What Causes Scalp Acne?

Scalp acne is caused by the same agents that are responsible for acne on your face, back or upper arms. This condition is most likely to occur during the teenage years although it can occur later in life as well. What causes scalp acne is the increase in certain hormones. Androgens, like testosterone, increases in both genders during puberty; females get much less of this hormone than males. The change in hormones causes an increase in the production of oil in sebaceous glands. If the pores are closed to the air, then the oil will form into a whitehead. A blackhead develops from exposure of the oil, or sebum, to oxygen. This is the hormonal cause of scalp acne.

Another cause is uncleanliness. If dirt enters the pores in the scalp, then sebum and dirt together will form a pimple. White cells rush to destroy the invading bacteria and die in the process of keeping the body healthy. Thus forms the pus. Scratching and disturbing the integrity of the skin will also introduce bacteria which will turn to pus with the immune system’s white cells.

Who Gets Scalp Acne?

Scalp acne, like facial acne, is found more often in young people than older ones. This is because of the hormonal changes teenage years present. However, no one is safe from acne. Anyone can get acne on the scalp. In older people, acne may be more due to weather changes than anything else. High humidity can have a negative effect on the scalp and cause acne to develop.

What Are the Implications of Scalp Acne?

Implications of scalp acne are often that a person’s hygiene is lacking. That is not necessarily true at all. Unless you know what causes scalp acne in that person, you can’t assume anything. Many people with acne or scalp acne are quite fastidious about their hygiene. They just can’t fight their hormones and unless they move to a different climate or the hot weather or the humidity.

How to Prevent Scalp Acne:

You can’t prevent the hormonal cause from causing acne. You can try to stay out of the heat, especially if you are already battling with some eruptions. You can also stay out of areas filled with smoke and dust to keep your pores open. You can keep yourself from scratching and trying to “pop” pimples under your hair. Wash your hair with medicated shampoo and massage your scalp gently when you shower if you already have some acne on your scalp. If you are in the preventative state, wash your hair with a little more vigor to open up pores that may not be open. Do not use any products on your hair that have an oil base. In fact, it is probably best not to use anything on your hair until the acne has cleared up. If your acne is extensive, you may want to see your family physician or a dermatologist to help you with medication. These medicines can be expensive and generally advise you to stay out of the sun, heat and humidity.

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