Scalp Acne Causes


What is Scalp Acne

To understand scalp acne causes, it is important to know what scalp acne is. Scalp acne is a skin condition that can be frustrating, distressing and challenging. Similarly, how to get rid of scalp pimples can also be a dilemma, particularly when it cannot be easily seen unless there is no hair.

Nevertheless, it is almost certainly triggered by a change of some sort to the body physiology usually as a result of contact by foreign substances on the scalp, which causes an inflammatory response and results in scalp acne lesions.

Scalp Acne Causes - Primary Cause

Scalp acne, like acne, is a skin condition. The skin and scalp has pores which are openings to hair follicles. Hence consists of the skin's sebaceous glands and the hair follicles through the skin's openings or pores. The sebaceous glands naturally produce a protective layer of oil known as sebum. Sebum makes its way up the hair shaft to the skin's surface through the pores, it keeps the skin lubricated and soft.

Scalp acne occurs when there is a blockage in the lubrication process :

  • Excess sebum oil is being produced
  • Dead skin cells and other substances clog up the pores and hair follicles
  • This gets infected with bacteria that multiplies in the trapped pore

When the pores become infected with bacteria the follicles may swell due to inflammation. The trapped bacteria causing red, inflamed spots with itchiness.

Acne and scalp acne occurs when the pores on the skin become blocked with oil, dead skin or bacteria. Scalp acne and acne is, therefore, the combined result of three factors: build-up of oil, abnormal shedding of dead skin cells and bacteria growth.

Scalp Acne Causes - Secondary Causes

Many factors can contribute to secondary scalp acne causes while some conditions and habits may increase its severity.

Inadequate Diet   

A well-balanced diet is encouraged for overall health and nourishment. If any food seems to cause acne it would be wise to avoid having too much of that type of food. An unhealthy diet and nutritional deficiencies would not help the body generally.

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This explains why acne often begins during puberty and why some women notice more acne and oiliness around their menstrual periods.

Drug Toxicity

Medication that increases hormonal levels such as some forms of birth control and drug toxicity such as steroids can result in an individual suffering from pimples on scalp acne

Stress

Physical and emotional stress can make acne worse. Unfortunately, stress is difficult to avoid because of pressure from work or otherwise.

Genetics

Heredity plays an important role in this condition. If either parents or both have a history of acne then the offspring is likely to genetically inherit the same.

Hair Products

Some skin and hair products often contain ingredients that can encourage the clogging of pores. Some people may even experience an allergic reaction to particular types hair care products. It is, therefore, vital to understand what the content of hair products, conditioners and shampoos could be.

Scalp acne could be caused by the conditioner and/or shampoo which dries out on the scalp, after not being washed out properly. Therefore, excessive use without it thoroughly washed out may cause a reaction.

Take advantage of products suitable for oily or acne prone skin that are labelled non-comedogenic because it does not clog up the pores. Comedogenic ingredients clog pores and can cause scalp acne.

Chemicals

Scalp acne causes can be as a result of allergic reactions to chemicals in products, the use of the wrong products for the hair and scalp or infections caused by yeast, certain types of bacteria and mites are just a few of the circumstances that can cause inflammation around the hair follicles of the scalp also known as scalp folliculitis.

High Exposure to Sunlight or Heat

The abnormally high exposure to sunlight and heat or hot and humid environmental conditions such as on a construction site, in a kitchen restaurant or gym can help stimulate oil production in the skin's pores which in turn can irritate the skin and exacerbate the skin condition by increasing bacteria growth and therefore provoke acne or scalp acne.

Sweat

Sweat when combined with skin friction can exacerbate scalp acne and acne. Sweating also introduces bacteria to the skin and worsens when rubbed through items like sweatbands, hats, backpacks, tight helmets and bag straps. Showering with an antibacterial soap is recommended to clean the body after activities or conditions that cause the body to sweat

Poor Hygiene

Washing the skin and scalp after perspiration especially after exposure to hot and humid conditions helps remove oil and dirt that may have accumulated on the sweaty scalp or skin. Wash with a non-abrasive, alcohol-free skin cleanser and rinse it away with lukewarm water. Hot water may strip the skin of moisture while lukewarm water helps to open the pores.

Solution

Minor Cases

Scalp acne can be tackled with the use of over-the-counter acne products, nevertheless, avoiding products that contain benzoyl peroxide as it can lead to the discolouration or bleaching of the hair.

Severe Cases

In more severe cases a visit to the dermatologist for treatments may including the prescription of antibiotics and other stronger prescriptions.

It is important to understand that if scalp acne causes are to be understood properly a holistic approach by looking a the whole picture, both internally and externally should also be considered.


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