Pimples Over the Scalp

The commonest places you get pimples is the face, back or the groin. However, you may also get it on your  scalp. Pimples here are small and hidden in the hair.

How Do You Get Pimples?

There are numerous oil secreting glands over the scalp surface.  They continuously keep secreting sebum and other secretions to keep the scalp well lubricated and moisturized.

We get pimples when the duct draining any of such gland gets blocked. This may happen due to excess oil, dead cells or tissue debris getting accumulated there. dandruff over the scalp also contributes to pimple formation. A small swelling type of lesion is formed. This is called a microcomedone.

As the secretion keep accumulating, this lesion grows in size. A blackhead or a whitehead is formed. As more secretions keep getting collected, a pimple is formed.

A pimple is big enough to be visible over the scalp.

Infected Acne Vs. Folliculitis

An infected pimple over the scalp is often confused with infected hair follicle over the skin there. Folliculitis is infection of the hair follicle over the scalp.

Both present as a red, inflamed, raised lesion on the scalp.

Common Complaints

The patient may feel bumps over the scalp. They often go unnoticed as they are covered with hair. He may appreciate them while combing hair.

Pimples over the scalp may sometimes get infected. They may present as re painful bumps that are filled with pus inside.

If the pus touches the nearby area, more of such pimples may erupt.


Do not traumatize the pimples over your scalp during combing. Be gentle and take care not to hurt them. If traumatized, they may get infected.

Most of the pimples respond well to shampoos containing salicylic acid. This chemical exfoliates the dead cells of the scalp and prevents pimple formation.

Wash your hair at regular intervals to wash off the extra oil over the scalp. A gentle scrubbing is essential to wash away the dead cells and tissue debris.

Excessive washing is also not recommended. This may render the scalp dry and lead to dandruff formation. Dandruff may contribute to the formation of pimples.

Painful or infected pimples need antibiotic treatment. Mupirocin may be used over such pimples. To be applied twice daily over the affected pimples till they get cured.

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