You should consult a dermatologist for severe acne (Photo: iStock)

When we think of acne, we often define it as a skin condition that affects the facial area. You will find countless advice and tips on how to prevent breakouts and the right skincare routine that will minimize scars on your face.

What we don't realize though is that acne can choose to appear anywhere including your scalp. Scalp acne has different causes including hormonal imbalances, genetics and surprisingly, stress.

If you have struggled with this type of acne, there are a couple of solutions available for you. You can try these five suggestions and note whether there will be an improvement then maybe you can visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment:

Wash your hair often

If you naturally have oily skin on the scalp, you can try washing your hair often especially if you exercise regularly.


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Acne isn't always caused by hygiene practices but, it still helps to give your scalp more attention when it comes to washing. The reason why this might work is, that oily skin collects more buildup faster. Regular washing will prevent this buildup from occurring which can reduce breakouts.

Switch your products

Acne-prone skin is very sensitive even when it's on the scalp. That means you need to know which products to use and which ones to avoid. The worst products for your scalp are those with irritating ingredients like alcohol and those that are very oily and greasy. This also applies to natural oils like coconut oil which tends to clog pores and worsen acne.

You should go for gentle, non-clogging products and consider switching to medicated shampoo. Now that you're aware of this, you should always be careful with what hair products you use.

Exfoliate often

The biggest challenge for your sensitive skin is buildup. You should wash your hair more often with the right shampoo and use the right products, but, you can also add exfoliating to the list.

The recommended exfoliants that might work are glycolic and salicylic acid. These work better as compared to physical exfoliants that might be too rough for your scalp and those that can leave annoying particles in your hair.

Don't pop or pick the pimples

Acne can cause bumps, pimples and cysts depending on the severity. You might think that you need to pick those areas for your scalp to heal faster but this isn't a great idea.

You're never advised to squeeze, pick and pop anything because this could make your acne worse and slow down healing.

If it gets itchy, you can gently pat the area instead of being too rough.

Consult a dermatologist for severe acne

Some types of scalp acne don't easily respond to common treatments. This is a severe form that probably needs medication.

If you've tried everything and you're not seeing much improvement, book an appointment. Consulting will confirm whether it's acne and which specific type it is, or whether it's an entirely different type of condition.

As much as what is on this list can help you out if you're interested in trying home remedies, you shouldn't just follow any home remedy suggestions without consulting and researching first.

Skincare Tips Hair Care Scalp Acne