Bumps on Scalp, Causes, Pictures, Small, Large, Itchy, Red, Painful Hard Lumps, Scalp Acne &Treatment

Having itchy bumps on scalp can be embarrassing and a difficult condition to live with. These lumps appearing as pimples can at times be painful and hard. They can vary in size ranging from small, little or large. Are these lumps on your head acne? In this page, find out more on the causes, how to get rid including treatment with home remedies.

Pimple-like bumps on your scalp can be caused by a number of conditions such as folliculitis and seborrheic dermatitis. Scalp bumps are common problems affecting both male and females. This could be due to dead skin cells, cosmetics build-up and oil accumulating on the scalp.

Bumps on Scalp
Bumps on Scalp

Irritation or red itchy bumps on the scalp can be embarrassing and a difficult condition to live with. Painful, sore or bumps on the scalp that hurts can be caused by:

  • Infection of the hair follicles (folliculitis)
  • Impetigo
  • viral infection
  • skin condition such as acne
  • cyst such as epidermal or sebaceous cyst
  • skin cancer on the scalp

Treatment of bumps on your scalp depends on what is causing them. The symptoms of pimple-like bumps vary depending on the underlying cause.

Bumps on scalp symptoms

The lumps or pimple-like bumps on your scalp can present varying symptoms depending on the underlying cause. Bumps on the head can be tender, itchy, red, large and inflamed. These bumps can be crusty and can be fluid- filled with pus and other material. Inflamed bumps on your scalp are usually painful.

Depending on the symptoms, your doctor can tell whether you have scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or both basing on examination of your scalp, skin and nails. Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis are some of the common condition that affects the scalp. They have similar signs and symptoms such as red, scaly bumps on the scalp. Treatment of these scalp condition are similar. Medicated shampoos and topical corticosteroid or antifungal solutions are some of the available treatment.

Bumps on scalp pictures

Photos or images are inserted in the post to help you identify with your symptoms. Below we have inserted an image showing the appearance of pimple-like bumps. Throughout, find more pictures of bumps on scalp.

Pimple -like Bump on Scalp Image
Pimple -like Bump on Scalp Image

Scalp pimple-like bumps causes

What causes pimple-like bumps on scalp? Scalp problems such as sores, blisters or bumps develop due to a number of possible conditions such as infections, contact dermatitis, shingles, acne, cyst or infection of the hair follicles known as folliculitis. Treatment of scalp problems or bumps depends on the underlying cause. Below are the possible scalp bumps causes:

1. Folliculitis

Pimple, cyst or bumps on scalp may be due to folliculitis. This is an inflammation of the hair follicle. Although it is common on the beard area, arms, back buttocks and legs, the hair follicles of the scalp can be affected too. It may be caused by a bacteria or yeast or any other type of fungus. Damaged hair follicles or shaving can irritate the hair follicles leading to infection. Having an infected cut on your scalp or head can causes bacteria to spread to the hair follicles.

Folliculitis usually appear as red pimples or bumps on with hair centrally located in the bump. The pimple-like bump may have pus in them. It may hurt, itch or burn. As soon as the pimple break open, they may drain pus, blood or both.

Scalp Folliculitis
Scalp Folliculitis

Less severe folliculitis usually heals on its own in about 2 weeks. You can treat with self-care measures at home with:

Warm compress made from sea salt water. Here’s how to;

  • Soak a clean piece of cloth or hand towel in warm salty water
  • Drain excess water from the towel
  • Place the towel in the affected skin of the scalp
  • Do this several times daily for a week until you heal

Alternatively, use medicated shampoo to treat folliculitis on the scalp.

2. Allergic reaction, contact dermatitis

Is the bumps or rash on your head scalp dermatitis? Allergic reaction can develop quickly as soon the scalp gets into contact with irritants. If you are allergic to certain substance like shampoos or food you are likely to end up with bumps on your head. Allergic reaction is an immune response to exposure of allergens. Substances that cause contact dermatitis include foods, cleaning solutions, detergents, cosmetics and perfumes.

Red rash is usually the first reaction appearing immediately in irritant contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis may not appear for one or two days after the exposure. The affected ski may swell, become sore or blister. You may get raised red bumpy rash on your scalp. The scalp may itch, burn and painful. Seek medical advice if the rash doesn’t improve or continues to spread days after you’ve tried self-care measures.

3. Scalp eczema

Scalp eczema or seborrheic dermatitis could be the causes of bumps on your scalp. It is one of the scalp condition with symptoms such red, itchy patches with greasy scales or dandruff. Although this condition is not contagious it can be really be embarrassing. The cause is not determined. However, a yeast called malassezia in the oil secretion on the skin is the possible cause.

