Scalp issues can be a common concern, and one of the often misunderstood conditions is scalp acne. Many people confuse it with scalp folliculitis due to their similar appearance. However, scalp acne is relatively rare in comparison to scalp folliculitis. This article will help you understand what scalp acne is, and its causes, and suggest some home remedies to prevent and manage this condition.

What Is Scalp Acne?

Scalp acne, or “pimple on the scalp,” is a skin condition where hair follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities. This can lead to the development of small, red, and sometimes painful bumps on the scalp, resembling traditional acne.

Causes of Scalp Acne

A number of factors including infection and irritation can cause scalp rashes. Understanding these specific causes can help you identify and resolve the underlying problem.

Excess sebum production: Overactive oil glands can cause excessive oil (sebum) production, which can block hair follicles and lead to acne.

Dead Skin Cells: Accumulation of dead skin cells on the scalp can mix with sebum and create a blockage in the hair follicles, leading to pimples.

Hair Products: Hair products like shampoos, conditioners, and styling gels can contain ingredients that irritate the scalp, clog pores, and lead to acne breakouts.

Hot and humid conditions: When your skin is exposed to hot, humid temperatures, it reacts by sweating excessively. Sweating can cause dead skin to lift up and increase the chances of developing acne on the scalp.

Poor Hygiene: Not washing your hair regularly or thoroughly can lead to the buildup of oil, dirt, and bacteria on the pimple, increasing the risk of acne.

Home Remedies to Prevent Scalp Acne

There are various effective treatments for pimples on the scalp, depending on the severity of the condition. Here are some treatments for acne on the head, ranging from natural remedies to medical options:

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in treating acne vulgaris. It helps in unclogging the hair follicles and reduces inflammation and dandruff on your scalp. You can also buy shampoo that contains 5% tea tree oil or less.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has some antimicrobial properties due to its acetic acid content, which may help create an environment that is less favorable for certain bacteria to thrive. This can be particularly beneficial for people who have scalp issues related to bacterial overgrowth.

Tomato juice

Tomatoes do contain salicylic acid, which is a beta-hydroxy acid known for its exfoliating and acne-fighting properties. Salicylic acid can help to unclog pores and reduce inflammation, making it a common ingredient in many over-the-counter acne products.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties. Apply it to your scalp using a cotton ball to reduce inflammation.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Apply fresh aloe vera gel directly to your scalp and leave it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing.

Medicated shampoos

In some cases, medicated shampoos contain ingredients like salicylic acid or ketoconazole to help manage scalp pimples.


Scalp acne is a skin condition that leads to the development of pimples or pustules on the scalp.

Avoid picking, scratching, or squeezing pimples on the scalp, as this can worsen the condition and potentially lead to infection or scarring.

If scalp acne persists or worsens despite home treatments, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist for a more personalized and effective treatment plan.


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The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional