Scalp Acne

When you hear the word acne, the first things that spring into mind are the areas commonly affected by it: the face, chest, or back. But there’s another kind of acne, one that you can get in your scalp. It may sound unusual, yes, but it’s true.

Scalp acne is a skin disorder is characterized by little inflamed bumps and pustules on the scalp itself and along the hairline. The bumps are said to be very itchy. While scalp acne may not be as visible as facial acne, the suffering it brings is just about the same.

Scalp acne is a different kind of acne from, say, facial acne. Scalp acne is more of an inflammation of the hair follicles, known as folliculitis. Scalp folliculitis is the least severe form of scalp acne. The condition is distinguished by small bumps located near the hairline. The bumps appear small and crusty.

Scalp folliculitis is quite simple to cure. You can usually remedy this with the help of over-the-counter medications.

A more grave form of scalp acne is acne necrotica miliaris. The presence of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes is responsible for the worsening of the condition of the scalp. The bacteria breed on the sebum and dead skin cells found on the hair follicles. Once they are in, they start to feast on the excess sebum and multiply rapidly. It is this buildup of bacteria that leads to the inflammation of the scalp.

Acne necrotica miliaris is portrayed by black, inflamed pustules that cover the entire scalp area. The pustules are a lot larger than those seen in scalp folliculitis, and often need medical attention for treatment.

When dealing with mild scalp acne, simple, preventive measures are generally good enough. Continuously keep your hair and scalp clean and oil-free. More often than not, sufferers of scalp acne have oily hair. Keep the oils at bay by washing your hair regularly with a mild shampoo. If you also suffer from dandruff, use a good anti-dandruff shampoo with conditioning properties.

Aside from directly caring for your hair, a well-balanced diet can help you battle scalp acne. Have a regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit or avoid altogether your intake on fatty, greasy foods. Hydrate yourself regularly by drinking lots of water to flush out your body’s toxins. Water helps moisturize your skin, so your oil glands won’t need to produce as much oil.

If, despite your best efforts to contain scalp acne, the condition shows no sign of improvement, it is then best to consult a dermatologist. This is especially ideal if you are afflicted with acne necrotica miliaris. Oral antibiotics, like tetracycline, can be helpful if you have persistent, regular breakouts. For topical treatments, erythromycin is applied on the affected parts.

Do not wait for you to be affected with scalp acne to start doing preventive measures. Practice good hygiene. Make hair-washing a habit. Observe a good diet. Make good old water your best friend. Always consult with your dermatologist if you see something suspicious and before trying out any medication. After all, a healthy scalp begins with a healthy life.

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