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As you’re styling your hair for a night out, have you ever noticed small red bumps on your scalp? Breakouts can be so unfair. Acne in any form isn’t the most enjoyable skin concern to have to deal with, and scalp acne is no exception. Sure, your hair may help cover the blemishes, but we know you don’t want to be stuck with scalp acne forever. If you’ve started to notice pimples on your scalp, you may be wondering what you can do to help manage them. Fortunately, it all comes down to using the right hair-care products, like a scalp acne shampoo. Ahead, get the 4-1-1 on scalp acne treatments.
Before we get into scalp acne treatment options, it’s a good idea to know what causes scalp acne in the first place. Just as with acne on your face and other areas of your body, pimples on your scalp can have more than one cause. Here are a few common triggers.
1. Hormones. As if being a teenager isn’t hard enough, the Mayo Clinic states that during the teenage years, skin produces more oil, including on the scalp. This is a result of hormone changes due to puberty. The excess oil production in combination with dead skin cells and bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, can clog hair follicles and could result in acne, including scalp acne.
2. Oily hair. The shine on your complexion and hair could be the culprit. Oily hair and skin, whether a result of hormone changes or not, could lead to scalp acne. According to the Mayo Clinic, acne occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells—including scalp acne. Those with oily hair may be more prone to scalp acne because of this.
3. Hair products. If you’ve yet to consider that your hair products could be to blame for your scalp acne, it’s time you do so. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) explains that hair-care products that contain oil may clog your pores, which could in turn to acne.
Now that you’re aware of some common causes of acne on your scalp, you’re probably curious about how you can help tackle it. Here are some tips we’ve rounded up to help:
The Mayo Clinic recommends using an over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo as a first step to tackling excess oil on the scalp. This type of shampoo is typically formulated with active ingredients like pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, or selenium sulfide, per the Mayo Clinic. They suggest using one every other day or even daily, according to the product directions, to help tackle oil on the scalp, which could be a culprit behind scalp acne.
Consider swapping your regular shampoo for our L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo, which helps manage scalp buildup and dandruff. Pair it with the matching conditioner, the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Scalp Care + Detox Conditioner.
You love how your favorite serum makes your hair look, but you have to consider whether it may be doing your scalp a disservice. Like we mentioned, oily hair products can lead to a buildup of oils on the scalp, which in turn could contribute to scalp breakouts. The AAD recommends stopping the use of products with oil or pomades, which can clog pores.
By now, you understand that scalp buildup can lead to pimples. If you have an intense session at the gym, don’t let sweat sit on your scalp. Instead, either wash your hair as soon as possible or apply a dry shampoo that helps absorb oil.
Over time, styling and hair-care products can build up on your scalp—nobody’s perfect. The trick is to remove that buildup before it becomes an issue with a scalp treatment like our L’Oréal Paris EverFresh Micro-Exfoliating Scrub. Apricot seeds in the formula gently scrub away impurities, flakes, and buildup from dirt and excess oils.
If over-the-counter products don’t work, the Mayo Clinic suggests booking an appointment with your primary care provider. They will be able to determine if other products, like prescription shampoos or a prescription-strength topical antibiotic, are needed.
Next: Tackle another acne-prone area with the help of our article, What Acne Between Eyebrows Really Means.
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