The Secret Behind Scalp Acne

Scalp acne, an often overlooked and frustrating condition, can be just as irritating and stubborn as facial acne.

Those tiny bumps and painful pustules hidden beneath your hair can disrupt your daily life and lower your self-confidence. But what exactly causes scalp acne, and how can you treat and prevent it?

In this blog, we delve into the secret behind scalp acne, explore its top triggers, and provide practical solutions and dos and don’ts to manage this condition effectively.

If you’re seeking professional help, Dr. Hera’s Skin & Hair Clinic, led by the esteemed Dermatologist in Roorkee, Dr. Hera Tabassum, offers specialized treatments for scalp acne and other skin concerns.

Top Triggers of Scalp Acne

1. Excess Sebum Production: Just like the skin on your face, your scalp has sebaceous glands that produce oil (sebum). Overproduction of sebum can clog hair follicles, leading to acne.  

2. Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or due to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can trigger scalp acne.

3. Poor Hygiene: Infrequent washing or using the wrong hair products can lead to a buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells on the scalp, contributing to acne.

4. Hair Products: Certain hair products containing oils, silicones, and heavy moisturizers can clog pores and lead to breakouts. These include pomades, gels, and some conditioners.

5. Diet: Consuming a diet high in refined sugars and dairy products can contribute to acne. Foods that spike insulin levels can increase sebum production, leading to clogged pores.

6. Stress: High stress levels can trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone that can increase oil production, leading to acne.

7. Medications: Some medications, such as steroids and lithium, can cause or exacerbate acne.

Solutions for Scalp Acne

1. Regular Washing: Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo to keep your scalp clean. Avoid harsh shampoos that can irritate the skin and exacerbate acne.

2. Exfoliate: Use a gentle exfoliating scalp scrub once a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores.

3. Choose the Right Products: Opt for non-comedogenic hair products that are free from heavy oils and silicones. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil, which can help reduce acne.

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Avoid excessive intake of sugary and dairy products.

5. Reduce Stress: Practice stress-relief techniques such as yoga, meditation, or regular exercise to keep stress levels in check.

6. Consult a Dermatologist: If your scalp acne persists, consult a dermatologist. Dr. Hera’s Skin & Hair Clinic in Roorkee provides personalized treatment plans to address severe or persistent scalp acne.

Dos and Don’ts for Scalp Acne


  • Do wash your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo.
  • Do use non-comedogenic hair products.
  • Do exfoliate your scalp weekly.
  • Do maintain a healthy diet and manage stress.
  • Do consult a dermatologist for persistent acne.


  • Don’t use heavy, oily hair products.
  • Don’t pick or squeeze the acne, as this can lead to infection and scarring.
  • Don’t wash your hair with very hot water, as it can irritate the scalp.
  • Don’t neglect your scalp health; treat it with the same care as your facial skin.

In Conclusion

Scalp acne can be a distressing condition, but with the proper knowledge and care, it is manageable.

Understanding the triggers and implementing effective solutions can help keep your scalp clean and healthy. Remember to follow the dos and don’ts to prevent exacerbating the condition.

Professional help is available for those struggling with persistent or severe scalp acne.

Dr. Hera’s Skin & Hair Clinic, under the expertise of the renowned Dermatologist in Roorkee, Dr. Hera Tabassum, offers tailored treatments to help you achieve a healthy, acne-free scalp. For more personalized advice and treatment options, schedule a consultation at Dr. Hera’s Skin & Hair Clinic and take the first step towards a clear and healthy scalp.

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