What is scalp acne? And how should you treat it

Another day, another new term. Well, just to give you a sense of calm, there isn’t actually anything new about scalp acne at all. It’s just like the spots, irritation and redness you get on your face, just on your scalp – it is still your skin after all. Unfortunately, scalp acne is just as frustrating as facial acne with the added bonus of hair to insulate – meaning excess oil. The good news is we’ve delved in to find out everything there is to know and how exactly you can treat scalp acne if you have it.

If you’re looking for a clear scalp, then read on.

What is it?

The spots and irritation on your scalp are just as spontaneous in their eruption as the ones on your face – they’re likely to throw a curveball your way at the most inconvenient of times.

We’re all well aware just how important scalp health is when it comes to caring for our hair. You can’t expect to have shiny, silky gruaig if your scalp is oily and filled with build-up. A rare and unfortunate circumstance of scalp acne is actually hair loss. If the folliculitis decalvans – in layman’s terms: inflammation – caused by the pimples is severe enough, it can result in hair loss and scarring across the scalp.

Pexels/Maria Orlova

Similarly to their facial counterparts, scalp acne occurs due to excess sebum building up on the scalp. Sebum is a naturally occurring oil that helps protect your skin and retain moisture. When the sebaceous glands which connect to the hair follicle produce too much oil, the glands clog, resulting in spots and irritation on the scalp.

Similar to people with oily skin those with oily hair tend to suffer from an oily scalp. Washing our hair too little and using too many oily products are also two common factors leading to scalp acne.

For those of you who work out regularly, washing your hair frequently is essential to avoid a build-up of sweat and oil on the scalp.

As with your face, scalp acne can be treated rather easily with some quick and easy tips and without a bucket load of products.

Wash your hair using shampoos that contain ingredients like Salicylic Acid to help reduce the build-up and in turn the excess oil.

Products that’ll work well for scalp acne

The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, €19.99

Noughty Anti-Frizz Shampoo,€9.45

Kerastase Purifying Anti-Dandruff Cellular Shampoo,€28.45

Aveda Scalp Solutions Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, €45

Revolution Salicylic Clarifying Scalp Serum, €9.45


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