Treat It Straight From a Derm

If you’ve ever noticed any strange, acne-like bumps on your scalp, let’s just say you’re not alone. Although it may not cause as much distress as facial acne, it’s still less than ideal.

We decided to get to the bottom of what this pesky anomaly is and how exactly you can treat it. Read on below for what Dr. Kaveri Karhade, MD- board-certified dermatologist, had to share on the matter.

scalp acne
(via Unsplash)

Mane Addicts: What exactly is scalp acne and how can we treat it?

Dr. Kaveri Karhade: There are different conditions that may look like acne on the scalp, such as seborrheic dermatitis or folliculitis. The first step to addressing any bumps or rashes on the scalp should be seeing a board-certified dermatologist for evaluation! Several over-the-counter products are helpful for common scalp conditions, which are frequently triggered by yeast. Look for over-the-counter ingredients such as zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole, found in many anti-dandruff shampoos.

MA: What are the best ways to prevent scalp acne?

KK: Washing hair too infrequently can lead to buildup of product, itchiness, and flaking. It can also sometimes cause bumps that may look like acne. I recommend washing hair twice weekly when possible. Additionally, scratching an itchy scalp may make it temporarily feel better however can overall increase inflammation and result in increased itch later. Keep your nails short and away from your scalp!

MA: Do you recommend any specific products to help keep scalp breakouts at bay? 

KK: Products I like include Dove Dermacare Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, Jupiter Restoring Serum, and Nizoral Shampoo.

MA: If you’re breaking out along your hairline, is this a sign you need to switch up your current wash routine?

KK: Breaking out along the hairline could be a sign of folliculitis, acne related to hair products such as pomades, seborrheic dermatitis, or other rashes. I always recommend seeing a board-certified dermatologist to help figure out what may be causing the breakout. Be careful of leave in hair products that may touch the skin on the forehead, which can contribute to breakouts. Frequently essential oils in various products also contribute to breakouts.

Scalp need some real TLC? HERE’s how you should properly moisturize it.

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