I thought I had to deal with only the pimples on my face till they started appearing on my scalp. The face was bad enough, not the head too! It was okay if it was on the head but when it spread to behind the ears and the neck I freaked out. Those annoying and painful zits just rummaged my life. It was time to look for a cure and a solution.
After several unsuccessful trials and errors, I finally discovered five products which according to me are the best scalp acne shampoos around. Before you proceed, do find out the why of scalp acne and ways to treat it; knowing the cause of the acne is the first step to treating it.
Last update on 2019-01-15 at 09:03 PST - Details
What Is Scalp Acne?
Acne is a skin condition quite prevalent in teenagers. It is characterized by red bumps on the scalp. They are invariably tender, scaly and painful. These bumps have a crusty appearance and are filled with pus when infected.
The main reason for pimples or acne is excess sebum - the oil secreted by pores on the skin to protect it from damage.
When the sebaceous glands are over stimulated excess sebum is produced. This turns the skin greasy and oily and clogs the skin pores and this my friends is how we all end up getting those annoying zits which leave us distraught and in misery.
But Scalp Acne Is Not Noticeable
If you have been thinking like I did till I faced the consequences, then wake up. Yes, scalp acne is not noticeable, it is not life-threatening. But what if it stubbornly refuses to budge and gaily spreads all over your scalp and recklessly runs down your neck and the back of your ears. What if you start acting like a monkey who can’t keep his hands off his head (scratching); what if you start losing hair.
Untreated acne can lead to these conditions, so do not ignore scalp acne; it will not disappear magically.
Often scalp acne is associated with:
- Hair loss.
How Are Dandruff And Acne Interconnected?
Have you ever sneaked a scratch or swore never to wear black because your dandruff flakes made their way to your clothes? It is socially unacceptable to scratch your head but when you are suffering from a bad case of itchy dandruff societal graces can fly out of the window for all you care.
Dandruff and acne have different causes but the common trigger is overactive oil glands. Dandruff is a fungal infection while acne is bacterial. But why do people use dandruff shampoo to clear acne? How does it work?
The key ingredients in both cases remain zinc and ketoconazole which clear the associated infection. In most cases, this works, and that is why it is prescribed to treat scalp acne; but in case you don’t have both at the same time stick to a shampoo specific for your problem.
Do Only Teens Suffer?
Scalp acne thankfully is less common than the one found on the rest of the skin. Though it originates during puberty, several adults also suffer from scalp acne. The root causes remain:
- Poor Scalp Hygiene – Improper washing of hair and not washing enough leads to accumulation of dirt which will clog the pores. At the same time, too much washing is not good either.
- Heredity – Unfortunately, this one you can't do much other than treating it by consulting a dermatologist.
- Use of waxy hair products and sprays – Yes you can’t imagine a life without the use of the hair sprays, gels, colors, and pomades. Spare a thought for the chemical build-up on the scalp. You are inviting trouble if you have acne prone scalp when you indulge in these hair habits.
- Weather – Hot, humid climate which necessitates the use of a cap, scarf or a hat also contribute to acne. The sweat itself doesn’t cause acne, but it creates an atmosphere conducive for the growth of bacteria.
- Hormones - Teens and women during pregnancy and their monthly cycles must deal with fluctuating hormones.
- Medications - Certain medication used for treating chronic conditions can stimulate the sebaceous glands into over secretion.
- Diet – Junk food
- Stress – The bane of the modern world.
How To Address The Problem
Scalp acne is not very apparent and a serious problem but it is an annoyance that must be treated nevertheless. In serious cases, it can affect an individual’s self-esteem and confidence.
Treating scalp acne is not easy for the obvious reason – the acne is amidst hair. It is almost like searching for a pin in a haystack if you are blessed with a thick mane.
Most often the problem resolves itself if mild, but in severe cases, medical intervention is advised.
You must attempt to prevent the pores on the scalp from clogging from build-up and oil blockage. The common methods of dealing with scalp acne are:
1. Regular Hair Washes: Regularly wash your hair with a mild clarifying shampoo preferably. Do not miss washing your hair especially after a workout or any activity when you sweat at lot. It is important to keep the scalp clean always.
Don’t Use Products With These Ingredients
In your quest for relief from troublesome zits on your scalp do not buy any substandard hair product just because it is packaged well and marketed even better. There are certain ingredients which you must avoid at all costs, especially if you are allergic to them.
Avoid these ingredients in your anti scalp acne shampoos:
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Mineral oil.
How To Choose The Best Scalp Acne Shampoo?
With more and more undesirable ingredients finding their way into our daily skin care and scalp routine, it is crucial that you are aware of what goes inside your shampoo. The best scalp acne shampoo will be to remove the excess grease from the scalp and the hair, prevent the build-up of residue and vanquish itching and flaking. A few of the key ingredients that are present in varying percentages are:
- Salicylic acid – it exfoliates the skin, removes dead cells and opens the pores.
- Zinc – it keeps a check on the sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands on the skin and the scalp. The reduction of oiliness will hinder the growth of bacteria and fungus which in turn will lead to a healthy scalp.
- Tea tree oil – its antibacterial properties keep the scalp healthy and clean.
- Glycolic acid – it is normally found as aqua glycolic in the ingredient list; it is useful for exfoliation and elimination of bacteria.
- Ketoconazole – antifungal in nature.
- Jojoba oil – it works as an anti-inflammation agent.
Listed below are five products that I believe are effective in treating scalp acne. Pay special heed to the ingredients and choose one product best suited for your kind of zit.
Last update on 2019-01-15 at 09:03 PST - Details
What is Your Take
An all-rounder, in my opinion, is the Free and Clear Shampoo which is mild and gentle, ideal for daily use. It is in the affordable price range and produces results for all to see. It treats not only scalp acne but also the related itchiness and flakiness. But like with all hair care products you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimum results.