The scalp is far more interesting than most of us know. This soft tissue that specifically covers the cranium is made up of layers of soft tissue, nerves, sebaceous glands, and around 100,000 hair follicles on average. Scalp folliculitis is just one of the skin conditions that can be more likely to affect the scalp. Let’s take a look at scalp folliculitis, potential home remedies for scalp folliculitis, and when you may need to see a dermatologist for folliculitis scalp treatment.
What Is Scalp Folliculitis?
General folliculitis is a common skin condition characterized by inflammation that specifically starts in the hair follicles. Follicles are tiny pores in the layers of your skin where the roots of the hair are held. As noted already, the scalp has a high concentration of follicles in one area, but scalp hair follicles can also be larger than those found on most other parts of the body because the hair that grows here is thicker. Therefore, folliculitis may be more likely in the scalp.
Bacterial or fungal infection usually causes folliculitis. The infection often starts after hair follicles sustain some type of trauma; the follicles open up and become more receptive to bacterial or fungal agents. A few things that could damage hair follicles include wearing tight hats or tightly pulled hairstyles, pulling your hair, or frequent scratching. The typical symptoms of scalp folliculitis include:
- Itching, burning, or stinging sensations
- Pain or soreness in some areas of the scalp
- The development of sores with either scabs or pus drainage
- Clusters of pimples or small reddish bumps with what appears to be a white head
Home Remedies for Scalp Folliculitis
1. Wash daily with antibacterial soap
Scalp folliculitis is most commonly found right at the hairline. If this is where you have notice bumps, you can wash the area with antibacterial soap a few times a day. Be sure to rinse out the soap well and dry your hairline with clean cloths or towels when you are done.
2. Use warm compresses to encourage pus drainage
If you see what looks like pimples or you notice pus draining from the bumps on your scalp, warm compresses can help. Gently press a warm (not hot), damp cloth against the area a few times daily. This can encourage the pus to drain out of the bumps to heal up a bit faster.
3. Apply over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointments
Topical antibiotic ointments, such as Neosporin or generic neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin b triple antibiotic ointment, may help scalp folliculitis heal up faster. Apply the ointment to the affected area a few times daily.
4. Use store-bought cortisone cream to soothe inflammation
Cortisone cream works well to soothe inflammation for many types of skin problems, including folliculitis. Perhaps even more important, cortisone cream can help soothe discomforts, such as itching and burning.
5. Try an anti-fungal shampoo
If your scalp folliculitis is caused by some type of fungus, an anti-fungal shampoo may help clear up the problem. Many anti-dandruff shampoos contain anti-fungal ingredients, such as tea tree oil and ketoconazole. Follow the instructions on the particular product you are using and monitor your scalp for sins of improvement.
When to Get Help for Scalp Folliculitis from a Professional
Thankfully, folliculitis is not a contagious condition, and most people successfully treat the problem at home. In more severe cases, folliculitis can spread to a number of hair follicles. If left untreated, severe folliculitis may lead to problems with hair loss and scarring. If you have tried to clear up the condition with these remedies for scalp folliculitis at home to no avail, it is vital to seek dermatologist advice. Likewise, if the condition seems to be spreading, is causing a great deal of discomfort, or is producing a high level of infection, it can be wise to seek professional advice. Reach out to us at Valley Skin Institute and schedule an appointment so we can help.