Have you ever combed your hair and found it hurts because you do not only comb your hair, but also those bumps on your scalp? What are these bumps, why do they hurt, what cause them, and how can you improve the condition?
How do scalp bumps look like?
Bumps on scalp might range in sizes. They may occur as little as usual zits or pimple, but may also be visible as rashes and bigger inflamed skin. These bumps are commonly painful, itchy, and stay for several days. As they may occur anywhere on the scalp, combing your hair might be a little challenging during the outbreak.
How bumps on scalp occur?
Bumps on the head with a size and appearance of pimples are generally caused by various conditions, including dermatitis and folliculitis. Bumps that are caused by dermatitis commonly form red, itchy patches with greasy scale. Although dermatitis-induced scalp bumps are not contagious, they can be visible and therefore, embarrassing. Dermatitis usually does not only cause bumps on scalp. It also affects the face, chest, and ears.
Dermatitis is linked to weakened immune system, diabetes, and obesity. A yeast called malessezia is believed as the culprit of dermatitis severe outbreak. In many sufferers, dermatitis comes and goes, as it cannot be thoroughly treated. Bumps caused by this are commonly surrounded by greasy and flaky scalp, which in longer infestation period may lead to hair loss.
Bumps on scalp can also be caused by another condition called folliculitis. This is a condition wherein your hair follicles are inflamed. Quite different from larger bumps triggered by dermatitis, those caused by folliculitis are commonly smaller in size and more scattered around the opening of hair follicles. They look like acne and can be pus-filled. These bumps sore and will be really painful when touched or accidentally combed.
Leading cause of scalp folliculitis is bacteria infestation. Staphylococcus bacteria which reside all over our skin may at certain time, trigger severe infestation and hence, the infection of hair follicles. Non-infectious folliculitis of the scalp may also be resulted from irritation from harsh hair dyes and other products, and excessive sweating resulted in sebum. It is also possible to have hair folliculitis from viral and bacterial infection, such as herpes simplex virus.
Another possible cause that may be responsible for the occurrence of bumps on scalp is ringworms. Although more common in children, this infection may also affect adults. Bumps resulted from ringworm infestation are red, painful, and scaly. In addition to bumps caused by either dermatitis or folliculitis, ringworm scalp bumps may also induce enlargement of lymph nodes. Infected scalp may also undergo bald spots with broken hair, and black spots.
As elaborated by Mayo Clinic, a few ways play a role in contracting the causal fungus. The virus is transmittable from human to human, animal to human, and objects to human. Hence, cats, clothing, towels, bedding/linens, combs, and brushes are the most common sources of the causal virus.
Similar to other section of our skin, scalp can also be prone to cysts. The good news is that scalp cysts are common and not life-threatening. Cysts on scalp are grape-sized and fluid-filled, and can be felt while you are brushing or combing your hair. This disorder is genetic, hereditary and commonly benign.
How to stop bumps on scalp
Although most bumps on scalp commonly last only for short period of time, it is still very important to treat the problem well, as untreated bumps may lead to alopecia—excessive hair loss. Having the persistent problem properly diagnosed is also crucial, since it may be an early sign of more serious disorders.
Should you notice bumps on scalp, try to identify the most possible main cause. If your bumps on scalp is related to dermatitis, you might first want to check your stress level and diet plan. These two are closely related to the outbreak and therefore, improving both will simultaneously lessen the itches, rashes, or bumps caused.
If you think your scalp bumps is triggered by folliculitis, you might need to re-check your hair products, making sure there are no chemicals or ingredients that are too harsh for your scalp, especially if you are suffering from sensitive and tender scalp. If you already have got greasy scalp, avoid hair conditioner, as this will hydrate the scalp and commonly trigger the occurrence of excessive sebum. In some cases of folliculitis, infectious agent is not exist, so that in order to ease the caused pain, inflammatory medication is the most suitable choice. As dandruff may also become a trigger for scalp bumps and rashes, anti-dandruff shampoos may be helpful. However, as most of them contain harsh chemicals, try not to apply the products in daily basis.
Can bumps on scalp be prevented?
What is better than proper treatment for bumps on scalp is your preliminary prevention. This will prevent any outbreak and therefore, save you from discomfort and embarrassment. To prevent the occurrence of bumps on scalp, there are things can be performed:
1. Practice good hair hygiene
Although inadequate hygiene is not usually the main cause of bumps on scalp, good hygiene practices should ease the pain and itch resulted. Regular hair washing also limits the production of excessive sebum that may clog hair follicles and thus, cause infection.
2. Limit the use of harsh chemicals
In addition to proper hygiene practices, limitation of harsh chemicals you use for the hair and scalp will help improving scalp sensitivity, tenderness, bumps, and rashes. Be stick to gentle hair cleanser and avoid the use of ingredients such as sulfate and ammonium. Organic shampoos and conditioner containing natural oils are mostly recommended.
3. Avoid sharing hair stuffs, such as combs and brushes
Some rashes and bumps are caused by viral infection, such as herpes, which is definitely contagious. Therefore, it is important not to share your hair stuffs and to keep them clean and hygienic at all time.