Scalp acne is one of those skin conditions that sneak up on you and develop without your knowledge. Unless you have very short hair, this can become a fairly hidden condition, until it reaches its advanced stages of development. However, clear indicators of scalp acne do exist in the form of itching and pain, leading to hair loss. The causes of scalp acne are similar to that of normal acne (1).
There are pores on our skin are known as sebaceous glands, which generally produce an oily substance called sebum (2), and this is what gives our skin the oily sheen and a glow when healthy. However, such pores have chances of getting clogged when they produce excessive amounts of sebum, and infection at this point is the sole cause for acne of all forms.
There are many possible triggers for this happening, and in the case of scalp acne, people with naturally oily hair are most prone to developing scalp acne. If the clogged pores in hair follicles are not cleared out, they can swell up with infections and prove to be extremely painful and irritating (3).
This is especially a problem in the scalp because hair can trap dirt more easily than on other parts of the skin. So, treatments can be more complex for scalp acne than for normal acne.
The easiest form of preventing such acne would be to increase the thoroughness of shampooing your hair out. This is to effectively get rid of as much dirt and bacteria from the scalp as possible, which will, in turn, reduce the chances of infections occurring.
But the type of shampoo to use for your scalp is safer when recommended by dermatologists after a thorough consultation (4). This should be after a clear diagnosis of the condition, and this is safer because dermatologists can often identify your skin type and its particular sensitivities. This makes the medication more unique and suited for your needs.
Does Scalp Acne cause hair loss?
Since such infections and acne happen due to the clogged hair follicles, it is natural to experience hair loss with scalp acne. There are particular bacteria and microorganisms which exist on the scalp that are responsible for such infections. While propionibacterium acne (p acnes) exists on most of our skin’s surface, Staphylococcus epidermidis and fungus are sometimes more specific to the scalp (5).
How to prevent Scalp Acne?
The easiest ways to prevent scalp acne is to ensure that there isn’t any build up of oils on the scalp and that the dirt and bacteria are not allowed to build upon the surface of the scalp (6).
However, on many occasions, people are known to overdo this and by over washing, they end up drying the scalp out. This can lead to other issues like dandruff, scaly scalps and scars which can be equally painful.
This is why dermatologists recommend patients to consult before trying remedies on their own. The number of times you wash your hair and the type of shampoo you use can make all the difference in preventing and healing scalp acne.
How to cure Scalp Acne?
Since the production of sebum is quite unpredictable, as well as the build of dirt and bacteria, it is tough to cure scalp acne once and for all. However, with the prescribed type of care mentioned above, it is entirely possible to ensure that you prevent the chances of scalp acne occurring.
The easiest ways to diagnose scalp acne is to be on the lookout for the factors that can cause it. Hormones, in particular, are capable of being the reason for scalp acne, especially if you are an adolescent, pregnant or going through menopause (7).
These are primarily the periods of a person’s life when there are significant hormonal imbalances. Specific hormones like estrogen are capable of triggering the glands in our skin to produce excessive amounts of sebum, and this inevitably leads to acne.
Although we can have no influence over the hormonal changes, certain factors like emotional stress that are within our control are also reasons for acne. Also, the environmental conditions in which you reside can have a great effect on the formation and recurrence of acne.
For instance, hot and humid climates increase chances of acne formation, and so does pollution, which exposes you to more dirt and chemicals. Only by addressing these factors can people make a progress in addressing and getting rid of scalp acne.
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