Seborrheic dermatitis can be linked to overproduction of sebum in the scalp. Itching is a common sign of dandruff. Irritated scalp can result to scratching and there’s a possibility you can damage your scalp and cause bumps to appear.

An itchy scalp with pimple-like bumps can be treated with medicated dandruff shampoo to ease inflammation and get rid of flaky skin. Use the shampoo two or three times a week.

4. Scalp acne

Pimple on scalp or scalp acne can be bothersome. Cause of acne on scalp can vary from hygienic problem to hormonal and internal disorders. Understanding the cause of the acne flare-ups or pimple-like bumps can help treat the bumps on your scalp. Acne on the scalp can develop as a result of:

  • Excess oil or sebum production
  • Blocked or damaged skin spores
  • Inflammation caused by bacteria
  • Hormones and stress
  • Environmental conditions
  • Oily, greasy scalp
  • Hereditary factors, acne tend to run in families

Scalp acne may go unnoticed since the scalp is covered with hair. Combing or brushing may cause pan and only then you notice.

Rarely due scalp acne resolve on its own or with over-the-counter medication. However, medical treatment should be sought if the pimple on scalp is persistent. Here’s how to treat scalp acne or pimple:

  • Use medicated shampoo to frequently treat your scalp and eliminate excess oil
  • Oral medication should be used if the scalp acne doesn’t respond to topical applications.
  • In case of infections, use topical and oral antibiotics
  • Salicylic acid may be used in shampoos or creams

5.  Scalp cysts

Bumps on scalp under hair could be a cyst. This is a fluid- filled bump found underneath the skin. Cysts are harmless and usually go away without treatment. It can be hard to tell whether a bump on your scalp is a cyst or a sign of an underlying medical condition that might need treatment. Unlike boils or skin abscess, cyst are painless and therefore harmless. A cyst become painful when they rapture or get inflamed.

A cyst on the skin is round, dome shaped bump. It’s sometimes yellowish or whitish. Infected cyst on your scalp produces a foul-smelling pus.

6. Scalp ringworm

Scalp ringworm or tinea capitis could be the other cause of pimple-like bumps on your scalp and hair. Commonly seen in children, it is caused by a fungus. It appears as scaly spots and patches of broken hair on the head. Although rare, other common location of scalp ringworms include eyebrow and eyelashes.

Scalp ringworm is often accompanied by hair loss. The patches may be red and inflamed. You may notice small pus-filled bumps. Other symptoms include tiny black dots appearing on the surface of the scalp and broken hair. Scalp ringworm is usually itchy or irritating.

Scalp ringworm is treated with oral antifungal medicines. The fungus tend to invade deep into hair follicles. Topical creams and lotions cannot penetrate deep into the hair follicles. Your doctor may prescribe medicated shampoos to reduce the risk of spreading the scalp ringworm.

7. Bumps on scalp after chemotherapy

Bumps on your scalp can be as a result of chemotherapy side effects. Among other side effects, hair loss is one of the common with people with cancer. While some people may lose all their hair quickly others tend to lose little hair or none at all. Hair loss can begin after 2- 3 weeks of the first treatment and will grow back once when the chemotherapy is completed.

Before and during hair loss, your scalp may feel itchy, tender, hot or tingly. Some people may feel the scalp skin extra sensitive. They may develop pimples on their scalp.

Red small itchy bumps on scalp under hair

Itching is a common sign of dandruff in the scalp under hair. However, when it is accompanied by red small bumps on the scalp, it could mean something else. Probably a sign of medical condition. The itching accompanied by dandruff is as a result of an irritated scalp. If you scratch there’s a possibility you will damage the scalp and cause small red bumps to appear.

Red Itchy Bumps on Scalp
Red Itchy Bumps on Scalp

Red, tender or itchy bumps could also mean bacterial infection or inflammation of the hair follicle (folliculitis). Irritated scalp bumps that itch can be to skin and scalp condition such as eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis through lice and hives, contact dermatitis or allergic reaction.

If the cause is dandruff, use medicated shampoos to relieve itching. Otherwise, visit your dermatologist to get diagnosis to get the itching and other related symptoms under control.

Small white pimples on scalp

Small white pimple- like bumps on your scalp could be an indication of infection. White bumps on scalp may be skin cyst on scalp under hair. A cyst on the skin is round, dome shaped bump. It’s sometimes yellowish or whitish. Infected cyst on your scalp produces a foul-smelling pus.

White pimples on scalp are simply scalp folliculitis. Since the scalp is full of dirt, sebum and dead skin cells, the hair follicles gets blocked. The sebum in the scalp causes inflammation cause white pimple-like bumps. White pimples are not painful, unlike the red bumps.

How can you treat and get rid of these white pimples on scalp? Effective treatment include use of salicylic acid. This require the help of another person to apply the acid on the scalp. Alternatively, use nioxin shampoo to clean the scalp and inflamed hair follicles. Wash the hair four times a week to get rid of the white pimpled fast.

Hard bumps on scalp that hurt or painful

Hard painful bumps on the scalp is a sign of infection or disease on your scalp. A number of causes are responsible for bumps on the scalp that hurt or painful. Below are some of the causes:

  • Infection of the hair follicles or shafts commonly known as folliculitis. When the hair follicles become infected, red scalp bumps that are tender, itchy and painful appear. These bumps may be filled with a clear or yellow liquid. Bacteria and fungus causes the infection particularly to people who don’t wash their hair.
    Bumps on Scalp under Hair that Hurt
    Bumps on Scalp under Hair that Hurt

Treatment involve the use of antibiotics and creams topically applied on the infected scalp. Alternatively, shampooing four times weekly with a shampoo that has been mixed tea tree oil can help relieve the symptoms.

  • Viral infection such as shingles and chicken pox
  • Scalp acne
  • Infected skin cyst on the scalp.

Bumps on scalp treatment

Scalp bumps treatment depends entirely on the underlying cause. These scalp bumps are common problem arising from dead skin cells, product build-up and oil accumulating on your scalp: serving as food for bacteria that end up turning into acne, pimple- like bumps. Medications and treating autoimmune conditions can help cure the scalp conditions including itchy red bumps on scalp.

How to get rid of pimple-like bumps on scalp

To get rid of pimple-like bumps and scalp acne, you need to take certain measures. You might be forced to avoid certain hair products. Oily have products have a tendency of blocking hair follicles making your scalp susceptible to bumps that look like pimples. Below here are tips to get rid of scalp bumps.

  • Avoid allergens causing allergic reaction on your scalp.
  • Dandruff causing itchy scalp bumps can be treated with either baking soda or salicylic acid
  • Use antifungal medications found over-the- counter to get rid of ringworm and other fungal infections causing bumps, pimple and other scalp problems
  • Wash your hair regularly with medicated shampoo to remove build-up of dandruff, dead skin cell or oily substances in your scalp. This is a good practice to that reduce bumps from developing.

Scalp bumps cure, medication and treatment

Scalp problems causing bumps, acne or pimple can be treated after identify the underlying cause. Here are some of the treatment available options.

  • Antibacterial medication can help treat scalp and acne folliculitis. There are over-the-counter treated for inflamed scalp. Apply salicylic acid on the pimple-like bump or zit.
  • Sores, blisters and bumps on your scalp can be treated with topical creams such as corticosteroid creams, gels, lotions, solutions or sprays.
  • Medicated shampoos are helpful to cure red itchy bumps on your scalp. Shampoos combined with salicylic acid are popular treatments to cure itchy bumps and get rid of scalp inflammation.

Home remedies to get rid of scalp bumps

Less severe cases of scalp problems that do not need a dermatologist can be treated with natural home remedies. Here are some of the effective home remedies for you to help you treat scalp bumps.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is known to work effectively to treat itchy scalp and other skin conditions. It has antiseptic properties to help heal scalp bumps as well as reduce itching and inflammation.

  • Mix about 4 drops of tea tree oil in 2 or 3 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
  • Massage the oil on your infected scalp
  • Rinse after 1 hour
  • Do this once daily

Alternatively, add tea tree oil to 2 or 3 drops per ounce of medicated shampoo. Wash your hair daily with this remedy for some minutes before rinsing it off.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is recommended as one of the best home remedy to cure scalp pimple, bumps and acne. It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties to get rid of inflamed hair follicles that cause scalp acne and bumps. Here’s the procedure to follow:

  • Mix apple cider vinegar with equal amount of water (lukewarm)
  • Wash your hair and scalp with this solution
  • Wait for about 10 minutes or less
  • Rinse your head with clean water
  • Do this regularly

Aloe Vera

This is one of the effective popular home remedy for treating skin ailments. It can help get rid of bacteria causing scalp acne and bumps reducing inflammation and promoting healing.  Follow this procedure to get rid of bumps on your scalp naturally:

  • Remove gel from fresh aloe vera leaf
  • Apply the gel on the affected scalp with bumps
  • Apply twice daily for a week

Tomato Juice

Tomato is a rich source of salicylic acid effective for treating scalp problems including pimples, bumps and acne. Tomatoes help to reduce overproduction of sebum, one of the cause of pimple-like bumps. Follow this procedure to get rid of acne bumps on scalp:

  • Apply evenly fresh tomato juice on your scalp
  • Wait for 10 minutes
  • Rinse your hair with lukewarm water
  • Repeat once daily for a couple of weeks

Pimple –like Bumps on Scalp Treatment Video

Sources and References

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